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 discussion where you ask the right questions can help move the sale forward.
Here are 30 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 they are 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 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, they’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. Clients will 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 them that you are a better choice than their current coverage. If they’re 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 are they?
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’re listening and 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 question 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.
21. What types of driving do you mainly use your car for (e.g., commuting, leisure, business)?
Why it works: Understanding a client’s driving habits is crucial in car insurance sales. This question unveils the risk profile of the driver, which can differ depending on if the car is primarily used for commuting, leisure, or business.
For instance, a daily commuter may require different coverage than a weekend driver. An agent who accurately assesses a driver’s habits can tailor policy suggestions to best protect the driver, enhancing customer satisfaction, and improving the likelihood of a successful sale.
22. What features of your current insurance policy do you value most?
Why it works: Everyone has unique needs and priorities when it comes to insurance. By asking this question, an agent can pinpoint the aspects of coverage that are most important to the client, whether it’s comprehensive coverage, roadside assistance, or affordable premiums.
Recognizing what clients value allows an agent to highlight similar features in their own offerings, demonstrating their commitment to meeting the client’s needs and increasing the chances of securing a new policy.
23. Have you ever had a claim rejected by your current insurance provider?
Why it works: A claim rejection can be a significant source of frustration for any policyholder. If a prospective client has experienced this, they might be motivated to switch insurers.
Asking about this not only gives you a glimpse into their past experiences but also opens the door for you to showcase your company’s efficient claims process and commitment to fairness, potentially giving you an edge over the competition.
24. Do you have any other insurance policies (e.g., home, life) that you may consider bundling with your auto insurance for a discount?
Why it works: Bundling multiple insurance policies under one provider can provide considerable savings for customers. By bringing up the potential for bundling, an agent can identify opportunities to offer more comprehensive service while presenting the prospect with a more cost-effective solution.
This approach not only increases the likelihood of selling a car insurance policy but could also result in selling additional policies, maximizing the agent’s success.
25. What’s the most important factor for you when considering a new car insurance policy?
Why it works: Everyone has different criteria when selecting car insurance. Some prioritize cost, while others might value customer service or comprehensive coverage. By identifying a prospect’s primary considerations, an agent can tailor their pitch to highlight how their offerings align with these key factors.
Understanding the client’s priorities can lead to more effective sales conversations and an increased likelihood of closing a deal.
26. What would your ideal claim process look like?
Why it works: Understanding a customer’s expectations can be key to securing their business. By asking what their ideal claims process looks like, an agent can identify any misalignments with their company’s process and take the opportunity to clarify or address misconceptions. This question can also help highlight the strengths of your own claim process, ensuring customers that they’ll be well taken care of in case of an accident.
27. If you could change one thing about your current car insurance policy, what would it be?
Why it works: This question is a gold mine for agents. It uncovers a potential pain point with the current insurance provider, giving you the opportunity to show how your services differ. Whether the issue is with pricing, customer service, or coverage, you can tailor your pitch to address the specific problem and convince the client that switching to your insurance policy would be in their best interest.
28. How do you prefer to manage your insurance policy (online, by phone, or in person)?
Why it works: Insurance management preferences vary greatly among clients. Some may prefer digital interactions, while others might value face-to-face conversations.
Asking this question enables agents to customize their approach, aligning with the client’s preferred method and increasing satisfaction. This also communicates to the client that their comfort and convenience are a priority, building a stronger rapport and trust.
29. Do you anticipate any changes to your driving habits in the next few years (e.g., retiring, changing jobs, adding a teen driver)?
Why it works: This forward-thinking question sets the stage for a policy that grows with the client. If they anticipate major life changes such as retirement, job change, or a new driver in the family, you can offer flexible plans that accommodate these changes. This long-term planning approach displays a deep commitment to the client’s needs, potentially securing their loyalty and business.
30. Is there anything specific you would like your car insurance to cover that it doesn’t currently?
Why it works: By asking this question, an agent can unearth gaps in the client’s current policy. Perhaps they want coverage for rental cars, or they’re interested in add-ons like roadside assistance.
Uncovering these gaps presents an opportunity to offer more comprehensive or customized coverage, demonstrating the agent’s attentiveness and dedication to meeting the client’s needs, which may ultimately lead to a successful sale.
How to sell to an engaged car insurance lead
Selling car insurance is much easier when the prospect is engaged in the idea. But that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to close a deal. You still need to take the right steps (at the right time) to reach your goal. Here are some things you can do to maximize every opportunity.
Understand your lead’s needs
First and foremost, take the time to understand your lead’s needs. An engaged lead is one who is actively seeking information, so take advantage of this opportunity to dive deep into their requirements. Ask specific questions about their driving habits, what they like and dislike about their current coverage, and what their ideal insurance policy looks like.
Remember, people buy car insurance not just to fulfill a legal obligation, but also for peace of mind. Understand the underlying emotional drivers behind their purchase.
Are they concerned about their family’s safety? Are they worried about the financial impact of an accident? Answers to these questions can provide valuable insight into how you can position your offerings.
Position your product
Once you’ve understood their needs, it’s time to position your product in a way that aligns with those needs. If the lead values comprehensive coverage, highlight the breadth of your policies. If they prioritize cost, demonstrate how your policy provides excellent value for the price.
Also, take the opportunity to share any unique selling propositions your company may have. Perhaps you offer a special discount for bundling policies, or maybe your claim processing times are significantly shorter than industry standards. Whatever sets you apart from the competition, make sure your lead is aware of it.
Even the most engaged lead will likely have some objections. The key is to see these not as barriers to closing a sale, but as opportunities to provide additional information and reassurance.
For instance, if a lead is hesitant about the cost, you can present different payment plans or discounts they may be eligible for. If they’re concerned about switching from their current provider, reassure them about your commitment to customer service and explain how the transition process will be handled smoothly.
Trust is a crucial element in any sale, and it’s even more important in the insurance industry. Customers need to feel confident that in their hour of need, their insurance company will be there for them.
You can build trust in various ways. Be transparent about your policies, including any limitations. Demonstrate empathy by listening attentively to their concerns and responding in a thoughtful and understanding manner.
Proving your industry knowledge can also help to establish trust. If you can provide accurate information about the latest industry trends or explain complex insurance terms in an easily understandable way, you’ll likely increase your lead’s confidence in you and your company.
The follow-up stage is often where many sales fall apart. Ensure you stay at the forefront of your lead’s mind by following up promptly. You can use this as an opportunity to provide additional information or answer any lingering questions.
The follow-up is also a chance to remind them about why your product is the perfect fit for their needs. Recount the parts of your previous discussions where they reacted positively or showed interest.
Closing the sale
In closing the sale, your primary aim should be to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible for the lead. Clearly outline the next steps and assist them through the process.
Reiterate the key points of your discussion, emphasizing the value and benefits of your offering. Be sure to handle any last-minute objections professionally and patiently, reminding them of the reasons they were interested in the first place.
Remember, even the most engaged leads need assurance that they’re making the right decision. Your role is to provide that assurance and guide them through the decision-making process.
When you combine the answers to the questions above with these steps, you have the balance needed to make more sales.
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.
It’s a great way for new and experienced car insurance agents to stay active.