7 Insurance Sales Strategies That Will Actually Stop A Deal

7 Insurance Sales Strategies That Will Actually Stop A Deal

We’ve written several articles giving tips on what you as an insurance agent should be doing to make a sale—including tips on marketing ideas and growth strategies—but today, we’re looking at things from a different perspective: What do insurance agents do that prevent them from closing deals for their agencies? Pay attention—we’ve seen it happen, and if you’re doing any of these things, stop right now!

Insurance Sales Strategies That Actually Stop A Deal

Not taking time to understand your prospects.

One of the biggest barriers to an agency’s success is not understanding the prospects you’re bringing into your agency. If you don’t spend time learning what’s important to them, you’ll end up selling your insurance products based on features alone, and probably talking about things that don’t truly matter to your prospects. As a result, you won’t actually meet the needs of your potential client, which makes the chance of closing the deal very small.

What To Do Instead

Answer these questions to learn about your prospects:

  • Do I know exactly who I am talking to (my customer persona)?
  • Do I know what my prospects care most about: Price? Service? Technical, coverage-related details? Something else altogether?

 

Using insurance industry jargon your prospects don’t understand.

Have you ever traveled to a foreign country and had a difficult time understanding the local language? This is how prospects feel when agents and producers talk to them using industry jargon.

Some producers love to use jargon, and that’s a problem. If your audience doesn’t know anything about the insurance world and just wants to save money, the worst thing you can do is talk about things like “bodily injury limits” and “exclusionary riders.” Why? Because when you use language your prospects don’t understand, you lose them.

What To Do Instead

Once you understand your audience (see the previous step), you can use language that explains exactly what you’re offering in a way your customers understand. For example, instead of talking about "bodily injury limits," use plain language like "how much the policy would pay for injuries to anyone involved in an accident with your vehicle.”

 

Not having a sales strategy for your agency.

Two major missteps an agent can make are not training his or her producers on the basics of selling and not arming them with the tools that allow them to sell. It’s terribly difficult to be effective when you don’t know what you’re doing or how to do it.

That said, don’t assume when you hire a producer that they already know how to sell. Even if they have a sales background, new hires need training and tools to do their jobs well.

What To Do Instead

  • Provide basic sales training. Either offer in-house training when new hires begin, or enroll them in a relevant course. Both these tactics are well worth the time and money.
  • Create and use repeatable playbooks for each prospect/audience you have. Most producers don’t know how to talk about their agency’s value proposition—playbooks provide a way to share things like value proposition in a clear and consistent manner, and in a unique way that resonates with your agency’s prospects (things like service, coverage, price, etc.).
  • Train producers in how to handle objections. Ask your top producers about the main objections they face from the types of prospects your agency attracts. The objections—and how to handle them—should be documented in a clear, one-page guide for salespeople. (To get started, you can use this free guide on handling common consumer objections.)

 

Not having a proactive sales cadence.

One of the worst things an agent can do is spend a lot of money on marketing but forget to establish a clear-cut cadence for how and when to talk to prospects.

Inexperienced agents often have a single conversation, and when the prospect says they’re not interested, the lead is put on a shelf, effectively dead. This is a terrible way to handle a prospect and is virtually a guaranteed way to lose a deal.

This four-step cadence is proven to lead to more closed deals: Binding Inbound Leads: Using Contact Strategy To Bind More Business

What To Do Instead

Give your producers a cadence for when to call, email, send snail mail, text, etc. Data shows agents rarely close a deal on the first call, so be persistent. Use every method available to stay in front of prospects until they’re ready to buy.

If you’re spending money on marketing and someone's responding, they have interest—maybe not on the exact day you call them, but interest nonetheless. Staying in the forefront of their mind is important, so you can be the first agency they seek out when they are ready to buy.

 

You aren’t the first agent to talk to your prospect.

Not understanding the importance of “speed to lead” is a critical error for many agents. If you’re not the first to reach out to a prospect as soon as their information comes in, your competitor will be—and your chances of closing that customer drop significantly.

What To Do Instead

The minute a prospect submits their info, reach out to them immediately. They are likely to be near a phone (they may have even submitted their info using their phone), so chances are, if you do, you can still capture them on or near their phone. But if you wait five minutes, they may have moved on.

 

You don’t have the proper systems and tools to help you organize your business.

Because it often takes multiple touchpoints to close a deal with a prospect, you need an organized system of documenting every conversation your producers have with a potential customer. If producers can’t remember or don’t know the details of a previous conversation, your agency is at a major disadvantage, which can cause you to lose deals.

What To Do Instead

Have a clear-cut history of what you’ve discussed with prospects and how to follow up on your next call. If you already use an LMS or CRM (like Salesforce, Velocify, Zoho, etc.), you should fully implement the platform into your process so you can track contacts, quotes and binds. And by "implement" we mean getting every producer in the habit of documenting all interactions with their prospects. If you're not already using a platform, it's crucial that you put something in place.

 

You focus on your agency more than your prospects.

When you spend too much time centered on your agency or yourself, you’re likely to lose a sale. Prospects want to know how you can help them solve their problems—not learn about what makes your agency great.

What To Do Instead

Always focus on the prospect or customer. The best way to close a deal is to provide solutions to the prospect’s specific set of needs, so spend a lot of time listening, understanding prospects’ pain points, and learning why they’re looking for insurance today. Then, you can provide tailored solutions that will give you the best chances of closing the deal.

 

Any insurance selling strategies you would add to this list?

If you’ve seen (or done!) any tactics you recognize as being counterproductive, leave a comment below, and we may feature your example in an upcoming article!

EverQuote-Pro-Binding-Inbound-Leads

Topics: Insurance Sales, Featured

About the Author Ben Wang, Director of Customer Success

Picture of Ben Wang, Director of Customer Success

Ben joined EverQuote in 2015 as a Director of Strategic Accounts, and recently transitioned to lead one of the Customer Success Teams at EQ. Ben has over 15 years of Performance Marketing and Online Lead Generation experience across multiple verticals, and he holds an MBA with a concentration in Marketing Management from The Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University.

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