Whether you’re talking to new insurance leads or aged homeowner insurance leads, your first instinct is probably to start pitching your product right off the bat. You want to convince the home owner that your policy is the best possible choice, so you end up talking at him or her instead of with him or her.
No matter how compelling your arguments, your prospect’s eyes will soon glaze over with boredom if you are the only one doing the talking. In order to win sales, you need to actively engage your prospect in the conversation. One of the best ways to do that is to ask open-ended, probing questions. If you’re stuck for words, try these conversation starters:
1. Can you tell me a little about your past homeowner insurance experiences?
This question serves several functions. First, it will let you know if the prospect is currently working with another company. Second, you’ll get to hear any complaints the prospect has about his or her current agents. Make a mental note of these complaints so that you can avoid committing them. Finally, you’ll learn whether your prospect’s feelings about insurance are strongly positive, strongly negative, or neutral.
2. What are your biggest insurance concerns right now?
Once you have asked the question, listen quietly while the prospect answers. Focus on making mental notes that you can use later rather than on formulating a response to deliver as soon as the prospect stops talking. If you sense you’re not getting the whole story, continue asking neutral questions like, “What else concerns you?” or “Can you tell me a little more about that?”
3. What do you like about your current homeowner insurance providers? What do you wish you could change?
If you are dealing with aged homeowner insurance leads, they will probably already have an insurance provider, but that doesn’t mean that they’re perfectly happy with the arrangement. Make a mental note of their compliments and complaints.
4. If you could build an ideal insurance policy, what would it look like?
In psychology, this is called the “miracle question.” It allows the prospect to dream about the best possible scenario and lets you know which aspects of your company’s policies and services to focus on when it’s time for you to deliver your sales presentation. If your prospect seems to want two contradictory things, ask him or her to clarify: “I understand that you’re shopping around for a low price. In order to get the best price, would you be willing to give up coverage on A, B, or C?”
5. What will it take for me to earn your business?
Most salespeople hate asking this question, but if the prospect answers honestly, you’ll get all the information you need to close your sale.
Of course, it’s vitally important for you to be familiar with all the products and services you can offer a potential insurance buyer, but it’s equally important to allow that buyer a chance to express his or her wishes and needs.