Even before we were faced with a pandemic, forward-thinking insurance agents began using Zoom and FaceTime as leverage against their competition. Let’s face it, there’s no quicker way to get things done these days than logging onto a computer or tapping on a smartphone. Aiming to be the first to make a connection with the consumer, many of us have been using teleconferencing even before it became trendy with COVID-19. Now, we want to share our secrets.
Many agents have been using video conferencing to cut down on travel expenses, which were on the rise before COVID-19 and are now a vestige of the past. Travel restrictions may not be an issue for essential workers (yes, insurance agents are considered “essential), but you’ll still have a hard time convincing consumers to come out of lockdown to meet someone from out-of-town, not to mention face-to-face!
Certainly, no one is shaking hands, and social distancing is being used for must-do errands only. So, strike traveling for business off your list. Instead, let people know that you’re readily available for business and can use video chat or phone -- whichever they prefer -- to get the insurance they need.
Don’t get discouraged either, because in today’s world, virtual travel is just as viable an option as spending a week in an expensive hotel room, working a new territory. Utilizing new technology, you will get a tremendous amount done from home and you will save money while growing your business.
We’ve got some tips for you on using video conferencing to your advantage now and well into the future.
Invest Your Travel Costs Wisely
The savings your agency will reap from not traveling (and not driving to the office) will amount to a massive sum of money. For many agents that is hundreds of dollars a month worth of expenses. You’re probably thinking, yes, well that money was also an investment in meeting new prospects.
The fact of the matter is that the practice of staking out new territory to sell insurance has been outdated for quite some time, even though we all want a genuine and deep connection with our clients. Video conferencing is an invitation to start a relationship that will grow for years to come. It’s the next best thing to meeting in person and some would argue that it’s better and less time-consuming.
Just as you probably don’t visit extended family as often as you once did due to so many alternative methods of correspondence, the same is true for work relationships. Emails and texts are immediate now that the majority of Americans own smartphones. And don’t underestimate seniors, either. Don’t many of the seniors you know have a cellphone?
Meeting New Prospects
With travel pushed back on your to-do list, you’ll need to find a way to meet new prospects. Buying leads with the money you save in travel expenses will keep you busy. You may even find that it brings you a stronger ROI than money spent on other marketing campaigns.
Of course, much of your close ratio still rests on your expertise, your approach and your powers of persuasion, but you will have no problem finding active insurance shoppers when you buy leads. Just make sure you’re working with a vender that is trustworthy and known to yield results. Check their Google+ reviews and BBB ratings. If you don’t see anything, try another source.
You’ll get different results from different lead providers, and results will be based on how well each lead provider gathers data on consumers. Ideally, you’ll be working with a source that has a large and well functioning call center so you can reap the benefits of live transfer calls, which are the hottest leads that are the most likely to close.
Also, if you’re set on making the closest thing there is to eye contact with the person you’re meeting, just opt for FaceTime on your phone or Zoom on your computer, if it has a camera. More on this below.
Why Should I Zoom and FaceTime a Client?
Of course, the initial point of contact should never be that invasive. You should set up a mutually beneficial time for a video chat, but it’s a great suggestion, even if your client doesn’t take you up on it.
Sometimes a prospect is more open to doing business with someone if they just see the person on the other end of a conversation. There’s a lot to be said for body language and facial expressions, hand gestures. Much more is communicated when two people sit face-to-face and discuss important matters, like insuring one’s health, life, business or property.
In fact, some life and Medicare insurance agents are using video chat to sell policies, which are arguably the hardest products to sell. Why are they able to do this? Customer relations are better via video chat. Grandparents are FaceTiming their grandchildren. Why wouldn’t they want to have a face-to-face meeting with the person who’s going to secure their family’s future? This is not a nuisance for your prospects. In fact, consumers now get to have everything they need at their fingertips, including meetings. This serves them better, especially seniors.
Using Screen Share to Your Advantage
First, some basic rules: Don’t expect to close the sale at the end of call #1. Create some homework for yourself and go beyond the quote they received in call #1: Make a video chat appointment for conversation #2. With Zoom you can do a screen share, so you can whip out a quick powerpoint presentation or show the prospect some numbers you’ve been crunching with the onscreen calculator. It’s a great thing to prepare for conversation #2.
Video Chat with Producers
You can also use this technology to hold meetings with your staff as well. It’s important to stay on top of your team, which is most likely working from home during the pandemic. Encourage your producers to also download Zoom and share it with prospects they can’t meet in person. Suggest the 1-2 strategy discussed above and let them see how well it works in closing sales.
Not only should you share the idea of using video chat with your producers, but you should also be keeping them busy, by sending shared data leads to your slowest producers and live transfers to your best ones. Data leads are probably the wisest to distribute to those whose sales fall somewhere in the middle. This common-sense approach seems to work at most agencies.
However, you can always work closely with an Account Manager to follow the trends in your account, make adjustments and add filters to test and see what brings about an incline in sales. A strong ROI is what you should aim for, and luckily Zoom and FaceTime are free.
You’ll be one step ahead of your competition using all the technology available to you. You’ve just got to think outside the box!