While cold-calling is probably your least favorite part of being an insurance agent, if you're spending your hard-earned dollars on purchasing lists of leads, you dang well want to make sure you're doing all you can to turn those leads into clients. Sadly, in their haste to take the information on those lists and run with them, lots of agents make some very common mistakes that can leave many of those new leads wasted.
YOU'RE NOT CHECKING YOUR LIST TWICE
Not to get all Santa on you, but you need to check your list before you start reaching out. You need to verify that the leads on your list are real people. Lists are generically generated and can give you people who aren't qualified to speak to you, who aren't financially able to buy from you and who aren't interested in buying what you have to sell even if they were able to. Be sure that the list you have is filled with leads who have been specifically targeted to your audience.
YOU'RE NOT RESEARCHING YOUR LEADS
The quickest way to lose a lead is to ask a question that makes you look unprepared to speak with them. You can't always trust that leads are going to be perfect for your product until you've taken the time to get some background. Before making a call, make sure you can pronounce the lead's name. Nothing is worse than someone stammering over a name they can't pronounce and it's a dead giveaway that you're cold calling. Also, It's also extremely important to make sure you're asking questions that show you know the lead's background will make you appear prepared going in.
YOU'RE NOT WARMING YOUR LEAD UP
There's an art to cold-calling and a lot of agents aren't artists. No one wants to pick up a phone to an "aggressive" sales call. They. need to be eased into the pitch. Luckily for everyone involved, sales scripts are great for thoughtfully leading agents through calls so they don't hear a dial tone before the call even gets under way. There's plenty of great script software for agents to use. Do your research on which sales scripts would be best for you and start making calls the right way.
YOU'RE MAKING IT ABOUT YOU
Not to be rude, but your lead is a perfect stranger and they don't want to know your life's story. You can introduce yourself but then the focus needs to be on the lead and asking the right questions to keep them on the line. What is important to them? What problems or issues would they like to solve? Let them guide the conversation. Use the cold call as a way to learn more about your prospect rather than pushing your product.
YOU'RE NOT TAKING NO FOR AN ANSWER
No one likes to hear the word NO and learning how to respond to a NO on the other end of a cold call isn't always easy for some agents. If you're asked the right questions, you'll know whether or not your product is right for the lead you're speaking to. Sure, some objections can be overcome, but sometimes, you have to walk away gracefully and not push the lead to the point of no return. You always want to be able to return to a lead some day down the line and unless you deal with their rejection properly, there will be no hope for that.
Learning how to cold call properly can take some time. You have to refine your sales style to be able to work with different leads in different ways. Our general rule of thumb is to always picture yourself on the other end of the line and make sure you're not treating the lead in a way you wouldn't want to be treated if you were getting the same call. Give yourself time to learn how to finesse leads where you can or to walk away gracefully when it isn't meant to be.