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DON’T give a sales pitch at the end 

People don’t like being sold to, especially in a cold call. No matter how good your pitch is, you’re still just another salesman asking for their time and money.  Instead of trying to push towards the sale, position yourself as your contact’s trusted insurance advisor. This is why you need to be able to convey your value in the context of their needs.

As an agent, you have special expertise that you can leverage to show your leads something they can’t find easily themselves. 

A great piece of branded collateral or a tool to grade their business on their risks will do much more to generate interest, and they’re much easier to follow-up on than a sales pitch. Even if you were able to make a sale on the first call, would you want a client who can walk away from their agent that easily?

DO your research and prepare for objections 

As a rule, you should be very knowledgeable about the industries you’re selling to help put your potential clients’ needs into perspective. In addition to following big names, blogs, and publications in your prospect’s space, you should always check out their LinkedIn, company website, and take notes before making the call. This is one of the best ways to identify pain points and potential objections and cannot be neglected. 

These insights will inform the questions you ask and the sales materials you’ll send over. How many employees do they have? What industry do they work in? You can work with your underwriters to identify the best types of risks to insure and what questions to ask.  However, the internet and underwriters can only show you so much. Experience will always be the greatest teacher and the only way to succeed in cold calling is with repetition. 

DO Keep things as short as possible

Insurance can be complex and confusing, and your prospect likely doesn’t want to be on the phone in the first place. You need to be able to convey to them the value of not only having insurance but also being insured with you in a way that’s straightforward and to the point. The best way to do this is to identify a clear goal for your first call, whether its to share a piece of collateral you can follow up on or qualify them for a consultation call.

Introduce yourself in the context of the value you bring, or the problem that you solve. Instead of asking them time-consuming questions about their business, tell them the about the problem they’re experiencing and how you solve it. When you hit the nail on the head without having to ask a question, not only do you capture the prospect’s attention, you show that you know what you’re talking about and can be trusted. Charles Specht gives some great examples of how to do just this. Remember, your first call isn’t about delivering a quote or getting them to fill an application, it’s about establishing the relationship and opening them up to do so in a second or third meeting. 


DON’T make a cold call your first touch

Let’s face the facts: Talking about insurance can be boring - especially when you’re not an agent. Unless your marketing leads are well qualified or you’re buying real-time leads, 30 seconds or even a minute on the phone usually isn’t enough time for your prospects to reconsider their provider. Warming up your leads through email and LinkedIn sets the stage for your first call and gives you the insight you need to make your prospects consider your value prop.

Using a platform like 20 Miles you can keep track of which prospects are clicking and opening your emails so that your calls don’t come out of left-field. You can use a workflow to automate this process so that all you need to do is call down a list of pre-warmed leads and ignore those who aren’t engaging.

DO Deliver value in your follow up

Quotes, audits, and consultations are great ways to progress a sale to the next stage, but only when they’re relevant. Take advantage of the prospect’s pain points to pique their curiosity. What makes your service unique? Lower prices? Better policy packages? According to Marshall & Swift/Boeckh, 75% of US businesses are underinsured, if you can come from the right angle they’ll want you to show them what the other coverage options are in their price range.

Whether they agree to a second call or not, send over some information they’ll find valuable and try to schedule a time to discuss it. This might be an insightful guide on risks in their industry, a case study illustrating what you do best, or anything that shows why they should keep talking to you. This gives your prospect something to think about and gives you a reason to circle back to see if they weren’t interested at first.

DO Always make a reason to follow up

Only 2% of sales are ever made on the first call, and yet that’s exactly where almost half of sales reps give up. According to Marketing Donut, 80% of non-routine sales happen after at least 5 follow-ups. So, your first call script should revolve around setting the stage for your next meeting as naturally as possible. You should have a compelling reason for your prospects to want to hear from you again after every call. This requires you to plot out your process well before you ever pick up the phone and is also why doing your due diligence is so important. You need to have a clear idea of how many (successful) calls it’s going to take to close opportunities and the emails and content you’ll need to send along in between. People are bound to turn you down no matter how well the call goes and most will say no at least 4 times before they say yes, so stay consistent and persistent in your efforts to make the sale.

DON’T rule out paid call leads

 Researching leads, building relationships on LinkedIn, and sending emails all take up time that many producers simply don’t have. If you’re finding that you don’t have the time to properly prepare your leads for a cold call, buying call leads is a great solution that many agents swear by. You can purchase these leads from providers like Benepath, QuoteWizard, Zipquote, and SmartFinancial Agent.

Call leads are exclusive real-time leads delivered straight to your phone. Lead providers capture people searching for insurance companies and make the first call shortly after they submit their information online. The provider screens and qualifies the lead as sales-ready before transferring them to you. Live transfer leads close at rates of 10-15%, compared to 1-3% for regular cold calling. Because these leads are exclusive and pre-vetted you don’t have to worry about competitors getting the same number or wasting time on someone who isn’t interested.  If you’re not sure where to start, is probably the best site out there for finding insurance lead providers right now.