How to set more life insurance sales appointments from your leads
By Lew Nason
Insurance Pro Shop
Every week we get calls from advisors looking for more and better life insurance sales leads. What if instead you could learn how to set more and better appointments from your current leads (and orphan policy holders, friends, family and clients)? How much easier would your life be?
Does this story sound familiar? A while back, we got a call from an advisor who had been a career agent with a major insurance company, but had decided to go independent several months ago. He called us for help because in the past month he had purchased 200 life insurance leads — and he wasn't happy with the results.
From those 200 leads, this advisor had only set about five appointments per week (23 appointments for the month); actually met with only two of those people each week (10 fact-finds for the month); and closed one sale per week (four sales for the month). Needless to say, this advisor wanted to know where he could buy more — and better — leads.
As we talked, he told me that the majority of his leads only wanted him to send them a quote, some of them had health problems and more than half of the prospects with whom he had set appointments cancelled or were no-shows.
We get calls like this several times a week. Whether these producers are buying leads, or using direct mail, newspaper ads or dinner seminars to generate them, they are only getting a 10 percent to 15 percent appointment rate. And, they have a lot of fallout from the appointments they set. Just about every advisor I talk to wants to blame the quality of their leads for their lack of appointments.
How to quickly increase your life insurance sales appointments
First, consider nobody wants to meet with a pushy salesperson, even when they know they need and want the product or service you're offering. Perhaps they are afraid they'll be pushed into buying something they don't need or want, or they're afraid they will be pushed into spending more money than they can afford or want to spend.
Second, most prospects make the assumption that all life insurance policies are pretty much alike, so to them it makes perfect sense to just pick the least expensive one. That's why they'll object to the appointment with statements such as, "I'm too busy right now," "We don't have the money," "I just want the cheapest policy," or "Just send me a quote."
These objections are a natural part of the selling process and an opportunity for you to help people to see how valuable your service is.
If you want to set more and better sales appointments, then you'll have to learn how to get past the typical objections to the appointment. You must focus on helping your prospects see the problems they face, and then help them to see how they'll benefit from meeting with you. If your prospect does not see they have a problem, or truly understand the depth of their problem, then why would they waste their time meeting with you?
You must also be able to differentiate yourself from the rest of the advisors who also are calling them. And, it's not going to happen by focusing on your products, price, investment returns or your credentials.
The most important thing to remember when making appointments is you are selling the reason for the appointment, not your product or services. You must help your prospects see why they should meet with you. For example:
Prospect: I'm too busy right now. Can you just send me a quote?
Agent: Mr. Prospect, I think I understand. We are all busy and no one wants to meet with a pushy salesperson, right? I could just send you a quote, but am I correct in assuming you want the best value for your dollar?
Prospect: That's correct.
Agent: Mr. Prospect, I'm a little different from most of the other agents you'll meet. I want to help you and make sure you get the best policy for you and your family. There are literally hundreds of companies and policies for you to choose from, with a variety of options. And, without knowing the details of your situation, I'm not sure what the best value is for you, or what you'll actually qualify for. So, if I could, I would like to meet with you and your spouse — in person — to go over your options and ensure that you get the best policy at the best value for your situation. Does that make sense?
Prospect: I guess so?
Agent: Mr. Prospect, if I could show you how to get the policy you need and want to protect your family, without taking any additional money out of your pocket or changing your current lifestyle, would it be worth 20 minutes of your time?
Agent: What's the best day for us to meet?
Remember, if you want an appointment then you must help your prospect see they have a problem and then get them to agree they want to solve the problem.
“If you don't mind me asking, do you own a home?”
“Do you currently have a mortgage on your home?” “Do you have a mortgage life insurance policy to pay off your home for your family if something were to happen to you or your spouse?”
“How do you feel about that?”
“If something were to happen to you or your spouse tomorrow would your family be able to keep the home?”
“How do you feel about that?”
“Do you feel that having a mortgage protection policy is important?”
"Mr. Prospect, if I could show you how to get the mortgage protection you need and want to protect your family, without taking any additional money out of your pocket, or changing your current lifestyle, would it be worth 20 minutes of your time?"
“Sounds like we need to get together and talk.”
Overcoming the objection to the appointment is your first sale to the prospect, and it requires you to learn a presentation, just like you do for any sales call. You wouldn't go into a sales appointment unprepared, would you?
How to overcome objections to the appointment
Write down the most common objections you hear on the phone and in person and the problems most people are facing today. Then, think about the questions you can ask, and what you will say to overcome those objections in the future, and write those down as well.
Practice these questions and responses until you know them by heart. By doing this, your answers will become second nature, and you will be prepared to sell the appointment — which gives you a better chance of setting the appointment.
When you know what to say to sell the appointment, you can set appointments with nine out of 10 of your current leads, orphan policy holders, friends, family and clients. Remember, the reason these people responded to your letter, ad or invitation is because they are interested in, and want more information about your products or service.
If you want to set an appointment, then you just have to give prospects a good reason to choose you.