How To Be Successful in Insurance Sales
Among the biggest issues when designing a marketing program is how to create a successful insurance telemarketing script. Agents generally end up with a lot of bad advice that brings about frustration and eventually an unsuccessful campaign. In truth, a large percentage of insurance agents stop their telemarketing efforts within the first few days.
Even though all lines of insurance agents can start a telemarketing campaign, this article is going to focus specifically on the sale of individual life and health products. Although there is a different method for targeting consumers for senior products and P&C, you may apply some of the same principles.
First, the idea that telemarketing and cold calling don’t work is completely false. Telemarketing can be on of the most successful and cost-effective methods to build your client base. If an agent says “I tried telemarketing and it doesn’t work” what they really mean is “I tried telemarketing and it just did not work for me.”
Were they calling targeted data lists? Were they selling the right mix of insurance products? Are they a seasoned professional or relatively new in the industry? Did they write down and rehearse their presentation enough before making calls? Were they using a power dialer to work more efficiently, call more leads per hour and manage those leads from cradle-to-grave? All of these factors could contribute to an unsuccessful campaign.
I spent years buying internet leads, using direct mail campaigns and purchasing leads from my different marketing agencies and although I experienced some success, I was looking for another way to diversify my marketing where I had more control of my leads and ultimately my income. I then discovered through trial and error how to run a successful campaign with the right tools that more than doubled my productivity.
So let’s get right to how to design a successful marketing campaign:
We recommend calling small businesses. Businesses are much more likely to answer the phone and you don’t have to scrub your list for the Do-Not-Call (DNC) list. DNC rules do not apply to business to business phone calls.
Buy a list of small business owners in your territory and buy a list with companies having no more than ten employees. Addresses are irrelevant when telemarketing businesses and you should look to spend about 2 cents per record or get an unlimited data package for a reasonable price.
Buy an auto-dialer or a power dialer that has some CRM features to help you track productivity and leads from cradle-to-grave. This is an essential step because dialers can dial up to 400 live calls per hour when you can only dial 20-30 live calls by hand-dialing. It will keep you on the phone constantly talking with live prospects. When researching dialers just make sure you’re not buying a predictive dialer as they have a high dropped call rate with the FTC which can lead to hefty fines. Auto-dialers or power dialers typically cost between $100 to $200 per month. It’s a numbers game and the more people you call the more leads you will get and the more sales you will generate.
A successful campaign will hinge on a couple of things, one of which is whether or not your prospect feels you are a knowledgeable agent. Even if your prospect appears to like you, if you come off unsure of yourself and not knowledgeable don’t expect to get too much further in the sales process. You need to know your products backwards and forwards which will require studying just like in high school.
In regards to your calling script, after you introduce yourself and they respond, don’t ask “How are you today.” This will only cause the prospect to put up their guard. Time is valuable so get right to the point for your call. For example: “Is this Suzie Smith?” “This is Suzie.” “Suzie, my name is Rob Thompson and the reason why I’m calling is…”
You literally have 15 to 20 seconds…maximum to make a good first impression and get their attention. Be sure when rehearsing your script to time it and if it is longer than 20 seconds… re-write it.
Always have a reason to call a prospect. “I’m providing free quotes” isn’t a reason to call. Is there any new health care reform changes that would help? New plans? Lower rates? Use these as your introduction: “Suzie, the reason I’m calling is because health insurance carriers have released new reduced rates” or “Suzie, the reason I’m calling is there are now several new affordable health insurance plans and HSAs available in your area.
The end of your brief introduction should lead to the next step: “…may i get your email address so that I can send you some details on the plans and rates.”
That’s a 20-30 second presentation that gets right to the point. If your prospect is interested then all you need is the the ages of who will be on the policy and a couple of other quick pieces of information. Don’t waste your time trying to change someone’s mind to listen to you. Kindly thank them for their time and be thankful they are wasting your time so you can move on to someone that is interested. We don’t suggest getting into qualifying the prospect at this time; just set a time to follow up so you can review the plans options and rates with the prospect.
Let’s close with a few quick tips that will also provide useful.
1) Try to avoid calling larger cities especially if you’re selling insurance on the internet. The more remote the better because larger cities are far more likely to receive more telemarketing calls.
2) How you say something is just as important as what you are saying. Avoid raising or lowering your tone of your pace and subtly emphasize key words that are important to a prospect.
3) Rehearse both pitch and tone with family, friends or peers who will give you honest feedback about how you’re coming across.
We hope that you can take away at least one thing from this article that will help you to be a better salesperson. Best wishes for health, happiness and success in 2011.
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