As I travel across the country, there is one thing I’m still amazed by. It’s agents’ apprehensions regarding quoting insurance over the phone. We get tons of bitter looks when we even mention it. This is a hideous, horrible concept for many people—thoughts of doom and gloom of the technology not working, and heaven forbid we have to make small talk! Take a moment and follow me on this journey of reviewing all the upsides to quoting over the phone.
The fear is that no one wants to be on the phone with us that long! It’s true, if you aren’t good on the phone. But here is the reality—no one wants to spend time shopping their insurance either. If you take up their time and they can get an answer at the end of the call, you win! Less follow-up and less stressing about finding the cheapest rate. When we do secret shopper calls, we find that people are waiting DAYS to get a quote. In today’s fast moving society, that’s not going to win you business. We always hope that we can find the time to do the quote. Well, if you stay on the phone, you have that time, and you will be surprised how many yeses you get.
Too many agencies email their quotes. At that point you have to sometimes, when you feel like it, when you have time, follow up—which usually means you don’t follow up. All these follow-ups clog up your activities. Quoting over the phone means you generally get a “yes” or a “no” on that call, thus saving you follow-up time.
When you’re gathering underwriting information, you can often forget one or two questions. Then what happens? “TAG, YOU’RE IT!” Let’s start the phone tag. Then you’re playing phone tag again to present the quote. What a bummer! First call resolution is always the way to go, even on new business.
Higher Closing Ratio
Do you know what wastes time? Not selling insurance. Quoting insurance only costs the agency resources. Selling insurance earns us money. Every single time we get the client off the phone, our likelihood to close drops. Keeping the client on the phone means we can ask for the business and drive the best result.
All of this is good, so why do we still not do it? Here are the common reasons we hear:
- “People who want an instant quote aren’t our buyers”: Why don’t you ask them and let them make the decision?
- “No one wants to be on the phone that long”: You’re right, if you can’t walk them through the process and hold an engaging conversation.
- “The rater isn’t accurate”: Nobody’s is; no contractor’s estimate is accurate either. You need to tell them the process, stress that it’s a ballpark figure, then earn the right to finalize the quote.
- “I can’t firm up quotes with all the companies while I have them on the phone”: No, but you are able to place business. Remember that the least expensive today is the most expensive next year.
- First top secret reason that no one will say: “I’d rather email the quote than sell it.”
- Next top secret reason that no one will say: “I’d rather get to the 2 minute tasks.”
How we blast through this challenge with agencies is to start small and build up the muscles:
- Start with monoline auto quotes. They are easy enough to quote quickly.
- Then move to auto and renters—you will have the renters where you have the auto.
- Next, move to requotes that are already in the rater for home and auto.
- Then move to packages.
If you tackle the challenge little by little, you will get there. Don’t expect to perfect it for a few weeks!