Whether you are selling health insurance or Girl Scout cookies, you never want to hear “No, thanks, I’m not interested.” The key to sales success lies in preparing for, and more importantly, overcoming, someone’s sales objections, regardless of what those objections might be.
Objections are inevitable, but giving up isn’t an option when you work in the competitive insurance industry. There’s no reason to get discouraged – turning a reluctant consumer into a potentially lucrative client may be easier than you think.
When a lead seems to be retreating from your approach, consider the reasons behind the hesitation. You may have to unravel their actual concerns during your conversation. Expect the objections, develop response strategies in advance, and address every concern with respect and empathy.
Insurance sales success is the result of great client relationships – and your ability to overcome sales objections can have a major impact on your long-term revenue and reputation.
Prepare for Objections
As an insurance broker, you appreciate the importance of training and preparation. Before you enroll a single client in an insurance plan, you have gone through certifications and education to prepare you to close the sale in accordance with laws, regulations, and industry standards.
Mastering the nuances of closing a sale can be a little more complicated. You’ve studied tips for sales success, but when a potential client doesn’t seem open to buying insurance from you, it can take some finesse, planning, and practice.
Overcoming sales objections starts with a game plan. When you can identify the more common obstacles faced by insurance sales professionals, and know how to resolve those issues, you’ll be able to dramatically improve your lead-to-sales conversions.
Seven Solutions to Common Sales Objections
When you face the following objections, consider using these responses to turn a challenging sales pitch into a more productive conversation that may just result in a sale.
1. “I already have insurance.”
Don’t let this be the end of the conversation. Instead, try to engage a potential client in a more casual chat to learn about their current coverage. “May I ask what insurance you have now? I’ve had clients enroll in that plan, as well. Has the coverage been sufficient? Some of my clients have expressed a need for additional coverage.” Ask questions and pause to really listen to their concerns. Instead of sounding critical of their previous choices, remind them of their opportunities to review their options, including the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) if they are Medicare recipients.
2. “This isn’t a good time to talk.”
It might just be an excuse, but a prospect may actually be in the middle of something when you call. Let them know how sorry you are for the intrusion, but ask if you can reschedule your conversation. “Would tomorrow at 3pm be better for you?” Set a day and time that will work better for them – and make sure you put the appointment in your calendar.
3. “I can’t afford different insurance.”
Some people assume that better insurance coverage costs too much more than what they currently pay, and that may not be the case. Better coverage may actually lower out-of-pocket costs or prescription drug expenses.
Approach this response with a shared experience. “I know how you feel. My own sister was surprised by the added benefits she could get for her family without paying a higher premium. Have you compared plans recently?” This gives you the chance to talk about your online plan comparison and quoting tool.
4. “Just email me the information and I’ll get back to you.”
Let your prospect know that you’d be happy to send an email, but would love to include any specific information they might find interesting, including the types of insurance they are looking for, or what concerns they have about their current coverage.
5. “I can’t make any decision without speaking to my spouse.”
If you are married, express your understanding that you, too, wouldn’t be able to make such an important decision without consulting with your other half. Let them know that you’d be happy to call back tomorrow after they’ve had a chance to speak to their family. Offer your phone number and email for their spouse to contact you directly with any questions or concerns. Set an appointment time to call them back the following day.
6. “I’m not the person who makes those decisions.”
If you are approaching small businesses to offer small group insurance solutions, make sure you reach the right person. Ask for the name and contact information, including phone number and email, but take note of the person who gave you that information.
7. “I have a good relationship with my current broker.”
We can’t repeat it enough – the insurance sales industry is built on relationships. Show your respect for their loyalty, but ask, “Would you mind telling me who you work with?” That can give you the opportunity to continue the conversation and point out some differences between your agencies, but make sure you can do it without speaking negatively about the competition. Instead, demonstrate the value of working with your company, perhaps in products and services not offered by your competition. Control the conversation so that you can communicate the benefits of working with you.
Once you have gotten comfortable facing and overcoming these common sales objections, you will be able to turn any conversation around to demonstrate the value of your insurance products and services.
Overcoming Sales Objections
Develop habits that will help you overcome sales objections:
• Be warm, friendly, and likeable
• Listen to learn, not just to respond
• Use humor to break the ice
• Be sincere – avoid a scripted sales pitch
• Acknowledge your prospect’s genuine concerns
• Clarify and isolate the issue
• Guide your prospect to come to conclusions on their own
• Stay composed and respectful throughout the conversation
Talk to other brokers in your agency and discuss the objections they have encountered. Work as a team to explore alternative ways to respond to reluctant consumers by discussing what has worked – and what hasn’t.
Overcoming sales objections are just part of the business. Buying insurance is a significant and personal decision for your client and their family. With preparation, your expertise and sincerity will shine through any sales objections you encounter.