How to Sell Insurance Over the Phone

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Selling insurance over the phone can be hard work and requires perseverance to continue after getting a not so desirable response. You simply will not be able to close a deal on every call. Some prospects will take a little more work to turn into buyers. However, with a little know-how and the assistance of modern technology, you can bump up your sales numbers.

7 Lucky Tips to Closing the Deal when Selling Insurance Over the Phone

Listen and Engage

  1. Listen carefully and engage them. Every time you call a prospect or current client listen carefully for new opportunities. Ask questions about their hobbies (do they need motorcycle or boat insurance?), if they have any children (would it be beneficial to mention life insurance?), do they have investment properties (do they need liability coverage?). By giving them time to talk and asking open-ended questions you’ll have the opportunity to address their concerns. It will also help in engaging them instead of pitching them for the entirety of the call.You also want to pay attention to clues about what will affect their purchase decisions. Not all prospects are looking for the lowest price. Some are more concerned with ratings or current technology options. Consider taking notes during the conversation as you likely won’t remember everything.
  2. Avoid jargon and slang. It’s a major turnoff to be speaking with a salesperson who is talking in another language. Save the industry-specific jargon to conversations with your colleagues and speak in terms buyers can understand.Use professional language and avoid slang when calling a possible client. If it were an in-person meeting, you would be in business casual attire at the minimum, present yourself with the same decorum over the phone to boost your credibility. People want to buy from intelligent and confident individuals.
  3. Be prepared for the call. Practice your pitch, understand where you stand against competitors, read everything you can get your hands on about sales, and ask more experienced insurance salespeople for advice. Check out this blog post for more tips on improving your inside sales pitch effectiveness.
  4. Don’t give up. You may be able to sell some insurance policies in one call, but be prepared for a second or third call. Your prospect may want to do some of their own research to compare your rates, they may need to consult with their spouse, or they may just not trust you after one call. Don’t take it personally, but be persistent. If you get a solid ‘no’ ask if you can call again at their next renewal date.
  5. Organization is key. Have everything you need to make the sale available at your fingertips. It’s a good idea to open any relevant files you might need before dialing, so you’re not fumbling around searching for documents during the call. Underwriting guidelines are an important one you’ll want to have easily accessible.
  6. Script your pitch. Have a written pitch of what you need to say in the first few breaths of your call. You can change it around to the tone of your prospect once you’re on the phone, but know your script so you can add inflections into your voice and not sound like a monotone recording.
  7. Create a backup closing statement. If your prospect is not yet sold, have a secondary closing statement ready. Tying this back to tip number four, ask if it’s okay to call again at their next renewal time or even if you can send them a comparison of quotes. Sometimes having a visual instead of just hearing the numbers gives the buyer a chance to fully understand the value of your services.

Technology for Selling Insurance Over the Phone

inside sales technologyGone are the days of spreadsheets with multiple tabs and columns to track your insurance leads. Modern technology provides many tools that can assist in the sales process to make insurance professionals’ lives easier. Let’s review a few of the tools every insurance salesperson should be taking advantage of.

  1. VoIP – Allows you to have everything in one place. Calls can be made from a click of your mouse making sales representatives more productive.
  2. CRM Software – CRM software allows you to manage and analyze customer data throughout the sales process.
  3. Website – I know this one sounds basic, but a website with content is a major lead generator. Content should be available for each stage of the buyer’s journey to have a greater chance of capturing leads.
  4. Quoting Software – A program that compares quotes across several carriers is needed to provide the best option to your prospects.
  5. Multiple Computer Screens – With more than one screen you’ll have easier access to any programs or files you may need without too much clicking around.

Dealing with Objections

When selling insurance over the phone, you’re likely to hear a few objections repeated by different prospects. Do you know how to counter these concerns and turn a no into a yes? Here are a couple of common objections and considerations you should make when crafting your rebuttals.

“I’m happy with my current provider,” or “Why should I change what I have?”

Ask them when the last time was that they shopped around. Changing markets and demographics of the insured can influence rates and should regularly be reviewed. Many insurance pros will do the work for the initial sale and won’t follow up in the future to see if any changes have occurred that could affect the premium. Use this as your foot in the door. Provide your quotes and let the prospect make the best decision for them.

Using the phone to sell insurance requires intelligence, confidence, professionalism, and a handful of supporting tools. Set your insurance salespeople up for success with a product like VanillaSoft that combines lead management and telemarketing applications with basic CRM.

What advice can you provide for new salespeople selling insurance over the phone? Let us know in the comments below.

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Genie Parker

Genie brings more than 30 years of experience in sales and marketing with an emphasis on doing business on the phone. Genie comes with a broad experience reaching into hundreds of industries including technology, manufacturing, non-profits, financial services, and business services. Prior to joining VanillaSoft, Genie Parker co-founded Parker, Murray and Associates, a remarkably successful boutique outbound call center. Genie's company consistently delivered sales, qualified leads, appointments, marketing and fund-raising services to businesses from The Fortune 500 to small businesses across the United States for 15 years.

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