Looking for proven insurance sales prospecting tips? Here are some culled from my own successful career, starting from when I was new to the field all the way to now, as an experienced—and successful—agent.
Sales Prospecting Tools & Techniques
Get over your fear of calling prospects. (Scripts can help!)
When I first began training as an agent, I had no sales experience and didn’t know how to prospect for sales. I remember having serious call reluctance. In fact, I hung up on the first person who answered the phone because I was terrified they were going to object!
It sounds funny now, but it is a real problem with new agents. It's only human to be nervous about calling leads for the first time. The biggest help I found in overcoming this fear was to just keep dialing. Like most skills, the more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll become, and the more successful you’ll be on your calls. Also, arming yourself with sales scripts can help, which leads to the next tip.
Use the right script for your level of comfort with sales prospecting.
As I mentioned, the two things that helped me overcome my fear of cold calling and prospecting were continuously dialing and using a script. As a new agent, I literally read scripts word-for-word, every single time.
When you're new, stick to the script. It will give you confidence, and ensures you don't mess up. Using scripts well means that you control the conversation - there's less quiet time between your sentences, fewer awkward pauses (and the pauses you do have are strategic), and more of a chance to lead your prospect toward becoming a customer.
What do you say when an insurance lead objects to your sales call? Instead of panicking, try the four sample scripts outlined in this guide.
Doing this as a beginner helped me sound more confident on the phone. As I got more comfortable and memorized my scripts, I found myself going off script and developing my own style, which worked better because it sounded more human. Once you have a bit of experience and feel comfortable, you should do the same. After all, potential customers want to work with actual humans!
Your scripts should change depending on your level of experience in the industry.
With experience, you’ll find that not every sales script is necessarily compatible with every individual producer. This was the biggest takeaway I had from working at different sales jobs and using different call scripts. Not everything worked with my own personality and my comfort level. As I advanced, I found the sales prospecting tools that worked for me and used those, omitting the rest.
Practice overcoming objections.
If you want to know how to prospect for sales, you have to know how to overcome your prospects’ objections to buying home or auto insurance. I always tell new agents to overcome objections as quickly as possible, because when an agent pauses, prospects can easily shut down a conversation, which leads to no sale.
Learn sales prospecting methods from leaders in the company.
When I started out, I went directly to the best-of-the-best agents from my company and tried to emulate them. I chose these agents to learn from because I believe your overall prospecting skills can be elevated by working closely with top performers. When you're surrounded with high-performing agents who are helpful and have their own unique prospecting tactics, you can pick and choose what works best for your own sales process.
Go out of your way to connect with the producers who consistently perform better than everyone else. Then, try to figure out their style, their scripts, and their processes. (Tweet this!) Your time is obviously limited; by following these best practices, you’ll be able to maximize that time to produce the best possible results (instead of reinventing the wheel with tactics that may or may not be successful).
If you follow strong processes that maximize your time, you can bring in more activity on average and yield better results. Here’s a list of important sales prospecting processes and tools to consider for your company:
- Scripts (which we’ve already talked about).
- Client relationship management (CRM) software. There are many different CRMs out there for various industries, but one of the most important qualities in a CRM is data integrity. When you get a lead, you need to have a good flow, from the time you get the lead’s information all the way through to a sale—who is going to contact them, when, how, etc. Using a CRM to automate this process helps ensure your entire office staff knows their specific action items for a lead and can maximize their time, as well as not lose any prospects in the process.
- Calendars. There are many free and subscription-based calendar options available, but whatever helps you increase the number of leads you are meeting with should work for you.
- Proven schedules. Based on EverQuote’s years of experience working directly with agents, following a daily activity schedule consistently leads to optimum performance.
Use templates as much as you can.
I recommend using as many templates as you can for repeated communication. That includes the following:
- Call scripts
- Emails (sales, follow-ups, etc.)
- Text messaging
Templates are powerful because they help you act quickly without needing to think through every situation, every time. They help you scale your business so different forms of sales prospecting don’t overwhelm you and your staff.
Bring the energy.
Some agents have a negative personality—whether they don’t believe in the product, they’re not good on the phone, or they're simply having a bad day—and their negative energy casts a pall on the entire experience. I think we all innately have an ear for this. When we put ourselves in our customers’ shoes, it’s obvious that no one wants to do business with these types of people.
At the end of the day, we’re selling our personalities first—not our companies or our products. Think of it as an energy transfer when you speak with a prospect. So in the very first heartbeat, syllable, or sentence, the person on the other end of the phone gets an innate feeling about whether or not they want to deal with you. Make sure you’re the type of person you would want to talk to.
Test the sales prospecting techniques you use to determine what’s working and what should be tweaked.
When I was a newer agent surrounded by top agents, I learned they all had different sales methods and processes, styles, energy on the phone, and script preferences. I realized I could try different versions of all these things and then run simple A/B tests to see which approach outperformed the others (or if they all worked out the same.) So I took a script from one guy, ran it for a while, and then took a script from the other guy and did the same. You can do that, too. Just keep your data straight with CRM software or another, similar tool, and use what you find to optimize your processes.
A quick note here: One of the best aspects of working with a lead generation partner like EverQuote is that we can help you do these types of tests to optimize your results. We help our existing clients do things like this all the time—that’s why they are some of the most successful agents in the industry.
Looking for high-quality, intentful leads to help you fill your pipeline?
Once you’ve optimized your sales prospecting techniques, your next step is to make sure you have high-quality, intentful leads to fill up your calendar. That’s where EverQuote comes in.
When you partner with us you’ll learn about best practices for sales, what works when talking with internet leads, and more. Plus, you have complete control over your leads—and you can even pause your account anytime, with no consequences. Click here to schedule a tour of EverQuote’s tools with one of our experts.