Ever feel like the once critical phone call is now irrelevant? You’re not alone. The rise of data-driven prospecting and digital outreach sparked this rumor that phone prospecting is dead.
Yet, successful development teams still leverage the phone with insurance prospecting software for great results – in fact our Partner Platform agencies are emphasizing that a phone conversation is more important than ever. But how are they getting to that conversation?
The Facts Don’t Lie
Insurance prospecting software evolved, and savvy agencies took these new tech advances and leveraged them to improve time-honored outreach methods. Studies show there is no reason to put the phone call to rest:
- 69% of buyers accepted one or more cold calls in 2019
- More than 80% of buyers said they set sales appointments as a result of multiple contacts that started with a cold call
- Almost half of buyers say cold calls are their preferred first contact
- 57% of C-suite executives report they value information gained from phone calls with reps
These stats show phone outreach is alive and well. It’s all about how you leverage it.
1. Start with a data
Data, gained through your insurance CRM, is your starting point. Even though initial phone outreach is known as “cold calling,” these calls shouldn’t be cold at all. The information gained from your marketing automation campaigns and CRM should provide essential background knowledge you can leverage to build a relationship right away.
2. Use more than one outreach method
While the prospecting call is very much alive for some, it may not work for all. Your outreach efforts should be part of a multi-pronged strategy. Content sharing, email, and social media are all elements of what makes up effective, professionally persistent, data-driven outreach.
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3. Get to know prospects
Whether via phone, email, text, or another method, each of your conversations should contain an element of discovery. Focus on understanding the person you’re talking to: what do they need most? What are their barriers to purchase? Do they have any non-negotiables? The more you know, the better you can tailor policy proposals to meet their needs, making them more likely to choose your agency for coverage.
4. Make it easy to focus
Stay focused on the call and the prospect’s needs at all times. Eliminate distractions: close your door, sign out of email and social networking, and consider wearing headphones to block out other noise.
Show your commitment to the conversation by saying the prospect’s name often, smiling, and leaving room for them to talk. Over 60% of individuals surveyed said someone who listens to their needs is more likely to win their business.
Get more tips on the systems and steps you need to gain insurance leads on our blog
5. Provide useful follow-up
Keep the prospect engaged with a follow-up re-cap of what you talked about, confirmation on your next communication (whether a call, something you’ll email, or a meeting), and add in something they can use. That “something useful” could be a link to client feedback, contact info for a referrer, special offer, or any other content that provides more information. This follow-up gives them a reference as they think it over, and it shows you care more about meeting their needs than signing them as a customer.
6. Train your agents
Too often in sales, it’s thought you either have “it,” or you don’t. Though there is some element of natural ability and interest, successful agents grow from coaching and training.
Know your agents’ strengths and weaknesses and leverage training to fill in gaps. Perhaps you need to bring in new agents to add to the team or look to others in your agency who could grow into the position. To help grow your group, establish mentorship and coaching, allowing team members to bolster confidence and learn the ropes. And have a constant feedback loop for all team members, ensuring each has someone to consult to assess growth and celebrate successes.
7. Keep moving from better to best
As with all successful agency processes, you need to review and improve your prospecting strategy continuously. Try different outreach cadences, test various scripts, and add to training as is necessary to help your team stay fresh and focused.
And keep your team equipped with the right insurance prospecting software. Essential tools include your insurance CRM and marketing automation systems as well as quality communication tools like an up-to-date insurance agency website, integrated email and texting, and a custom client portal. The easier it is for you to connect with prospects, the better.