So many insurance agents would like to know how to sell insurance over the phone. It’s not rocket science, but it always helps to have a few tips!
When you’re selling insurance over the phone, be it home insurance, life insurance, private medical insurance or any other kind of insurance, it’s always best to keep a few things in mind.
Getting ready to start
- Dress for work, not for play
- Never, ever, use slang on the phone
- Don’t use insurance jargon
The art of selling insurance over the phone
- Know how to approach your sales leads
- Use a sales script when selling insurance
- Try allowing your prospect to speak…
- Features are useless unless they’re a benefit!!
- Price is NOT everything to everybody!
- Don’t be shy about asking for the business
- Reduce Cancellations – Be a human not a robot
How to get even better success selling insurance!
- Listen to your own call recordings
- The power of quick reference cards
- Know your competitors
As you read through this, you’ll notice we believe heavily in structure but also being a genuine human. We’ll be giving you tips on how to sell insurance as a human not an unfeeling robot…
When you sell, you are guiding your customer towards a solution that is best for them. If at any point you feel there is no advantage for the prospect to buy your product, tell them!
There is nothing wrong with being honest, it’s how you build a good solid reputation!
Getting Ready to Start Selling Insurance
Just a few simple things to bear in mind before you get started on our how to sell insurance over the phone tips. Some may seem small and sometimes obvious but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded about them.
1. Dress for work, not for play!
I already hear you yawning and asking what’s the point when nobody can see you…
It might be old school to wear professional clothes when selling insurance, but it all comes down to your mind set. Wearing jeans and a t-shirt symbolises leisure time so part of your mind is going to be in that ‘leisure’ mode.
You need the whole of your mind to be in the ‘money making’ mode, you’ve got sales to make and money to be earned!
Always make sure that you’re wearing your ‘work clothes’ when selling insurance over the phone. This can be formal business attire, your company uniform or smart casual clothes you ONLY wear for work.
When you put these on, you’re in work mode. When you take them off, you’re in casual mode (maybe drinking a beer or having a glass of wine because you’ve just finished a successful day selling lots of insurance policies!)
2. Never, ever, use slang on the phone
It’s tempting to try and connect personally with your prospect by using slang they may be using with you.
It’s the old sales trick of mirroring your customer to get a closer connection with them but don’t do it!
‘Ok mate, get yourself a cuppa and then I’ll whiz through this insurance stuff. I’m sure you’ll be well chuffed with it!’
So many times, this can go wrong and leave your prospect with a low opinion of you. (You can give the above a try if you want…. 😊)
Remember, you are trying to prove to them that you are a professional insurance agent and have their best interests at heart. Calling them ‘mate’ during the call isn’t going to crack it!
Another problem with doing this is having to switch your style on every call you are making. Just because one prospect seems ok with you doing it doesn’t mean the next one will. It’s not how to sell insurance the best way.
3. Don’t use insurance jargon
Whenever you’re on a call to somebody you should always be using simple language. When you use insurance jargon, you may feel that it makes you sound knowledgeable and professional, but you need to think of your prospect.
If your prospect doesn’t understand the insurance terminology you use, they’ll become confused. They may even feel embarrassed that they don’t fully understand what you’re talking about. This isn’t going to help you sell a new insurance policy!
Take care in explaining things in language everybody will understand. You could describe something and then finish by saying ‘we call this ………‘ so you can refer to the term moving forwards on the call.
This approach shows that you’re interested in the person you’re talking to because you care about whether they understand or not. It’s the right thing to do for how to sell insurance!
The art of selling insurance over the phone
Now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of how to sell insurance over the phone. Little things that make a big difference and make sense!
1. Know how to approach your insurance sales leads
(We sell insurance sales leads so this is quite an important one for us. We want you to be making lots and lots of insurance sales from our leads!)
Sales leads come in all types of shapes and sizes, so you need to have the right approach for each type. Some have avidly been looking for a new insurance policy online and filled in a form expecting you to contact them.
Others are profiled leads where the consumer has answered some questions normally on an online questionnaire or during a telephone questionnaire. These questions would have been designed in such a way to identify whether a consumer is likely to benefit from a quote for insurance or not.
The main thing is to understand that one type of sales lead is expecting you to call them and the other type isn’t. This means you need to have different approaches!
Sometimes leads get automatically blamed for not converting when in reality there needs to be more thought put in about how to sell insurance using those particular leads. How to approach them…
[Article coming – How to approach your insurance sales leads]
2. Use a sales script when selling insurance
Boring, boring, boring!!!
Why on earth would anybody want or need an insurance sales script!!!
Yes, having a sales script can seem tedious and feel like it is stifling your personality, but it gives you structure which is needed when selling insurance over the phone.
You need structure to be successful!
It will allow you to control the flow of your conversation. It creates the same questions in the same places all the time. They say knowledge is power, so if you already know you’re likely to get a question at a certain place in your sales flow, welcome it!
We all know that when selling, if you’re being asked questions, it means you have involvement from the prospect and you’re creating interest. Interest leads to sales!
You don’t have to sit there reading the sales script word for word, but you should always follow its structure. Look upon it as your road map, something familiar that you can trust to bring you results.
It’s how to sell insurance the easy way!
Make sure you do NOT, keep changing things trying to eliminate questions ever happening. This is a terrible thing to do. Don’t fear questions, if you’re following the script, you already know that you have allowed the possibility of a question at that part of the sales flow, so it’s what you’re expecting.
Think of your sales script as your best friend, your get out of jail card.
We all end up forgetting the script and moving towards a free flow kind of selling which is fine but when we become overconfident, we tend to cut corners.
When this happens and your sales go down, just grab that friendly script and let the sales start rolling in again!
3. Try allowing your prospect to speak…
Selling over the telephone is all about conversation. A conversation only exists when more than one person is allowed to speak.
So many salespeople are in such a rush to tell the prospect about everything that they forget to stop and breathe. They have no idea what the prospect is interested in as they don’t give them a chance to comment on anything, it’s just a rush to get to the point where they can ask for the business.
This is exhausting!
The prospect feels overwhelmed with information, has no clarity on anything because they haven’t had a chance to ask any questions and you have no idea what they may be interested in…
Then you get that kick in the teeth when you ask for the sale – ‘Let me think about it‘
You have no idea what they want to think about because you didn’t give them a chance to say anything to you about the insurance quote.
You’re in the dark because you didn’t let your prospect turn on the light!
You have little to no rapport with them because you didn’t allow them to build rapport with you.
You have no mini closes that you can revert back to because you were in such a hurry to download everything you have, that you forgot to find out what interested them about the insurance policy you were talking about…
Take a breather and let your prospect speak!
Some salespeople seem to think that if they’re not talking, they’re not selling… This is crazy!
Chill out, have a conversation, show interest, make a friend!
4. Features are useless unless they’re a benefit!!
Most products have lots of features but NOT all of those features are a benefit to your prospect. It’s your job to work out which features of the insurance policy are benefits to your prospect and how they benefit them.
Don’t fall into the trap of picking your favourite features and assuming that they’ll be everybody else’s favourite features. Remember, everybody is different!
Try grouping features together and including a popular feature in each group so each grouping you talk about is likely to have something the prospect will benefit from. If you get positive feedback, try and work out which feature your prospect likes and how it benefits them.
This is great information for when you try to close the sale because at that point you should only be speaking about the things you already know your prospect finds as a benefit.
You’ve basically made them a bespoke insurance policy based on their likes, not their dislikes.
5. Selling Price is NOT everything to everybody!
Even though you may be able to offer the lowest prices, you also have to remember that your prospect is buying a product. A £5 per month saving against what they are already paying, is a saving but, is it worth it?
Yes, you can dress it up to being £60 per year or throw in an alternative asking them if they’d rather pay £500 per year or £440 per year but, it’s still just £5 per month. What can you buy for £5 nowadays?
You need to do better; you need to offer savings AND benefits!
- What does this insurance policy have that the other one doesn’t?
- Does this insurance company have good feedback on review sites etc?
- How easy is it to claim with this insurance company?
- What is their customer service like? Is it 24/7? Is it in the UK?
- Does this insurance policy specialise in something relevant to the prospect?
You need to dig deeper!
Find a reason why the insurance policy you are offering is a good fit for the prospect.
If you can do this, you’ll also be able to justify asking a prospect to spend a little more if your insurance policy is more expensive.
Affordability is important to people but getting the right product tailored to their needs is more important!
6. Don’t be shy about asking for the business
So many salespeople find asking for the sale the most difficult thing in the world. It’s rare for a prospect to suddenly say ‘go on then, let’s do it!’.
It does happen, but unfortunately not enough.
If you’ve done everything right, you’ve quoted a price which is reasonable and you’ve backed it up with some decent benefits personal to the prospect, you should assume the prospect is good to buy and move forwards.
You need to let them know what you’re about to do, but don’t make a big deal about it.
‘Ok Sam, everything seems to be good your end and my end too so I’m just going to get a bit more information from you so I can start the process of setting up your new policy. Can you confirm it’s going in your name? Is it just Sam Blank or do you have a middle name as well?’
You just need to get started!
If the prospect asks you what you’re doing, tell them in very straight forward words that you are signing them up, setting up the policy etc… Do NOT hide or try and bamboozle them.
Here’s the thing, most of us don’t like making Yes or No decisions out loud but we don’t mind being led forwards to something that is going to benefit us. Yes, it’s a little strange but so true.
When you’re selling insurance over the phone, don’t be scared of pushing forwards with the new policy.
Your prospect (soon to be new customer) already knows where the call is leading so it isn’t going to be a complete surprise to them.
7. Reduce Cancellations – Be a human, not a robot!
Before you finish the call, you need to make sure the customer isn’t going to suddenly cancel.
Ask yourself these 2 simple questions:
- Will my customer remember why this insurance policy is right for them?
- Will my customer remember me?
Firstly, you should very briefly remind your customer of the benefits they showed the most interest in about their new insurance policy.
Then you need to make sure you’ve personally connected with them, so they remember you. This needs to be sincere.
During your conversation there is nearly always something you both would have connected on. An upcoming holiday, family, area of the country, hobby, etc….
Now it’s time to remind them of that personal connection so they remember they bought from a genuine person.
‘Before I go, I want to wish you the very best for your holiday in Spain. I’m really quite jealous!’
‘Before I go, I wanted to thank you for explaining about ……………., I never knew that before’
Successful insurance agents are genuinely interested in people, so now it’s time to give your sales pitch the human touch.
How to get even better at Selling Insurance over the Phone!
Our tips for how to sell insurance over the phone wouldn’t be complete without this section!
Being able to quietly sit down and analyse yourself is the key to success. Many people never take the time to do this but if you want to be truly successful, it’s a must!
1. Listen to your own call recordings
It’s amazing how many people don’t do this, but it is probably the very best tool you have for becoming a sales rock star!
If you’re selling over the phone, it nearly always means you will be recording your calls as well. If not, I suggest you get it set up as having recordings is an excellent tool to learn from.
When you listen to one of your sales calls, you’ll be able to identify when you should be talking slower, leaving pauses, using open questions or closed questions but most importantly, you can hear the prospect’s reactions.
Theses reactions are your road map to what is, and isn’t working within your sales flow. Where interest is peaked and where you’re rambling on about something and losing the prospect’s interest.
We’ve all seen sporting professionals watching how they’ve performed over and over on TV so they can identify areas to improve on. This is the same thing.
It allows you to understand what reaction to expect for each action you take.
This is an amazing tool, and EVERYBODY should use it!
2. The power of quick reference cards
Research your own product and build some cheat sheets or quick reference cards. Remember to think of everything from a customer’s point of view.
When you have these notes to hand during a sales call, make sure you refer to them. You can even tell the customer that you’re referring to your notes. This makes you sound more human because we can’t all remember everything.
‘That’s a good question, let me just check my notes. It says here that…………………’
It can also sound more authoritative if you read from notes every so often. You can’t be doing it throughout your sales call, but a couple of times is a nice mix.
3. Understand your competition
It’s also worthwhile building some quick reference cards about your competitors and how they compare to your product. Then if you’re on a sales call selling and a prospect refers to something they have with their current provider; you’ll be able to easily compare and it won’t be a surprise to you.
When it comes to comparing against a prospect’s current insurance provider, you must be careful.
Never, ever, bad mouth a competitor even if the prospect is not happy with them.
Always stay natural to positive about them. Remember, at some point the prospect has made a decision to buy their insurance policy so you don’t want to make it sound like they made a bad decision.
We hope this helps you answer the question of ‘How to sell insurance over the phone’. There’s still lots to learn but we feel these are pretty good place to start!
Axowa is a lead generation and marketing company with a deep understanding of the full sales cycle. We work with many clients helping them find the right insurance sales leads for them.
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Feel free to contact us if you’d like a chat about how we may be able to increase your sales!
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