Next to finding prospects, closing the deal can be one of the hardest aspects of insurance sales. Learning from my experience working with the sales people in my last agency to my own personal experiences, I have found that there are some tactics that are powerful and some that simply do not work.
Some of these strategies come from experiences that have made me confident doing business with others while the rest come from insurance producers who know how to close the deal.
Make sure they are the right fit
This is sort of insurance sales 101 but is often ignored because, well honestly, we all want to close sales. As experienced sales people will tell you, sometimes it is better to walk away than it is to try and fit a square peg in a round hole.
Remember that as an agent, it is not necessarily your job to sell policies but to connect people to a policy that works for them. If they are not a fit, you will struggle to close the deal and even if you do close the deal it’s going to be a struggle keeping them long term.
Follow up…. Well
This seems so basic but are you really following up? Sometimes people just forget to email you back, or sometimes people are having second thoughts. So how are you securing your quote?
You need to follow up with prospects. And don’t just follow up with a “do you want that quote?” Follow up with value. Ask questions, ask them if they understand everything. Make sure they are comfortable saying yes, if not find out why.
You don’t have to beg or overwhelm your prospect, but let them know you care and are available. If the follow up is not done well, your prospect will simply feel like another number.
Video is a powerful tool when it comes to closing sales. From branding the customer experience, to following up and sealing the deal, video is powerful in the sales process.
Take it from Nicholas Ayers of i80 solutions who uses video in all aspects of the sales process and how it can be especially useful in showing your human side to close sales.
Depending on your sales style you can implement video to help close in a number of ways:
- Video conferences so they can “touch” and “feel” the policy. Then record it so they don’t have to try and explain in their own words to their spouse or business partner.
- Videos to show the prospect what they can expect from doing business with you. Include it when you send the quote via email to give them confidence in choosing you.
- Create a video FAQ. Most people are going to have questions after the quote. By creating this FAQ you can help answer questions 24/7 with your video FAQ.
Using video makes it seem like you’re there and a real person. Allowing prospects to touch and feel even without being able to visit with them time after time allows them to secure their own decision to buy from you.
Use meaningful closing techniques
I do not like being “sold.” Techniques designed to trick people into saying yes or scaring people into saying yes are not good for long term business. If you are trying to convince your prospects to do business with you then you are not closing in a meaningful way.
Closing a sale should really come from a mutual agreement. Not me selling you something. Help the buyer see for themselves why they are buying from you instead of convincing them.
In a previous blog post on closing (read here) Mark Reilly presents us with the 1-10 closing technique. This technique allows the buyer share why they want to buy and also balance that with addressing if it is worth it where the benefits outweigh the risk.
Here’s how it goes:
- “On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is leave and never call me again and 10 which is sign me up now, where are you”
- “Really, I am kind of surprised you picked that number. Based on what you had said in our conversations I had you more as (insert the number, higher or lower)
- “It looks like you have a number of reasons to move forwarded. Now I am confused again. Based on what you said why are you not a 10?”
- “Okay, it sounds like this may have real potential to help you do what you want to do but you are still concerned about A and B, now that we looked more closely at these two things has your number changed at all.”
The point of a closing technique such as this is to allow the buyer to see for themselves why they are buying or why they do not want to. This gives them the confidence to move forward and will help start a sustainable business relationship. Just as long as they truly are a good fit.
Understand the journey the buyer is going on
Every prospect is going to be in a different spot on the buyer’s journey and it is not your job to force the sale but to be ready when they are ready to buy.
- Someone’s insurance rates may have risen so they are on the fence about switching. They may reach out but may not be ready to say yes until 6 months later when their current insurance expires.
- Another person may be buying a specific policy for the first time so they want to make sure they have all their ducks in a row. This might mean they are going to bounce questions off of you for a couple weeks until they say yes.
- And another person may be at the final hour and need a policy signed by the end of the day.
When you understand what your buyer is going through, you can provide what’s necessary at that point in time.
This does not mean babying the buyer, but understanding their goals and timeline can help you be at the right places at the right times.
Are you currently using any of these strategies? What works for you? What doesn’t work for you?