Brian Nate is an insurance marketer, retention specialist, and sales process guru. He works with agencies to implement proven sales strategies that create predictable sales results. Visit his LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com/in/briannate. You can also email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The two hardest parts of being a salesman in the insurance industry:
- Finding quality leads
- Keeping your customers loyal and happy
We could all use a hand in these areas, so we’ve brought in an expert. Brian Nate helps insurance agents with their sales process. He shared some insights with me, and he was kind enough to let me share it all with you.
We’re going to cover some big topics that will help you with:
- The worst questions to ask a prospect (most agents ask these, by the way)
- The question you should be asking your prospects
- How ringless voicemail can bring in leads
- Why you should shop your competition
- How technology can bring you leads (even in a senior audience)
- How to make yourself valuable to clients (so that price isn’t ever an issue)
If you’re a visual learner, there’s a video for each section. You’ll also find a short summary of the videos if you’d like the text version.
When you’re selling to the senior audience, the key to standing out is effective listening. Older folks have stories they want to share, so it’s really about being a good listener and asking the right questions.
Don’t be the agent who asks the “quote” questions — how old are you, are you tobacco or non-tobacco, what’s your budget? — that isn’t going to set you apart. And strangely enough, that’s exactly what most agents lead with.
Instead, you should start with, “Why is this type of insurance important to you?” Leading with an emotional-based question will give you an emotional answer.
And that answer is going to dictate how you sell the product.
One way the agents at the Sams/Hockaday agency do this is by using a Client Needs Assessment. It’s a set of questions that aim to get your client talking. These questions help determine which products they actually need, and their answers give you the information you need to sell more effectively.
For example, if a client says he wants life insurance to leave a legacy to his children, that’s exactly how you’re going to frame the policy.
“The one thing you said to me that was really important to you was that you’d have a legacy to leave for your children. This policy gives you exactly that.”
Then, you explain the policy information. But this approach is so different — it hits the pain points of your client, and suddenly, it’s not about price. It’s about what that policy will achieve.
Ringless voicemail is like sending an email via a phone call. The prospect’s phone does not ring, but they do receive a voicemail.
While New Horizons has never experimented with ringless voicemail and has no opinion on whether it’s a good or bad tactic, Brian explains that most agents using ringless voicemail with his help see conversions between 12-20%. That basically means that for every 100 voicemails, agents are getting callbacks from between 12-20 leads.
The service can be completely customized so that you can reach out to your target audience. For example, if you want to reach people who are turning 65, you can leave a voicemail to them about Medicare Supplements and how you can help.
Leave your contact information or redirect them to your website, but just make sure to include some kind of call-to-action.
The best part about ringless voicemail is that the people who call back are really interested in you and what you’re offering. They’re what we call “hot leads.”
After all, what’s the point of finding a “lead” if the person isn’t actually that interested in what you’re selling?
Be The Agent
If you want to be the agent — the one who’s really on top — you need to change the way you think about selling.
Have a dialogue
Asking the right questions allows you to have a real dialogue with your prospects. Your rates are going to be the same, but the experience your client will have will be completely different.
Stop talking at your clients, and start having a real dialogue about what actually matters.
Shop the competition
It’s also important to shop your competition. You’ll get a feel for what they’re saying to their prospects. Most likely, you’ll soon find that other agents are asking the wrong questions — they're asking the quote questions.
But seeing what competitors are doing will give you a feel for what you’re up against.
One of the fears that some of us have, especially selling to an older audience, is that seniors aren’t embracing technology.
But they are.
Use technology to help you reach your business goals. Take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, a website, etc.
Don’t discount technology, because it can be a really powerful way to build relationships with clients and find quality leads.
Sell your value (not the price)
People pay more for stuff all the time. Why should insurance be any different?
If you provide quality service to your clients, it’s a lot easier to get over a prospect’s reaction to the price, especially if it’s less competitive than you’d like.
At the end of the day, finding leads and keeping them happy requires you to be different from everyone else.
If you actually care about your clients and can show that in a relatable way, you’re one step closer to being an extremely successful agent.