Before you can make an insurance sale you first need to make another sale called the insurance appointment. Realize that setting the insurance appointment has all the importance of the sale and must use all the skills, tactics, techniques and talents employed when closing a sale for money.
The prospect is naturally resistant to setting an insurance appointment because they have a fear of being sold during the appointment. There is a natural resistance in America to place oneself in a sales situation. Therefore, if your insurance appointment setting call is pushy, expect your prospect to become defensive. So let me suggest that you make your insurance appointment setting call the opposite – make it “pully.” Rather than pushing yourself on the prospect, pull the prospect to you. You do this by asking questions to engage the prospect in what’s important to them.
Let’s assume you are calling the prospect and this is not a cold call. You’ve either been referred to the insurance prospect, they have returned a response card, they filled out something on the Internet, they attended your seminar or they have in some way expressed interest in your products and services but you cannot assume what that level of interest may be. Therefore, you must pull their motivation out of them such that the prospect sees the insurance appointment as a way to get what they want, an opportunity that has more reward than risk. Here’s how an appointment setting conversation should sound:
You: Mrs. Smith
You: I understand that you have an interest in information about long-term care insurance is that correct?
Oh yes, who is this?
You: This is Bob Thompson who gave the presentation on Tuesday afternoon at the senior center about long-term care alternatives. Did you enjoy it?
Oh yes it was very informative and I learned quite a few things Mr. Thompson.
You: Mrs. Smith, let me ask you, what motivated you to attend that talk?
Well, my sister-in-law recently went into a nursing home so I’ve been thinking a lot about it.
You: What plans did she have for that?
She didn’t have any and that’s why she has such a problem now.
You: Do you have similar concerns for yourself?
Yes, I do. I don’t even like to think about it.
You: Well you shouldn’t have to think about it. Just put the right plans in place and then forget about it. Wouldn’t that be better?
Well am not sure what those right plans would be.
You: So it sounds like you’d like to find out what it is other people do who are prepared for situation like your sister-in-law could have been. Is that correct?
You: May I suggest that you take advantage of one of our community service appointments on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. At those appointments we show people with concerns like yours what other people do to prepare so that there never taken by surprise and so that an unfortunate failure of health does not become a catastrophe. Is that the kind of security you would like?
You: Would next Thursday be an open afternoon for you?
Yes it would.
As we see, our master salesperson does not push himself on the prospect for the insurance appointment and get the prospect defensive but rather pulls the motivation out of the prospect so that the prospect is interested in the offer for an appointment. Our appointment setting master does this in two ways:
- He asks questions and does no telling (the Achilles heel of most people in sales)
- He make a non-intimidating offer and explains what value the prospect will get from the appointment
Hopefully, this technique when practiced many times will improve your ability to set more insurance appointments.