Nobody likes receiving a canned sales presentation. Insurance can be a dry subject for many people so it’s especially important to maintain a good balance and respect for each contact. Employing a well-formed and organic sales call script makes connecting with insurance prospects more effective, from providing the right tone for your pitch to ensuring eloquent presentation of all topics.
Elements of an Insurance Sales Call
Well-crafted sales pitches and charming manners go a long way in closing a lead. The makeup of the perfect sales call varies from person to person. Presenting a compelling pitch, backed by solid information and delivered with an interested and affable demeanor often concludes in what everyone agrees is the mark of cold-call perfection – closing the deal.
When discussing insurance policies, as with any sales call, go into the session with a goal in mind. The ultimate prize being of course, an in-person meeting to close a sale. However, understand that there is value in other results, even if it is just getting a foot in the door or getting the name of the right contact person in a company or the decision maker.
Crafting the Perfect Call Script
To create a great sales script, Keith Rosen, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cold-Calling, offers these tips:
- “Hi John, this is Elizabeth from Acme Insurance Services.”
- When the person answers, immediately identify yourself. This is the polite thing to do because no one wants to talk to a mystery caller.
- “Is this a good time to talk?”
- Asking about their schedule shows respect. Even if they say “no,” there is a possibility they may still continue the conversation. If not, make a point of specifying a good time for you to call them back.
Acknowledge the Value of Their Time
- “I know you probably have a lot on your plate, but I just need a few minutes of your time.”
- Doing this shows you realize they are busy and that you value their time and also assures them you will be quick.
- “The reason I am calling is that Acme Insurance Services just announced a new auto and home insurance bundling option that could save you hundreds of dollars each year on your insurance costs. After a quick assessment of your liabilities, I believe you would benefit from the same programs, so thought I would share this with you.”
- Give them a concise and compelling reason to listen to what you say. Do not be afraid of admitting you called them because you were not sure of who might be the decision make. They may refer you to a better prospect or the head of the household.
- “You are probably thinking about whether this would work for you as well. If you have a few minutes, we can talk about whether these insurance products are a good fit for you.”
- Retreat a bit from the hard sell, and a contact’s guard may drop enough to let you make a pitch.
Step Back In
- “I’m not sure what you are doing right now, but if you give me just a few minutes of your time, I can tell you more about the benefits of our services.”
- Acknowledging time constraints and emphasizing what you have to offer at the same time may get a conversation going.
Keep Your Promise
- Only take a few minutes to talk about your product or services.
- Using scripted information helps keep things concise and on point.
Good Scripts Still Require Great Presentations
The best script in the world falls flat if its delivery fails to dazzle. Rosen also advises against just reading the script. Instead, practice reading from it and acting out the call. You need to sound natural and fresh, not as if you have said the same thing to dozens of other people earlier in the day.
Another problem with a straight reading from a sales script is forgetting to listen to responses. Take time to listen to a prospect’s responses. Doing so is the best gauge of how to best present your next selling point.
Assuming a script includes all the elements necessary for an effective call, there are many ways to improve the chances of converting a lead to a sale. Having a purpose and a goal helps immensely, as does brevity. Research the best person to call in a company, and go for the gusto when you can. Tom Black, author of The Boxcar Millionaire, suggests one call to a large company may generate two or three (or more) times the revenue that several successful calls to smaller outfits or individuals. Once a meeting is agreed upon, always schedule it at the convenience of the contact.
Improvising Past Roadblocks
“Gatekeepers” carefully protect some contacts. Using some positive assertiveness helps get a call directed to the prospect rather than being relegated to voicemail. Simply presenting the call as one that is expected by the person goes a long way. Only provide the information asked for and phrase your request to speak to a particular individual in terms of “Please let so-and-so know that it is John Smith calling for him.”
Creativity is a great thing, but it also takes time to learn a little about the person and organization prior to making any call. Using the wrong approach can quickly backfire, resulting not only in the loss of a potential sale, but also in being blacklisted for future contact with that person or company.