How to sell insurance over the phone
Salespeople devote all of their attention and effort to making a sale. In telemarketing, they research, build and maintain their sales pipelines and excel at detecting even the smallest variations in voice tone to gauge how receptive a potential customer is.
Ideally, this work would result in a perfect success rate when it comes to closing sales, but in reality, there may be many failures before a successful outcome is achieved.
There are various factors that can impact the success of an insurance sales phone call, but perhaps the most crucial part of the conversation is the “closing,” which is the moment in the sales process where salespeople find out if their hard work will pay off or if they need to redirect their efforts to other prospects.
It’s great to establish a good relationship with a prospect, but the true test comes when they agree to sign up for or purchase a product or service.
What is the best way to reach this final stage of the sale?
There are several things you can do to improve this part of the process, so let’s explore them.
The Top Tips For Selling Insurance Over the Phone
- Always Listen Carefully
- Always Provide The Reason For the Call
- Open the Call Professionally
- Share your screen early in the conversation
- Avoid Confusing Technical Jargon
- Create a Script
- Show Them You’re Listening
- Establish Yourself as an Expert Advisor
- Be Organised
- Take Notes
- Never Ask ‘Did I Catch You at a Bad Time?’
- Create a Backup Closing Statement
- Finish With an Action
- Follow Up
- Leverage Multiple Marketing Strategies
The Top Tips For Selling Insurance Over the Phone
In the world of insurance, there can be a lot of information to digest, but when it comes to closing, we’ve put together this simple list of the most effective tips to focus on to help you land that sale.
Always Listen Carefully
Every single time you call a prospective client, it’s an opportunity to listen for clues that might give you an insight into the issues that concern them. Asking questions about their life is a great gateway to valuable information.
Some questions you could ask include:
Ask them about their hobbies. Anything that requires equipment is a chance to offer them an insurance product to give them some piece of mind. If they like to ride motorcycles, go boating or have a collection of vintage cars; these are all valuable pieces of info that can help you offer the right products.
If they have children it might be helpful to mention life insurance. Do they own investment properties? If so, do they need liability coverage?
By giving them time to speak and asking open-ended questions, you’ll have the chance to address their concerns. It will also help you to engage with them rather than pitching to them throughout the entire call.
You should also pay attention to clues about what will influence their purchasing decisions. Not all prospects are primarily focused on finding the lowest price. Some may be more concerned with ratings or current technology options.
Always Provide The Reason For the Call
Studies show that opening your sales call with a reason for calling tends to increase sales success by a factor of more than two. The primary reason for this is simple; people like to know the reasons for things, even if they’re not particularly important or pressing reasons. It also helps to make a connection. If they filled out a form on your website, opening with this will help to distinguish you from someone they have no prior engagement with.
Open the Call Professionally
Even if your prospect is expecting your call and knows who you are, you should always take the time to introduce yourself in a professional manner. This should always be followed by checking if they are free to talk before proceeding.
Share your screen early in the conversation
Insurance is complicated. There are multiple options available and going over them all can make the prospect that was interested lose interest very quickly.
By sharing your screen in the sales call, you can easily compare different plans, the cost and what is included. A picture is worth a thousand words and the risk of you over-explaining is less.
But make sure to use friction-free screen sharing software. Anything that delays your prospect from seeing your screen, such as installation, software prompts or technical troubleshooting, cools down the opening.
Avoid Confusing Technical Jargon
It can be unpleasant to communicate with a sales representative who is using language that is unfamiliar or difficult to comprehend. Instead, try to use terms that are more familiar to your audience and avoid using technical language that may be unfamiliar to them. When speaking with potential clients, it is important to use professional language and avoid using slang.
Just as you would dress in business casual attire for an in-person meeting, it is important to present yourself with professionalism and confidence over the phone as well.
This can help to increase your credibility and make you appear more competent and trustworthy to the person you are speaking with.
Ultimately, people are more likely to do business with individuals who they perceive as intelligent and capable but not someone who makes them feel stupid.
Create a Script
It is a good idea to have a written outline or a script of the key points that you want to convey to your prospects when you are making sales calls. This can help you to stay organized and focused during the call, and ensure that you don’t forget any important details.
You can customize the script to suit the tone of the conversation as you go along, but it is important to be familiar with the key points you want to make so that you can deliver them with inflection and enthusiasm.
It is better to be well-prepared than to be caught off-guard or flustered during a sales call, so be sure to take the time to practice your script before you make your call. This will help you to sound more confident and professional, which can increase your chances of making a successful sale.
Show Them You’re Listening
It’s one thing to listen, and another to let someone know that you are listening to them.
While you are speaking with your prospect, it is important to practice active listening. One way to do this is by using verbal cues like “I see,” “ah,” “right,” or “mhm” to let them know that you are paying attention.
You can also demonstrate your understanding of their perspective by using similar words or adjectives as they do. This can help to show empathy and build rapport with your prospect and can help to break down any communication barriers that may arise during the conversation.
By demonstrating that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say and that you understand their perspective, you can build trust and credibility with your prospect and increase your chances of making a successful sale.
Establish Yourself as an Expert Advisor
When you are making sales calls, it is important to establish yourself as a credible and knowledgeable expert. Your potential clients need to feel confident that they are purchasing from someone who is well-informed and able to provide them with all of the information they need to make an informed decision.
One way to establish your credibility is to share your background, areas of expertise, and credentials with your prospect. This can help them to trust you more and feel more confident in your ability to help them.
This is especially important when selling life insurance, as it is a major financial decision that requires a high level of trust and confidence in the person providing the coverage.
It is integral to be well-prepared and organized when making a sales call so that you can easily access any information or materials that you need to make the sale. One way to ensure that you are ready for the call is to have all of the relevant documents and files open and easily accessible before you begin dialing.
This way, you won’t have to spend time searching for the information you need during the call, which can be distracting and disruptive to the conversation.
One helpful tip is to jot down notes as you conduct your sales conversation. This can be especially useful if you think you might have trouble recalling all the details later. Another option is to record the call, which allows you to have a permanent record of the conversation that you can revisit if needed. This way, you can easily reference specific points or responses when someone asks you about the conversation at a later time.
Never Ask ‘Did I Catch You at a Bad Time?’
This phrase is very old school but it can come across as a bit cringy and in the current world it’s quite outdated.
The main reason it’s best to avoid this question is that when asked it, people are more likely to say ‘Yes you did catch me at a bad time,’ just so they can feel control over the phone call.
A recent study of almost 100,000 cold calls found that asking a lead if you have caught them at a bad time will lower your chances of landing a sale by at least 40%. Instead of leading with this question, ask the lead something more genuine like ‘how have you been?’ Even if this is the first contact you are making, asking this question interrupts the patterns of conversation that potential leads are used to and makes them focus on you.
Create a Backup Closing Statement
If your prospect still hasn’t made up their mind by the end of the call, it can be good to have one more closing statement or enticing option in your arsenal that you can break out to help win them over. Perhaps it could be a deal or even a visual aid. Just make sure it’s presented to them in a way to help them make up their mind rather than seeming like a last-minute attempt to land a sale. Leads can smell desperation a mile away and it’s not a scent they like.
Finish With an Action
Finish your sales conversation with clear and deliverable action. If the lead wants some time to think, arrange a date and time to make a follow-up call. It can also be a good idea to send them a summary of all the points that were discussed, especially if facts and figures are involved.
Creating a clear timeline of what is going to happen next will help to strengthen trust and turn leads into long-term customers.
Following up is way more important than some people realize. It’s a well-known fact that landing a sale in the first call is very rare. It’s actually so rare that a recent study found that only 2% of sales are made during the first contact with a potential customer.
Furthermore, the same study found that 80% of all sales take at least five attempts at a follow-up. Persistence is key here but an astounding 44% of salespeople tend to give up after just one try.
Leverage Multiple Marketing Strategies
Diversifying your insurance marketing strategies will often lead to increased revenue across the board. It’s a simple concept, casting a wider marketing net will help you to bring in more potential leads.
The key point here is to take the time to research the kinds of marketing materials that your desired customer base will respond to the most.
How to Deal With Objections
When you’re trying to sell insurance, objections are a natural part of the process. While they may not be enjoyable, they do indicate that the person you’re speaking with is considering your offer. To effectively handle objections, it’s important to be prepared in advance.
Some common objections include being satisfied with a current provider or feeling that there’s no reason to switch. To address these objections, you could ask when the prospect last shopped around for insurance, as changes in the market and the insured’s demographics can impact rates.
Another common objection is that the insurance is too expensive. In this case, it can be helpful to find a middle ground that offers the necessary coverage at a more affordable price.
If a prospect says they need to think about it, you can ask them directly what they need to consider.
Finally, it’s not uncommon for prospects to say they’re not interested, but it’s important to remember that nobody is truly interested in insurance itself. It’s a product that we hope to never have to use, but it’s necessary to have. If an inbound lead says they’re not interested, it’s important to not be discouraged and to keep the conversation going, as their initial action of filling out a form on your website indicates some level of interest.
Leverage Technology to Support Customer Information
There are a wide range of sales engagement software tools that can assist various sales businesses and strategies. Leveraging the available technology can not only streamline the sales process but may also enhance the likelihood of success.
It’s important to ensure that the software you select offers data that is relevant to your needs. If possible, look for a software package that allows you to customize data sets to make them as relevant as possible and enables you to export data for further analysis in other programs.
As not all customers have the same communication preferences, it’s advisable to use software that supports various communication channels. There are even some great software options available that can help you present to leads without them needing to download software, like CrankWheel.
Utilizing software that helps to nurture and develop the unique strengths of each team member while offering support to address their weaknesses can produce impressive results, especially for remote teams.
When selecting software to implement, ensure that it facilitates effective customer engagement and communication throughout the entire sales process, from the initial inquiry to post-sales. It’s crucial to confirm that the software consistently supports all stages of the process.
Ultimately, telesales is a skill that requires expertise in closing a sale. Adding helpful tools to your sales toolkit can give you a competitive advantage in the industry. Some of the above techniques may assist you in securing additional success.