If you find yourself moping around and giving up on clients immediately after they object to the price you quote them, or if they say they need to think about what you’re offering, you are taking your prospects’ objections the wrong way -- literally. You’re mistaking their objections for rejections, even though the prospect isn’t really saying no. If you receive an objection, as unpromising as it may sound, try to take it as an invitation to convince the prospect of the insurance product you’re selling. Often times, objection is not necessarily a refusal to work with you but a request for help, confirmation or clarification, whether it’s from you or a spouse, maybe a friend. At worst, the prospect is expressing doubt, which you may be able to turn around.
Here are some common ways you can start a dialogue each time you think you’ve reached an impasse.
1. Avoid Assumptions
Let’s say you spent 15 to 20 minutes with a client. You were thorough and he seemed to understand all the coverage and then everything came to a halt when he said, “I need to think about it,” or “I need to talk to my wife.” This may sound like an excuse and it may very well be one, but you don’t know this for sure.
Did you know that most wives pay the home bills? Maybe he really does want to go over everything with her because she has a better handle on what they can truly afford. And maybe, if you give up on this prospect by assuming he’s brushed you off, he will speak with another agent who pursues him, even after he goes over the facts and figures with his wife!
As a rule, some people make it a point to never purchase anything before sleeping on it. Don’t give up on a prospect just because he is very particular about avoiding hasty decision-making.
Whenever you come up against a situation like the one above and everything comes to an abrupt stop after you disclose the price, don’t assume you’ve lost the prospect. If anything, that person is giving you permission to follow-up in a couple of days to see how the chat with the spouse went. However, it’s even better if you get involved right away so you can explain the benefits of the policy you’re selling to the wife too. Ask to set up a meeting with the both of them later that day or evening or even the next day. If meeting in person doesn’t work, arrange a conference call, a Skype chat or even via group email.
This sort of follow-up is pivotal to your success. If you sense the price made your prospect uncomfortable, see how much you can go down before the second meeting/conversation. You may or may not want to start the call with the adjusted price, but have it handy. Whatever you do, do not give up unless you get a firm no. At the second meeting, let your prospect(s) talk and tell you as much as they can about their situation and worries. This information is fuel for you to show the prospect why your coverage is superior to the competition’s.
2. Get the Prospect to Explain the Hesitation
You can’t convince someone to buy a policy and that you have their best interests in mind unless you know exactly why the prospect is objecting. If they say “I can’t afford it,” don’t take that as a no. If the policy you’re trying to sell is a little bit more expensive than what the prospect is paying now, explain why it costs more and will benefit him in the long-run and if he has an accident. When you can, describe a client who was in a similar situation and demonstrate how his/her insurance saved an unnecessary financial catastrophe. Talk about adjusting the deductible to make the premiums less overwhelming. Come up with solutions for the client.
You may get a prospect who was just curious about getting a quote but is being lazy about switching over, even when he is apt to save a little bit of money. He won’t say that he’s just being lazy until you get him to explain why he’s hesitant to make the switch. Let him say it, that it “sounds like a hassle for $30 a month,” etc. If you explain that he’s not only saving some money but also gaining better protection, you may just turn him around, especially if you explain how effortless the whole process truly is. “It’s just a couple of phone calls and you’re set,” may ease the prospect’s mind.
Often, people are buying an insurance policy at a turning point in their lives, like after a move, a new job or after getting married or buying a new car. They may feel like keeping everything else in their lives “as is” so they don’t feel so unsettled. But really, saving some money and having a superior insurance policy won’t have earth-shattering consequences and making the switch really takes no time and very little effort. Communicate how easy it really is and give support. Offer to do as much of the footwork for them as you can.
3. Don’t React Negatively or Take Cheap Shots
Even when a prospect is not sold, you never want to take parting shots. Not only is it unprofessional, you’re burning a bridge and word travels about people who are loose cannons. Prospects who don’t immediately buy from you are still prospects, even if they sign on elsewhere. You never know if they’ll be displeased and want to switch carriers again. It may very well happen in six months! Some very diligent insurance agents even jot down notes and make contact when it comes time for the prospect to renew their policies. It may be worthwhile to check in to see if they’re happy with the service they’ve been getting.
Whatever you do, don’t badmouth a competitor or carrier. You can say how the product you’re selling is superior but never call another agent or insurance company “underhanded” or “unfair.” Instead of taking cheap shots, all you have to do is say the flip-trait that your company exudes: “We’re very transparent in our coverage terms,” is better than saying..”[So-and-so is sticking it to you and you’re getting ripped off!” And “We are very fair with paying out claims” is superior to “[Such-and-such company] never pays a fair settlement on claims!” You see the difference.
The Same Old Story: Objections & Insurance Leads
When you buy leads, you’re going to come up against the very same set of objections that you do when you speak with a prospect who walked into your office. Some insurance agents have a fantastical idea that when they buy leads, it means that the prospects are more apt to buy on the spot without any hesitancy, but this is just not the case.
Before buying leads, we suggest jotting down the most common objections you’ve come across in your career. Also, jot down all the responses that worked for you in crushing your clients’ objections. Use these notes at the right times, and you’ll likely have a surprisingly strong return on investment if you buy insurance leads from the best lead-generation companies.