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eINDEPENDENT 09/16/2019

Opening the call when selling life insurance

Plenty of life insurance agents choose telesales as their career path, and for good reason. By connecting with customers over the phone instead of face-to-face, you can talk with more people each day while skipping the headaches of driving around to meetings. Phone sales also allow you to reach a much broader network – as long as you’re licensed in each state, you can talk to someone in Michigan and then dial a potential customer in California. Plus, who doesn’t love the idea of working from anywhere?

That said, establishing rapport with a customer over the phone does take practice. It’s important to create that rapport as soon as possible to help your customers feel comfortable and minimize objections. Here are some pointers for getting each call started on the right foot.

DO:

Get To Know the Customer First

Finding common ground with each customer is key for a successful call. Before diving into the application, take time getting to know them and their circumstances. If they recently welcomed a new baby, for example, you could mention that your own kid just started kindergarten.

To get the conversation started, ask what got them thinking about life insurance. Getting to the intention behind the call can not only motivate your customer to buy, but also help you match each person with the right coverage.

Find Ways To Address Objections

With so many life insurance options, there’s a perfect policy out there for almost everyone – but your customers might not know that. Objections are part of the job, and the trick is focusing on meeting the customer’s needs.

One objection you’ll probably hear right off the bat is “I’m not interested,” which usually means you’ve caught someone at a bad time or they’re not in the right frame of mind to talk life insurance. Empathy can go a long way here, and by focusing on building a rapport, you can often find a way to turn a “no” into a “yes.” Using the LAER method can help defuse customer concerns.

Stay Positive

Bad calls are bound to happen in a high-volume call environment, and it’s easy to get discouraged. If you just spent an hour on the phone with someone who didn’t buy, try not to carry those bad experiences with you into other calls. Take a deep breath and try again.

DON’T:

Call Without Permission First

If you’re using an auto-dialer or sending pre-recorded messages to cell phones, you’re required by law to have express written consent to contact the customer. Before you call, make sure you have a token to verify consent for each lead. The good news? This often means a better chance of making a sale, since these are people who specifically requested information about life insurance.

Jump Right Into Health Questions

Cutting to the chase too quickly can turn off potential customers. That’s why it’s crucial to establish rapport first to show the customer that you see them as a person, not just a commission. Don’t lead with personal health questions like “Do you smoke?” until you’ve spent time addressing their questions and they’re ready to move forward with the application.

Leave a Voicemail – If You Can Help It

Know how returning calls often falls to the bottom of your list? The same may be true for your customers. Try calling back at various times of day, based on the hours allowed by the state’s telemarketing laws. If you’ve already tried a few times and still haven’t gotten them on the phone, then you can leave a voicemail. To increase your chances of a callback, be specific about the reason for your call, whether it’s “I have your life insurance rates” or “Your application is ready to review.”

When you leave a voicemail, don’t give them an 800 number to call back, since this can seem impersonal and overly salesy. Providing a direct work line or even a cell number can help you establish that personal connection before you even begin the conversation.

Creating Connections That Last

While phone sales are convenient for both customers and agents, it does mean working a little harder to make up for the lack of a face-to-face connection. A good sales call combines empathy with personalized guidance, helping you close more business while helping your customers protect what matters most.

Learn more about partnering with eIndependent and how we can help grow your independent life insurance business.

At eFinancial, our goal is to make life insurance simple, affordable, and understandable for everyday families. This content is intended for educational purposes only. Each post is carefully fact-checked, reviewed and updated regularly to ensure the information is as relevant as possible.