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Sales Techniques for Insurance Professionals (4-part Series)

by Paul T. Montgomery

Part 1: Overcoming Objections

Wouldn’t it be nice if insurance was as easy to sell as ice cream? Everyone would be excited to see you and immediately want what you had to sell.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Not many people are eagerly awaiting insurance agents or asking you to add sprinkles. In fact, part of your job is preparing for, and dealing with, objections. And there are almost as many types of objections as there are flavors at Baskin Robbins.

The keys to successfully overcoming objections are to:

1 – expect them

2 – remain calm and

3 – be fully prepared to respond with information

Common Objections

1: It’s Too Costly

One of the most common objections when selling anything is price.

Start by getting a feel for what the prospect wants to spend. In a data-driven world, many customers have already looked up policy costs and have some numbers in mind. You can then look for plans in that price range. To narrow down the possibilities, ask them about their needs and lifestyle. Their responses may present information that will help you find lower rates. By learning about them and working with the prospect, you may also find some value-added benefits or discounts for which they qualify. Like a good accountant looking to save tax expenses, the point is that you can help prospects find rates that work for them and cover their insurance needs.

 2. Too Many Sales Calls

Another common objection comes from those of us who are inundated with salespeople and can’t take it anymore.

In this case, customers are objecting to the glut of solicitations they receive – it’s not you, so don’t take it personally. One way to respond is by siding with them. Let them know that you also get those annoying recorded phone calls about your auto warranty. The difference is that you are looking to have a conversation to find the best options for them and not just selling, selling, and selling. Unlike the car warranty folks, you’re also not automated and can explain benefits you can offer personally.

You might also give them access to objective, factual information, and pricing resources to entice your offer. For example: with Inshura.com, you have a Customer Portal that lets your clients do their own research about ACA Health Insurance and Ancillary Insurance like Dental, Vision, Hospital indemnity, and more.

With a resource like this, you gain credibility. The customer may complete their enrollment online, saving you time and effort!

 3. Not Interested!

Then there are the prospects who are just “not interested.”  This is usually a kneejerk response because they don’t have the time to talk or don’t think they need what you are selling. You have to respond quickly with a (planned) “kneejerk” response – something unorthodox to grab their attention may catch them before they hang up or disconnect.

You might ask a riddle like: “What starts with a P, ends with an E, and has thousands of letters?”

Such a silly riddle will pique their curiosity. Then you say, “the Post office.”

Perhaps you can start with a trivia question: “Where is the only United States flag that flies but is never lowered or flown at half-mast?” Pause if they don’t know, then answer, “On the moon.”  By using a fun riddle, trivia question, or a dad joke – one that’s short, clean, not obscure (everyone’s heard of the moon), and not offensive, you can grab their attention long enough to say, “Lots of people tell me they’re not interested, but when they give me just three minutes, they become more interested.”

The point is, do something in that split second to show that you’re not like the boring (painful) phone calls they’ve received again, and again, and again. If they are wavering or responding that they have no time, ask, “What is a time that works better for you? By positively differentiating yourself and being flexible, you will certainly beat those automated calls every time.

Overcoming Objections

The trick to overcoming objections is to work with the prospects. If it’s price, find something that better suits their budget. If sales calls are bombarding them, let them know you are also bombarded by sales calls, but you are not automated and actually have something they can use. And if they are simply not interested, do something unique (polite) and fun to grab their attention. Make them smile and ask if they can give you a few minutes of their time.

Yes, unlike ice cream, objections are part of selling insurance. You need to be prepared for these and many other common responses.


 

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