Cold Calling Tips For Agents

Selling insurance is a competitive business. Even if you have the most comprehensive policies with the best prices, it won’t matter if you don’t master the art of cold calling and selling your plans. Cold calling requires determination, energy, and a lot of preparation. Calling people who are not expecting to hear from you can be stressful and overwhelming. If it isn’t done right, your calls could end with a hang up. To avoid rejection, we have some tips to help you get through cold calling, as well a sample script you can use to start making successful calls.

Plan Ahead

caucasian woman writing on a whiteboard

Before hopping on a call, make sure that you are ready and know what you’re going to say and ask. Don’t talk about yourself; instead, focus all of your questions on your client. You want to learn as much about them as possible. The best way to do this is by planning all of your questions in advance.

Be Personable

Start your phone calls feeling optimistic and, once you get a potential customer on the line, be open, happy, and personable. After all, your first impression is everything!

Never Ever Ask “Did I Catch You At A Bad Time?”

African American man in a suit sitting outside smiling on the phone while typing on his laptop
Be personable, state your full name and the company you work for so you are in control of the phone call.

If you ask “Did I catch you at a bad time?” odds are the potential customer will say yes and ask you to call back at a later time, with no intentions of ever speaking to you again. You are opening the conversation with a way out for them, so avoid asking this question at all costs.

State Your Full Name & Company

Remain in control of the conversation by stating your full name and the name of your company first. If you leave it to your customer  to ask “Who is this?” or ”What company are you with?” then you are put on the defensive. You always want to be the one that is asking the questions and getting to know them. In general, the person who is asking the question is the one who controls the conversation.

Sell The Meeting, Not The Product

After stating your name and the company you work for, state the reason for your phone call. Cold calling is not about trying to sell the product right off the bat; you don’t want to overwhelm your prospect during the first conversation. It is more about getting to the next step of setting up a time to speak again. They did inquire online about insurance, so your job is to find out what their needs are, and see if you can schedule a meeting. Once you have a meeting set, the rest is a piece of cake.

Brush It Off hands at a desk with both pointer fingers touching the thumbs.

There are going to be times that you are going to have to deal with rejection, or with people being flat out rude. Don’t let it get to you; you have to learn to just brush it off and move on. If you get told off during a phone call, you have to remain pleasant, because if you’re rude then you’ll end up with a bad reputation. If you get denied, just get on another call and focus on the next lead.

Sample Script 

The following is an example of a script that you can use to help you schedule a meeting, and possibly make a sale:

“Hello [Prospect Name]. My name is [Your Name] and I am calling from [Agency Name].The reason I’m calling is because I see that you’re interested in comparing insurance plans and quotes. I know that having the right insurance coverage is a top priority for you. I would like to review your current coverage and compare quotes in your area for free, so we can see if we can get you a great plan with more benefits at a great price. I’m offering this service for free – all I need is a little bit of  your time. I suggest we have a 15 minute meeting so I can assess your needs and discuss your insurance options. Do you have your calendar handy?”

Voicemail Tips To Get A Call Back

Trying to connect with prospective clients over the phone can be frustrating. About 80% of the calls you make will go to voicemail, and you’ll spend about 15% of your time leaving messages. Unfortunately, as an agent, there is no way to avoid this method of communication. While you might question whether it is worth leaving a voicemail or if you’ll even get a response, there are ways to make cold sale voicemail messages work in your favor. If done correctly, your voicemail will lead to a call back – you just need to follow these simple rules. 

voicemail icon with messages on a smartphone
Research shows that each time you leave a message, the chances of getting a call-back increase about 10%.

Leaving Multiple Messages

According to RingLead’s Donato Diorio, research has shown that each time you leave a message, the chances of getting a call-back increase about 10%. The first voicemail is likely to get an 11% call-back rate, the second voicemail is likely to get a 22% call-back rate, and the third voicemail is likely to get a 33% call-back rate. 

In order to justify multiple calls, you can first leave a voicemail including the reason for your call and the bulk of the information that you want to get across. Then shortly after, you can call again and leave another voicemail that is 10 seconds or less in which you quickly mention an important detail that you forgot to mention in the first call.

Keep It Short & Sweet

One of the best and simplest ways to get a call back is to stick to a 10-20 second time limit for your messages, if at all possible. If your voicemail is too long, the recipient of your call  is less likely to listen to the whole thing. Do not go into the nitty-gritty details of the discussion you want to have with them, save that for when you actually speak to them. Make sure to leave just enough information to let them know the nature of the call. 

Be Personable & Watch Your Tonecaucasian man with a cell phone to his ear while smiling

To make your voicemail seem more personal, make sure to use the person’s name when speaking. Be mindful of your tone and speak as if the prospect was right in front of you –  don’t be overly enthusiastic but also don’t be too monotone. Speak in a tone that is confident, yet friendly and casual. If you sound like a salesman, then your voicemail will be deleted before they even hear the full message.

State Your Name & Number Twice

It’s always annoying to have to listen to a voicemail over and over again to catch the name or number that is being left. Speak slowly and make sure you clearly state your contact information at the beginning and the end of the voicemail. It is especially important to state your phone number at the beginning of the voicemail, just in case they do not listen to the entire message. 

urgent written in red with a rectangle box around it

Create A Sense of Urgency

Create a sense of urgency when leaving a voicemail so that the person feels the need to call back as soon as they can. Mention a time frame when you ask them to follow up. Instead of saying something like, “call me back when you get the chance,” ask them to call you back by a specific date or time. Create a sense of urgency of providing a discount or great deal if they sign up by a certain date. 

Call At The End Of The Day

Prospective customers will most likely be busy during the day with work, errands, or other distractions. They will be less likely to listen to any voicemails that sound like sales calls. The morning is probably the worst time to leave a voicemail, instead try calling at the end of the day when they have more time to listen and possibly reply back. In fact, studies show that the best time to call is Wednesday or Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

You might think that leaving endless voicemails is not worth your time, but if you follow these simple tips and leave short, friendly messages that offer help and value, then you will be more likely to get a call-back. The more quality voicemails you leave, the more return calls you will get, and the more sales you can make. 


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