A good sales question is worth more than the best elevator speech.
And when it comes time to sell car insurance, asking 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 20 of my go-to sales questions and why I keep them in my script.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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 the importance of having good insurance while you make your presentation.
4. How did you decide on this make/model of car?
Why it works: This is another somewhat psychological question. Your lead’s answer will rarely be “it was the cheapest one.” Buying decisions are rarely made on price alone. Many factors influence buying, and going through the motions with this particular decision will subconsciously remind the lead that price isn’t the only consideration.
5. 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 never leave their carrier. You don’t want to play into that possibility.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. What are your primary concerns regarding your current car insurance policy?
Why it works: This question helps you learn more about the prospect’s current frame of mind. This also allows you to shape your pitch to address these concerns. For example, if their primary concern is price, you can shift the conversation toward available discounts.
12. Has your car ever been damaged when you weren’t driving?
Why it works: When most people think about car insurance, the first thing that comes to mind is suffering an injury in an accident. However, it’s helpful to talk about the damage that can occur when they’re not driving, such as the result of a hit-and-run or vandalism.
13. How do you currently pay for your policy?
Why it works: This is an opportunity to explain the flexibility of your agency regarding payment options. For instance, you may allow for payments online, in person, over the phone, and through the mail. Make it known that these options are available.
14. Have you ever switched car insurance companies in the past? How did the process unfold?
Why it works: It allows you to learn more about the approach the lead has taken in the past. Once you know their experience, you can alter your strategy to match. If they tell you about how challenging the experience was — perhaps due to an overbearing agent — explain that you can assist them with every step associated with making a change.
15. Is there anything that may arise in the near future that could change the type of coverage you need?
Why it works: Let them know that you’re thinking in advance. Show that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to help them when their circumstances change. A common example is a prospect with a child who will be driving within the next couple of years.
16. How important is customer service to you?
Why it works: This question allows you to steer the conversation away from price and toward something that’s just as important. Explain how you and your team provide industry-leading customer service. This will help put their mind at ease.
17. What discounts do you qualify for with your current car insurance company?
Why it works: Not only does this give you the information you need to provide a competitive quote, but it also positions you to uncover discounts that they may not qualify for with their current company.
18. What is your preferred budget? What is your “absolute maximum” budget?
Why it works: Knowing a lead’s preferred budget allows you to provide the best possible quote. Just the same, knowing their “absolute budget” helps you avoid providing a quote that is out of their price range.
19. Is there anything I can do right now to make your life easier?
Why it works: This has nothing to do with making a sale now and everything to do with proving that customer service is at the forefront of your mind. No matter what the prospect asks for — within reason, of course — do your best to assist them. This is a great way to gain their trust.
20. Do you have any questions? Is there anything else you want to discuss?
Why it works: This goes along with asking if there’s anything you can do to make the person’s life easier. Don’t end your conversation until you ask if the prospect has questions, concerns, or thoughts. You want them to feel as comfortable as possible with you. This improves the likelihood of purchasing coverage from you.
There’s no shortage of sales questions to ask leads that will help you sell car insurance.
It doesn’t matter if a lead is warm, cold, or somewhere in between, you still need to ask the right questions, listen to the prospect, and provide follow-up information.
If you’re ready to add more leads to your car insurance pipeline, we’re here to help. Purchase aged car insurance leads from us to ensure that you always have fresh prospects waiting to hear from you. It’s a great way for new and experienced car insurance agents to stay active.