Tips & Techniques to Help You Close the Deal
Selling insurance isn’t easy by a long shot — trying to close the deal over the phone can be doubly difficult.
Whether it’s coverage for home, auto, recreation vehicles or property damage, insurance is not a commodity — it’s a complex product. Selling it successfully generally requires both a personal connection with the prospect and the ability to present your pitch with confidence.
Earning your prospect’s trust is vital to the process, and yet difficult to achieve over the phone. You can’t discern where the conversation is going through facial expressions or body language, and must rely on tone and other verbal cues alone.
So whether you’re a rookie to insurance sales or a seasoned veteran, developing your over-the-phone sales skills is more important than ever.
Traditional sales channels and tactics are changing, and an increasing number of sales conversations are happening virtually — a trend that shows no signs of letting up anytime soon. According to Gartner, even the B2B sales cycle is catching up to the B2C buyer’s journey, driven less and less by face-to-face interactions and more and more by rich, accurate buyer enablement content and a clearly defined value proposition.
Sales people who hope to remain relevant in the midst of these shifting customer expectations and market demands are well advised to get comfortable with the new rules and tools of the job.
Fine-tune Your Approach
You already know the drawbacks to selling over the phone, but there are benefits too. Selling insurance over the phone allows you the flexibility to schedule appointments on the fly, as well as increase the cadence of sales calls per day.
It can also help you separate the wheat from the chaff, creating a more reliable and robust sales funnel in the process. Rather than spending too much time chasing iffy leads, selling over the phone forces you to prioritize your more promising prospects and handle less qualified leads with an email or other quick means of messaging.
To help fine-tune your approach (or completely alter it if need be), try putting these tips and techniques into practice:
Get Yourself Organized, Pronto
The Pandemic has proven that insurance agents and brokers can work from home successfully. In the last few years, we’ve all learned to navigate the at-home distractions of children, pets, delivery people — you name it.
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to set up a proper work space or office that helps you focus on your work and sets the stage for uninterrupted sales calls. Aside from basic office necessities and marketing materials ready to mail or email, you will also need access to virtual tools such as a CRM, AMS, or all-in-one solution to help you record and track sales conversations, house customer details, and schedule follow-up reminders.
Mirror, Mirror on Your Desk
Also, along with a comfortable chair and desk, computer, and (obviously) telephone, another piece of equipment it will help to have handy is a mirror. It can be helpful to watch yourself while you speak on the phone to help you identify potential areas of improvement. It will also remind you to smile, which affects the tone of your voice as well as the sales conversation.
Prepare for Objections
Choosing the right insurance bundle or product can be stressful, so expect your customers to express valid concerns during sales calls. Overcoming objections is part of selling P&C insurance — so be prepared to listen, address client concerns, and use your expertise to help prospects overcome any reservations.
Ask Good Questions
Don’t make assumptions about what your client wants. Instead, ask good questions that will help you determine what they need. Understanding what is important to your client will help you narrow down the types of insurance products and services they might be interested in. Asking questions also helps you develop a good rapport with your customers, a vital building block to a productive and lasting relationship – one that will hopefully yield additional sales and well-earned referrals.
Say It Like You Mean It
Even if you’re working with a script to help keep your calls on track, try to avoid sounding like it. Sincerity comes across in your inflection and tone – and it is essential for establishing the trust that is necessary to success. The insurance market is filled with agents and brokers competing for business. Stand out from your competitors by expressing genuine interest in serving your customers and providing them with quality, affordable coverage for their most precious assets.
Personalize the Conversation
Use your client’s name frequently during the call, and if the conversation is a follow-up, thoroughly review your notes before you pick up the phone to dial. Mention details from your previous discussion — especially any concerns or questions that have not yet been addressed. Making your clients feel appreciated can go a long way towards earning their business.
Follow Up Quickly
The timeliness of the follow-up is critical to closing the deal, but we all know how busy life can get. Follow-up emails to clients can easily be overlooked unless you have a system in place that prompts you to reach back out in an appropriate time frame. A robust all-in-one solution that includes auto-response technology are game-changers for busy insurance agents and brokers who want to streamline sales efforts.
Selling over the phone can be a lucrative way to build your P&C insurance business — so even if you don’t feel comfortable at first fielding sales calls on the phone, don’t let your hesitation stop you from tapping into this potentially very profitable sales technique.
Practice your pitch until you feel ready, and do take the time to evaluate your progress every so often. With a little time and practice, selling P&C insurance will feel natural and you will be able to maximize the potential sales opportunities at your fingertips and grow your book of business.