There is no such thing as the perfect insurance sales person, right? While this is true, we should never stop learning and getting better at our craft. Sometimes all it takes is a different choice of word, tone of voice or neglecting one more follow-up call that leaves us with a great practice quote and without a sale. There are some key things that we can all do to become better and better at getting our prospects to choose our insurance agency.
The Top Agents Are Prepared
Being prepared makes us seem professional, on top of it and that we genuinely care about the prospect. But how often are we prepared for negative circumstances? There are only 5 or so objections in insurance. Are we prepared for how to handle:
- Price objection
- I need to speak with….
- I’m waiting on other quotes
- I don’t need that much coverage
- I’ll get back to you
Every agency should make a list of the top objections and rehearse how to handle and overcome them. One new concern that seems to be popping up is carrier research. When someone researches a carrier online and they come back with not the most fantastic of reviews, is your agency ready to handle that? You can check out our recent blog on this topic.
One thing we consistently see in agencies is the failure to set clear next steps and expectations. We often get on the phone and do everything we need to quote insurance, but we aren’t taking care of the client and leading them through our plan. Instead we leave a call with, “great, I’ll send you a quote!” That’s great, but how will I get it? When will I get it? Every great sales person works to control the message and the next step. Here are some common areas where agents can tighten up the process:
- Alert the client to the next step with an agreed upon date and time — when possible set an appointment. This way the potential client is clear on where they are in the process and this reduces them feeling like they should contact another agent.
- Even in commercial, do this! It can be just a check-in call if you haven’t heard from the underwriter. Just touching base helps the opportunity feel connected.
- Identify how the quote will be delivered — in person, by email or by phone? We much prefer the opportunity hear your presentation vocally either in person or over the phone.
- Alert them to how many options you will provide. People love options. It helps them feel empowered and able to make a decision.
We Make the Opportunity Burn Too Many Calories to Figure Out Our Proposal
Do you think many people go line by line and read their coverages? News flash: most don’t. But sending the carrier quote can leave them equally perplexed. The only thing that is loud and clear on a quote is the price. When we are all working so hard to overcome the price objection, sending a client a complicated quote won’t help. We need to instead provide it to them verbally to review all the wonderful features OR think about doing an agency branded, custom proposal. This helps show more about you and breaks down the key features the client should be focused on. And it will confuse the heck out of your competition when they don’t see a carrier quote!
Clients shouldn’t have to work too hard to understand their insurance. That’s our job. So you can easily see how emailing a carrier quote can work against us.
Unfortunately, we see a lack of follow-up from most agencies. The industry studies show that the best practice is to follow up 6 times, however, with our secret shopper program we rarely even see one follow-up. Now it’s easy to get busy or feel that 6 follow-ups is too aggressive, but there is a middle ground. For most people, buying insurance is just one item on their to-do list, so the easier you make it to say “yes” (through strong follow-up) the more wins you get.
So why do agents struggle with follow-up? Most management systems don’t make it simple, easy and visual to follow up. It falls through the cracks pretty easily! Another reason we lack follow-up is it can be uncomfortable. We don’t want to sound needy or stalkerish (but this is all in the scripting!) Finally, some agents are splitting their time between sales and service, and generally speaking, service comes before the sales strategy.
We Provide a Quote, Not Options
One long-lived sales strategy that we miss in insurance is to provide multiple options. Many agents send 1 quote over, and they hope the person purchases. Top sales agents review options with the client. (See how hard this would be to do if you just emailed the quote — reviewing it would burn a lot of calories.) So if we can take a moment and review the options with a client, we continue to build rapport, but most importantly, we can work together with the client to select an option that works for them. They feel comfortable with what they are buying rather than picking from just any random quote. This gives you the space to make recommendations and be their agent.
Nothing works 100% of the time, but not having a strong sales plan is sure to fail almost all of the time. By having a sales strategy, you can avoid common insurance pitfalls and work to create a client for life.