Open-Ended Questions to Start Sales Conversations

September 24, 2018
dog raising paw like he has a question

Have you ever tried to get an aged lead to talk to you by telling them how great you are? How you’re better than the rest? How they’ll be a success thanks to you?

As far as insurance sales techniques go, this pushy sales approach could be one of the worst approaches for even the best aged leads. They’ve had it up to here with this kind of sales prospecting. A smarter approach is to use open-ended questions to get the sales conversation started. Here’s why.

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Pushy Sales Prospecting Doesn’t Work on Aged Leads

If you’ve ever tried the above hard-sell approaches, you know firsthand that it rarely works. There’s a good reason for that. The last thing these aged leads need is another pushy sales call — because most have already endured a round of high-pressure sales attempts as a fresh lead.

Yet this is often the go-to technique sales agents use to try to build business relationships. There may be a time and a place for the hard sell, but cold calling and sales prospecting with aged leads isn’t it.

Instead, we should be asking more questions and gathering more data. Let the customer tell us what it takes to sell them on our product or service.

That is the power of the open-ended question.

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Open-Ended Questions Do Work With Aged Leads

People love to talk about themselves — their successes and their challenges. And that is precisely the information you would love to have to guide your sales pitch. So, let it happen.

Questions to Work Into Cold Calling and Sales Scripts

Here are some of my favorite open-ended questions for insurance:

  • What do you like about that kind of car?
  • What’s made you curious about switching insurance?
  • What’s holding you back from switching so far?
  • A lot of people I talk to have had problems with x, y, or z? Is that true for you?
  • Is this your first mortgage?
  • What made you select this house?
  • What are you thinking about doing after you retire?
  • What do you look forward to most about the future?
  • What’s your biggest concern?

Be Smart With Your Sales Script Questions

You may have already noticed some trends with these questions, but let me spell out a few points even further.

Notice that these are simple questions, they just aren’t so simple they can be answered with yes or no. This is important. Multi-part questions rarely get answered as well as will a series of simpler questions.

Your first questions will be deliberately vague. Cast a wide net, put your lead at ease, and they will answer very freely, revealing what they value most.

Follow up. Listen for keywords and tie your next question to your prospect’s response. This shapes the direction the conversation naturally, and in the end, save you time.

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Next Steps for Your Sales Prospecting

Start with a list of open-ended questions that will work with your leads in your own line of sales. But don’t end there. Think about how you’ll progress logically through your questions, what you’ll need to ask to get enough data to help your client.

Don’t pester your lead to name the benefits they’re looking for. It’s your job to provide benefits that match their needs, problems, issues, and concerns. Lastly, use your sales script questions to help the prospect visualize a positive outcome. If you know what a lead is looking for, you’re better able to help them find it.

Ready to get started with aged leads? Fill your pipeline with a fresh supply of high-quality leads from The Aged Lead Store. You’ll find thousands of sortable aged leads, ready to boost your sales, whether your business is auto, life, final expense, health, Medicare supplement or homeowners insurance, annuities, auto warranty coverage, or mortgage refinance.

Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash