The cost of car insurance matters—and that’s never going to change. And when a customer is unaware of the other factors at play when it comes to insurance, they’re naturally going to focus on the price tag. This is especially true in markets experiencing rate increases, where agents are in a position where they are selling higher priced policies to customers accustomed to paying less.
So how exactly do you go about selling car insurance in a price-driven market? Understanding consumer behavior offers some key tips when it comes to differentiating yourself (and your products) and helping consumers understand the policies they are paying for.
For example, consumers are often driven by responsiveness. In today’s fast-paced, digital world, people not only want but expect an instantaneous response with a quote. That’s why insurance agents who want to thrive need to identify ways to make the process of buying as fast, simple and painless as possible.
By transacting quickly and efficiently, you can reduce the preeminence of cost and demonstrate to potential customers that you’ll be there when they need you most. Adding value through convenience and speed is one way that many successful agents sell auto insurance in a market that’s predominantly driven by price. (Tweet this!)
Learn how to boost your lead revenue by up to 128%. Download our whitepaper, Binding Inbound Leads: Using Contact Strategy To Bind More Business.
In addition to making the purchasing process fast and simple, there are a few other tips for selling car insurance we recommend you should follow to help reduce the emphasis on cost.
Selling Car Insurance: 13 Tips To Counteract The Cost Factor
1. Make purchasing insurance an experience.
Focus on making purchasing car insurance a positive experience by educating consumers on things like industry happenings and rate increases. This will help show customers that you’re a resource, providing value that goes beyond price.
2. Prioritize connecting with consumers.
Look for ways to connect with potential customers that don’t require face-to-face interaction. For example, attach a pre-recorded video response to a quote. This is a fast, mobile-friendly, and highly personalized tactic that helps customers put a face to a name and remember you, increasing your chances of closing more insurance leads.
3. Execute a strategic contact strategy.
Put a proven contact strategy in place to ensure you’re properly staffed so you can respond to inquiries within minutes, not hours. Customers expect a fast response, so this can truly make all the difference between closing sales and missing key opportunities.
Note: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to a successful contact strategy! Our free whitepaper, How Mark Jameson Uses EverQuote Leads & Defined Sales Process for Continued Success, goes step-by-step through the processes used by a top P&C agent to achieve an average 16% close rate on leads across his offices.
4. Communicate with existing customers regularly.
Proactive communication with your existing client base is a great way to let customers know you’re looking out for them. For example, send a quick email to let customers know about a rate increase. Or send a monthly newsletter letting clients know about industry news, local events you’re attending, etc. This works because referrals and word of mouth are the best ways to attract new customers to your business.
5. Invest in technology.
Make it a point to invest in technology that allows you to communicate with consumers in an efficient yet personal way, such as online video recording or text messaging software. Investing in technology that lets you engage at scale and be proactive in your outreach can pay big dividends.
In my opinion, utilizing a text messaging tool is one of the best ways to get the most out of your investment. Texting is extremely powerful when used correctly (just keep in mind your company and state’s rules and regulations regarding text messaging).
I also suggest, if your carrier allows it, using a rater. Raters are tools that can improve your lead’s customer experience and help you be more efficient by pre-qualifying customers and getting them rates quickly.
6. Use all avenues of contact.
Many agents tend to put all their eggs into one basket when contacting leads—59% of agents say all they do is call, call, call. They’re missing out on huge opportunities, because emailing and texting leads are incredibly effective (and easy-to-automate) ways to connect with and bind more leads. Texts and emails are quick and easy to write and deliver, and consumers (especially younger ones) respond well to them. As a result, the use of both email and text messaging continues to grow rapidly in the marketplace.
One of the country’s top captive P&C agents, State Farm’s Perry Olson, shared several of the text and email messages his team sends to both insurance prospects and customers in this playbook, which you can download for free.
Most agents aren’t leveraging text and email messaging to their full potential—are you missing out, too? The Ultimate Insurance Text + Email Playbook
7. Don’t limit your opportunities to one lead type.
Back to the old adage of putting all your eggs in one basket, I see many agents invest only in one type of lead—for example, buying only premium leads in hopes of getting multi-line binds or investing only in auto leads, while ignoring home or life insurance leads. However, these agents are missing out on huge opportunities for growth by ignoring other types of leads available to them. By investing in different lead types, including home and/or life leads, you open up opportunities for your agency to build up more multi-line business and other lines of business outside of mono-line auto. We also recommend considering expanding your demographics, and you may find you can bind more policies by casting a wider net.
8. Expand your selling area.
Many agents tend to be focused on their local areas only. While that strategy made sense even just 10 years ago, it’s extremely limiting now, especially as because the world of insurance is becoming an increasingly internet-driven market. So another important tip for how to sell more auto insurance is that you don’t have to—and shouldn’t—sell insurance only where you’re located. COVID-19 has shown us that a huge amount of research and purchases are happening online, and that online convenience drives business. If an agent can figure out how to provide a personal experience via the internet, he or she will probably do well and be able to sell insurance anywhere they’re licensed, not just in their hometown.
9. Optimize the entire contact life of leads.
Let’s think about this logically: A lead is sold to three agents. Those three agents will call that lead very aggressively on day one, and slow down in the number of dials or attempts to contact as the number of days progresses. Statistically almost all agents are done trying after two weeks. But the data shows us that the most common wins are on the first day—or after two weeks. The agent who is still following up after two weeks when the other agents drop off is going to be the one who wins. We talk about the details of how to do this successfully in our free eBook, Binding Inbound Leads: Using Contact Strategy To Bind More Business.
10. Work when leads come in, even during “off hours.”
Most agents don’t know how to handle leads that come in during off hours, and instead of considering when might be the best time to contact these leads and adjusting their staffing to accommodate that, they stick to typical business hours. Statistically speaking, the highest volume of binds occurs between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. for agents working leads—but many agencies close up shop at 5:30. Simply adjusting work hours for a single producer willing to work off hours or outside standard business hours can be a gold mine for your agency—and a huge competitive advantage. If you’re looking for some tips and best practices for working leads outside of conventional business hours, take a look at this excellent webinar from agent Eric Hardiman: "Connecting During Unconventional Business Hours to Maximize Revenue."
11. Learn how to handle common objections.
Most insurance agents probably wish they had a better way to handle common objections from consumers, but they may not take the time to sit down and truly think through the core issues driving these objections. If you can do that, you will genuinely set yourself apart—and have a thoughtful, logical response ready that will turn the consumer back toward your products. When you can see why a consumer might object, it’s much easier to turn the conversation into an empathetic one. One of the most successful phrases I’ve heard in insurance sales is “I know! That’s so frustrating!” Actually saying that, and walking through the issues with the consumer, is a personal detail that makes them far more likely to continue listening to you and ultimately trusting that you are truly interested in their well-being—not just hoping to make a buck.
To help, we created a free guide to help you address four common objections agents face on insurance sales calls. You’ll learn ways you can and should respond when leads tell you the following:
- “I didn’t request a quote.”
- “I’ve been called too many times.”
- “Stop calling me! I wanted to do this online!”
- “I can’t talk right now.”
12. Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes.
I’ll be blunt: in my experience a lot of agents are failing badly here. They have a hard time thinking “What would I do if I were this consumer?” and then complain when they call a lead and let it ring five or six times but no one answers. They’re not putting themselves in the shoes of the people they’re trying to sell to, and it has a much larger effect on their businesses than they might realize.
Agents are typically trained to have specific processes and talk tracks that are one-for-all, which isn’t a bad thing—until we fall into the trap of convenience and stop looking at consumers individually. Listening to their needs and understanding their objectives for insurance is the best way to cater your products and offerings to them.
There’s no magic bullet here–it requires you taking the time to learn about your leads, listen to their concerns, and think about how you can best provide value to them. But if you can do this, over time you will build a base of customers-turned-fans who refer you to their friends and family.
13. Don’t avoid the price, but show customers the bigger picture
It’s no secret that most customers shopping for auto insurance are driven by price. So no matter how much you might want to tip toe around the cost and focus on the other benefits you provide, there’s no getting around it. However you should still dedicate time and effort to paint a full picture of what the policy entails and how working with you and your company will benefit your customer. Then when it comes time to present the price, do it confidently! Assuming you have done an effective job painting that picture for your prospect, the price will make sense and ultimately become less of the focal point of your conversation.
14. Work with a partner to find leads.
Finding the right customers is an important part of selling car insurance—but it’s also easier said than done. When you partner with EverQuote, you’ll not only get vetted prospects and high-intent leads, but also access to our comprehensive sales training material, which will arm your team with the information and skills they need to close more sales.
When you work with us, you have complete control over your leads—and you can pause your account anytime, with no consequences. Click here to schedule a tour of EverQuote’s tools with one of our experts.