A good sales question is worth more than the best elevator speech. Regarding insurance sales techniques, asking car insurance leads the right questions at the right time can make all the difference. Whether you’re working with real-time prospects or the best aged leads around, a great question can help move the sale forward. Here are 10 of my go-to questions and why I keep them in my script.
What made you take my call [or meet with me, etc., as the case may be]?
Why it works: This question should get your prospect talking about what she is hoping to achieve by switching insurance. You may be able to get a feel for how you could best approach the sales process and possibly take note of what not to do by where her current services are lacking.
What do you like best about your current insurance agent and their service?
Why it works: This is a positive way of opening up the discussion on why they’re shopping for new coverage. The lead will tell you straight-out what they value in a good agent, i.e., what you will need to demonstrate to win their business. They may also offer negative details, which will be things you’ll want to avoid.
How did that car handle last month’s ice storm [insert a relevant recent local weather event]?
Why it works: Your prospect isn’t going to say anything but “great” or “I stayed home,” thinking that a “good” answer will get them a better rate. But that’s not the point of asking that question. Some sales questions aren’t asked so much for the answer as for getting the prospect thinking. Here, he’ll be thinking about driving risks and importance of having good insurance while you make your presentation.
How did you decide on this make/model of car?
Why it works: This is another somewhat psychological question. Your lead’s answer will almost never be “it was the cheapest one.” Buying decisions are rarely made on price alone. There are many factors that influence buying, and going through the motions with this particular decision will subconsciously remind the lead that price isn’t the only consideration.
What coverage do you want?
Why it works: This is an aspirational question. It’s a very different question than “What coverage do you have?” Assumptive questions can get the prospect thinking about what he wants in new coverage, not what he already has. There are enough folks who window shop for coverage but almost never leave their carrier. You don’t want to play into that possibility.
Do you know anyone who’s been seriously hurt in a car accident?
Why it works: Many decisions in life are wrapped up with emotion. Many people do know a friend, coworker, or family member who was seriously hurt in a car accident. People often offer up their stories to you. Just listen. This exchange subtly helps insurance leads remember that car insurance serves an important purpose in the event of an accident.
Besides price, what’s the next-most-important thing for you?
Why it works: Everyone cares about how much it costs. Even if they can afford to pay more than they’ll need to pay, people want to feel like they’re getting a good deal. However, other factors matter, like what that price buys them. Let them list some things they consider important. This is another one that gets the noggin jogging about factors other than price.
Who are our main competitors, besides your current agent?
Why it works: Knowing the answer to a question like this greatly informs how you proceed. If your lead has only requested a quote from you, the sale is yours to lose. You need only convince him you are a better choice than his current coverage. If he’s playing the field, you’ll have to adjust your approach.
When do you anticipate making your final decision? Today, or will you need more time?
Why it works: You’ll want to know whether your prospect will be able to make a “yes” or “no” decision immediately after your sales presentation and consultation, but this is a way to draw out a bit more than a one-word answer. You may also learn if your prospect has another decision maker (a spouse) who needs to be consulted and sold on the deal.
What are your kids’ names? How old?
Why it works: Don’t forget that the insurance business is about building relationships. If you aren’t able to close the deal today, you’ll get another chance the next time you call or meet. Remember to ask about the kids in follow-ups. It shows that you are listening, that you respect the lead as a real person with a real life, and it helps for that relationship you’ll need to close the sale.
There are innumerable questions you can ask your car insurance leads. Even with the best aged leads, you still need to ask the right sales questions and then just listen. Most leads aren’t ready to buy right away, but half of aged leads will buy after the right lead nurturing. Asking the right questions in consultations and follow-ups will get you most of the way there.