Although making cold calls isn't anyone's favorite aspect of selling insurance, all agents and brokers must do it frequently to remain competitive. But where do you even begin?
Well, first you must understand the importance of phone prospecting and why you need it; telephone calls were listed as one of the top two communication channels preferred by those aged 40 and older, while 22% of those aged 18 to 39 said the same, according to studies.
The best place to start? Practicing your sales pitch and honing your craft to become a maestro at selling insurance over the phone.
However, you can’t just wing your calls if you want the best results. In fact, here are the worst things you can do during your phone calls, the ways you can ensure they don’t happen, and strategies to crush your sales over the phone!
The Worst Mistakes During Prospecting Calls (and Tips To Avoid Them)
1. Not Knowing Your Prospect
Do Your Research and Homework
Personalization is one of the leading themes in today's marketing. Why? People love to feel like you understand their needs and want to help them specifically. Delivering generic pitches may lead to home runs with some clients but will mostly lead to strikeouts with many others.
Be Engaging and Get To Know Them
With a customer relationship management (CRM) solution in place, you can keep track of all the pertinent details for each prospect and client, ranging from their names, addresses, pets, and hobbies to important insurance requirements. This will allow you to take a more personalized approach to each prospect.
By pulling up the information before each phone contact, doing so will give you the ability to tailor your script to meet prospects' expectations and establish a deeper connection.
Ask Good Questions and Listen Well
Active listening is necessary during telephone prospecting, but not one that’s often prioritized.
So, how can you truly listen to your clients and ask questions that matter?
- Don’t just listen, understand what they’re saying and ask clarifying questions
- Try not to interrupt; focus on the needs of the client, not what you want
- Pay attention to body language and respond accordingly
- Don’t force a sale; aim to cultivate a strong relationship
- Make your pitches as interactive and engaging as possible
2. Not Developing a Strategy Before Picking Up the Phone
Waltzing into sales calls without a strategy is like diving into the deep end of a pool only to realize the pool is, in actuality, an ocean and you’re surrounded by sharks. A sales call strategy is indeed your lifeboat, but it’s also your roadmap to successfully swimming through the many challenges of phone prospecting so you don’t need the lifeboat to begin with!
Here are some of the essentials to developing a prospecting strategy to keep you from drowning during sales calls.
When To Call Your Prospects
In general, cold calling works best on Wednesdays and Thursdays just before lunch or near the end of the workday. Even though there is a better success rate during these hours and days, making calls sprinkled throughout the day and week is still beneficial to reach more clients.
We also recommend conducting some research to determine the most effective times to contact specific prospects because many personal factors affect the possibility of converting a lead into a customer.
Have SMART Goals for Calling
Make an effort to make your call's objective SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound) with a focus on attaining something concrete and quantifiable.
A SMART call objective is an excellent place to start if the purpose of a sales call is to close a deal and add value for the client. SMART goals give you a clear roadmap for navigating your calls and not getting sidetracked from the ultimate goals at hand: to make a conversion and help the client out.
Have Written Out Scenarios for Rejections and Objections
Only some customers you speak with will agree with everything you say or offer. That is not only realistic but expected! However, if a prospect disagrees, you need to give a well-thought-out response created before the call. This prevents irrational or emotional responses that could lead to a potential being driven away.
You can convince more prospects to work with you by anticipating common objections and being ready with well-crafted responses because you're proactively addressing their concerns. Ensure you write out potential objections and rejections and practice addressing them.
Don’t Give Up After One Call!
One of the most common mistakes insurance agents make is giving up after just one rejection! It’s important to make several attempts, within reason, to maximize the likelihood of a client purchasing a plan through you. Not every client is an instant winner, but by at least attempting to reach out to leads through several phone calls and emails, you boost the likelihood of getting your foot in the door with the client!
3. Not Developing Cold Calling Scripts
What Is a Phone Prospecting Script?
Although you might believe that scripts make you sound less natural, they are essential to cold calling. Think carefully about the message you want to express in your script because it can make or break your encounters with prospects.
What Are the Elements That Make Up a Good Prospecting Script?
- Gather information about your prospects
- Identify the industries you’re targeting
- Write your script
Establish Who You Are and What You Are Selling
Customers make decisions about which services to purchase depending on the likelihood they will succeed. Utilize client testimonials and case studies to foster trust with new clients by putting their worries to rest.
Testimonials and case studies can help you win over the trust of potential clients, especially if they come from a reputable client that highlights the advantages of using your service.
By positioning your company as an authority or industry leader, testimonials and case studies help clients trust you and decide to work with you rather than another insurance agent or broker.
Quick tip: If you don’t have testimonials or case studies to share, begin asking your satisfied clients for online reviews or just a few sentences that highlight their positive experiences with you. Not sure how to begin doing this? Check out our guide that’s jam-packed with the best tips for gaining new business and retaining new clients during OEP, including how to get more reviews and testimonials!
Have a Clear Value Proposition
Create a statement highlighting how your goods or services can help based on what you know about the prospect and any potential pain spots. Ensure that this is about them as well and not simply your offering.
This is a great way to establish rapport and demonstrate who you are as an agent or broker. Ensure you spend some time finding out what they require, and pay close attention so that you may formulate insightful follow-up inquiries.
Some Additional Dos for Telephone Prospecting Correctly
While there are many don’ts to phone prospecting, there are some other important dos to keep in mind to get the most out of each client meeting:
- Try to move the call face to face (video or in person if possible)
- Give the prospect time to speak
- Never hang up the phone without booking another meeting
- Send email reminders before and after meetings
- Have a reasonable amount of enthusiasm but aim to be authentic
Crush Your Phone Prospecting With the Ultimate Checklist
In today’s marketing, many have abandoned phone calls and completely shifted to email marketing. That presents many opportunities for you to capitalize on sales left on the table by competitors.
However, this guide is just scratching the surface of creating a successful telephone prospecting strategy. That’s why we put together the ultimate checklist designed just for you!
Take your phone prospecting skills to the next level and get your Phone Prospecting Checklist for Insurance Agents today!