How to sell insurance over the phone?

This can be hard work and requires perseverance to continue after getting a not-so-desirable response.

You will not be able to close a deal on every call. Some prospects will take a little more work to turn into buyers.

However, with a little know-how and the assistance of modern technology, you can bump up your sales numbers.

11 Tips to Closing the Deal When Selling Insurance Over the Phone

Here are some effective tactics to help you hit your targets.

1. Listen actively and engage your prospects

Every time you call a prospect or current client, listen carefully for new opportunities.

Ask them these questions:

  • ask about their hobbies – for example, they might need motorcycle insurance or boat insurance
  • if they have any children – if they do, it would be beneficial to mention life insurance
  • do they have investment properties – there’s a chance they need liability coverage

By giving them time to talk and asking open-ended questions, you’ll have the opportunity to address their concerns. It will also help in engaging them instead of pitching them for the entirety of the call. Finally, they’ll very likely let you in on some personal information you can use to personalize your approach and connect with them on a deeper level. 

You also want to pay attention to clues about what will affect their purchase decisions. Not all prospects are looking for the lowest price. Some are more concerned with ratings or current technology options.

2. Avoid industry jargon and slang

It’s a turnoff when a salesperson is talking in a manner that the prospect can’t follow them and understand what they’re saying. Save the industry-specific jargon to conversations with your colleagues and speak in terms buyers can understand.

Use professional language and avoid slang when calling a possible client.

If it were an in-person meeting, you would be in business casual attire at the minimum, so it’s important to present yourself with the same decorum over the phone to boost your credibility. People want to buy from experts and confident professionals.

3. Be prepared for the call

Practice your pitch, understand where you stand against competitors, read everything you can get your hands on about sales, and ask more experienced insurance salespeople for advice.

You’re more likely to have a successful call if you know exactly what to say and when to say it.

4. Script your pitch

Have a written sales script of what you need to say to your prospects.

You can change the script around to match the tone of your contact once you’re on the phone, but know your pitch so you can add inflections into your voice and not sound like a monotone recording.

It’s much better to be over-prepared than an under-prepared phone salesperson. 

Also, practice your script a few times before calling your prospect.

5. Establish yourself as an expert

When you’re selling insurance over the phone, it’s crucial to establish credibility and authority. Your potential clients need to know that they’re purchasing from an expert who can provide all the information they need.

When speaking with a potential client over the phone, explain your background, areas of expertise, and credentials. Establishing your expertise will help them trust you more.

Your credibility as an expert particularly applies to selling life insurance. It’s a big decision, so people want to buy from someone they can trust and who will take their best interest into consideration when creating an offer.

6. Build rapport with your prospect

The first step towards establishing trust is building rapport and creating a comfortable environment that allows potential clients to open up, voice all of their concerns, and be sincere about what they need.

Always smile when you’re opening a call because even though your prospects can’t see you, they can hear your smiling voice. As a result, you’ll come off as welcoming and friendly, and your prospects will feel relaxed.

Break the ice with small talk and by asking something along the lines of “How’s your day going?” This will humanize your approach, and your prospects won’t be under the impression that they’re talking to a chatbot.

7. Show them you’re listening

When your prospect is talking, let them know that you’re listening by using so-called verbal nods – I see, ah, right, mhm, etc.

Using the same words, particularly the adjectives your prospects use, will also show them that you carefully listen and understand what they’re saying.

All this will help you show empathy, build rapport with your prospects, and break down the communication barriers that may occur during the phone conversation.

8. Don’t give up

You may be able to sell some insurance policies in one call but be prepared for a second or third call.

Your prospect may want to do some research to compare your rates, they may need to consult with their spouse, or they may not trust you after one call, so it’s important to follow up.

Don’t take it personally, but be persistent. If you get a hard “no,” ask if you can call again at their next renewal date.

9. Being organized is key

Have everything you need to make the sale available at your fingertips. It’s a good idea to open any relevant files you might need before dialing so you’re not fumbling around searching for documents during the call.

Have everything you need in front of you before you pick up the phone. You don’t want to be fumbling around looking for notes while talking to a prospect.

10. Take notes

Consider taking notes during the conversation, as you likely won’t remember everything.

If you can, record the call so you have a record of what was said. That way, you can refer back to the recording if someone asks you a question, and you can refer back to the exact moment in the call when you had the conversation.

11. Position yourself as a trusted advisor

Instead of focusing solely on making a sale, strive to build a relationship with your prospects based on trust and expertise. This approach will help you close deals in the short term and foster long-term client loyalty.

So, how do you do this? 

Implement some of the following tactics:

  • Offer valuable insights. Share industry knowledge, trends, and personalized advice that demonstrates your expertise and commitment to their financial well-being.
  • Educate your prospects. Avoid prioritizing your agenda. The trick is to help prospects understand their insurance options, the benefits of different policies, and how to make informed decisions.
  • Be transparent. Clearly explain the terms and conditions of the insurance policy, answer questions honestly, and address any concerns they may have.
  • Focus on solutions. Tailor your recommendations to their specific needs and financial goals rather than pushing a one-size-fits-all product.
  • Go above and beyond. Offer additional resources or support, such as educational articles, comparison tools, or follow-up consultations.
  • Be available. Make it easy for prospects to reach you if they have questions or need assistance.

By adopting a consultative approach and prioritizing the prospect’s needs, you’ll differentiate yourself from other insurance salespeople and establish yourself as a trusted advisor.

12. Create a backup closing statement

Is your prospect still on the fence? Have a “backup” closing statement at hand.

Don’t forget to ask if it’s okay to call again at their next renewal time or even if you can send them a comparison of quotes.

Sometimes, having a visual instead of just hearing the numbers gives the buyer a chance to understand the value of your services.

Technology for Selling Insurance Over the Phone

Gone are the days of spreadsheets with multiple tabs and columns to track your insurance leads. Modern technology provides many tools that can assist in the sales process to make insurance professionals’ lives easier.

Let’s review a few of the tools every insurance salesperson should be taking advantage of.

  1. VoIP – Allows you to have everything in one place. Calls can be made with a click of your mouse, making sales representatives more productive.
  2. Sales Engagement Software – The VanillaSoft sales engagement platform uses queue-based routing to reduce manual tasks and ensure your sales reps will call the right lead at the right time, every time. Combined with VanillaSoft’s email/text marketing and sales lead tracking, you’ll ensure that your team is handling every lead with maximum efficiency. Plus, with the help of our Logical-branch scripting feature, you can easily adapt to changes in conversations with prospects, ensuring they always sound natural and prepared to handle potential objections while guiding the conversation toward a successful outcome.
  3. Website –  Although this one sounds basic, the truth is that a site with content can be a significant lead generator. Content should be available for each stage of the buyer’s journey to have a higher chance of capturing leads.
  4. Quoting Software – A program that compares quotes across several carriers is needed to provide the best option for your prospects.
  5. Multiple Computer Screens – With more than one screen you’ll have easier access to any programs or files you may need without too much clicking around.

Dealing with Objections

When selling insurance over the phone, you’re likely to hear a few objections repeated by different prospects.

Do you know how to counter these concerns and turn a no into a yes?

Some of the most common objections are “I’m happy with my current provider” or “Why should I change what I have?”

Ask them when the last time was that they shopped around. Changing markets and demographics of the insured can influence rates and should regularly be reviewed.

Many insurance pros will do the work for the initial sale and won’t follow up in the future to see if any changes have occurred that could affect the premium.

Use this as your foot in the door. Provide your quotes and let the prospect make the best decision for them.

Over to you

Using the phone to sell insurance requires intelligence, confidence, professionalism, and a handful of supporting tools.

Set your insurance salespeople up for success with a product like VanillaSoft that combines lead management and telemarketing applications with basic CRM.

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