7 Conversation Topics to Positively Engage Your Client

Social Statistics 2.0 recently conducted a survey that found 52% of workforce respondents meet with 50 or more customers/clients in a given year. As an insurance agent, you are likely in that grouping, and most likely in the upper 25%, who acknowledge meeting with more than 1,000 per year and on a daily basis.

Prospect mining is just a small part of your job because in order to generate real revenue, you have to turn those prospects into customers, and that means learning how to speak to them in a way that earns their trust. To help you do just that, we’ve put together the following 7 tips for how you can positively engage your client. Let’s get started!

1. Discuss their future plans.

The future is a vital part of one’s insurance planning, and it also happens to be a topic most people don’t mind discussing, provided they have a chance to do so in a hopeful light.

Try to navigate conversation toward things like aspirations, hopes, and dreams, because in those things, you can help prospects realize their inner goals and formulate a plan to protect assets.

Conversation starter suggestion: Where are you now personally/professionally, and where would you like to be in the next few years?

Why it matters: Maybe it sounds like a job interview question, but people love to talk about the future they envision. Voicing their aspirations can be the first step in bringing those to fruition. Insurance products and financial planning are vital to the journey.

2. Talk about money habits.

Money habits are also important to talk about because, as a conversation starter, they can get people thinking about two vital components of their financial future: 1) current waste and 2) future opportunities.

Out of these thoughts, you can help prospects to see the need in a contingency plan — like life insurance, for example — and feel more empowered about their future. Both of these are positive feelings they will attribute to your efforts if you handle it in the right way.

Conversation starter suggestion: What are some financial worries that you would like to conquer in the next six months?

Why it matters: Many of the products you offer as an agent will give prospects the peace of mind that comes from having a contingency plan against financial loss (i.e. life insurance, homeowners insurance, income replacement insurance, etc.).

3. Discuss their fears.

Prospects often come to you because of the feeling they’ve reached a point in life where they have something to lose. While it may not seem positive talking about this subject, it is constructive in helping the prospect to address those nagging fears, and any step forward is a good thing.

Conversation starter suggestion: What do you fear most?

Why it matters: Prospects need to know the purpose behind the product because insurance has always been something one hopes they never have to use, but will always need at some point. Getting fears out in the open will lend context to what can seem like an intangible benefit.

4. Focus on passions and hobbies.

Not every topic of discussion has to be so deep as hopes and fears and dreams. By bringing up passions and hobbies, you can help prospects see where insurance fits.

Take any somewhat expensive hobby: collecting first-edition books, restoring classic cars, etc. Such interests, if improperly insured, can bring with them a lot of risk in losing money, elbow grease, and mental energy.

Conversation starter suggestion: If the house was on fire and the family was safe, what is something you would consider running back in to save?

Why it matters: A concrete scenario like this will draw a much better thought-out response than a simple, “What are you passionate about?”

5. Ask about their family.

Generally speaking, people often love their spouses and children more than they do themselves. That may not always be the case, but it’s a harmless assumption if you’re selling insurance.

Protecting one’s family is a big motivator for a prospect seeking you out in the first place. And if they’ve yet to start a family, it’s usually something in the back of their minds as they approach.

Conversation starter suggestion(s): Are you married? Single? Any children? Any plans to start a family in the next few years?

Why it matters: The point is to get the conversation started, so don’t launch right into life-or-death scenarios. Get them talking about the positive people in their lives, and take it from there.

6. Use productive small talk.

There is small talk, and there is productive small talk.

Small talk would be something like, “What do you think of this weather?” Productive small talk would be a simple conversation that one or both of you can learn from.

Conversation starter suggestion(s): Have you upgraded to the new iPhone/Samsung/whatever? What kind of phone do you have? Etc.

Why it matters: People love their phones, or at least love when they learn something about their phones that makes their lives easier. Conversely, if they share the same type of phone and know more than you do, they get to teach you something, and that leaves them with a positive vibe. It’s not direct salesmanship, but it’s a way that you can “connect” with your prospect without awkwardly grabbing at something they may or may not care about.

7. Welcome questions.

Sometimes the best conversation starter is to simply take a back seat and encourage questions from your prospect. Allow them to drive!

Each person you meet will be different, and will come with a unique level of understanding (or lack of understanding) as well as life circumstances, financial resources, and goals. Some will know exactly what to say while others may need a little guidance.

Conversation starter suggestion(s): Before we begin, are there any questions that you have for me?

Why it matters: Keeping it simple is important because it elicits a purer response from the prospect. The response will tell you where they are in the process and what their expectations are from you from the beginning.

In Summary

Conversation starters can be tricky when meeting with a prospect for the first time, but if you pick one of the above, have confidence in your product, and, equally as important, yourself, you’ll be able to turn an icebreaker into a sale.

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