How can you make more insurance sales over the phone? Listen and engage your prospects without using too much jargon. Be prepared with a script and a closing statement. Make sure you have everything you need for the call in front of you before you pick up the phone. And remember, don’t give up.
Selling insurance over the phone can be hard work and requires perseverance to continue after getting a not so desirable response. You 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.
9 Tips to Closing the Deal when Selling Insurance Over the Phone
- 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 insurance 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.
- Avoid jargon and slang. It’s a 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.
- 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.
- Establish yourself as an expert. When you’re selling insurance over the phone, it’s crucial to establish credibility and authority. Your potential clients need to know that they’re purchasing from an expert who can provide all the information they need. Your credibility as an expert particularly applies to selling life insurance. It’s a big decision, so people want to buy from someone they can trust and who will take their best interest into consideration when creating an offer.
- Build rapport with your prospect. The first step towards establishing trust is building rapport and creating a comfortable environment that allows potential clients to open up, voice all of their concerns, and be sincere about what they need. Always smile when you’re opening a call because even though your prospects can’t see you, they can hear your smiling voice. As a result, you’ll come off as welcoming and friendly, and your prospects will feel relaxed.
Break the ice with small talk and by asking something along the lines of “How’s your day going?” This will humanize your approach and your prospects won’t be under the impression that they’re talking to a chatbot. Also, when your prospect is talking, let them know that you’re listening by using so-called verbal nods – I see, ah, right, mhm, etc. Using the same words, particularly the adjectives, your prospects use, will show them that you carefully listen and understand what they’re saying. All this will help you show empathy and build rapport with your prospects, and break down the communication barriers that may occur during the phone conversation.
- 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 research to compare your rates, they may need to consult with their spouse, or they may not trust you after one call. ‘Don’t take it personally, but be persistent. If you get a hard “no” ask if you can call again at their next renewal date.
- Being organized 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.
- Script your pitch. Have a written sales script of what you need to say to your prospects. You can change the script around to match the tone of your contact once ‘you’re on the phone, but know your pitch so you can add inflections into your voice and not sound like a monotone recording.
- Create a backup closing statement. Is your prospect still on the fence? Have a “backup” closing statement handy. Tie this back to tip number four, and 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 understand the value of your services.
Technology for Selling Insurance Over the Phone
Gone 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.
- VoIP – Allows you to have everything in one place. Calls can be made from a click of your mouse, making sales representatives more productive.
- Sales Engagement Software – the VanillaSoft sales engagement platform uses queue-based routing to reduce manual tasks and ensure your sales reps will call the right lead at the right time, every time. Combined with VanillaSoft’s email/text marketing and sales lead tracking, you’ll ensure that your team is handling every lead with maximum efficiency.
- Website – I know this one sounds basic, but a site with content can be a significant lead generator. Content should be available for each stage of the ‘buyer’s journey to have a higher chance of capturing leads.
- Quoting Software – A program that compares quotes across several carriers is needed to provide the best option for your prospects.
- 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.