An insurance agent named Tolbert had a remarkable ability to sell insurance. He’d been trained to sell people the most insurance that he could and he did it well, according to Stedman Graham in his book Build Your Own Life Brand. But although Tolbert was very successful, he was not happy.
Deep in his heart, he didn’t feel right about pushing people to buy more insurance than they probably needed. So, he changed his ways and started telling prospects the truth. If they asked him about policies they didn’t really need, he told them why he didn’t recommend them – even if it cost him a larger commission.
Then something happened that Tolbert hadn’t anticipated. His income didn’t drop. In fact, it shot way up. Turns out his clients had learned to trust him so much that they not only took all their insurance business to him, they enthusiastically recommended him to their friends and relatives.
I’m not surprised. I’ve found that whenever I’ve truthfully told a customer that the product he was interested in really wasn’t right for someone in his particular situation, I may have lost that sale… but almost always ended up gaining a long-term customer who bought many more of my products down the road.
Certain people skills are a crucial factor for success in business – and putting the needs of your customers first is one of them. You’ll find that your own interests will get served in the process.[Ed. Note: Paul Lawrence is a produced screenwriter and successful small-business entrepreneur specializing in low-capital business start-ups. Get more information on his strategies for success right here.