Part of being successful in insurance sales is learning how to remove obstacles. While you may have thought about how to overcome things like price objections or making sure you’re talking to the final insurance decision maker in a family, how much time have you put into thinking about the obstacles you put in your own way?
No one’s perfect. Without realizing it, through a combination of lack of attention, ignorance or nonproductive work habits, you may be hurting your own sales. Here are four common ways to kill your sales and ideas for how you can fix them.
Delaying Lead Outreach
Insurance isn’t a product that most individuals mull over for a long time. They don’t need to test-drive it or compare color swatches in different lighting or fiddle with various settings to get the perfect version of what you’re offering.
This means your sales window can be fairly small, even more so for clients who generally know how insurance works and what they want. If you’re not reaching out to leads as soon as possible, that delay in timing can cost you sales.
The fix for this one is simple: use fresh leads when possible (like those provided by Hometown Quotes) and respond to them quickly. A good rule of thumb is this: the fresher the lead, the sooner you should work it since the first salesperson to reach out often has a competitive advantage.
Misevaluating Your Prospect
There are many ways to misevaluate a prospect. You could be using too much industry jargon with someone who doesn’t know much about insurance or, conversely, maybe you’re dumbing down or overexplaining to someone who already gets it. In some cases, you may be so focused on selling according to your usual script that you’re missing what’s really important to your prospect and pushing your own agenda instead.
The simplest way to get a good read on a prospect is to start with one or two open-ended questions and really listen to their answers. The more you can get them to talk upfront, the better. You can gain insight into everything from their level of concern to their educational background to how casual or formal you should be during your interaction. Maintaining a focus on intentional listening with every call can help prevent you from accidentally alienating a prospect and killing the sale.
Giving Up Too Soon
You called, left a voicemail and never heard back. Oh well. Time to move on.
Wait a minute…you can’t give up yet! Persistence is one of the greatest qualities of good salespeople. You should be reaching out a minimum of three times to every prospect. And if you really want to increase your odds of making a sale, the gold standard is seven attempts.
This applies to cold prospects, too. Try to reach them multiple times again in three months or six months or near the anniversary of their renewal. You never know when what you have to sell will match what they want to buy.
Poor training can take several forms:
- Not training new staff well enough
- Not sharing the skills honed by your successful salespeople
- Not investing in continuing education or professional development for you and/or your staff
Establishing a good training program can take thought and effort, but it’s well worth it once you have it in place. Begin by imagining your ideal training program and how it could look, then prioritize an actual plan with specific training modules that fit within your budget and timing parameters. (Example modules could be things like effective use of sales software, how to make cold calls, practicing and critiquing upselling efforts, etc.)
Keep track of sales metrics for each person who goes through each different module and periodically evaluate the results to see which modules are resulting in higher sales and which could use some tweaking. Over time, your training program will evolve and should grow to be even more effective.
When it comes down to it, no agency owner or insurance salesperson sets out to create bad habits, yet we all fall into them. Take a few minutes to think about yours and how they came to be, then resolve to address them to make the coming year your most lucrative and satisfying one yet.
Ready to boost your insurance sales in 2020? Call Hometown Quotes at 800.820.2981 and learn how to make the most of our fresh, qualified leads.