When you first become an insurance agent, cold calling potential clients can be one of the most difficult parts of the job to get a handle on. Phone sales, especially when calling people who aren’t expecting your call, can be surprisingly stressful, thanks to all the rude people, casual dismissals, and constant skepticism you encounter doing the job.
So, how can new insurance agents learn to master the art of the cold call? Here’s five tips for improving your telemarketing game that every insurance agent can use.
No Matter What, Keep Dialing
More than anything, cold calling is about volume. The more people you call, the more potential clients you talk to, and the more potential for making a sale increases. It’s easy to get discouraged after dealing with a particularly abrasive contact or after several hours or days straight of nothing but hang ups and no-thank-yous, but putting down the phone or slowing down your call rate to minimize the amount of rejections you have to face that day doesn’t help.
The longer you take between calls, the longer you start to dwell on the rejections and start questioning your ability or the product, which only leads to you being more tentative and less aggressive on the phone, which in turn leads to more rejections. When you feel like you’ve hit a slump, the only way to get out of it is to keep dialing until you get out of it.
Believe in What You’re Selling
“Smile and dial” is an old adage in phone sales that is still used to this day, and there’s a reason for it: The person on the other end of a call can hear how you feel about what you’re selling just through the tone of your voice. If a cold caller doesn’t have any enthusiasm for what they’re selling, the person they’re pitching to won’t have any enthusiasm for it either. When it comes to insurance phone sales, positivity sells. The art of the pitch is in the tone of an insurance agent’s voice as much as it is in the actual words they say. In other words, the only way to get potential clients to believe the product you’re selling is for you to sound like you believe it yourself.
Stick to the Script
When a new insurance agent first starts cold calling, they’re usually provided with a script to use on the phone, or at least a list of talking points to hit when speaking with potential clients. While it may feel unnatural at first to sell a product by reading pre-packaged lines that aren’t your own words, telemarketing scripts exist for a reason: they work. Phone sales is a profession that has existed for a long time, and in that time the successful telemarketers have learned the best words to use to build interest in their products and keep people on the phone.
If you’re having trouble sticking to the script, stop looking at it as someone else’s words being put in your mouth. Instead, think of it as the collected wisdom of every insurance agent who came before you, which will help you find the same success that they have.
Take the time before you start calling to familiarize yourself with the script, making the lines sound natural, easy, and conversational. Nobody likes talking to robots, and if you sound robotic on the phone your contacts are less likely to be willing to have a conversation.
One of the biggest mistakes a new insurance agent makes is failure to prepare for a long day on the phones. Before you start cold calling, it’s important to surround yourself with the essentials and take care of yourself throughout your shift.
- Bottled water is an absolute must. Talking all day can be exhausting for the voice, so make sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water as you work.
- Snacking while you work the phones is a bad idea, but bringing healthy snacks or sack lunches to eat during short breaks from calling can help keep your energy and positivity up.
- Watch your posture. If you’re prone to hunching over your workspace, adjust your monitor and chair for the optimal upright position in order to avoid back pain. Make sure to move around and stretch on your breaks.
Trust Your Instincts
Anyone who has worked in insurance phone sales knows that sometimes chatty clients can be your best clients. While it’s important to keep your call rate up and get through as many contacts as possible during your time on the phones, it’s also imperative to trust your instincts and give potential clients space to talk. You should always lead the conversation back toward the talking points in your script, but don’t be rude or interrupt a contact while they’re speaking in order to do so.
Part of the job is differentiating between conversations which will yield sales and those which won’t. Those skills can only be honed over time, but treating each contact like there’s a human being on the other end of the line and listening even when you get shut down will get you a long way. As you move quickly through your contacts, make the effort to personally invest in each call and you’ll see the positive impact in your sales numbers.
Before you can start cold calling as an insurance agent, you need to get licensed! Contact America’s Professor today about our online insurance licensing courses at 800-870-3130.
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