When it comes to using internet leads, there is a distinct set of tasks associated with the lead when you receive it. One of those tasks will be choosing how to approach the prospect on the phone. Literally, we must choose some words to say that get us to the desired outcome. When it comes to “things to say” we either have things to say that work or we have things to say that are really just words. It can be like driving at night without the headlights on; we are driving, yes, but a critical element is missing – and that will affect the outcome. It will also become tedious, unproductive, and demoralizing.
Over years of engaging prospects who appear in my inbox, it seems that there are a number of “flavors” when it comes to what kinds of calls we engage in. What I mean is that depending on who we are dealing with, we select from a number of approaches when we want to move the call along, and those approaches tend to repeat every now and then. This is because the type of prospect we encounter also repeats every now and then. This lets us practice on the “type of prospect” so that we get smarter as we go from the one yesterday to the one today. Put short, we learn as we go. Take these three approaches that come up often enough when the potential buyer picks up the phone.
1) Sell the approval.
Selling the approval means that you would aim to sell the outcome of underwriting. Not the policy features, your service level, the cost of coverage, the carrier’s reputation, or any of those things. Not that those things aren’t important. However, we can get wrapped up in one or more of those and never actually ask that the prospect tune in on what we want. We want them to apply with us. What happens when they apply? They eventually will be approved if they were going to be at all. And the best way to get the approval to happen is to sell the approval. Example: “Dave (the prospect), based on what you just shared with me, I can see that you are likely a preferred risk – and possibly a preferred plus risk. One of those is yours. The best way to know the exact cost of your coverage is to let the approval process happen so that we can know your actual rate class. Once you know that, you will know the cost of your coverage to the penny. From there, you may adjust the face amount to match your budget. So, let’s get you approved!”
* The key to this approach is that you are not asking the prospect to accept your guess of what the approval will be. They want to know the exact cost, right? Well, so do you, and what is the one certain way to discover what the cost is? Get them approved! If they buy the suggestion to get approved to know the actual cost, then they are also buying the process right up to the end, where they pay for the policy. And, at the same time, you left an “out” when you mentioned that the cost could be adjusted downward on approval. This last bit leaves room so that the cost is determined by the buyer, ultimately.
2) Cut to the chase (with impaired risk).
Cutting to the chase means that we often cannot nail down the eventual cost or rate class. Dave has 3 maladies, one is lower back pain, and he has HBP which is not yet under control for about 2 years. Then, there are 6 medications, and Hepatitis B. Since you can’t nail down the rate class on the phone (which means you cannot nail down the cost, either), you punt with this: “Dave, the best way to know what the final outcome will be is to actually avoid quoting a specific number and simply find the right carrier for you given the set of conditions that you mentioned, submit an application with no money, apply for more than you actually may accept, get the result, and then you will know your actual rate class and cost. From there, you may lower the face amount to account for any ratings. Done this way, we get all the info that you want (cost…) but you will only pay what you can afford to pay.”
* The key to this approach is that you are being as factual as you can be when you admit that you don’t know what the outcome will be. How can you be, without blood and urine and medical records? Add to that the fact that you would rather get to the truth in a credible way rather than guess your way to it. Sound familiar? Fact is, with this much varied impairment, (complete with pain and unstabilized HBP for 2 years) it is nearly impossible to guess what the outcome will be (plus the effects of the stuff that they may not be telling you about). One thing is certain: this one will be rated! How do we get to the numbers that are at the heart of the deal? Cut to the chase and get the carrier to tell you the rest of the story, which means skipping to the approval. Literally, you might say this: “Dave, there is no way to accurately know the cost of your coverage. Anyone who tells you that they know how much it will cost – at this stage – is guessing. Here is how we can avoid that. Let’s get you approved.” For those of you who are familiar with informal inquiries, yes, that will work, too. The difference is that with this approach, we are not getting back to the prospect after consulting with carriers and waiting days for the 4 or 5 carriers to get back to us. We are moving forward with the application without the “getting back to you” part.
3) Get off the page; say things that you know, that the prospect can’t possibly know. Be the advisor.
Getting off the page means that you sometimes benefit when you say things that are not published, but which are accurate, informative, and help establish you as an advisor
who educates instead of just sells. Example: Jesse thinks the price is the price and that the price shows on the quote. He does not realize that carrier A will ding him severely
for that marijuana in his system (Sorry, Jesse!). He has no idea that carrier B will see it more leniently. So, while the quote at preferred rates shows carrier A is less expensive, in the final accounting he will not fare well with that carrier, but he will with carrier B. He cannot know this, since he does not peer into the deeper recesses of carrier’s treatment of marijuana usage. But you do, and you do it every day. So be the advisor and educate. Capture interest. Cause them to listen to you. Cause them to buy from you, and that is