Cold calling is a time-tested sales tactic for insurance agents. However, you may need to invest many hours to become proficient at this skill.
Insurance agents should study effective cold-calling techniques to help them refine their skills more quickly. Let’s explore insurance cold calling and its benefits, plus nine strategies you can use to improve your skills in the insurance industry.
Insurance cold calling involves an agent contacting a lead with whom they’ve had no previous interaction. The primary goal of each call is to assess their interest in a new policy and establish a connection that may lead to a sale.
Cold calls often go unanswered or result in immediate hang-ups, but even leaving a voicemail can be beneficial. At the very least, it’s a cost-effective way to spread brand awareness and lets you practice essential sales techniques.
Telemarketing is highly regulated, and agents must be careful not to violate Federal Trade Commission rules or reach out to individuals on the Do Not Call Registry while cold calling.
Even the most extroverted insurance agents can find cold calling intimidating, as it requires consistently subjecting yourself to rejections that can feel personal. However, the practice is still prevalent in the industry for good reasons.
Cold calling is one of the best ways to generate sales leads. Not only is it dirt cheap, but it also lends a personal touch that other forms of outreach like email marketing can’t quite replicate.
If you can get someone on the phone and have a conversation with them, you have an opportunity to establish rapport, increasing the likelihood that they’ll like and remember you.
That helps build brand awareness for yourself and your insurance agency. Even if you don’t manage to close a deal at first, the lead may think of you and reach out when they have insurance questions or want to change insurance policies in the future.
In addition, cold calling regularly can help you develop your sales skills. It lets you practice various techniques on multiple personality types and get instant feedback.
You can also monitor your skill development by keeping track of your success rate. If you see it increasing over time, that’s a clear indicator you’re improving.
Your cold calling skills will improve if you practice regularly, but studying proven techniques will help you develop them faster. Here are nine strategies to consider adding to your approach.
Cold calling can feel like a numbers game, but don’t focus so much on the quantity that you fail to personalize your attempts. A little research on each prospect pays dividends if you can get them on the phone.
For example, looking through a business owner’s website or social media profiles can help you find common interests you can leverage to build rapport. It can also help you determine what kind of coverage they might need.
The primary goal of a cold call is to build a connection that could lead to a sale. Therefore, it’s as important to ask open-ended questions and perform active listening as it is to pitch.
You might ask if they’ve ever experienced claim delays with their current provider, one of the most common complaints people have about their insurance companies. If they say yes, you can use the opportunity to offer solutions.
It’s important to sound natural and engaging when cold calling. If you come across like you’re reading off a cold calling script, you won’t be able to connect with your prospects. Take the time to practice until you feel confident in your delivery.
For example, consider enlisting the assistance of several of your colleagues and having them react to your attempts as if they were customers. Have them give you different reactions to help modify your elevator pitches on the fly.
Getting prospects to like you is essential when cold calling since the recipient can hang up if they don’t. People tend to respond best to positivity, so cultivate an air of enthusiasm when you speak to prospects.
Try smiling when you deliver your opening lines. Not only will it make you sound more pleasant, but it can also help you feel more genuinely excited to speak to them.
Some cold call recipients will hang up without warning, but others will give a reason first. Prepare responses to common objections, so you can address them and keep the conversation going.
Many prospects will say they already have insurance policies. You could respond that your only goal is to give them an awareness of the various insurance products available, then ask when they last shopped for better coverage or lower premiums.
Cold calling involves reaching out to many prospects, so organization is essential for success. Make sure to use a spreadsheet or other tracking tool to keep records of all the relevant call information.
In addition to the name and number of your prospects, record the time and date of each call. You’ll also need to keep notes on what you learned or discussed.
80% of American adults report that they don’t pick up calls from unknown numbers, but 67% say they’ll check the voicemail if one is left. Therefore, you should practice delivering intriguing voicemail messages.
Consider leading with a thought-provoking question instead of your name and company. Next, you could explain who you are, share what you can do for them, and promise to follow up at a convenient time. Try to keep it between 20 and 30 seconds.
Persistence is one of the most critical qualities of successful insurance agents, especially when cold calling. It usually takes multiple calls to get prospects on the phone, let alone turn them into potential customers.
Always plan to do a follow-up call with your prospects, but be careful not to come across as too pushy. For example, you might call every two days for a week after your first outreach, then wait a week between the subsequent three attempts.
Cold calling can be a slog, especially when you’re just starting to improve your skills. Targeting a specific number of daily calls can help you stay motivated and reach enough people to see meaningful results.
There’s no perfect number, but newer agents should generally target higher numbers than more experienced ones. You might start with 100 cold calls each day, then shift toward 50 as your success rate improves.
Improving your cold calling skills requires experimenting with various techniques–cold call script and objection preparation–and using the feedback you get to refine your approach. Practice regularly to improve your success rate at your insurance agency.
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