The 2011 MetLife Broker/Consultant Study found that 58 percent of brokers plan to become more consultative to survive the regulatory and industry changes from PPACA. Yet few brokers really understand what it means—and how—to be consultative.

For decades, insurance sales have been based on a product-centric model. Driven by carriers, whose sole purpose is to sell products, insurance sales expertise has been defined largely by product knowledge. Broker product training teaches "features and benefits." Sales training, when provided, generally is characterized by old-school techniques such as overcoming objections, trial closes, and the acronym ABC: "Always Be Closing."

This antiquated sales model places the emphasis and focus on the products and, more to the point, on the need of the salesperson to close a sale. Is it any wonder that clients and prospects find most salespeople and "selling" to be, at best, a necessary evil?

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