Bravo! Bravo! Encore! Sadly, you’ll probably never hear a prospect say those words. Insurance just isn’t that inspiring to most. You can avoid the glassy-eyed glare and other sales presentation pitfalls, though.
If you’re looking for insurance sales pitch tips, we’ve got them. Steal the show by following our advice!
Listen to this article:
Focus on Educating, Not Selling
Nobody likes to feel like they’re being sold to, especially when the product is something they aren’t sure they really need. People research and buy products that they feel they need or will benefit from — insurance products aren’t any different. The thing is, gathering information on insurance can be challenging for the average consumer.
Many people don’t understand insurance, including what their options are and how coverage works. In 2017, UnitedHealthcare found just nine percent of Americans know all four of the following terms: “health plan premium,” “health plan deductible,” “out-of-pocket maximum,” and “co-insurance.” Be the agent who bridges that knowledge gap and get more business in return.
Instead of taking advantage of your prospects’ lack of knowledge, use the opportunity to educate them and establish yourself as their go-to guru for insurance-related needs. How?
- Break things down into layman’s terms.
- Provide them with charts and illustrations.
- Give them recommendations, but let them feel comfortable making their own choice.
If a client in any way feels like you’ve led them down the garden path, they could make complaints to the carrier or CMS, rapidly disenroll from their plan, and/or search for assistance elsewhere. However, if they feel like you’ve helped them and provided them with great insights and recommendations, they could send more clients (and more new business) your way. Remember: Trust that is built is much more stable than trust that is blind.
Remember: Trust that is built is much more stable than trust that is blind.
Avoid Making Bad Assumptions
We all make assumptions to get us through the day. For instance, we make plans and schedule appointments based on how long we assume they and other things on our calendar will take. However, sometimes, making assumptions can get us into trouble, such as when:
- We wait until the last reasonable minute to leave the house for meetings or appointments because we assume traffic will be normal.
- We start sales appointments expecting they will go one way, and they end up going another.
- We quickly go over premium, deductible, out-of-pocket, and copay costs because we assume people know what those basic insurance terms mean.
If you want to give a great presentation, try not to make bad assumptions during your sales pitch. Don’t go into conversations thinking your customers understand or know all their options (because they probably don’t). Once you start explaining products, don’t assume your client actually understands what they are. And don’t think that, just because your client looks healthy or has money, they want the cheapest or most expensive plan they can afford.
Bad assumptions can lead to confusion, wasted time, and lost sales. (After all, you’ve probably heard the familiar joke about what ASSumptions make out of U and ME.) Finding out what your clients know, educating them on what they don’t, and uncovering their wants and needs can set the stage for another valuable relationship and more future business.
Stop Presenting, Start Listening!
How can you find out what your clients understand, what they don’t, and uncover the key details you need to make a fantastic recommendation? (Especially if your client is a perpetually nodding yes-man or yes-woman.) Ask them questions and listen to their responses! This way you can find out what people actually know, want, and need.
Open-ended questions are great for identifying problems and potential solutions; however, close-ended ones can also give you valuable insight. Consider the following examples:
- What don’t you like about your current plan?
- What would you like your new plan to do for you?
- How much can you afford to pay for your plan each month?
- Where and/or who would you like to receive help from?
- Which quality is the most important to you: the plan’s premium, the ability to see the providers you want, the insurer’s name, or the plan’s rating?
- Is there anything else I can help you with today?
Asking these and other questions can help you learn more about your client and exceed their expectations. But don’t forget, you also have to listen — really listen — to clients’ responses in order to truly glean anything and pitch the right product. When you practice active and empathetic listening, you don’t just think about what to do or say for your next move; you consciously focus on what your client is saying, and then respond and adjust your plan accordingly.
Prove You Practice What You Preach
Being nervous before a presentation is perfectly normal. However, coming off as nervous during a presentation can be unprofessional and off-putting. (And no, all the PowerPoint slides in the world can’t fix that.)
A big reason why a prospect or client might reach out to you, an agent, is because they aren’t sure what they should do, and they think you can help them. If you can’t sell them on your ability to do just that, you won’t be able to sell them a product. And you might even get upstaged by local competition.
If you can’t sell prospects on your ability to help them, you won’t be able to sell them a product.
Before going to a sales appointment, practice your core sales script at least a few times. If you can, ask a family member, friend, or mentor (or pet!) to listen to your pitch and provide you with feedback. If you’d rather practice it alone, watch yourself in a mirror and record yourself (even if it’s just your voice). Then, reflect on the following:
- Tone: Try to vary your tone so you sound like you’re having a conversation with a friend. You don’t want to sound monotone, but now isn’t really the time and place to sound like the late Billy Mays, either.
- Pace: Find a happy medium that makes you appear intelligent and calm. Too fast can leave the client wondering what you just said. Too slow can leave the client feeling ready to get you out the door.
- Eye contact: Exude confidence and let your client know they have your undivided attention. You don’t want to come across as creepy or weird.
- Body language: Use positive body language, and avoid committing faux pas. Remember to smile and sit up straight (but relaxed) with your arms open. Try not to lean back, cross your arms, check your watch, or look stiff and frustrated.
After you give it a go, make note of what you could do better, then do another take. Try to improve in all four areas. Keep practicing, and when it’s time for you to be in the limelight, you should be one tough act to follow.
Bonus: Do you own the product you’re trying to sell? Letting the prospect know that you actually bought the product yourself can really prove to them you find it a beneficial purchase.
People may not find insurance thrilling, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from strutting your stuff. Remember your audience — your clients. They need your help. Strive to give them your best.
Mastering the art of communication helps agents like you get more clients and close more sales. Stay tuned for more posts with ways you can refine your presentation skills!