When selling life insurance, the follow-up call is vital. Setting follow-up calls is absolutely crucial to your business but it often feels like a hurdle without a strategy behind it. Learn how to tackle the call or objection and pin down the next appointment.
The Importance of that Follow-Up Call
There are many other reasons a follow-up call is important. One is that they add value and create a connection with your potential clients. Follow-up calls not only help you know where you stand in your current deal but also cement your connection with your client, further developing your relationship. They show that you’re not just interested in short-term insurance sales; what you’re after is a mutually beneficial long-term business relationship.
Pro Tip: Another reason you should make a follow-up call is that it builds trust. As a salesperson, it is part of your job to strengthen a client’s decision to buy a product or service from you. When your client trusts in you and your product, that trust translates into loyalty for the brand, which could, in turn, lead to more purchases in the future.
Follow-up calls also address possible problems more quickly. Sometimes during the initial sales call, some of your potential clients’ issues can get overlooked. This can result in cancellations or returns, which is something that you don’t want. If you actively work to address issues, problems or concerns during the follow-up process, you reduce the possibility of returns and cancellations.
Make sure that you encourage your client to ask as many questions as they want. Do your best to answer all these questions correctly and accurately before you end the conversation. Aside from securing the sale, this establishes that your company provides exceptional customer support.
When you engage with your customers through follow-up calls, it fosters a sense of loyalty to your company. If you keep up with your follow-up calls, you’ll be setting your company apart from the rest. You’ll be giving yourself a competitive edge. By following up several times, at intervals that are not annoying, you will be the one that your client will remember.
Additionally, follow-up calls help to boost sales. This is because people like it when companies make them feel valued and appreciated – this usually leads to brand loyalty, further purchases, and even referrals. It’s important that you keep in touch with customers so that you can make sure they’re happy and content.
Having an initial conversation with a potential client is an exciting opportunity; but if it doesn’t end with the client initiating an application, you may question yourself about how to succeed with the follow-up call.
A follow-up phone call to a potential client is often more difficult than the cold call or the cold front door knock that the agent made in the first place, especially when you take into account that 80% of successful sales require five follow-up calls after the initial meeting.
However, it is usually those follow-up calls that initiate the sale cycle because value truly becomes evident to the customer.
This is where critical information is gathered and where the relationship between the client and the agent is established. This is why it is necessary to have a follow-up strategy that is designed specifically with your client in mind. The first thing you need to do in order to achieve success with your follow-up call is to get the commitment; establishing a clear time and day for that follow-up call at the conclusion of your first phone call is vital.
Getting a vague commitment such as ‘give me a call next week’ usually means voicemail messages, a longer sale cycle or a missed call. Therefore, you need to establish the follow-up call time at the conclusion of your initial conversation.
How to Improve Your Follow-Up Calls
High-quality phone conversations go a long way towards customer satisfaction and business growth. If you want to improve the way you do your follow-up calls, here are a few tips.
These are the different ways you can enhance your calls:
Schedule Your Calls.
These days, people are typically very busy. The chances of catching people at a time when they’re free to take your call are very slim. Scheduling your follow-up call is simply the most professional and polite thing to do.
Do your prep work before you dial your prospect’s phone number. Put together enough info to build helpful talking points and keep your conversation focused on its purpose. This will make you come across as competent and professional.
Ask Effective Questions.
The questions you ask – and the questions you don’t ask – have an impact on your conversation’s success. To keep the conversation flowing, avoid simple “yes” or “no” questions. But steer clear, as well, of leading questions, multiple choice questions, and rambling questions, as these may confuse your clients.
What you should do is ask direct questions that get useful answers. Additionally, remember to ask follow-up questions. Asking follow-up questions shows that you’re actually listening to your client’s answers and that you care about building a long-lasting relationship with your client.
Keep the Conversation Balanced.
An effective phone conversation requires input from both parties. If your client is doing all the talking, you won’t be able to ask the questions necessary to get the insight that you need from your client. Meanwhile, if you’re the one doing all the talking, you won’t be able to get your client’s input. Make sure that your client has time to answer before you ask your next questions. Become both an active participant and an attentive listener.
Set a Plan of Action for the Next Call.
Never end your calls without discussing the next step. Make sure to close your calls with a plan, whether it be scheduling an on-site visit or setting up an appointment for the next call.
How to Make Following Up Easier
Following up can take a lot of time, here are some simple ways to make it easier and better for your client.
Here are three ways to understand customer needs:
- Reach Out Through Different Channels - As a salesperson, you should have information on how to reach potential clients through varied means, such as through the phone, over email, chat, SMS, and even with on-site visits. Each client has a preference; take note of this and contact them, paying attention to their preference. However, the basic way you should contact your clients should be through phone calls, both live and voicemails, and emails.
- Utilize Templates and Scripts - Templates can be used as a guide for salespeople. They help you ensure that relevant points are always covered in every interaction. Of course, personalization is highly important; you must always personalize your templates before you send an email or make a call.
- Track and Measure Success - Keep track of your numbers. There is a wide range of technology that can help you capture this data. Make sure you take note of connect rates, lead response times, and average call times – these numbers are vital in helping you work on what could be improved. For emails, you should track the open and response rates.
Achieve Success with Your Follow-Up Calls
After each call to a new prospect, send a card of thanks; this helps you build equity and trust with your potential client. A simple thank you card goes a long way toward sharing that you’re looking forward to talking with them further and reminding them of the coming follow-up call.
Hand delivering a card, however, shows a potential client that you took the time and energy to take action outside the box. It is an example that you are willing to go the extra mile for your client. An email with the same note is also an option if you don’t think that a card will reach the recipient in time. Make sure that you include your contact details so your client can reach you if they have an issue or question.
Pro Tip: The next thing to do to achieve success with a follow-up call is to email an agenda and a reminder. The day prior to your follow-up conversation, remind the person of the appointment.
Confirm the date and time and then briefly outline your agenda. Giving them an overview of how long the call might take will also show them that you value their time. You might say something like, “we’ll discuss any questions at the conclusion of the call” and what next steps to take if any. This helps to minimize some of the concerns and stress that a new prospect might have about the insurance process.
You can add value in the conclusion of your email with a P.S. You might share an article, for example, that highlights the benefits of the type of insurance that they are considering. The product, the market, the industry or something not business related that came up in your initial call is a great way to continue to build that relationship with someone and to establish value.
The next step to being successful with your life insurance follow up call is contacting on time. You should never start that relationship in the wrong way by being late with the follow-up call. Your promptness shows a great deal of respect to the potential client. The next thing you must do is be prepared with the right opening statement. Getting the client to show up for the follow-up call is critically important but you should avoid making opening statement mistakes such as:
- I was calling to see if you have any questions.
- Did you get my email?
- I wanted to see if you arrived at a decision.
- I was calling to follow up on the offer.
Pro Tip: These opening statements are routine and generic and they make you seem no different than any other salesperson in the market.
Use four simple steps to build a powerful statement. First of all, introduce yourself with your full name and then state your company name. When you move into this next phase, remind the client of your conversations prior to the follow-up call – go back to that initial cold call and tell them of the gains or pains that were discussed.
Present a clear and concise agenda of what you hope to accomplish during this current call but avoid pressuring them into making a decision. You most especially should avoid this in your first sentence of the phone call; nobody likes feeling as though their arm is being twisted into making a decision, after all.
Being polite, persistent and professional is strongly recommended; but going overboard and being a pest can turn your client off and cause them to avoid your calls overall. So, strike a balance.
Having a successful follow-up sales technique is very important for establishing value and showing that you’re concerned about the client’s needs and not just your own. Remain professional, prompt and courteous with the other person’s time.
Key Takeaways In This Article
- The follow up call initiates the sales cycle
- Get a commitment to the next appointment whether that is over the phone or face to face
- Send a thank you note or a message for your client's time
- Remind your client of the upcoming follow-up agenda a day or a few hours beforehand
- Walk your client through the sales process to eliminate stress and concerns
- Avoid pressuring them to make a decision or putting them on the spot
- Follow the three P's: Professional and Persistent, but not a PEST.
Over to You
We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below on:
- Are there any techniques that might work for others we didn't cover or you simply wish to share?
- How do you expect internet sales to affect this process?
- What is your follow up process?
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. We will carefully read each one of them. Happy Selling!