Patience and Empathy Are Key

Remember the thrill of buying your first car? Or how nervous you were when you signed mortgage papers for the first time?

Those can be very exciting—but also very stressful—times, especially for young adults who are doing it without the support of a parent or who may feel like they should know more about the process than they actually do.

When you encounter a prospect who is buying insurance for the first time, your ability to be patient and empathetic can make all the difference.

Get a Baseline

Stress can sometimes push people to put up a front about what they know, so it’s helpful if you can get an accurate picture in order to figure out how much you’ll need to educate them. You can start with a friendly statement and open-ended question like this:

“How exciting that you’ve bought your first car! I’ll be happy to help you figure out what kind of insurance you need. Please tell me what you know about auto insurance already so I can fill in the blanks.”

A statement like this makes it very comfortable for them to admit areas of ignorance and will give you an idea of how much explanation and guidance you’ll need to give.

Pause for Understanding

As you move forward in the conversation, think about breaking it into easily digestible chunks: what’s a premium, what’s a deductible, how are payments made, what should they do if they have a claim, etc.

Each time you explain a portion, stop and check in. “Is this making sense so far?” If they’re clearly following along with no problem, move on to the next topic. If you have any doubt, asking them a question like this will help you know whether you need to review or not. “I want to be sure I’m explaining this well. Could you tell me your understanding of what a deductible is?”

Don’t hesitate to check in often. Remember that the terminology that is part of your everyday vocabulary may be entirely new to them.

Offer a Cheat Sheet

Some people learn best with visual props. Take an afternoon to create a “Homeowners Insurance 101” document that you can send to novice insurance buyers. Then do the same for auto insurance, life insurance, renters insurance and any other offering you sell.

A one-pager like this will help structure your conversation, and they’ll be able to follow along and take notes as you talk.

Share Stories

Stories are a great way to bring dry concepts to life. Someone who’s never filed an insurance claim may not realize how surprising having to file a claim can be for many people—no one expects a tree limb to fall on their house. So the idea of saving $50 on a premium may seem appealing, until you tell them about your client who chose the high deductible and then couldn’t afford to repair their car because they were hit by a distracted driver and didn’t have the cash to cover it.

The idea isn’t to scare someone into making any particular choice, it’s that you may be better able to illustrate how choices related to deductibles and premiums will play out by telling stories drawn from real life.

Protect Their Interests

While it isn’t your job to make insurance choices for your clients, it is your duty to use your expertise and experience to advise them well. Newbies don’t always know what questions to ask—they don’t know what they don’t know. You can play an important role in safeguarding someone’s future. Offer options and explain what they are and why people select them.

While selling insurance to first-time buyers can mean more work up front, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to create a long-term relationship that could potentially last for decades. When you establish yourself as a trusted expert who truly cares about someone’s interests, you can reap financial rewards as well as referrals to their friends and family, too.

Ready for some fresh insurance leads generated in real time? Call Hometown Quotes at 800.820.2981 to sign up today!

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