Though a lot of communication these days is focused on social media platforms, messaging, and email, for insurance agents. Phone calls are still one of the most effective ways to reach customers. While emails, for example, are just text on a screen that your customers can easily ignore. Phone calls allow you to be personal and authentic, and present yourself as an insurance expert, who genuinely wants to help.
With that said, it’s easy to simply call someone and chat on the phone. But when you’re an agent trying to gain or retain clients, there are a number of important things you need to know. That’s because making a great phone call, instead of just a good phone call, can make all the difference when it comes to making a sale.
So, what makes a great phone call? Insurance agents who make great calls are prepared, professional, detailed, and helpful. So, to help you ensure that you are truly making the most of each phone call you make, we’ve put together 5 essential tips, which will give you the best chance to make lasting relationships and close more sales.
1.Research and Prepare
When calling existing or potential clients, it’s important that you have a clear objective in mind. The overall objective will most likely be to eventually make a sale, to set a future appointment, or to retain a customer. But in order to reach this goal, you’re first going to have to do your research. So, you’re prepared when going into each phone call. You’ll need to:
- Know your lead – Before you even say “Hello,” you have to have some knowledge of who the person is. Any information you can find could be valuable. But what’s most important is to find out the problem that the prospect is facing, or what need.
- Know what you are going to talk about – Especially if you are a newer insurance agent, it is always a good idea to have a script, set of questions, or talking points ready to go before calling any leads or customers. When creating your script, make sure it clearly explains who you are, what you do, and what you are offering. Try to be as specific as possible.
- Practice, practice, practice – Repetition is the best way to get good at something, and phone calls are no different. Keeping this in mind, you should practice rehearsing your script or questions in your spare time. So, that you are well versed and able to speak fluently and coherently.
Try practicing with a friend or coworker if possible. It’s important to note that if you’re using a script, you should try not to read it verbatim off the page. This is one of the reasons why practice is so important. Being well versed in your dialogue will increase your confidence as an insurance agent and the prospect’s confidence in you.
2.Make it Personal
One of the most important things that you’ll need to do with each, and every phone call is establish a rapport with your lead or customer. So, while your objective might be to make a sale, that shouldn’t be what you project to your lead. Start by asking them about their day, relaying an anecdote about the area they live in, or anything else that will make them feel comfortable.
To make things more personal, remember also to always address the caller by their first name. So, they feel like they’re talking to a friend. For example, instead of saying “May I speak with Miss Smith,” you should say something like “Hi Susan, how are you doing today?” This technique will make the prospect feel more welcomed and will also make them less likely to come up with a lie about “Susan” not being available.
And finally, use a personable tone when communicating over the phone, avoiding insurance-related jargon. When your lead or customer is speaking, be sure to listen closely to what they are saying and how they are saying it. When you respond, make it known that you are empathetic to their problems. And that you want to do anything in your power to help. The subtle differences in your tone could be the reason why someone either trusts you with their needs, or hangs up the phone on you, so be kind, clear, concise, and always practice active listening.
If you are making phone calls to book future in-person appointments or follow-up calls. Make sure that you do not schedule them too far in advance. When possible, try to schedule these appointments only one to three days in the future. If that is not possible, try to schedule follow-ups no more than a week into the future. People often forget about things that are too far away. Some will purposefully try to schedule a meeting far in advance because they don’t have actual intentions of showing up. This can be very frustrating, since your time is limited and valuable, so it’s best to avoid that situation altogether.
Also pay attention to the day of the week that you’re scheduling follow-ups. In general, it is best to make calls on a Monday to schedule an appointment later in the week. On the other hand, Friday tends to be a bad day to schedule appointments. Since the meeting will have to be next week, and so the chances of a “no show” will go up.
4.Take Notes, Keep Records, and Follow-Up
Remember, your phone calls are meant to move you towards your ultimate objective. So, you’ll need to track your progress with each lead and customer. To do so, you’ll need to:
- Take notes – Make sure you’re taking detailed notes during every phone call, focusing on capturing the most important and relevant information. This practice will help you stay organized and will serve as a reference point if you plan on contacting them again.
- Keep records – It’s also a good idea to include the date of the initial interaction and whether you plan to follow-up with that person in the future or not. In addition, include why the follow-up is needed. Maybe they simply said they couldn’t talk at that time, maybe they didn’t pick up. Or maybe they requested additional information from you. No matter the case, a detailed reason and date will allow you to keep proper track of the opportunity and how you want to approach it going forward.
5.Make Technology Your Friend
There are also several ways to use technology in your favor when it comes to making phone calls. One of the most popular ways to do this in the insurance world is by utilizing customer relationship management systems (CRM). This type of software allows you to keep track of interactions, record crucial information. As well as view any other details relating to a particular client. Having these types of digital notes on where you stand with each customer will help you tailor your approach and increase your chances of success.
Other tools that could help you include various calling softwares that have features like recording, one-button dial, and note-taking abilities. No matter what type of software or technology you decide to integrate into your call routine, what’s most important is that it is helping you improve efficiency and customer service.
Today’s world is fast-paced, and so is the life of an insurance agent. But sometimes you have to slow down and make some good old-fashioned phone calls to keep things personal with your leads and customers. To make the most of every phone call, though, you have to have an in-depth understanding of what you need to do. Like preparing for each phone call and noting each person’s specific needs.
Remember, since you’re talking on the phone instead of texting or emailing, you have an opportunity to really show your leads and customers that you care! And as your phone skills increase, so will your reputation of having stellar customer service. Anyone can make a phone call, but not everyone knows how to do it effectively. So, be precise, focused and organized, and you’ll be on your way to more sales and happy clients.
Being an effective insurance agent is hard work. In an industry that has such a competitive landscape, it’s crucial that you take advantage of all the resources at your disposal. One of those resources is the lead generation services that we provide at Benepath. We offer data leads and inbound phone calls that can bridge the gap between you and interested consumers.
Working With Benepath
All of our leads are guaranteed to be 100% exclusive and produced in real-time. Ensuring that you are the only one working the leads that you purchase. We serve insurance agents with leads for a variety of insurance products. Including individual health, group health, Medicare, life, and commercial insurance. We know that you work hard, and our leads could be exactly what you need to take your sales to the next level. If you’re interested in purchasing leads from us, or simply want to learn more, fill out a form at Benepath.net or give us a call at 888-684-3121.