Years ago, customers would go to the local insurance broker when they needed a new or wanted to upgrade their current policy. Fast-forward to today, and everyone is looking for a quick solution to their needs, and no one has the time to schedule a visit with their local insurance agency. Instead, they turn to the phone or the internet to get what they need, when they need it. To stay competitive in the market, cold calling and phone sales are essential. While we understand no one likes to cold call, using your CRM for cold calling can make all the difference. But how do you use a CRM for cold calling?
Benefits of selling over the phone
There are so many ways to sell and market products and services. You have the typical brick-and-mortar, online websites, social media outlets, and telephone. While the idea of cold calling leads usually leaves a lot to be desired, this method is still powerful. Here are some benefits selling over the phone can offer your business.
When you sell insurance face-to-face, you are limited to the number of potential sales you can make in any given time period. You must travel to the client, spend time in a consultation, and then travel back home or to the office. With phone sales, you can work from a centralized location and reach many more potential clients in an hour than if you were stuck in traffic.
Offer a more personal touch
While many people are turning to automated internet sales when it comes to insurance, many people are still looking for that personal connection. Phone sales offer the best of both worlds. People can get the policies and services they need without coming into the office, but they also receive the personal connection of talking on the phone and getting to know their agent. This helps to build and nurture a relationship and improves customer retention.
Improve data collection
When routinely making sales phone calls, you can easily track your performance data. You can record the call length, call time, and whether you converted as you make each call. Over time, you can analyze this information and see how you can improve your sales strategy to become more efficient and effective.
A captured audience
How often have you received a sales email for an item you really wanted information on, only to be in the middle of work and unable to read it? When you do have time, all the additional emails that come in throughout the day often leave it buried. The same is true for your potential customers. While they may receive and be interested in your marketing and sales email, they may not have the time when they receive it, and it simply gets lost in the shuffle. With phone calls, you can plan your calls for early evening when your potential clients are not at work and have a better chance of actually listening and engaging with you.
Things you need before selling insurance using calls
When you decide to start selling insurance through phone calls, there are a few things you will need to be successful and make the most out of each call. These include:
- Computer: If possible, consider a computer setup with a dual monitor. This allows you to have your quoting software on one screen and your browser or CRM open in another window, so you are not fumbling around during the call looking for the information you need.
- A high-quality phone and optional headset: You want a high-quality system with good sound and connection when it comes to your phone. Consider a VOIP phone system, allowing you to make calls directly through your computer or CRM.
- A website: These days, a website is essential as it allows people a way to find you and connect. When they signup or visit your site, your CRM can capture their information and automatically add it to your phone schedule.
- A CRM: If you don’t already have a good CRM in place, this is a must-have for making sales calls. Not only does it help manage your leads and customers, but it can help automate phone call scheduling, allow you to take notes on each phone call that all team members can access, and let you know when it is time to connect again.
- Quoting software: Even if you do not have dual monitors, you must have policy quoting software easily accessible to provide the information your lead needs on time during the call.
- Underwriting guides: If you sell life insurance, it is also good to have these easily accessible to ensure that you obtain the necessary information when dealing with specific medical conditions.
How can CRM help with cold calling?
A CRM, or customer relationship management, platform helps you manage all your lead and customer data. When it comes to phone sales, this is an invaluable tool. Because all your potential lead’s information is right there in front of you, you can better engage in conversation, identify their pain points, make more calls in less time, and increase your sales call productivity.
Tips on how to sell insurance over the phone effectively
Despite knowing that sales calls are effective, it is still never easy to sell over the phone and can be very intimidating for some. When you work with a list of well-qualified leads, these tips can help your sales calls a little easier on the nerves and more productive.
1) Embrace the role of an advisor
Most people don’t like sales calls. So, approach your insurance sales a little differently. Act as an advisor, offering products that help protect them when they need it. Embrace this role as an advisor and focus on learning and meeting their needs.
2) Be prepared and organized
As we showed in our list above, there are some key things you need at hand before you start making sales calls. Your computer, a good phone set-up, easy access to your CRM, and quoting software (ideally on a dual-screen monitor to make it easier for you) are armed with the tools you need to connect with your leads effectively.
3) Create a great first impression
When you make a phone call, the first words out of your mouth create your initial impression, and there is no way to turn that back. This is not the time to say, “Hey, what’s up?” when the lead answers the phone. Be confident and clear of your intentions when addressing the lead during the first hello. Remember that, at this point, the purpose is not to make a sale but rather to make a connection. For example, consider, “Good evening. This is Mr. John Smith with XXX insurance. I received your inquiry today, and I would like to talk to you about how I can help you receive the security you are looking for.”
4) Provide the reason for your call
As we mentioned in the example above, when you make your initial impression, you must address the reason for your call. However, don’t make it about sales, but rather more about how you can help address their needs.
5) Know and understand the value of what you are offering
As an insurance agent, you are selling insurance policies. However, that is just the product. What you are really selling is peace of mind. Keep this in mind when making phone calls. Also, rather than focusing on the policy, focus on the value these policies can bring to your client.
6) Prepare pre-qualifying questions
Consider adding a few pre-qualifying questions at the beginning of the sales script. This helps you determine their exact pain points and whether you can truly address these with the policies you offer. For example, asking your lead what they currently pay for their renter’s insurance will let you know if you have a cheaper yet more comprehensive plan you can offer.
7) Be the solution
When talking with your potential client, your goal is to be the solution to their problem. This goes back to knowing and understanding the value of the insurance policies. When they explain their pain points, you need to know the policies that will meet their needs and the confidence that your policy gives them what they need at a price they can afford.
8) Use your script as a road map
While many in sales will tell you to write out your script and practice it, the truth is that doesn’t really work. You are not a robot, and each one of your potential customers has unique pain points. While writing a script is not a bad idea, following word for word is not recommended. Instead, consider it a road map to your conversation. If you go off-road, the map can help you reach your destination.
9) Do not dominate the conversation
While your sales call aims to inform your potential client about the policies you offer, it is just as important to let them talk, listen to their needs, and answer any questions they may have. While this phone call is designed to make a sale, it is also a way to build and nurture a relationship essential to making and retaining clients.
10) Don’t forget to follow up
Your initial call is not likely to result in a sale in many cases. Instead, it is often the building block to a relationship. As with any relationship, to grow, it needs nurturing. Always leave the door open for further communication, such as asking them if you can send them some information on the policies you talked about or if you can call again in the future. Then, when the call is complete, be sure to assign a task in your CRM to remind you to follow up with the method you discussed.
Let Better Agency help you boost insurance sales!
If you are struggling with sales and have been depending on face-to-face or internet sales only, it may be time to consider insurance sales calls. While no one looks forward to these calls, the team at Better Agency understands their importance. We also understand the benefits of a great CRM when making these sales calls. Designed by insurance agents, our Insurance CRM offers all the top solutions insurance agents need. To learn more, schedule a call with us today.