How to Work a Lead
When you call an insurance lead, one of three things are going to happen: there’s no answer, the customer picks up, or the call goes to voicemail. With the last two, you’d better know what you’re going to say if you’re going to turn that lead into a sale.
You need to manage your message. A lot of agents think they’ll know what to say once a customer picks up the phone. Maybe they’re a good sales person, in-person, but a phone conversation is a little different, and you’ll need to be prepared. On a voicemail, you don’t want to stumble over your words and say something like, “Hi, this is agent so-and-so, and I noticed you were looking online for insurance rates. Call me back…” There’s no way a customer’s going to pick up their phone.
The biggest thing is tone of voice. I recommend agents use a prerecorded message. Sound excited. Say, “I see you were looking to save money on my site. And I’d really like to talk to you!” Enthusiasm carries. Remember the AOL “You’ve Got Mail” notification? What did you do[C1] when you heard it? You checked it, right? It’s all about personality. If you can, lead with a joke. Some people can do this, some can’t. You have to know your strengths. But if you do lead with a joke, make sure you give your name and number before you deliver the punch line (while you’ve got their attention). Either way, you have to create interest. Otherwise, why would anyone call you back?
If the customer picks up, you’ll need to make them feel at ease. Ask them if they have five minutes to talk about insurance. This lets them know you respect their time and won’t take too much of it. Next, you’ll need to get to know them. I like to think of this step as following the FORM: Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Message. Get folks talking about their family–do they have kids, are they teenagers or newborns? This will affect the type of insurance they need. Ask what they do for work. Does their occupation require a specific type of additional insurance? Finally, start talking to them about how they like to have fun. Do they ski, ride a motorcycle, go skydiving? By asking these types of questions, you can tailor your message to the individual based on the information they provide, all the while keeping the conversation flowing, because almost everyone likes talking about themselves.
Once you’ve made the connection with them, you can tailor your pitch to them. Now, you can start asking the harder questions, such as how much they’re willing to pay for insurance. You definitely don’t want to ask what their current rate is and then try to match it. No one wants to be inconvenienced, and if you can’t offer them anything new, why would they switch? Plus, the key to having an agent, as opposed to getting car insurance online, is personalized service.
The truth is most people are under or over insured, and it usually depends on their age. Chances are, if they’re younger and single, they’ve probably got too much insurance and could use the lower rates you’re prepared to provide them. If they’ve got a family and a house, they’re likely underinsured (and you already know this through your initial conversation). You don’t have to ask what they’re willing to pay for insurance or how much coverage they would like. You can ask how much money they’d want if that classic car they told you about was damaged, or a member of their family—the one that just celebrated a birthday–got injured in an auto accident. Now you have a base for how much insurance they’re willing to carry. I like to say, “You can’t insure yourself for less than what you’re willing to ask from someone else.”
To close out the conversation I like to have a call to action: “Let’s look at your policy.” You talk to them about their assets. There’s no need to mention their existing policy—that doesn’t matter—you add value by discussing the things that matter to them, the build their policy through the conversation you just had. And the whole time it feels natural, because it was. You know each other, you’ve become their agent.
Bob Klee, President