How to Close a Lead

Many agents think they’ll know what to say once they get a prospect on the phone. Maybe you’re a good sales person, in-person, but a phone conversation is a little different, and you’ll need to be prepared.

Here are three important tips to guide the conversation:

1) Let them know you respect their time and won’t take too much of it. This can be as simple as saying, “do you have five minutes to talk about your current coverage?” Be realistic about the time, but choose a specific number so they know exactly what to expect and as well as what you’ll be discussing.

2) Get them to start talking by asking questions. I like to use what I call F.O.R.M., which stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation and Message. Get them talking about their home life, family, if their job requires additional insurance, and how they like to spend their free time. 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.

3) Don’t overuse shop talk or industry acronyms. This isn’t another insurance agent you’re talking to, it’s a consumer who just wants to find the right policy at the best price. Speak in terms they understand and relate your sales pitch back to their life, work, and hobbies.

Once you’ve made a connection and understand your customer’s needs, 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 take a look at your policy.” Talk to them about their assets. There’s no need to mention their existing policy—that doesn’t matter—you will add value by discussing the things that matter to them, then 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.

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