Cold calling is not for the faint-hearted. It requires determination and energy, both of which can be draining if you’re not prepared. Calling people who are not expecting to hear from you and are often unwelcoming is very stressful. It’s so stressful that even the best agents put it off as long as possible. No one looks forward to a bombardment of rejections, rude dismissals and hang-ups.
We have some good tips to help you get through the daunting task of cold calling, which is simply something that needs to get done. It may require volume to make sales, but you will succeed if you keep these seven tips in mind.
Shake it Off
Did someone scream or curse you out? It’s a given. But, you can’t go onto the next call feeling defeated or lacking energy. You have to be as pumped up as possible and just as eager to please after getting told off for calling as you were before you were verbally accosted. You don’t have time to sit and dwell or lick wounds. Being rude back is a terrible idea too, and awful branding for your agency. Just bounce on another call. Soon enough, the uncomfortable moments will all blur together. It’s just par for the course, as they say, and you will make sales in between these unpleasant calls. You always do, and you have to remind yourself of this fact and keep pushing, just when you are just about ready to throw your phone out the window!
Break it Up with Leads
Don’t spend an entire day making cold calls. It’s demoralizing and backbreaking stuff. But push through, spending a couple of hours on the task, and hopefully leaving off on a high note so your confidence won’t be sinking as you bounce to the next lead at hand.
Break up your cold calls by following up on leads purchased from SmartFinancial. If you haven’t bought them yet, give them a try. Agents are having great success with these leads, and often by having a thorough follow-up strategy in place. Unlike cold-calling, you’re guaranteed that the lead is actively shopping for the type of insurance product you sell. You may not sell after a single call, but if you follow up regularly, you can find great success with leads. We always urge agents to try to make the first contact immediately because statistically, first-contact agents usually make the sale. Unlike other vendors, SmartFinancial only shares the lead with three other agents. After spending a couple of hours cold-calling, making sales with SmartFinancial insurance leads may be a breeze!
Have you ever heard the old adage “smile and dial?” Well, it’s about time you did. Smile and dial is more than smiling while gritting your teeth. You simply can’t sound demoralized. Or unhappy. Yes, actually smiling helps, but remembering that you’re making a dent in your talk time and that it’ll soon be over should give you another burst of energy. Or better yet, maybe you have some live-transfer calls scheduled next. These have the highest conversion rate of all lead types. Live transfers are hot leads, who have already given SmartFinancial all their important data and are waiting for a quote. Ready to start with a brief elevator pitch? Just make sure to let the prospect first know that you’re going to give them a quote so they don’t not get frustrated!
Do you have faith in what you’re trying to sell? Do you really believe the consumer is better off buying your product than sticking with their current insurer? Do you really believe your insurance product is worth the price? Even better than these questions are questions about yourself: Are you the most knowledgeable person to protect this person’s assets or health or family? If you’re selling business insurance, do you know the risks involved with most businesses and how to protect them? How well do you know your insurance products and service? The more confidence you have in answering these questions, the more likely you are to sell a policy -- or two, maybe three if you’re really good with pushing bundles.
Do You Have a Script?
You’ll have a different script for cold calling than you will for a data lead or live-transfer call. We don’t suggest that you read the script or even to recite it verbatim. But it’s important to keep a few things in mind, because they’ve worked in the past. Make sure your script includes the points you need to get across to the client. For instance, with data leads and live-transfers, ideally you’re on it right away, saying that you are working with SmartFinancial and are ready to give them a quote. This is a deviation from your agency telemarketing script which will most likely say which agency you’re calling from. Use the lead’s name so they know you care about them and that they are not just another lead. Yes, you need to do all of that before you start giving your pitch. Why? So you don’t confuse the prospect. By mentioning your lead vendor you are making a seamless transition so that the lead is all yours.
With a cold call, you have very little time to convince the person on the other line not to hang up the phone. Telemarketing scripts work, because if you get nervous, you’ll have memorized most if not all that you need to do and say. The best telemarketing scripts will help you get to know the person on the other line. However, the one thing most agents still get wrong is that they don’t come up for air. If you are too pushy and refuse to listen, it’s a bad move. Listening is the number one thing you should be doing once you’ve convinced the other person to stay on the phone. Listening not only helps you finetune your strategy of persuading that person to buy. Ask lots of questions if the person is not opening up. You may have been hoping to sell health insurance and find that they need life insurance instead. But you won’t know unless you get the other person talking.
You’ll have the opportunity to do a little research, especially with data leads and cold calls. Do a quick Google search on the prospect to see what comes up. Make sure you have the right person or else you’ll be completely thrown off course. Based on what you find, you may learn a lot about this person -- if they have a family, a home, possibly their own business. Use that knowledge when you get them on the phone, to sell the products you know they need.
There will be hesitation and lots of nos. You will be rejected, but can you turn it around? Sometimes, it’s possible. If you anticipate why a prospect may object, you will be ready to respond and bring the conversation to a sale. Create a list of common objections you’ve gotten when making cold calls in the past. Make the list as long as possible. Go through and plot out how you’ll bring the conversation around next time. What’s the point of hitting the same wall over and over again. Find a way to smash through it to make the sale. If the problem is the price, how are you going to convince the client that it’s worth it? If it doesn’t fit their budget, how can you manage to convince them that they should reprioritize to make it work? How far are you willing to go to address all objections? The farther you go, the more money you will make.