Have you ever wondered if your agents’ sales tactics are coming across as annoying? Resulting in lost opportunity for your company.
Selling life insurance is certainly different from selling everything else as it’s one of the priciest things people buy which they can’t see, touch or hold.
It’s basically just an idea that you’re selling, which is built on trust and promises.
Prospects are more likely to be wearier when it comes to sales tactics, so it’s best your agents avoid an approach that will get the persons guard up.
Are your agents guilty of any of these?
It’s an absolute certainty that each one of us has had at least one negative experience with a salesperson who just does not stop pushing and pressuring us into a sale.
While many Insurance Agents worry they won’t make a sale if they aren’t assertive enough, others fear it will chase a prospect away.
Your agent really shouldn’t create extreme pressure for your leads. The only thing it will do is make them want to pull back, even if your product could be a perfect fit.
Look out for signals which would indicate that your prospect is feeling uncomfortable and know when to back off. For example, if your prospect keeps cancelling appointments or if they just cannot see the value of life insurance. It will also save the agent time and they can focus their energy elsewhere.
Top tips for your agents to come across less ‘salsey’:
- Encourage your agents to focus more on having a conversation with someone rather than just selling.
- Get your agents to listen to and understand the prospect’s needs. Asking if what they’re offering is of real value to them.
- Developing a sense of trust with the prospect will help to convert the lead into a sale.
Generic sales emails do not work to sell life insurance!
A prospect only becomes a prospect if there is a need to buy life insurance. Do not push them away forever, by making them never want to see your name again – because that’s what will happen if your name keeps popping up in their mailbox.
If you want to go the email route, personalize each mail instead and follow up that email with a call before or after it gets sent.
What is not considered as Spam?
- Sending an SMS to your prospect to confirm an appointment. This helps to reduce no-show rates for your agents. It gives the prospect an option to re-schedule or cancel via text also.
- Policy Renewals – sending a short message to your existing customer with details on how to renew.
- Birthday/Special Events – if these are known, sending a short SMS wishing the prospect well will help with closing the sale and/or getting an appointment.
- Tips – sending your prospect tips via SMS or Email. Example, over the holiday season, sending tips to those travelling abroad and outlining what steps they need to take in order to be covered for life insurance whilst on holiday.
The key to spam is to let your agents know, if it feels as if they are harassing the prospect – then they most likely are. Contacting for the sake of making X number of calls or emails per day is not the best strategy to go by.
Opening or closing scripts can completely ruin your agents chances of selling life cover, so it’s probably in their best interest not to use them.
Yes, there are probably legal and regulatory disclosures they will need to make – but your agents should avoid blurting out their sales pitch as part of the introduction.
There is nobody out there who enjoys hearing someone read directly from a screen in a monotone voice.
Here’s an example of a good approach:
Jim here from ABC Advisory.
Did I catch you at an OK time?
Jane, I’m sure you’re busy and I want to respect your time, so I’ll be brief.
The reason for my call is this….(create a compelling reason for the person on the other end to continue the conversation, depending on their personal circumstances).
At this point, the prospect doesn’t care about your specific product; the customer only wants to know what to expect if the conversation continues.
If possible, would you be comfortable spending a few minutes with me on the phone now?
This way your agent has given them a reason for the call, established a timeline and taken accountability for the length of the call. This shows that they respect the person’s time and won’t keep him or her on the phone.
A bad script would be the opposite – where the agent jumps straight into the sales script without affording the prospect the opportunity to say a word.
Fundamental Sales Skills
By all means, technology and social media can certainly help the agents cause, however Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and QR Codes do not sell life insurance.
These tools do make the sales process more efficient and effective, however, it won’t replace the basics of the personal connection your agent requires to sell life insurance.
It boils down to getting that balance right and finding out which tactics will work best for the intended target market.
Some form of personal connection must be present when selling life insurance, where there’s a focus on determining what the prospect owns, properly explaining what options are available to them and helping them figure out what the “right amount” of cover to buy.
Ensure your Insurance Agents are equipped with these fundamental sales skills:
- Prospect Research – know about the person they are visiting, this adds value and shows the person you are in fact interested about them. And not just selling to them.
- Meeting Scheduling – planning is essential in order to make a commitment to the prospect to meet face-to-face.
- Build a rapport – this is the first and most important sales tactic, before diving into any sales pitch. The agent needs to make a connection with the prospect first. Find a connection.
- Ask and Listen – this is a basic sales skill most Agents get wrong. Stop talking, ask more and listen carefully. By listening you will know your sales pitch based on the prospects personal circumstances. People love to talk about themselves, give them an opening to do just that. By asking questions.
- Ask for commitment – if you do not ask for the business, you will not get it.
- Relationship – build and maintain this relationship, whether at prospecting stage or client phase. Building a relationship is key to continued sales growth.
Many Insurance Agents find the need to talk a lot, as they feel it will demonstrate that they are knowledgeable.
It could actually have the opposite effect if your Agent talks too much.
For example, with Millennials. They are the researchers of our time, so they probably know quite a great deal of the how, why and who of life insurance anyway.
They will ask your Agent questions relating to specific details they are not aware of, so tell your agents to save their talking time for those questions and make sure they know how to deal with questions they don’t necessarily have the answers for.
Even if the Agent is new and unsure, they actually have an advantage in that they are able to relate to their prospects as an outsider. They will relate better to your Agent if they feel like they’re still on their side. They’re not the stereotype “insurance salesman” just yet.
Also, avoid using jargon, it will only make your agent look like they’re hiding something.
When to know to stop talking?
- Distracted. If the prospect seems to be picking up brochures or something else and flicking through them. It’s time to stop talking, they are not listening to you.
- The prospect goes quiet. Either you’re talking too much or you’re talking about something completely irrelevant to them. They have basically switched off.
- Glancing at their watch. This is a key sign that you have gone on too long. Especially if you have only be there for 5-10 minutes. Stop talking and start finding out about your potential customer. Get them talking.
It’s all about timing. Your Agent should be doing 20% of the talking and 80% of the listening. When the agent does talk, it should be in the form of a question or answering a question.
If your Agent makes a promise to the prospect that they will follow up with additional information, make sure that they actually do so. It’s pointless making a successful sales pitch and then never following up. Keep set appointments and don’t be late.
It may sound like a small thing, but it’s, in fact, a pet peeve many clients are annoyed by.
Ensuring a smooth running follow up process within your organization will not only help marketing but also your agents. Here are a few tips to help:
- Timing is key – following up continuously to both hot and warm leads is a must. Implement content strategies to assist with this. Sending informative and personalized messages.
- Have a database – logging each communication with the prospects help to prevent that embarrasing moment of being unaware you have already contact this person. It also helps your Agents to keep additional notes of upcoming special events such as weddings and having a baby. Key milestones for when a person is most likely to consider buying life insurance.
- Systems – ensure systems are in place to help your insurance agents managed their leads. CRM software to lead management Apps to help schedule appointments.
There are many inexpensive tools and apps available which can assist you with following up, it really doesn’t have to be a tedious process. Some of these apps have the functionality of syncing with your mailbox, which allows for an all-in-one solution.
- Insurance prospects are more likely to be wearier when it comes to sales tactics, so it’s best to avoid an approach that will get their guard up.
- Keep things simple – the sales pitch, sales fundamentals and follow up approach.
- The sales approach should display the perfect balance between technology and personal touch.