As an insurance sales professional, you serve both the customer and the policy provider by bringing them together, uniting a prospect with a need with a company that can fill that need to the benefit of both parties. While each type of insurance has its own nuances and sales strategies, these universal tips will help you sell any kind of policy.
Concentrate your valuable time and energy on pre-qualified leads -- those who have an identifiable need to buy, will buy now, and have the means to pay. Develop qualifying questions that filter out unlikely prospects and use them early in your sales call.
The more in-depth research you can assemble, the better you'll evaluate and prioritize leads. Doing research yourself consumes valuable sales time, so consider purchasing quality leads from an established provider. The majority of insurance purchasers now go online for information first, and providers connect you instantly with the most actionable leads, allowing you to use filters to narrow your search.
To eliminating unpromising prospects, find out if they are they ready to buy now. Try asking: "Are you happy with your current coverage, service and cost?" Implicit in this question is whether or not the prospect is already covered -- if not, determine if a financial barrier exists. Only then use your open-ended questions to identify fears, needs or problems, offering your product to solve them.
Track and organize prospects using a lead-management system to save detailed notes. This makes it easy to pick up conversations where they left off and schedule follow-ups as needed. Keep up with changes in existing clients' needs, for possible upselling or new sales. Keep a calendar of clients' personal events and contact them around the holidays -- when many of us have needs in common and it's natural to bring them up. Be sure this information is backed up, and use the latest antivirus software to protect it.
Using the phone to contact prospects saves time, but you lose visual, non-verbal cues that can help you tune your pitch. Avoid cutting the customer off -- wait a few seconds after they finish speaking to respond. Schedule uninterrupted sales call time daily. It can be helpful to reach out to leads at odd times, early and late in the day when prospects are likely to be free to converse. Certain holidays are an excellent time to call, when many people are more relaxed and approachable, but be sensitive.
Use voice mail strategically, and keep it short. Provide a time-sensitive reason to return your call now. Leave useful information, as a relationship-builder, rather than the expected sales pitch.
Face to face meetings with highly promising clients may be worth spending some time on the road. Try asking prospective clients to come to your home office or a nearby location. Clients who have already invested time to come to you, or to gather required documents, are ultimately more likely to buy. When emailing prospective clients, avoid excessive detail that might allow recipients to make a decision without your input. Bullet-point important information, such steps they should take to start the purchasing process.
If you have a trusted referral, overcome initial disinterest by mentioning them early. Open with an informed compliment such as "I understand that you've just moved into our lovely neighborhood. I'm calling to...," presenting yourself as a useful, knowledgeable advisor. Keep your tone friendly, not desperate, and smile -- it'll come through in your voice. Assuage their annoyance by specifically stating you're contacting them briefly, for example "I'm calling local residents here in town for a brief insurance checkup ..."
If rejected by a valuable prospect, approach again another day, or at a key time when your prospect might be buying a house, getting married, or going through other major life events or changes.
Marketing And Lead Generation
Referrals from existing happy customers, family and qualified leads purchased from Internet lead providers are both cost-effective lead sources. Build your personal brand by blogging, answering questions on consumer forums or answer services such as Yahoo Answers, keeping your LinkedIn profile updated, and building a business Facebook page. Request online reviews on relevant sites and testimonials for your website or marketing emails. Although local ads and community visibility are still great, traditional media's effectiveness is waning, so always examine your return on investment when pursuing any marketing strategy.
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