Start With ‘Why’ When Storytelling For Work From Home Insurance Agents
Your 'Why' Is Your Story | By Craig Colley
In this blog you will learn how to:
•Define 'why' you do what you do, based on a personal experience
•Why people buy ‘why’ you do something rather than ‘what’ you do
•Break down a story example to help you understand how to use your why and to create a compelling story of your own
The story you tell about yourself is only important to your client or prospect if it creates an emotional response, addresses a problem, provides a solution, and reveals expected results of what your solution can do for them.
Intellectual jargon has no place when building a relationship. It does not matter if it is an audience of one or a thousand, your story and why you do what you do, must trigger curiosity, empathy, trust and belief in you and who you are.
What you share should be crafted in such a way that it has universal appeal and based 100% on truth. If this is done correctly, it should connect you instantly because it’s similar to what they might be going through currently in their own lives or those who they care about.
Once they have heard your story, understand your why, your ability to communicate and earn trust is increased by immeasurable amounts.
Few things are more important than mastering this aspect of your insurance career.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the business 1 month or 50 years, most agents never fully realize the potential amount of sales lost by not honing their storytelling skills.
This blog is designed to help you sharpen the edge on your ability to connect quickly, share what’s important to your client or prospect and create and close more sales.
>> I have included a worksheet to help you create your why and story.
My story and why
I’d like to share a bit of my story and my ‘why’ to help you construct a framework to use as a template. I have stated many times, “Its always easier to edit than create”. This example is for that precise reason.
I will share two different ways to frame the same story depending on the situation at hand.
1)Leading with a story where the listener knows the story is about you.
2)Leading with a story where they find out later the story is about you.
I will illustrate both examples.
FYI: This is my actual story and one I have shared countless times. This format works if done correctly. There is no magic to it, just truth laid out in a specific order, with the right words, phrases and emotional triggers to prompt the desired response.
Leading with a story where the listener knows the story is about you.
I grew up in the Midwest in a typical family. I had a loving and talented Mom, a hardworking and funny Dad and I was 2nd of 4 kids.
We lived in a nice house in a beautiful neighborhood, I had my own room, took vacations, had an allowance, always had new clothes to wear, lots of gifts at Christmas and food on the table.
I was able to do so many things and never felt like I was deprived or denied anything. I knew I was fortunate but never really gave it much thought.
Well that all changed the night of July 4th when I was 12 years old when my Dad died suddenly of a heart attack. Everything changed for obvious reasons.
My Dad was president of a family business that my great grandfather started in 1908 called ‘Colley Elevator’. |
My grandfather had also run the business but had also died suddenly a few years prior, leaving the business to my Dad.
Turns out that the business went to my Mom and she had no knowledge or ability to run the company.
It sold in a fire sale partly because my parents didn’t have life insurance and were carrying a substantial amount of debt along with their monthly expenses.
Within 6 weeks we also had to sell our big beautiful house and move to a much smaller place with just a few bedrooms.
Not only did I lose my Dad (who I still miss everyday), but the way of life I knew ended as well.
There were no more vacations, new clothes, allowances, and things were tight.
To my Mom’s credit she worked 3 jobs to provide for us kids.
I started working part time at age 13 to help as well.
So many things I took for granted were gone and were not coming back any time soon.
Once I was a little older, I started to realize why life changed so quickly.
It was my parent’s lack of understanding of the importance of having life insurance and managing debt.
If they only had a plan in place, life would have been better all around. Obviously, the emotional loss will be with me forever, but if my parent’s finances were in better shape it would have been so much better for my Mom and my family.
That is ‘why’ I am so passionate about what I do as an insurance professional. Now every day I help keep others from experiencing what I and my family went through.
It changed who I was, but the experience help prepare and mold me into being the most caring insurance business relationship partner one could ever have.
It is the main reason I get up every day, roll up my sleeves and enjoy preparing and providing protection for your life, family and assets.
This version illustrates many points of which most are pain points.
They are important to use as often as possible. Equally important is how you resolve the pain from your experience and to save them from going through the pain you and your family went through.
Now you're probably thinking, that is a lot focus on pain, and you're right.
Most people choose to avoid pain then enjoy pleasure. Always start with pain points then resolve into the ‘Why’ you do what you do and how you can help them because of your experience.
These are the points you want to make crystal clear in your story.
•Life is great until it isn’t
•Emotional distress and lack of understanding why
•Extreme change of lifestyle because of an unexpected tragedy
•Gaining understanding and planting seeds for the future
•Becoming a licensed insurance professional to provide services that my family never had
•Sharing my story, why and passion to help others to avoid a similar situation
Leading with a story where they find out later the story is about you.
The story is essentially the same with the main difference being how you begin and close.
It can be remarkably effective because of the surprise ending. Before you go into any type of presentation, begin by ‘sharing a story’ which would start like this.
Before I begin, I’d like to share a short story with you.
Change the story from first person to third person.
It’s about a young boy who grew up in the Midwest in a typical family. He had a loving and talented Mom, a hardworking and funny Dad and was 2nd of 4 kids. He lived in a nice house..
Jumping to the end…
If his parents only had a plan in place, life would have been better all around.
Obviously, the emotional loss will be with him forever, but if his parent’s finances were in better shape it would have been so much better for his Mom and his family.
The reason I am so passionate about what I do as an insurance professional is because… (pause)
that 12-year-old boy… (pause) was me. (pause)
Now every day I help keep others from experiencing what I and my family went through.
This little twist provides a reaction you should be able to feel.
This approach is extremely effective when communicating virtually.
It helps you to identify so many things about your prospect going forward.
•It may prompt them to share their story or a story about someone they know
•They may express how sorry they are for what happened to you
•They will remember your story
•They will be more open to trust you and want to follow your lead
•They will start believing you are the right person to solve their problem
Bottom line, if done correctly it gets them comfortable enough to start talking.
Your story is the lead for you to do as much listening as possible from that point forward.
Remember the old saying. “We have two ears and one mouth”, meaning we should listen twice as much as we talk.
For sales professionals this is a real challenge. It is usually the main reason that disrupts the closing of most sales.
Your story has two goals;
to get them to start trusting and talking.
(Sometimes its hard to get them to stop talking, but that’s usually a good thing).
The value of identifying my ‘Why’ and how it serves as the nucleus for developing my story.
Turning a negative experience into a positive one for others.
•Losing my Dad unexpectedly
•Burden on my Mom
•Lack of understanding why my lifestyle changed so much
•Loss of my home, money, family business
•Created an awareness and desire to help others
•Realization of unnecessary burden on a family
•Incentive to become a licensed Insurance professional
•Ability to market, educate and provide valuable information and guidance
Define 'why' you do what you do
Discovering your ‘why’ may be easier than you think.
It usually comes down to two important choices most make when they go into any line of business.
1)They do it solely for the financial rewards and profit. Which is a result of an effort and nothing more.
2)They do because they share a cause they believe in- to help others have a better service, product, and life experience from the business relationship.
This is based on what they personally have experienced in their own lives. It serves as the catalyst for everything they do in business and believe in.
People buy ‘why’ you do something rather than ‘what’ you do
Sharing your cause (based on your why) effectively will help others to believe in you and what you are offering. And if they believe strongly enough, you will have a loyal and dedicated client for life.
Believing something mutual with your client can have an unbelievable impact on your business.
Remember Dr. Martin Luther Kings’ speech in the summer of 1963 in Washington, DC?
The speech wasn’t called “I have a plan for your future”, or “I have been a preacher for 25 years”.
It was “I have a dream” which prompted a shared belief that changed the world.
You can do the same for yourself by adopting this same philosophy.
People follow those who lead and inspire them. When you start with your ‘why’ you will have the ability to inspire and lead your client, connect on an emotional level (which is a state of mind where people make most decisions) and close more business.
That is how important knowing, developing, and starting with why in your storytelling is, for your insurance business!
Let’s break down the story example to help you understand how to define your ‘why’ and create a story of your own.
Points to include in your story
•Time frame - Who, What, Where and Why
•Words and phrases that provoke or trigger an emotional response
•Using the emotional responses to gain belief in you and your cause
•Sharing that you know what it is like to experience something they do not want to experience themselves
•Your passion and reason for being in the insurance business is based 100% on your ‘why’ and personal experience
•Identify yourself as the life jacket and navigator who they believe can get them back to safety if they find themselves on stormy seas
The worksheet provided gives you an outline to help you create a great story to share.
Your ability to master this task will translate into an unbelievable boost to your relationship building, earning trust, sharing a common belief, and creating and closing more insurance business.
Here at Go Agent Go we help ‘Break Through Barriers’ that are blocking you from the success you desire and deserve.
As always, our goal is to help you create and close more insurance business
I have years of experience and speak the language of the insurance business. I am looking forward to working together to help you create and close more insurance business.
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