Phone Call ABCs: Always Be Closing

by Guest Author on January 21, 2014

Business man speaking on the phone while in a meetingWhat company wouldn’t love to see an increase in its revenue stream? A Customer Think survey found that 90 percent of companies polled rated higher sales as their No. 1 priority. The insurance industry benefits from greater sales like any other industry, but it often needs to commit to cold-calling to make a sale. What steps can you take for your next phone call to increase the odds of sales success?

Get on the Gatekeeper’s Good Side

When you dial a number, there’s no telling who will pick up on the other end. Perhaps you’ll get your target, but it could be a spouse, a secretary or even the person’s kid. These people represent the “gatekeeper” to the potential sale, and it’s crucial to put them in a positive frame of mind. An article by the Telegraph serves as a reminder that a person’s mood can quickly and easily be transmitted from person to person. The individual you’re hoping to sell to can be put in a negative frame of mind if the gatekeeper finds you too rude or pushy. Good moods can be just as contagious, however, so be positive and enthusiastic during your call.

Do the Homework

You may know the name and phone number of the person who you’re calling, but how much do you know beyond that? Do as much research as you are able to so that you can pitch an insurance sale that meets a potential customer’s needs. When selling auto insurance, for instance, you can use statistics available from the U.S. Census Bureau to dictate the perils of uninsured driving in a person’s state or city. You can get more comprehensive information on customers and potential customers by utilizing lead services. For instance, a QuoteWizard home insurance lead includes information on property, insurance options and credit rating. This helps you mold a sales pitch to be more effective than a blanket cold call.

Listen More Than You Talk

Although you need to say quite a bit to go from dial tone to successful sale, keeping your ears open increases the odds of getting on a customer’s good side. Remember that you need to listen carefully not only to get his input, but also to pick up on communication details that you cannot express over the phone. Anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of communication comes from non-verbal gestures or expressions, suggests the Nonverbal Group. You need to spend more time on the phone listening to make up this deficit.

Encourage the Caller to Take the Next Step

There’s a reason that the question “What do I have to do to get your business?” has become a sales cliché: Because it works. Encouraging a potential customer to take action gives him a sense of empowerment and control, while also projecting a sense of desire to give the customer what he wants. Explain you want to bridge the customer’s gap and provide him with security for auto, home, life or health issues as needed, and that you will provide the solution as soon as possible.

About the Author

Robert Bradley  is a retired sales manager who likes to blog to pass on his wisdom. His favorite motto is “be the path of least resistance.”

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