Would you agree that you provide your clients with an extremely valuable service? Do you believe that you should be paid for your time and expertise? Then you should be charging fees in addition to your commissions.

Charging fees does two important things for your insurance or financial services business.

First, it prevents clients from wasting your time and makes sure that you’re paid every time you meet with a client.

Second, it suddenly transforms you from an “unwanted salesman” to a “trusted advisor” in the eyes of your prospects. If your prospect knows you make money only by selling him products, he’ll be suspicious of every recommendation you ever make. If, however, if the prospect has hired you as his “advisor,” he’ll hang on every word you say and be far more likely to go forward with your suggestions.

The most common reason most agents and advisors don’t charge fees is that they believe they need to be a registered investment advisor or have some sort of additional license to charge fees in addition to commissions. If you were offering investment advice, this would certainly be true. But it requires NO additional license for you to charge a fee for offering other types of advice or services, such as the college funding services that many other successful agents and advisors are now offering.

However, selling fee-based services is sometimes a higher hurdle to clear for new agents. This report will run down ways to elevate your game to a higher level – starting with why you aren’t closing more sales.

Why Prospects Say No to You

I want to start this section by clarifying that people often say no for the simple reason that they don’t like the product or service. Sometimes it’s just that simple. You don’t have what they want.

Picture yourself in a prospect’s shoes. Think about how you make decisions with your money.

Every time you read a menu and choose one item, you are in effect saying no to every other item on it. It’s not always that the menu did a poor job selling veal piccata. You just didn’t want it that night.

So, that said, I want to focus on why prospects say no to you – not the product. These are the times where you have what they want, but they don’t want to buy the product (such as life insurance) from you.

The sale was yours. And you lost it.

Here are three likely reasons why that happened.

You Told Them What They Wanted

Two of the biggest mistakes you can make are assuming you know what they want and telling them what you think they want.

Thing is, you could be right every time with every prospect. But that doesn’t matter. Even if your hunches are right, the customer has to be the one who says what they need. Otherwise, you can come across as a know-it-all who is “dealing” to just another prospect.

By letting their concerns drive the meeting, the prospect cannot walk out thinking you failed to address their needs.

People will recognize that you listened to what they want and took that into consideration when asking for the sale.

Which leads to the next point…

You Didn’t Ask Them for the Sale

You probably have a few different ways of asking where a prospect is in their decision making process.

While there is certainly a useful purpose in doing so, you also run the risk of allowing a prospect to settle in and justify their indecisiveness.

In some cases – and under the right conditions – asking outright for the sale works for people who are just waiting to be asked. But I can’t overstate that you have to employ this tactic carefully and tactfully.

A good time to employ this tactic is when there isn’t anything left to say. You listened to their concerns. You discussed options with them. They weighed the decision.

At that point, it’s not really worth rehashing everything over again when it doesn’t advance the conversation to its natural conclusion.

Besides, you wouldn’t be speaking with them in the first place if they weren’t at least minimally interested in buying from you, right?

You Didn’t Put a Value on the Product or Service.

Again, picture yourself as a consumer. How many times did you pass on buying something after just seeing the price?

If this is the first piece of product information you are giving prospects, of course some are going to walk out on the sale.

Here’s a better way to go about it.

Quantify in a dollar amount what their problems are costing them. Present how your product and service will solve their problems. Then quantify in a dollar amount the value of their problems being solved.

So when it comes time to introduce the cost, to them the problem is more to the effect of, “Man, is this price too good to be true?”

More on this later in this report, but first you’ll learn a crucial sales closing tip that is too many agents fail to do. Some are even afraid to do it. Are you?

Holding Families to Their Stated Goals

During an initial meeting, you probably asked a prospect questions to get to know them, their financial goals, and what’s stopping them from achieving them. Then, somehow that gets lost in the back-and-forth conversation about your product.

Holding them accountable requires you to remind them of their words, their concerns and their desires. It requires you to again draw the line (perhaps more clearly) that connects what they want and how your products can make it possible.

It’s not out of line to ask them these questions that challenges them to align their actions with their goals:

“How do you plan to save for your children’s college education and retirement at the same time without whole life insurance?”

“If I’m hearing you correctly, you said you wanted ________, and my products give you exactly that. Is there something I’m missing here?”

The point isn’t to guilt prospects into buying, or to make them feel that their thinking is wrong.

Motivation requires you provide tangible incentives – proof that your product will solve their stated problems.

Finally to this point, when you settle for yes and no questions, that’s all you will get for your answers – yes and no. When you ask thought-provoking questions, you get raw and honest answers.

You’ll learn why they want to buy your product. You’ll learn why they don’t. And I would argue that knowing the latter is critical to becoming a better sales agent.

People don’t open themselves up to strangers. They need to respect you and trust you first. And the more they respect and trust you, the more they will buy your product.

Give Them the Bang, They’ll Give You the Buck

There comes a time where you cannot afford to have a prospect delay a decision any further. As much as you want them to become a client, it’s costing you time and energy you’d rather spend with paying clients.

People don’t buy life insurance because they really love life insurance and just want it so badly. They want financial coverage for their family and loved ones and a reliable asset-building investment vehicle. So if you spend more time leafing through the pages of policies than you do talking about the benefits of those policies, you’re making your job more difficult.

Instead, focus on the outcome of these benefits. Make them tangible. Put them in dollar figures, and show what those dollar figures can afford.

Take this tactic a step further and show how these benefits solve their stated problem, fulfill their stated desires and coincide with their fiscal beliefs.

So how do you get prospects to take action right now? Give them a reason that answers the question, “Why right now?” Also consider the decision-making process that is going on inside their heads.

Again, how many times in this past week have you – as a consumer – fixated on the price of an item? It could have the price of a box of cereal or a new car. Whatever it was, the price tag was the critical factor that determined whether you would buy something.

Everybody does it nearly every day.  If anything, blame it on the way nearly everything is advertised to us.

You’ve likely faced this before with a few persnickety prospects. They saw the price of an item or service you offered and immediately decided they didn’t want it before learning about it.

If that’s how you presented the service, I don’t blame them for bailing on you. Here’s why: You showed them the price before you showed them the value. That’s a huge mistake.

Instead, you should use this insurance marketing strategy – thoroughly present a service’s value before introducing its price. And the service’s value must far exceed what it will cost them.

Here’s a real-life example of how you can implement this right away.

In getting to know a prospect, you ask them questions – what their financial struggles are, what their financial goals are, what they are willing to do to reach them, etc. The purpose of these questions is, as we say, to find their pain. How much is that pain costing them – not just in dollar figures, but their time, energy, stress, sacrifice, etc?

Say for example you are helping a family with financial planning. If you are able to free up $500 a month, that’s $6,000 a year saved. After three years, that savings is $18,000. Ten years, $60,000.

You want prospects to think of your services as the antidote to their problems – a service that will save them (or earn them) so much money and time. So when it comes time to introduce your fee cost, it seems more affordable and reasonably priced because you showed them how much your products will benefit them.

The critical first step to all this is finding their pain. Because if you don’t relate your services to their problem and give a value on that service, prospects aren’t always going to make the connection that they are getting a great deal.

If you leave either out of the equation, prospects will either think that the service is too expensive and/or not understand how it can solve their problems.

That’s the difference between showing a service’s price tag and showing its value. Always think as if you were the prospect sitting across from you or on the other end of the phone.

With this insurance marketing strategy, your job is to quantify in a dollar amount what their problems are costing them. Present them your service that will solve their problems and then quantify in a dollar amount the value of their problems being solved.

After that, your service fee will seem like change between their couch cushions.