Many marketing circles may view cold calling as something of a taboo, a tactic with very low return and even worse customer satisfaction. But that was using the old model of dialing thousands of numbers at random, hoping you found one or two interested customers.
Today, cold calling can be much more targeted and effective.
Cold calling can be a great way to connect one-on-one with interested customers who may simply need a little more encouragement to make a purchase. Read on to discover how to build great cold calling scripts that will keep your customer numbers on the rise.
Why Have a Cold Call Script?
So if cold calling is now all about personalizing your marketing to meet your customers’ individual needs, why have a script?
A cold calling script is less a direct word-for-word template and more a set of guidelines. There are tried and true ways to approach cold calls that work – and there are some methods that don’t.
A cold calling script gives your sales reps a road map to successful client contacts. It helps ensure your company ideals are maintained throughout the marketing process. And it ensures that your customers receive the best care and attention, rather than whatever your sales reps can come up with off the top of your head.
What to Avoid in a Cold Call
Too many times, when a company creates a cold call script, they focus on the things they want to say, rather than what the customer needs to say. They may stick doggedly to pushing their selling points, regardless of how the client is responding.
And they often go in for the hard sell immediately without taking the time to hear the client’s needs and concerns first.
Pro Tip: Your cold calling script should never put your selling points ahead of genuine customer interactions.
Scripts that are too rigid may leave sales reps feeling unable to respond to customers’ needs on a call-by-call basis. And while the goal of a cold call is to sell insurance, your script shouldn’t begin and end there.
Pick the Right Prospects
The first, and perhaps most important, step to building your cold call script is to pick the right prospects.
You’re much more likely to find success with your cold calls if you hand-pick customers who are most likely to be interested in getting life insurance or Medicare, rather than using the “spray and pray” method.
So start by narrowing down your verticals, figuring out which overall demographics fit into your target customer profile. Once you’ve narrowed down your verticals, start looking for specific prospects who may be a good fit for a cold call.
This may include customers who have existing insurance policies and have been researching alternatives lately, those who have recently gotten old enough to qualify for Medicare, or those who are getting to an age to start considering a life insurance policy.
When you have your prospect list, do a little research on each prospect to gather the information that you can leverage during your cold call.
A Strong Introduction
We all know the key to any sale, whether it be convincing someone to read an article or to purchase insurance, is a good hook. Your cold call introduction needs to be warm, professional, and intriguing.
Your job with this introduction is to keep the client on the phone long enough to get them talking.
Have your sales reps begin by stating their name and what company they’re from. They need to be sure to articulate clearly so that clients aren’t left asking, “I’m sorry, you’re who from where?”
Then, your sales reps need to pause – a good few-second pause can give clients the impression that you’re someone they should know and avoid the impression that you’re only in this call for the hard sell.
Once you get the client past the introduction, you want to start building a positive rapport with them. The best way to do this is to have your sales reps approach your clients on a person-to-person basis. This is where some of that research you did on these prospects can start coming in handy.
Have your sales reps strike up a casual conversation with the customer, asking about their day and using any information the customer gives to make a connection with them. If they don’t give any information, use some of the data you gathered about them to start building that rapport.
Something as simple as, “I hear you went to U of Washington – that’s my alma mater!” can help them connect with customers.
Once your sales reps feel like they’ve built a strong rapport with the customer, it’s time to start transitioning into the sales pitch. This is the moment where cold calls can go wrong, so you want to handle this delicately.
The customer needs to feel that staying on the call is beneficial for them and that the sales rep is on their side.
One great way to keep the conversation moving in the right direction is to have your sales rep let the customer know at this point that they’ve called to help.
Pro Tip: Simply saying, “I called to help,” can make your sales reps come off as caring and can disarm customers who are expecting a sales pitch at this point.
This can also tap into what every customer wants – a company that cares about them and their pain.
Establish Your Position
Once your customer knows that your sales rep is there to help them, it’s time to establish your position for beginning the sales pitch.
But once more, you want to keep the conversation centered around the customer and their needs. This positioning should be focused on letting the customer know you understand their situation and you can help.
Start with letting your customers know what it is your company does and giving a brief profile of your target customer. Something along the lines of, “My company provides protection for people entering their golden years and looking for ways to get better access to healthcare,” can work well. Then ask your customer if the profile you just described sounds like them.
Listen to Their Pain Points
At this point in the conversation, most customers will expect you to launch into a pre-set script about all the wonderful things your company does. Instead, flip the script on them and keep the conversation centered around their concerns.
People want to work with companies who they feel understand them and care about their pain. Have your sales reps ask the customer what they like and dislike about their current life and health insurance situations.
Ask what could improve their experience and what challenges they’ve had with their insurance. During this time, your sales rep should focus on listening, giving the customer space to express their pain points, and providing a sympathetic ea
Restate Their Pain
When the customer is done telling you about their pain points, you need to show them that you hear their concerns. You also need to summarize that pain into points that your company can address, providing them with the solution they’ve been searching for.
The best way to do that is to have your sales rep restate the pain points the customer just listed off.
Pro Tip: Begin by saying, “So what I’m hearing is…” followed by a succinct summary of their primary points of pain.
It may be a good idea to take notes while the customer is discussing their pain points to help you with this summary. Check with the customer if this is an accurate summary of their issues before continuing with the call.
Set Up a Discovery Call
The last step in your cold calling process may be the most important, but it’s not the sales pitch you may think. Instead, your sales reps’ job at the end of this cold call is to establish a future call with the customer. During this future call, when both your sales reps and the customer are both expecting it, you can discuss how your company can help this customer.
At the end of this call, your sales reps should assure the customer that your company can help them and ask if they can set up a call on another day to talk about your services. Arrange a specific date and time for this call – within two days, if possible.
Leaving the cold call on this note will reinforce the customer’s idea that your company is genuinely interested in helping them, rather than just getting the hard sell.
Create the Best Cold Calling Scripts
Having strong cold calling scripts can help your company reach customers who might otherwise never make a purchase. Be sure to keep the customer at the center of all these calls, building a rapport, and listening to their pain.
If you’d like to discover more great tips for marketing your insurance business, check out the rest of our site at TR King Insurance Marketing. We offer high-level contracts with the nation’s leading life and health insurance providers. Check out our online contracting options today and start increasing your bottom line the smart way.