Top Ten Sales Habits

A sign posted on the office wall of a sales consultant:

“Follow a regular practice of outbound contact even when on a plateau (or in a ditch)”


Even the most accomplished underwriting professional, can find themselves backing off from their usual game plan because they have arrived on that wonderful plateau of success.  Others become discouraged because they find themselves in a ditch, a point far away from their intended goal.  Both of these situations happen only 100% of the time in underwriting careers.

Here are the top ten habits, the best practices to increase sales, raise the level of the plateau and get out of the ditch – enjoy and apply (at least) one today:

  1. Define and write down your sales process: what are the predictable and necessary steps from your initial meeting with your producer until after the close?
  2. Set Meaningful and Measurable Sales and Activity Goals for the next 30 days and the next 90 days. Try not to confuse tasks with goals and measure your progress along the way.
  3. Define your sales process activities/tasks that are necessary to achieve your goals: Goal Setting, targeted brokers and agents, target prospects and lead sources, research/verification, referral harvesting, contact strategy, appointments, proposal preparation, presentations, follow-up, etc.
  4. Be absolutely clear as to your target market(s), industry segment(s), target accounts, size, location, quality and how to best reach them. What are your target account, agent and broker criteria?  Who are the decision-makers?  How do I best reach him or her?
  5. Use automated contact management software to track your agent and broker contact and follow-up activities and simplify who to contact each day.
  6. Commit to a constant number of prospective accounts and new premium in the proposal / quotation stage at all times. If one prospect drops off, replace it with a prospect of like or better size and quality.  This is a key leading indicator of sales success.  A salesperson that does this consistently is well ahead of the pack.
  7. Commit to a set number of sales activities for today and don’t leave until they’re done. The number should be a stretch but not impossible.  This is a commitment, not punishment.  Check back at number 3 and go forth with enthusiasm!  How about this: 10 x 12 (contact 10 brokers / agents by noon); or 20 x 5, 10 x Friday, etc. Start from the possible and move toward the impossible.
  8. Make an appointment with yourself to execute your defined sales activities. Block your calendar.  The appointment with yourself is to be considered as important as one with your best broker, your most promising agent and should be canceled or rescheduled with the same care.  Look at next week’s calendar and make appointments with yourself right now.
  9. Make sales a major focus of all job functions within your organization. The most successful underwriting professionals have developed strong relationships within their organization – they get a team, their team, behind them.  Many organizations have established reward systems through which support personnel can share in sales successes both financially and emotionally.
  10. Reward yourself for victories both large and small – even if it’s for consistent effort that may have not paid off yet.


And keep in mind…

  1. …a sense of humor is helpful!

Sales Coach Newsletter is a product of Redmond Group, Inc.  We are specialists in the systematic process of developing and retaining new business.  We design sales and retention process maps and unique measurement tools to track progress to meet business objectives.  We conduct Advanced Sales in-house workshops, webinars supported by individual and sales team coaching.
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