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Just ASK for the Business

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of working with many agencies and helping them with their sales processes.  In doing so, I’ve often come across a critical sticking point with agents. There is a common problem understanding the end goal of quoting coverage.  For many, delivering the quote IS the end goal.

What would you say your end goal should be when quoting?

Here are some recent examples of emails I’ve read that agents sent while delivering quotes:

  • “Please look it over and if you have any questions or concerns, just let me know.”
  • “If you have any questions let me know.”
  • “Please do not hesitate to call me or email me if you have any questions.”

I see these types of emails all the time, revealing that many agents’ efforts revolve around the end goal of quoting.  But emailing quotes and waiting for the prospect or client to determine the next step is not an effective approach to sales.  Emailing quotes is certainly not the end goal! The problem with these all too prevalent practices is that they are not focused on selling insurance but, rather, on quoting and checking off a box on a mental task list that one more assignment has been accomplished.  When the pile of work on your desk looks smaller and you’ve accomplished your tasks for the day, it feels good, and you experience a certain sense of satisfaction.  But what if all of the tasks you thought you completed were only 90% finished?  

Quoting IS a vital part of the process of winning new business.  It’s actually the necessary, preceding, pre-selling work that leads us to the place of finally being able to START selling.  Perhaps I’m oversimplifying to make an important point. I always share that we are selling throughout our calls and interactions.  Rapport building, for example, which should start right away in the sales process, is essential conversation to build relationships and trust in earning your clients’ business.  But too many agents stop short of the critical moment when they must clearly and unapologetically just ASK for the business to earn the business! Why wait for someone to decide when and if they want to call you back to buy coverage?  What if they have questions or concerns and then bring them (along with your quotes) to another agent who answers them and then asks for their business?

In a recent study conducted through our Secret Shopper Call Program, we found that 1 agent in 41 asked for the business.  39% told the caller to think about it and let them know.  59% just got an email so there was no actual call to action. 30% did 1 follow-up and 7% did 2 follow-ups.

Why you should NEVER email your quotes before a call

  1. Emailed quotes focus the client on one thing – PRICE.  Did you really think they were reading your long email and all the details in your quotes?
  2. Delivering your quotes on a phone call allows you to build VALUE!  You can explain the various options you’ve selected, the value of the recommended carrier options, the value of you as an insurance professional, and the value of your independent agency.  
  3. Delivering your quotes on a phone call allows you to ASK for the business!  It might sound something like this: “Great news, I’ve been able to meet all of your requirements!  Let me show you the three options that I think are best for your family.  We are saving you XXX per year and increasing your coverage to XXX. All we need to get started is XXX and we can send you the paperwork via Docusign so you can even sign over the phone!  It looks like we have found the best insurance for you. Since I have been able to solve your main concerns would you like to pay in full or be placed on EFT?”
  4. Delivering your quotes on a phone call allows you to overcome client concerns that they may share in response to your ASK.  After listening and offering a solution to solve their concerns, just ASK for the business again!

Another call I listened to recently revealed a reticence to just ASK for additional business.  It went like this:

Agent: “Mr. client, now that I’ve taken care of X for you, I didn’t know if you were aware that we also offer Flood insurance?”

Client:  “Oh.”

AWKWARD SILENCE

Agent: “So, just let us know if you’re ever interested.  Thanks for calling and have a great day!”

The client didn’t reply in a way to indicate that they were aware they were being asked for Flood insurance, or they answered in a way to deflect and move on.  Either way, the agent should have reframed the question and more clearly, directly, and unapologetically ASKED for the business!

 

  • AGENT: “Mr. Client, now that I’ve taken care of X for you, I noticed that you do not have important coverage that many of my clients at AGENCY have to protect their home and family.  Have you had Flood insurance in the past? No? Well, let’s take a look at this important coverage together before you go.”
  • PREPARE for a Concern or Objection that may be shared.
  • RESPOND with a solution to overcome their concern and Jjust ASK again for the opportunity to protect them today.

 

Whether it’s just ASKING for the business to close an opportunity after delivering a quote or just ASKING for an additional line of business during a service call, the problem that I hear all too often is a lack of clarity, directness, and unapologetic ASKING.  You may be wondering why I like to use the word ‘unapologetic’ when asking for the business. The reason an agent should be polite and caring, yet unapologetic in their presentation of coverage is because they believe and are convinced that the protection they are offering is vitally important for their client’s well being.  Mentioning new lines of business and moving on is not the same as truly offering, explaining, sharing value, and asking for the business.  

Keep your eyes on the true finish line and take a look at your own sales practices this week.  Are you stopping short of your goal? Do you need to start clearly, directly, and unapologetically ASKING for the business?

If you and your team needs help with your sales approach in honing your ASK, raise your hand by sending us an email for assistance!  Our AppX Sales program includes practical training and even role playing to sharpen the sales practices of your entire team.  Please remember that all of us at Agency Performance Partners care deeply about your growth and development. We are not only trainers, but coaches with years of experience within hundreds of agencies, and we love to encourage teams to stretch and grow as they reach for greater levels of success.  If improving your performance, refining your sales process, and driving your sales higher sounds exciting for you and your agency, give us a call or email us today!

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