If your prospects aren’t picking up the phone, it might be time to find a new strategy.
You’re an experienced insurance salesperson. You know your products, and you have your sales pitch nailed down. But when it comes time to actually close the deal, those prospects oftentimes say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Or, worse yet, they won’t even pick up the phone.
So, what went wrong? As John Graham suggests in a PropertyCasualty360 piece, it’s very likely that your prospecting strategy doesn’t line up with how most prospects think. As he sees it, the key to prospecting is first getting prospects to find you, and not vice versa. “If a prospect doesn’t know the salesperson, it’s so easy to say ‘no thanks,’” Graham says.
Prospecting is hard work. But if you can rectify these three common prospecting mistakes, you’ll soon have a full pipeline of potential clients who are eager to sit down for a meeting.
You Didn’t Differentiate Yourself From the Competition
People deal with a daily bombardment of ads and sales pitches from a huge variety of sources, and social media has only increased the volume of ads people see. Pretty soon, all those calls to action blend together, and your message might get lost in a digital haze. Don’t blame it all on the internet age, though. Perhaps the real reason your messaging failed to reach likely prospects is because it was too generic to be memorable, or simply too similar to every other insurance agent out there.
Instead of trying to blanket every potential prospect with the same spiel and standard product menu, brand yourself as a specialist in a specific market. Pinpoint your target audience, whether they be up-and-coming millennials or older folks, and tailor your message and solutions specifically for them. Know their pain points, and build a reputation in that field as the expert who can ease their concerns.
A couple of caveats here: No matter which audience you aim for, be sure that your website is easy to navigate and your social media posts are consistent. Although you want to market yourself as an expert, steer away from using too much jargon. Speak in terms that your prospects will understand.
Your Prospect Wasn’t Interested in Your Product
If you still think that cold calling is the best way to prospect, it’s time to do a little research. Think about it this way: Would you accept a sales call for a product you’ve never heard of? Neither would the prospect you’re cold-calling, and it’s possible that an unexpected sales pitch could permanently mar your relationship with a potential prospect.
So, ditch the cold calls and reach out to warmer prospects by purchasing internet leads from a qualified provider. One of the best features of buying internet leads is that you can segment them by product line — if you sell auto insurance, for example, you can choose to solely purchase the contact information of prospects who want auto insurance. This way, you can be sure that the prospect you contact has a strong interest in your product and will therefore be receptive to your services.
Although generating qualified leads isn’t quite the same as selling product, it’s certainly a necessary practice, and it also makes your job as an insurance agent easier. “Salespeople are most confident when the path is prepared for them, whether it’s a referral or some other qualified lead,” Graham notes.
You Didn’t Focus on What the Prospect Actually Wanted
Even the warmest of prospects will likely walk away if you rush to talk product or quote prices. They won’t mind spending their money, however, if you present a clear explanation of how your product and services benefit them. Instead of immediately skipping to a close, take the time to get to know your prospect and their needs. What exactly are they looking for in an insurance product? Do they want the peace of mind a life insurance policy provides for their family? Are they looking for secure retirement income? Perhaps an annuity alleviates that concern.
Now that you have a better idea of why the prospect actually wanted to be contacted in the first place, you can begin to describe how your product meets those needs. One great way to illustrate why your product is worth buying is by telling a story where a client purchased a similar policy and saw considerable returns on their investment.
Instead of immediately selling product (or selling product price), win clients over by first listening to them, understanding their needs, and then pitching your services as a logical solution to their problems.