The Sales Issues Documented in 2017

The Sales Issues Documented in 2017

The year 2017 was an incredible year. Our company observed, learned and documented so much information from all the industries we served.

We will quickly cover the top issues from each industry 321 supports:

  • Financial services
  • Real estate brokers
  • Mortgage brokers
  • Attorneys
  • Dentists

 

Financial Services

Insurance services is the most difficult, most complex industry to master as a salesperson. The product is intangible, not with instant gratification. Salespersons face resistance because life insurance is not a happy topic.

New people interested in working in the financial services industry need intense training to: 1) prepare newly licensed agents how to run a business, 2) conduct a professional interview with insurance prospects and 3) practice asking questions instead of doing long, boring PowerPoint presentations.

What our company observed were a low percentage of agents, compared to the total agent force, who submitted insurance policies on a regular basis. Licensed agent turnover is nearly 90% mainly because there are no sales training systems in place at nearly all the independent insurance carriers (agents paid via 1099). What most company label as sales training is often product training.

The best companies we observed spend more training time helping agents listen to consumers using consultative sales techniques.

Real Estate Sales

Because real estate sales is an instant gratification business where consumers move into homes, agents are attracted to the industry. Agents assume correctly that everyone needs a place to live.

However, this agent assumption attracts more and more agents looking to help consumers buy or sell. Therefore, there are 8 times more agents than consumers who buy or sell on a monthly basis. Statistically, 12.5% of agents sell, based on the 8:1 agent to consumer ratio.

Digital marketing companies entered into the real estate business prior to the 2008 real estate and mortgage crash. Driven by profit motives, digital marketing companies carved significant market share from traditional real estate brokers.

Our company believes this market share grab is short-lived. Meaning, digital marketing companies have an expense problem. The feature to reduce commissions paid by sellers also means lower profits for digital marketing companies as reported in late 2017.

Traditional brokerages can regain market share by training real estate agents how to contact and prospect for buyers and sellers. As in the financial services industry, 90% of real estate agents do not succeed. Some of the push by digital marketing to grab market share can be traced back to real estate agents not having training to identify prospects and convert these prospects to clients.

 

Mortgage Brokers/Bankers

Mortgage brokers have an advantage they are unaware of. Real estate agents with home buyers needing loans must work with a mortgage professional.

Our company observed mortgage brokers chasing real estate agents with the hopes of connecting with agents’ buyer clients.

But, as mentioned, if only 1 out of 8 agents close an escrow every month, mortgage brokers who choose to predominantly grow their businesses this way will face severe production challenges.

 

Attorneys

The biggest challenge for small law firms is consumers do not need an attorney until consumers need an attorney. Attorneys, in addition to dentists and cosmetic surgeons, have an interesting challenge.

The task to service legal clients requires time, unlike financial services representatives and real estate agents whose actual time to perform insurance and real estate tasks is much less than attorneys, dentists and cosmetic surgeons. Attorneys have to carefully find an affordable, predictable marketing strategy that does two things:

Identifies enough qualified prospects who convert to clients

Frees up attorney time so they can investigate and/or resolve their clients’ legal needs.

 

Dentists

An unknown percentage of dentists now work as employees for huge dental corporations because the costs of operating a private practice office is prohibitive IF dentists are not able to find enough patients to cover overhead costs and yield desired profits.

Dentists primarily rely on being listed in provider dental directories and to be chosen by employees who have employer-sponsored dental benefits.

There are marketing solutions to give more control back to dentists.