It’s not a secret that sales calls are important components of every insurance company’s marketing and sales generation process. The two types of sales calls - outbound and inbound - should have different strategies because inbound calls demonstrate interest vs. unsolicited “cold calling” where prospects may not know who you are.
Inbound sales calls are a golden opportunity to showcase what your agency has to offer. As frontline workers of the company, call agents should be knowledgeable, friendly, and well-equipped with scripts to handle any question or objection.
The following insurance sales tips can help you round out your training. When implemented, these sales tips for insurance agents can help ensure that every prospect that calls ends their interaction with a favorable impression and increased confidence that your agency provides high-quality products and services.
1. Know your customer
Inbound calls are marketing opportunities, and all good marketers know their customers. They create fictional “buyer personas” with demographic and psychographic characteristics that form the basis of their marketing strategy.
Take some time to create several customer avatars representing various types of clients with different ages, backgrounds, and business types. Outline any potential problems they may have, and connect those issues to your products and services. This exercise can help give context to each inbound call, allowing each insurance salesperson to tailor their strategy to different types of prospects and clients.
2. Ask the right questions and keep it simple
Streamline your verification process to the most critical questions. Many people don’t like giving personal information, so let’s make sure the number of questions is kept to a minimum to protect those insurance leads that are reaching out to you.
3. Qualify your prospects
Creating quotes can be a time-consuming and exhaustive process. Since not all prospects are alike, it may be a wise idea to vet callers with critical questions that help you determine their level of interest. Some questions can include:
- Were you referred to us by a current client?
- How did you hear about our company?
- Have you taken a look at our website or social media?
These types of questions help you determine if the prospect has a genuine interest in your company. These leads are significantly higher in quality when compared to “price shoppers” with stacks of phone numbers looking for the cheapest deal - something often seen in the auto insurance sector.
4. Focus on benefits instead of features
Focusing on product benefits rather than features is a far more effective sales tactic because it is a solution-focused way to market services. Insurance products generally help people by providing relief from anxiety and stress during unforeseen events. This is the ultimate core benefit your products and services offer, and should be a central point of focus.
5. Know your products and provide value upfront
Keep extensive product descriptions ready, and make sure you know every detail. Not all prospects understand the insurance industry, and they will appreciate the time a qualified insurance agent will take to explain the details and offer advice that can guide their decision. This may even make them recommend you to their friends and family - a great way to build a long-term referral funnel.
This may even make them recommend you to their friends and family - a great way to build a long-term referral funnel.
Accordingly, if you realize at some point that you cannot provide services in line with their expectations, be upfront and let them know. You can offer advice on how to maintain affordable as well as enhanced coverage. Displaying a high level of understanding and empathy will go a long way towards building trust, and that can ultimately guide the prospect further along the sales process.
6. Build your sales pipeline
Not all callers are ready to buy on the spot, so build your pipeline with prospects that you can help when their conditions change. Take some notes about the call and input that information into your CRM.
You can also take down their email address and add them to your mailing list. Without being overwhelming and aggressive, you can maintain contact through a newsletter that provides industry news and related advice. This lets you continue to add value, stay in touch, and remain at the top of their mind when the time comes to buy.
7. Learn to overcome objections without being aggressive
There’s a big difference between overcoming objections and providing rebuttals. Overcoming objections convinces the prospect to look at things in a different light while rebuttals try to convince them they are wrong.
The following four steps can help you overcome objections with grace in a non-aggressive way that shows you have their best interests at heart:
- Empathize with their situation
- Clarify their concerns
- Present a helpful solution
- Gain their agreement
This four-step process can keep callers engaged and move them along the sales process. It’s also important to note that empathy and tone of voice are critical, especially in the absence of body language cues and face-to-face interaction.
A final word
Inbound sales calls are valuable and represent a new opportunity to bring business to your insurance agency. By following these tips you can be confident that every caller will have a positive impression of your agency, and that level of customer service will set you apart as they move through the buying process.