Selling Insurance Over The Phone: What You Need And Tips To Make It Successful

Whether you’re an insurance broker or producer, you can’t ignore the fact that calling prospects to sell insurance is both effective and efficient. In fact,

Moreover, when it comes to selling insurance, nothing can replace the human connection needed to show the value of the product. And calls help you establish that connection at scale.

But selling insurance over the phone doesn’t just involve picking up the phone, dialing a number, and pitching to prospects. 

There are many more elements that you need to be mindful of to make a call successful. This post will touch base on all those elements to help you make successful insurance sales calls. 

What do you need to sell insurance over the phone effectively?

Before you start making calls, let’s take a look at what you need at your disposal to start selling insurance over the phone. I’m dividing these requirements into two major categories to help you prioritize what to invest in, based on your budget:

  1. Must-haves 
  2. Good to have

Let’s take a look at what each category comprises. 

Must-haves for selling insurance over the phone.

These are the things and resources that are non-negotiable. For insurance sales, these include:  

CRM 

A CRM serves as the central depository for your data. 

You may procure prospect/lead data from multiple sources like marketing campaigns or purchased lists. 

But, this whole reserve of data won’t do you much good if you can’t 

  • Organize your data with relevant identifiers. 
  • Filter out what you need for a particular interaction. 
  • Import or export data from third-party applications (like your calling software).

A CRM makes these tasks a breeze, that too without demanding any significant technical expertise. All of this data can be stored in your CRM and used in any way needed. 

Calling software 

If you’re going to sell insurance over the phone, a phone is quite an obvious requirement. But a normal phone won’t significantly reduce efforts or make your process efficient. 

What you need is a comprehensive call center software that: 

  • Provides multiple auto dialer options, including a TCPA compliant dialer, allowing you to control the calling speed, which helps you save time and makes you more productive. 
  • Displays a calling script on the dashboard for your reference. It should also allow you to take notes during the call. 
  • Seamlessly syncs with your CRM, thereby allowing you to easily import the data you need for a call and export new data that you procured over the call. 
  • Provides you with a comprehensive report with various metrics that help you analyze how the calls went and what needs to be improved. 
  • Allows you to schedule your campaign, so you don’t accidentally make calls outside of the calling hour limits set by the TCPA to maintain calling compliance

Quoting software

This is especially beneficial for insurance brokers trying to sell insurance over the phone. 

Quoting software allows you to compare prices from different carriers and suggest the best fit for your prospect. 

The software helps you save time as you don’t have to manually go through each carrier’s website to know about their plans. Imagine the time your prospect would have to hold while you do this. So it improves your customer service too. 

If you don’t currently use quoting software, you can look into Quotit and Ninja Quoter as options. 

Calling script

Whether you’re an experienced caller or a fresher, a calling script is a handy resource that guides your conversation. 

An insurance cold call script ensures that you:

  • Don’t miss out on key details during the conversation. These could be questions you have to ask the prospect or details about the product you’re pitching. 
  • Have good comebacks for common objections, so the conversation doesn’t end prematurely. 
  • Are aware of how to lead the conversation from the opening to the final pitch. 

Field underwriting guides or questionnaires 

This is exclusive for health insurance and life insurance sellers. The insurance companies themselves generally provide these guidelines.

These guidelines help you assess the prospect’s insurability by gathering critical information. Generally, this includes details of:

  • Specific diseases and when they were contracted.
  • Family history of diseases and hereditary conditions.
  • Current and past occupation, etc. 

These guidelines help you draft your script with all the essential questions you need to assess the prospect’s risk of being insured. 

Good to have for selling insurance over the phone

These are the things that will be an added advantage. However, they are not non-negotiable for selling insurance over the phone. 

Multiple computer screens 

Insurance sellers often have to navigate through applications like the calling tool, the quoting software, or sometimes the CRM during the interaction. 

Rather than continuously switching between tabs, having them all in front of you would make things easy. 

You can open one application on each screen and refer to them during the call as needed.  

Typically, I suggest having two to three screens (for the quoting software, the calling tool, the CRM, or anything else). 

Website 

Nowadays, when people need something or wish to do their research, their first instinct is to do a quick search online. If you have a website, that is probably where they will land. 

A website is generally useful because:

  • It adds to the credibility of your business. Think about it, how many businesses do you know today that don’t have one?
  • It serves as a lead generation source for people who land up on the site through searches or ads.  

While insurance companies would have a detailed website with their products and their details listed out, brokers can create a website to tell people more about themselves, their clients, the coverages they deal in, etc. 

Once you have these resources at hand, you’ll be all set to start making insurance sales calls. 

Tips for selling insurance over the phone

When selling insurance over the phone, you won’t be able to sell to everyone you call. 

However, here are some best practices that you should follow to ensure that you are able to convert most of the prospects you call. To make it easy to understand, I’m splitting these tips into three categories:

  1. Tips for before you place the call.
  2. Tips for during the call.
  3. Tips for after you hang up.

Let’s look at them in detail. 

Tips for before placing the call

Before you place the call, you have to get into the right state of mind to ensure you don’t face any avoidable challenges. Here are some tips to help you with that. 

Believe in what you are selling.

First, believe that you are adding value to your prospect’s life by providing them with insurance. It’s an important thing and safeguards them from mishappenings. 

When you believe in what you’re selling, it reflects in your tone, voice, and overall attitude. If you believe in what you’re selling, it’ll be easier to build the same confidence in your prospect about the product.

So be confident, smile, and be ready to convey your belief in the value you’re providing through more than just your words. 

Practice your insurance calling script.

Before you place the call, make sure to be well versed with the script. 

Why?

Because when the call connects, you don’t want to sound like a robot reading from a screen. 

The reason why calls are successful is because of the human connection, and this is established through a natural conversation. That doesn’t happen if you’re just plainly reading a script.  

So read your script thoroughly, memorize it if possible, and verbally practice going through it before making the call. Keep the script on your screen only for reference. 

Read up on the prospect.

You will not sell an insurance policy to a senior citizen the same way you sell to a millennial, right? Both demographics are going to have different needs. 

To establish these needs and address their pain points, you need to know your prospect. This also helps you personalize the offering for them, which increases their interest. 

Generally, you may have procured some data on your prospects from wherever you sourced these leads, which would be stored in your CRM. However, if you don’t, you can quickly glance through their social profiles, notice their likes and dislikes, and personalize your conversation accordingly.  

Make sure to time the call right.

Imagine receiving a cold call while you’re having dinner or when you’re in a meeting. Would you want to hear what they have to say?

Of course not; no one would. This is why you need to make sure to time your calls appropriately. 

According to research, the best time for cold calling is between 8 AM and 9 AM and then between 4 PM and 5 PM. You can increase these calling periods by a little margin. 

Just make sure to avoid calling them between 1 PM to 2 PM since that has shown to be the worst time for cold calls. 

Tips for during the call

Once you place your call, you have to make sure that the conversation is fruitful and doesn’t end prematurely. Here are a few ways to ensure that. 

Start strong with a brief elevator pitch. 

When the call begins, you have a very short period of time to grab the prospect’s attention and hook them. 

A good way to achieve this is by giving them a quick elevator pitch which is no longer than 30 seconds and includes: 

  • Your introduction.
  • What you’re offering.
  • A major pain point they are struggling with and how you solve it. 
  • A question (we’ll discuss the why of this in the next section).

Here’s an example of an elevator pitch that you could use: 

Hi {Lead Name}. I have an unusual business in a not so unusual industry. 

I work with home and business owners like you in the area. Recently, I saved a client a fortune after an unexpected mishap, that too at a 15-20% lesser cost than what she was used to paying

I’m Robbie Digs, and I’m in the insurance business {or work for XYZ company}. My clients come to me because I have a unique skill in handling complex insurance needs. I want to ask you, are you insured for all types of accidents in your house? 

Ask more questions during the conversation. 

Like any other sales call, when selling insurance over the phone, you have to abide by the 80/20 rule of a sales conversation (which states that you should be listening 80% of the time and talk only for 20%).

This is why you should conclude your elevator pitch with a question to get the prospect talking. Active listening in a sales call helps you understand what’s important to the prospect and offer your product accordingly. 

Some people may want a plan with the highest customer ratings, while others may be focused on getting maximum coverage. You can’t offer the same plan to both.  

So ask them questions, understand what’s a priority for them, and then pitch a product that fits into their requirements. 

Be prepared for objections.

Even after you hook your prospect in the elevator pitch, you will face some resistance. Don’t worry; if they were hooked during the elevator pitch, that is a sign that they are interested. 

So why the objections? 

Well, it’s because they don’t trust you entirely to start discussing a purchase decision. You have to build that rapport by engaging them in a conversation. 

But you can only do that if you are able to get past the resistance and continue the conversation. 

So make sure that you have strong rebuttals added in your insurance calling script for common objections. Some of these objections include:

  • “This is too expensive for me.”
  • “I already have a plan.”
  • “I need to think about it.” 
  • “I don’t have time to talk right now.” 

Avoid jargons

You may use a lot of industry-specific terms commonly used among those in the insurance business. But remember that your prospects don’t belong to the industry. So there’s a good chance that they may not understand what you’re saying.

Using complex jargon or slang is off-putting, and prospects can’t really have a conversation with someone who is speaking in an entirely different language. There’s no way they are going to buy something from someone like that. 

Make sure to use simple language and terms that leads can grasp. Even if you have to use industry jargon, take some time to explain it before moving forward. 

Tips for after the call

Once the call concludes, keep in mind that your job is not done. Here’s what you need to do after the call is over. 

Follow-ups

Most insurance sales are not confirmed in a single call. Generally, after the call, you will have to nurture your relationship with the lead to get them to convert. 

Based on how the conversation went, tag the prospects as per their interest levels and segment the list. 

Follow up with these contacts over emails, texts, and even phone calls and nurture them with relevant resources. For example, you can send out case studies and customer testimonials to someone who was interested but not too convinced. For someone who was extremely interested, you can send them offers to give them a push. 

Evaluate all calls

Once you’re done with your calls, take some time to evaluate all the interactions. 

Go over both the successful and unsuccessful calls and try to understand what worked and what didn’t. Make a note of things like:

  • At what point during a call did you lose or win over a prospect? 
  • New objections that you should have a response for the next time around.
  • The number of people who were hooked by your elevator pitch and if you need to change it.
  • The response rate during different times of the day and if you should look into making these calls at some other time. 

To evaluate your calling campaigns in such a way, prefer choosing a calling software like CallHub that provides you with:

  1. All call recordings and
  2. A detailed analytics dashboard to help you evaluate your calls. 

Selling insurance over the phone can be a challenging process. But with the necessary resources at hand and the tips we discussed above, you won’t just make the process easier but also more lucrative. 

The only thing that you have to do right now is signing up for a calling software and start calling your prospects. Since you’re already here, why not give CallHub a try?

Featured image source: Pixabay