Give Up The Need To Be Right

This weeks entry to “My Bersonal View” is an article from Sandy Schussel. Like me, Sandy has a legal background prior to getting into the insurance world. After fifteen years as an attorney, and the “rainmaker” for his firm, Sandy was disabled by complications resulting from cancer treatments and was faced with either rebuilding his practice or doing something he was passionate about.   He found his answer in training and coaching insurance agents. Here is a great piece on “handling objections.”

Give Up The Need To Be Right

by Sandy Schussel

Have you ever been aggravated trying to prove to a prospect that his objection to your offer makes no sense — so aggravated, in fact, that you ended up in an argument with him and, of course, ended all possibilities of ever making him a client? Why was it so important for you to be right?

When she was little, my daughter Madi used to argue with me constantly.

“No, Daddy, you’re wrong! My teacher told me…”

No matter how misguided she was, she expended exhausting amounts of energy insisting that she was right. I tried to teach her to say, “Maybe you’re right, Daddy, and maybe you’re wrong,” and then follow-up with something like, “Let’s see if we can find out” — but it seldom worked.

Then, one day, I just decided to practice what I was preaching with her. I stopped trying to be right. When she insisted that her  misinformation was correct, I responded with, “I never knew that!” or, “I always thought it was the other the way around, but I guess I  was wrong.” The result? No more arguments and a lot more peace.

Yesterday, I watched a friendly conversation between two people at a fast food restaurant turn into an argument. The two men had begun to talk about global warming, and one of them was insisting that it was all “a lot of bunk.”

Each man was busy trying to prove that he was right and the other was wrong. What struck me was how easily the interaction had gone from casual to hostile. The conversation became so loud and abusive that an employee of the restaurant had to ask them to leave.

Who was right? What difference did it make if they could not agree? Arguments don’t happen unless someone needs to prove another  wrong.  What if we could let go of this need — especially when dealing with prospective clients?

When your prospect is objecting, even if the objection is absurd, don’t disagree. You won’t change his mind — and instead, you will alienate him entirely.

Try starting out with something like, “I can see how you might think that,” and then pose a question that might get him thinking further.

“I don’t need any more insurance,” he might say.

“You’re probably right,” you can respond — without argument — although it’s obvious to you that he’s grossly underinsured and may be leaving his family in a catastrophic position. “Can I ask what you’re basing that on?”

“I just know we have enough,”  he might reply.

“Well, just in case, would you be open to going through a simple exploration with me to see if you’re missing any coverage you could really use?”

Let of the need to prove you are right from the get-go. Your life will be much less stressful, and your business will grow.


About Jeffrey Berson

40 years in and around the industry has made Insurance a part of my DNA. I have had the pleasure of working with and for some of the greatest minds in our industry. My "Bersonal" View is an attempt to capture some of the best ideas, the best concepts and the best practices in a way that can lead to success for others. It will certainly be my point of view, so please...don't take it "Bersonal".
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