Cold Calling for Insurance Brokers – Eight Basic Tips
While cold calling may not be the best or most effective way to generate new business, it is an invaluable skill in and of itself that every professional insurance broker should master. It can often lead to very fruitful relationships, which can produce great referrals down the road.
Clearly Define The Purpose To Yourself – Before you start dialling, reflect on the purpose of the call you're about to make. Many people with a sales background think that the goal is merely to make a sale, but it's not - in most cases, it is to make that initial contact, with the goal of arranging a future face-to-face appointment. You are hoping to turn these prospects into clients, and create long-term business relationships that will generate future leads and referrals.
Define your Prospects – You will find that researching and grouping your prospects into categories will help to increase your overall success rate. People employed in a specific industry or holding similar positions will tend to have similar values and habits - especially when it comes to conversational style and time management. From a work efficiency standpoint, it is also easier to make the calls to like-minded people.
Have An Opening Framework – You don't need to follow a specific, word-for-word script when calling, but you should definitely develop and practise a solid framework for your over-the-phone opening statements. Be sure to include a warm greeting, an introduction, and a time-frame statement. Cite a reference point and highlight the benefits of working with you. Be brief, clear and concise - that way, you will project a professional image.
Be Personal – Most people are barraged by phone calls every day, and chances are you're not going to be remembered if you sound just like every other unsolicited phone conversation. Learn ways to make an impact, and communicate your identity and purpose in a friendly, personal manner.
Smile While Talking – Don't laugh - research has shown that people who smile while speaking sound more pleasant, positive and tend to feel better - this translates into how you sound over the phone as well. You will be surprised at what a big difference this makes, but don't just ponder it - try it.
Ask For Help When Dealing With Gatekeepers – In cases where you are calling business owners or people in executive positions, you are likely to encounter gatekeepers who are instructed not to put unsolicited calls through except for certain circumstances. In these situations, use the magical sentence, "Is there any way you could help me?" If you give the attendant the impression they are assisting you instead of defending their turf, you are much more likely to break the ice and get through to the intended prospect.
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Turn A Negative Into A Positive – In every cold-calling scenario, you will be encountering all flavours of rejection and oodles of "no"s. It's hard to, but don't take them personally. A good way to keep a cheerfully humorous attitude is to make a slight adjustment to a well-known mind game - tally up the nopes instead of the positive outcomes.
Call At The Right Times – The best time to call is arguably early in the morning, when you can reach the person directly and they are full of energy and as yet unburdened by the day's events. This is especially true if you call business owners - the best time is either before 9 AM or after 5 PM when gatekeepers are usually absent and you're talking directly to the person you wanted - the decision-maker.