You’re looking to increase your efficacy over the phone because you want to maximize your time and energy and grow your win rate. Here are the five tele-sales skills that will make all the difference in your final expense insurance sales career:
Nail your opener
It sounds so obvious and flippant, but you’d be surprised at the data supporting the necessity of that first impression: most successful cold calls only last 5 to 10 minutes, according to RAIN Group. When talking to a prospect on the phone, start off warm, friendly, and professional. Focus on how you sound as you talk—charisma is all about enthusiasm and confidence. Your cadence and tone will set a certain energy for the conversation, and you want that energy to be positive so that it feels easy for your potential client to make a positive decision.
Humanize the conversation
Put yourself and your prospect on the same level by letting them know that you are a real person who is taking time to call them personally. Any time you can naturally infuse the conversation with a dose of personal connection will go a long way toward forging a relationship. “Sherri, I’m dropping you a line today from my home office, which doubles as the Christmas present storage room and hiding place, so if you hear my 4-year-old banging on the door, you’ll know why.” Find a way for your prospect to see your face—a digital business card, a website, a Facebook page. If you can set up a video call appointment, make it happen—you want your prospect to feel like they get to know you while you talk with them, so after the conversation they’ll say they have a friend in the final expense insurance business.
Balance the conversation
Think about all the distractions your prospect is dealing with while they talk to you on the phone. The longer your pitch is, the more likely it is that they stop listening. Balance the conversation by regularly examining their understanding, asking them questions, and checking their temperature. Tele-sales is a delicate balance between presentation and conversation. Lose that balance, and you lose the sale.
Follow a script
We’re not saying you can’t be yourself and use your personality to connect with people. We are suggesting that a script, written by a mentor or other professional final expense insurance agent, has probably been vetted and focused on what works time and again. Use the script as a scaffold while you build your confidence in the process—otherwise you’ll fall back on gimmicky, salesman-speak that can seem disorganized and disingenuous.
If you cringe at the thought of watching yourself on video, you are not alone. However, reflecting on your sales practice and even getting some coaching from other professionals can be an invaluable way to improve your tele-sales skills. Listening to how you actually sound while selling on the phone may surprise you. There is always a difference in expectation vs. reality when it comes to our presentation. We all have a perception of how we look, act, and sound in a conversation, but our bias obscures our view. Reflective recording is actually a very common coaching practice in all types of careers, and can improve public speaking, teaching, and presenting skills.