You’ve put in all of the effort. You’ve built rapport and shown your expertise. You avoided the insurance interrogation and gathered the information that you need in as conversational a manner as possible. You’ve quoted the business over the phone or you set and met expectations on your follow-ups. You’ve even presented the quote under your terms and got them to make some decisions on coverages.
Now it is time to not only close the business but actually Asking For The Business. This is where the rubber meets the road (or as I’ve heard it a little more interestingly put, where the rubber leaves the road…). There are two major steps in this process.
The Actual Ask
The first step is actually asking for the business. We aren’t going to do this as overtly as saying “Can I have your business?” but we also aren’t going to ask in a very passive way such as “What do you think?”. What we are going to do is assume that we have done our job and ask a question that provides an option to the client on how they want to move forward without providing an option where a “no” is one of those options.
To accomplish this, we are not going to ask any type of yes/no question. We are not going to ask “Have I answered all of your questions?” or “Do you want to move forward with this policy?” These types of questions just beg for some type of objection.
Instead we are going to ask a closing question that gives the prospect an option but with both responses allowing us to move forward. In my opinion, the worst kept secret in our industry is that no one wants to deal with their insurance. While they can always come up with a different response to our closing question that isn’t an actual response that we have offered, most people will lean into the responses given so that they can get this item off of their “to do” list.
Here are three examples of good closing questions:
- Would you like to pay in full or set up automatic bill pay?
- Do you want to schedule a time to come into the office or would it be easier if I sent you the application through our eSignature system?
- I know your renewal is coming up on X date. Would you like to use that as the effective date or use today’s date to immediately take advantage of the new policy coverages?
The next step seems easy on paper but can be the hardest part of the sale. Once you’ve asked your closing question, you need to Zip It. If you say anything at this point, you are going to blow the sale and encourage another round of questions or objections (Read #15 in this HubSpot Blog. My favorite quote: “No one ever listened their way out of a sale”.
As I mentioned, most people are just going to decide that this is the right option for them and respond to your question. If you give them another path to go down by making a question, they are likely to take it. You may need to practice not saying anything at this point; it can be very difficult! If necessary, hit your mute button and then say what you want to say but you know you shouldn’t! Just remember, this is the last step. You’ve put in all of the effort. Now the best thing you can do is literally nothing!
The final step is making one last assumption once you have the answer that they are ready for the applications. Obviously if you asked the question on how to send the applications, this step is completed for you. But if you get a response on how they are going to pay or what date they want to use, you are taking that as your “yes”. The next step is simply sending the applications. Immediately move into that process without hesitation. Remember, you are in control of the process and all along you are assuming they are going to take out the policy with you.
Asking For The Business is considered to be by many the most important aspect of the sales process. I won’t argue with this, but as we teach in our AppX Sales program, there are many ways where you can set up The Ask for better success throughout the sales process to this point. Having a strong sales process that compliments The Ask is vital to your sales success!