It’s time to boost your phone sales skills and reach your life insurance quarterly goals.
If you sell life insurance – or any insurance – you might not think too much about your phone sales skills. You’re pleasant, offer reasonable rates, and you get decent ratings on sites like Google and Yelp. And for the most part, when people call you, they’re just looking for a quote. They’ll shop around, find the lowest rate, and that’s it.
But as you likely know, there’s so much more to a quality life insurance policy than a low monthly premium. Customer service, quick payouts, policy continuity, and company reputation all play roles in what makes a policy the right one for somebody. Price and value aren’t always the same thing.
Your prospects, however, don’t always know this. Certainly, they don’t know the details of a life insurance policy the way you do. Term life, whole life, death benefit… these words are like some impossible obstacle course designed to keep people confused. At least, that’s the way it can seem to your prospects. They may very well assume you’ll try to keep them confused so you can sell them the highest-commission policy around.
This is why your phone sales skills are so vital to your success. That’s true whether you’re making cold calls to new businesses or renewing a policy for a long-term customer. But what are those skills?
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Put these 10 phone sales skills into practice today and watch your business thrive
1. Develop your hook. One of the most important phone sales skills you can have is the ability to catch the interest of your prospect. What’s your hook? What can you say to them in 15 seconds to keep them on the phone with you for another five minutes?
2. Know your product. You have to go deep on this. Just knowing what policies your company offers isn’t enough. How do they work? Can customers change policies without losing any equity? How do you locate beneficiaries? Think of every possible question a client may have and make sure you have a knowledge thorough enough to answer them.
3. Know the competition. You might also think of this as knowing your unique selling proposition. What makes you stand out from other life insurance providers? And the only way you can truly answer that is to know what other companies offer.
4. Do not make negative comments about competitors. Following close behind knowing your competition is knowing you should never say anything negative about them. There are plenty of psychological reasons for this, but ultimately, it’s just unprofessional.
5. Focus. When you’re on a call with a client or prospect, they should get 100% of your attention. Don’t check emails or skim through the newspaper. It’s evident to them that you aren’t fully engaged in the conversation, and your results will reflect that. In fact, if there are no other phone sales skills you get from this, you can make amazing progress by just giving your focused attention to anyone you’re on the phone with.
6. Use open-ended questions. You’ve probably heard this tip repeatedly, but how often do you put it into practice? Part of building a relationship (which you need if you want to succeed with a prospect) is engaging in conversations and learning about them. You won’t get very far when they only need to answer yes or no to a question. Here’s an example:
Are you interested in a new life insurance policy?
Why are you interested in a new life insurance policy?
These questions are almost the same. In fact, there’s only one different word in the second question. But the answers you’ll get are worlds apart.
7. Be okay with silence. You don’t need to fill all the space if a prospect isn’t talking. Instead, give them a moment to think, consider a new question, or reflect on new information. Silence can be your secret weapon.
8. Have a “real” conversation. What does that mean? Too often, when we’re on the phone, we slouch, we lean back, or we rest our head on a chair cushion. You wouldn’t do that in a face-to-face conversation, so why do it when you’re on the phone? Believe it or not, your voice and tone reflect your posture. Behave as if every call were an in-person conversation, and you’ll quickly find that your prospects are more interested.
9. Listen. This is one of those phone sales skills that seems redundant. You are listening, right? Maybe you are. Or are you already thinking about how you’ll answer a question or push back on an objection? If you’re thinking about what you’ll say next, you aren’t giving your full attention to your prospect.
10. Use a script. If you’ve read many of our blog posts, you’ve probably seen this as one of the essential phone sales skills, especially for cold calls. Why are we so adamant about it? A script ensures you have all the information you need right in front of you. You don’t always have to follow it word for word. And you may have to go off script entirely depending on questions or concerns that come up with prospects. However, a good sales script can help you stay on track and help you out in case you forget anything.
Remember, selling life insurance depends so much on building relationships with your prospects and clients. While these skills can’t guarantee a sale, they will help you build the trust and knowledge it takes to create long-lasting relationships, which, in turn, is your key to more sales.
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