There’s a familiar phrase in professional sports: “in the zone.” Professional basketball players on a hot streak shooting from beyond the three-point line are in the zone. Baseball players enjoying a hitting streak might say the ball seems impossible not to hit when they are in the zone. When a golfer’s swing seems effortless, when she sinks her putts on the green with ease, she’s in the zone.
What contributes to being in the zone? Being completely focused on the moment. Everything else seems to fade into the background, including the noise of the crowd.
When performing an activity, and being immersed in the moment, there’s an energized focus. Being in the zone is when you’re completely involved and concentrating on your actions.
In sales, you experience being in the zone, mainly when three conditions are in play:
1. Your focus is entirely on your goal and the actions you need to take to reach that goal, and it feels effortless.
In underwriting sales the first goal is to get an appointment with the prospect. When that goes as planned, your next goal is to get another meeting. That meeting is about whatever the next step is in your sales process. Get in the zone to get that next meeting with your prospect (the “new” goal), you won’t reach your ultimate goal of securing a new underwriting sponsor. So your goal always needs to be to get the meeting. Each successive goal is about the next step in your sales process.
2. You need instant feedback so you can make any necessary adjustments to maintain the process and stay in the zone.
Your prospect may have some objections. Before you talk about anything else, pivot to address the objections. Stay focused, stay in the zone.
3. You maintain your confidence through this process, and you’re energized by the entire experience.
Picture your progress as a series of fist-pumping “Yeses!” toward your ultimate goal.
Just about every salesperson has had moments when everything is going right. The sales call clicks, everything is effortless. Without consciously realizing it at that moment, they’re experiencing being in the zone.
So how do you create more in-the-zone moments in underwriting sales? You make yourself aware of how energizing it feels when you experience those moments. It could be the real connection you have with a new underwriting prospect because you uncovered something you had in common with the prospect and you used that connection to deepen your business relationship.
How can you create more situations where you build trust with the prospect? You need to make more calls to new prospective underwriters to give yourself these opportunities.
When you’re sharing marketing solutions for the prospect’s challenges, you'll feel like the words just sound seamless. It’s like you followed a rehearsed script and it’s exactly what the prospect asked for because there were no objections from the prospect. That happens because you did a great job listening to the prospect’s needs, and you found a way to deliver for them.
You have to practice and be prepared, because each situation can help you create more in-the-zone underwriting sales moments. You work hard to get that first meeting with the prospect, so don’t wing the follow-up call with no preparation. Make the time to practice your presentation before sharing it.
The more you practice and prepare, the more likely it is that you’ll come across to the prospect as an experienced and professional problem-solver. That will increase your chance at earning their respect and their business.
In today’s demanding and competitive sales environment, you can easily get lost shuffling paperwork, making lots of phone calls, and writing emails, which is actually just busy work. But it’s the relationships you’ve created with your underwriters and knowing you helped them that is important. Stick to your proven selling strategy, stay focused on each step, and enjoy the process. You’ll find yourself having more “in-the-zone” experiences for yourself.