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Rethinking Your Insurance Sales Pitch for 2021

Rocio Carrasco-Gras
April 05, 2021

There is a problem with the traditional sales pitch — it can be unappealing and only offers two outcomes: your prospective groups will love what you have to offer, which will lead to a new addition to your book of business, or they won’t and you will receive a polite decline. Furthermore, a scalable sales formula comes down to understanding who your buyer is and what their specific needs are. How is a scripted insurance sales pitch going to help you personalize your approach and service to each prospect? While only 7% of top performers report pitching, 19% of non-top performers pitch their offering. Basically, those who are not top performers are much more likely to pitch their services. So then, how are top performers scoring most of the sales?

They are not pitching their offering; instead, they are engaging prospects in conversations, building relationships, and demonstrating how their service offers a direct solution to the prospect’s needs and challenges. A successful sales pitch is not a monologue. It’s a dialogue. In this week’s Broker Tool Belt, we’ll focus on how to create a positive sales experience during your first call with a prospective client.

1. Use Your Insurance Sales Pitch to Build a Connection

Once you’ve given a brief introduction, a successful insurance sales pitch continues by building a dialogue. Rather than starting the call with information that is all about you, ask your prospective client a question. Prospects don’t want to feel you are selling to them. In fact, 61% of buyers indicated that they don’t want to deal with a pushy salesperson.

how to improve sales experience
Source: Hubspot

It can be as simple as, “how are you today?” Or you could be more strategic and ask a question that will help you guide the conversation in the right direction. Oftentimes, this question helps you introduce the problem. During COVID-19, that could be as straightforward as, “how are you doing in these difficult times?” Most likely, employers will begin to describe both personal and work challenges. In this case, when you highlight a shift in the world, you allow for your prospects to open up about how it affects them.

The goal is to make your prospective client feel comfortable talking to you. When you reach out to employers, their natural state might be defensive, knowing that you are trying to sell them your services. If you proactively work to establish a connection and build rapport, as you would have with any other person you just met–it will play in your favor. This connection will help them relate to you on a personal level, giving them more reason to trust you.

2. Learn What Their Challenges Are

As revealed in the above image, 69% of buyers selected “listen to my needs,” as their top preference to make their sales experience better. By starting your call with a question and showing interest in your prospects, you’ve moved away from the idea of a traditional insurance sales pitch and you can start a conversation based on your prospects’ needs.

When talking about knowing your prospects, we mean going beyond the company they work for and their current plans and policies. Only 13% of executive buyers believe that salespeople truly understand their business issues. The importance of proving that you understand your prospects’ challenges cannot be stressed enough, as it helps to build trust and clearly displays a need for your service offerings.

Moreover, this step will help you avoid making assumptions. Don’t go into the conversation thinking you know every problem your prospect is facing. Let them tell you. For example, ask them to tell you about the top three challenges they are experiencing today, and engage with each of them by asking follow-up questions or telling another client’s story that had the same problem — and how you were able to offer up a solution.

3. Focus on Value Instead of Price

We’ve covered the top two priorities when it comes to building a better sales experience according to Hubspot’s research. Moving on to the third one, 61% of buyers would like the salesperson to “provide relevant information,” but what does that mean exactly? It means bringing value to the table. You’ve established a connection and you’ve learned about their specific needs. Now, it’s important to set the topic of price aside for a little longer and instead concentrate on filling the gaps your prospect has in their benefits offering.

At this stage, position yourself as deus ex machina—you are the character in the story that solves the problem that seems unsolvable. Think Gandalf, Cinderella’s fairy godmother, or Obi Wan Kenobi. You are the benefits expert and this conversation needs to help your prospect see you as such. Your prospect knows there are other benefits experts, but you’ll show them why you are different. If you really listen to your prospects, in this step you will be able to glean insights and pitch the right offer. You can respond and adjust your plan accordingly. For example, if the employer pointed out how difficult it is for them to educate and engage employees on their benefits, focus on explaining how you help your clients with enhanced employee communications.

4. Ask About Their Decision

At this point, you should have had a conversation with your prospect that addressed their problems and showed how your service offers the solution. The next step is to give your prospective client clear instructions on what they need to do next.

First, ask for the sale. 85% of the interactions between salespeople and prospects end without the salesperson ever asking for the sale. If you don’t ask for it, you are not giving your prospect the space to decide. Ask for the sale and then wait. Don’t continue selling or talking. If they have any more questions, they’ll ask you and you can address them at that time, but it is key to create the space for them to think and make a choice.

Second, if they’ve said yes, explain the next steps. What are you going to start doing and what do you need from them to set everything up? Whatever action is required, make it clear. If they’ve said no, thank them for their time, but don’t give up. 60% of customers say no four times before saying yes and 80% of sales require five follow-up calls. You didn’t deliver a scripted insurance sales pitch. You had a conversation. Therefore, it will be easier for you to follow up on how their problems are progressing.

Final Thoughts About Rethinking Your Insurance Sales Pitch

Never stop rethinking your insurance sales pitch. There are hundreds of articles out there providing templates or quick techniques. Still, not all will be helpful or worth it for you to implement. There is always room for improvement and it is a good idea to search for inspiration, but ultimately you are the one who knows your prospect and can decide where the conversation will go. In addition, once the sales pitch is done, practice what you preach. You can’t promise paradise and then forget about your clients. 81% of consumers trust the advice of family and friends over business advice. If you don’t offer them the service they paid for, negative reviews will surface and the impact on your agency could be catastrophic. Insurance agency referrals can be one of the biggest drivers of revenue growth. The reverse holds equally true.

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