Cold calling in insurance means calling small business owners, professionals, homeowners, car owners and other potential clients to try and sell an insurance product.
This is a popular marketing strategy because it involves a human connection, provides precious information about target clients (like their objections), and gives insurance agents immediate feedback on their sales techniques.
But sales calls can be tough to make, even for experienced sales reps. We're making it easier with scripts, tips, and other things you should know. Keep reading below for help on becoming more successful with your insurance cold calling.
Insurance Cold Calling Scripts
Here are a series of insurance sales pitches you can borrow from. Use them to get started, but customize them to sound more like your own voice as you work to build trust with your prospect.
Note that you'll still get rejections even with a perfect script (if one exists). That's okay. Cold calling is a numbers game; every no means you're one caller closer to a yes.
And the more calls you make, the more you can tweak and improve your conversation. With every call, you'll notice your confidence grow and an improvement in the call's overall outcome.
1. When You Get Voicemail
It's not uncommon for people to send calls to voicemail when they're from an unknown number or at a bad time.
Here's a brief script that allows you to try again later or have the prospect call you back when they're in a better place to answer your call.
Hey John, this is Bill with ABC Insurance.
We haven't spoken before, but I thought you'd be interested in our new business owners policy, which should get you better benefits at a lower price. If this sounds good to you, call me back at 123-456-7899.
Thanks, and have a great day!
2. When Your Prospect Only Has a Few Minutes
If your potential customer doesn't have a lot of time to talk, an elevator pitch is the most effective way to get them listening from the first call. You'll want to:
- Grab their attention.
- Go straight to their pain point or what you think really bothers them.
- Talk about how your product can address it.
- Discuss your competitive advantage.
Here's an example of what you can say:
Hi, is this John? I'm Bill from ABC Insurance.
Let me get straight to the point. Workers' comp is necessary, as you know, but you don't need to break the bank for it. We offer workers' comp insurance for an average of $70 a month for businesses with less than $300,000 in payroll.
And your employees will have access to over a million providers familiar with treating workplace injuries.
What do you think?
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3. When Your Prospect Has No Time at All
Trying to keep a conversation going when your prospect really doesn't have the time can be off-putting. It's better to hang up and do your sales pitch another time.
If they tell you they can't talk right now, respect that and say:
Okay, not a problem at all! I'll reach out again another time. Thanks, and have a great rest of your day.
4. When You Want to Take a Lead Through a Sales Funnel
Sometimes the easiest way to turn a cold insurance lead into a buying customer is to warm them up first.
In insurance, the easiest way to do this is by offering a free quote, though you could also offer to follow up with educational guides, product brochures, and other materials that get them curious and keep the conversation going.
You might say something like:
Hi, I'm Bill from ABC Insurance.
Am I speaking with John? I wanted to send over a free commercial auto insurance quote for your work vans.
We've been saving customers an average of 15% on their premiums, and I think we can do the same for you.
There's no obligation to purchase anything. It's just to see your choices. Is this something that interests you?
5. When You Want to Follow Up with an Interested Prospect
Cold calling can be a great way to nurture leads that have shown an interest in your insurance products. They might have gotten a free online quote or entered their information online to receive a freebie. You can follow up over the phone by saying:
Hello, am I speaking with John? I'm Bill from ABC Insurance. You recently filled out a quote for professional liability insurance.
If you have a few minutes, I just wanted to review the policy with you and figure out how we can make it a perfect fit.
6. When Your Prospect Shows No Interest
Just because your prospect doesn't seem interested when you first call doesn't mean it's an automatic no. When they tell you they don't want what you're offering, you can try to educate them on why that type of insurance might be important to them.
For example, if they told you they still have to think about getting errors and omissions insurance, you can say something like:
Sure, I understand. Something to keep in mind is that E&O insurance can cover incidents that happened before you got the policy. But there are limitations, and you'll pay more the older the incident is.
So, buying a policy sooner rather than later can help you get the protection you want for a price that's still within your budget.
7. When You're Calling Existing Customers About New Products
Some of the people you reach out to will already be your clients. In these cases, you're promoting a new offering or product that you think goes well with their existing insurance policy or that might be a good fit for them based on what you know about their demographics or needs.
Here's what you can say:
Hey, John. This is Bill calling from ABC Insurance. You have a workers' comp policy with us.
I just wanted to let you know we recently added a business owners policy to our suite of products, so you can bundle your workers' comp and BOP insurance with us to save up to 5% on your policy.
What do you think?
Common Cold Calling Objections and How to Counter Them
As you make your way through your cold call list, it's inevitable you'll be hit with various objections. Planning for them can help you know how to best answer them, especially when you know what you're selling can truly help the other person.
Here are some objections you'll see most often and some ideas on how to address them.
- I already have [type of insurance]: Let them know how what your agency offers is unique. It could be lower prices, better service, quicker claims, and more.
- This doesn't fit my budget right now: Talk about any available discounts, how low premiums can be, and how much value a policy can provide.
- I don't think I need a policy now: Discuss why that might not be true and how a policy might benefit them.
- I'd have to look into what kind of policy would be best for me: Send them informational materials and quotes based on a few scenarios.
- I've already decided to go with another insurance company: Tell them how what you offer is different and ask to send them a free quote.
What Are the Best Times to Cold Call Insurance?
Historically, the best times to cold are between:
- 8 - 9 a.m.
- 10 a.m. - noon
- 4 - 6 p.m.
These times are when you're most likely to catch people driving to work or wrapping up activities before heading off to lunch or home.
But there's a growing amount of people working from home, so these times aren't as set in stone as they used to be. You can experiment with different times to see what increases your success rate.
You can also try calling five to 10 minutes before the hour when people are heading out to meetings or coming back from one that ended early.
What Are the Rules on Cold Calling?
Did you know you can only make sales calls within certain hours? The US Securities and Exchange Commission put this rule and others in place. Here are the cold calling guidelines you have to follow:
- You can't call anyone on the National Do Not Call Registry. You have to search this registry every 31 days so you don't accidentally call a number that's newly added.
- You can only call someone at home between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., unless you already have an established relationship with them. But you can call them at work at any time.
- When the prospect picks up the phone, you have to let them know your name, company, and the purpose of the call. If they ask, you have to give your contact information, like your phone number and address.
- You must put people on your agency's "Do not call" list when requested.
In addition to these general telemarketing rules, you might have to follow other industry-specific insurance rules. For example, if you're a health insurance agency selling Medicare plans, you're not allowed to call people unsolicited unless they already have a plan and you're the agent that helped them join.
How Can Insurance Agents Find Leads for Cold Calls?
If you work under an insurance company, agency, or brokerage, it's likely they'll supply you with a list of people and their contact information (a.k.a. leads) for you to call.
If you're starting your own agency, you can purchase these leads from companies specializing in insurance leads or even leads for the type of insurance you sell. And you can typically filter leads before buying them, such as by age and location.
Be sure to get what's known as "qualified leads." These are people who have already shown interest in purchasing insurance, such as by filling out a form on an insurance aggregator site.
These kinds of leads are more expensive than a random list of people you might get with a general online lead aggregator. But you'll save time and earn more money because you already know they need an insurance product, and close rates are higher.
How to Make Great Cold Calls
You have the cold calling rules, scripts, and times down. What else do you need to know? Here are 5 tips to boost your cold calling success.
1. Check if You've Reached out Before
Reviewing your past interactions with a prospect can help you decide how to move forward. For example, you can mention you've spoken with them about the insurance product before and how they asked you to follow up again after they'd finished moving.
While you could search your emails to see if you've interacted with a prospect before, it'll likely be more efficient to use a CRM. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It's a system where you keep track of all your interactions with clients and prospects. It can capture things like meetings, phone calls, and emails, as well as your personal notes from those interactions. Zoho is a popular option in the insurance industry, but there are other highly rated ones.
2. Set Yourself up for Success
You better your chances of scoring a sale by:
- Dressing for success: Your prospect can't see you, but how you dress impacts how you feel, which is transmitted through your voice. Even if you're working from home, try to keep it at least business casual.
- Decluttering your desk: An organized desk helps you focus better and reduces stress and anxiety, which is nice since cold calling can be nerve-wracking for many!
- Clearing out your mind: If you dread cold calling, you likely have several negative thoughts about it running through your mind. What are they? Write them down. Do you want to continue to think them? If not, you can choose more intentional thoughts that empower you and are uplifting. Make it believable though! For example, thinking "I love cold calling" might feel like too much of a stretch, but your mind can likely get on board with, "I'm open to learning how cold calling can bring in clients." In that way, you can work your way up the thought ladder until you really do feel like you love cold calling.
3. Practice Your Script on Your Camera Phone
When you practice your script, make sure to smile as you talk and keep your voice energetic. Chances are, if you look friendly, you'll also sound it.
But you still want to make sure you're coming across the way you intend. You can use your phone's front camera as a mirror while you practice your script. Then when you're ready, take a breath and hit record. When replaying the video, you can see if you want to change anything in your tone or phrasing.
4. See It for What It Is: A Numbers Game
One of the hardest parts of cold calling is rejection. But don't let it deflate you, and don't take it personally. Rejection simply comes with the territory when you're cold calling. Keep in mind that your conversion rate will increase with experience.
Instead of focusing on the nos, aim to make a certain amount of calls in a specific timeframe, such as 30 calls in one day. Then you can concentrate on counting down to 0 calls instead.
5. Take Notes After Each Phone Call
You'll improve your conversion rate if you take a few minutes after each call. Jot down what worked, what didn't, and what you want to do differently next time.
Also, make a note of what the objections were and how you want to counter them next time. Keep track of your close rate by writing down how many noes and yeses you got.
Make Cold Calling Easier
You can use cold calling scripts to make reaching out to prospects less daunting.
Once you have an idea of what to say, you can better your chances by setting yourself and your environment up for success.
By recording your thoughts after each call, you can learn from your mistakes and land more insurance clients. Now that you know everything there is to know about cold calling, all that's left to do? Pick up that phone!