Trea Walters was selling furniture and selling Primerica life insurance part time when she started itching to make a major life change. She was making a great salary but working 9 am to 9 pm, so when Herman Burroughs began hiring for a property and casualty agent, she jumped at the chance.
“I wasn’t a fan of Primerica,” Walters explains. “I also wanted to sell products other than term life insurance, which is all Primerica sells. I wanted a job where I could really help people.”
Primerica primarily sells policies through referrals so Walters was used to finding our own clientele. She’d heard about lead vendors but had never used one, so she was curious and wanted to learn more. Herman wasn’t so sure about buying leads so for a week, Walters bought her own and showed him how it works and that it actually pays off.
At first, Walters only bought life insurance data leads. She liked all the information, like whether they were homeowners or not. Right away, she was successful with that first batch of leads and sold three life policies in the first two weeks. Easily, she convinced Herman to start working regularly with SmartFinancial.
Allstate no longer sells life insurance, so Burroughs and Walters now gears their attention towards selling home and auto. The agency primarily buys warm leads, transfer calls, for auto insurance, at five calls a day.
“We’re getting around 20 calls a week,” Walters says, “and we make about seven, sometimes eight, sales a week from that, so it’s a really good close ratio.”
When asked what’s in her bag of tricks, Walters laughs. “I don’t have any tricks,” she says. “I just speak to people the way I’d want to be spoken to. I tell them that by working with us they can get cheaper, better coverage and an agent they can be in touch with any time. Being personable goes a long way, so I try to also have a conversation by asking, ‘How’s your day going?’ and that sort of thing.”
She also has had to overcome hesitancy. Walters says that nine times out of 10 when people don’t want to stay on the phone it’s because they don’t have time to talk. “Sometimes,” she adds, “they don’t want an Allstate quote, assuming it’s too expensive. I ask for two or three minutes to go over a quote with them with no obligation to buy. Many end up buying and referring friends and family.”
4 Golden Tips From Trea Walters
- Practice overcoming objections is the main thing. You don’t know them, they don’t know you. Politely get them to move on to start the quote. Once they’re off the line, they’re gone forever, so keep trying until they hang up!
- Whatever system you’re using, use it well. If you can’t manage to build rapport, get the quote done as fast as you can. Once the quote is done they usually warm up and talk more in detail.
- It’s easy to get off the phone with someone who says they’re going to talk to their spouse before making a decision. Have a follow-up plan. Ask for a day, by asking, “Will you talk to him/her today or will that be tomorrow?” or simply, “Should I follow up around this time tomorrow?”
- Verifying information is very important. Check birthdays, addresses and VIN numbers. If you have wrong information, it can ruin the whole deal with an inaccurate quote. Also, the customer will become wary if you have to run the numbers again. Go over the information with them without assuming it’s correct on the lead form so that everything is good to go.