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Insurance Sales Tips (Article 5): How to Handle the Phone Calls

By Jeffrey Dobkin

Best marketing tool ever: Easy-to-create FREE booklets —

Here’s a How-To primer:  Thanks for reading our insurance sales tips.  Our first tip is our biggest and best tip for getting phone calls.

Offering a FREE booklet with a G-R-E-A-T title is the best, lowest cost way to make the phone ring.  For comparison – take a sheet of paper and fold it in thirds.  Ta da! You have a brochure. Don’t get too excited, it’s worthless.  You can get free brochures anywhere. Car dealerships, drug stores, even your local dry cleaner offers you a free brochure.

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To create a booklet that has value, take that same sheet of paper and fold it in half and… whoa – now you have a valuable 4-page booklet.  Nest another sheet of paper inside and you have a very valuable 8-page booklet.  It’s all in the presentation.  Knowing where to make the fold helps a lot, too.

Success.  Your direct marketing insurance sales package worked!  Your offer of a FREE booklet with that great title made your phone ring.  Congratulations.

Potential clients are now calling you for their free booklet.

Callers are friendly. They’re open for questions and ready to talk because hey, they’re getting something for free – they wouldn’t want to jeopardize that free offer.

 “Non-threatening reason to call.”

Why does offering a FREE booklet work so well?

The booklet offer quells caller’s fears about what to ask for when they call (yea, some people really worry about this!)  They also worry someone is going to try to sell them something (yea, people worry about this, too!). Or they won’t know what to talk about. The FREE offer makes the phone ring because you said right there in your letter, “Call and ask for our FREE Booklet!”  So there they are.  You see, you’ve given them what I call a “Non-threatening reason to call.”

And, they’re getting something for FREE!  How great is that!

No, no salespeople are involved, they are simply calling for their FREE booklet.  Mentioning FREE is always good in your copywriting.  Notice it’s always in capital letters, too?  Would your rather have a free booklet or a FREE booklet? Makes your FREE offer stand out, doesn’t it.  Your “FREE” booklet offer should have the word “FREE” in all caps, too.

Handling The Probing Call

So the phone rings.  In a friendly way, you ask their name – after all, you’re going to mail them something valuable for FREE! You need their name.

Now use their name in the conversation.  Start by being a real person.  “Thanks Jeffrey, I’d be happy to send you our FREE booklet.  Say, where did you see our offer?”  Even if you know exactly where they saw it, this is a great conversation starter.

 Because right now, your job is only to start a conversation – nothing more.  Open a dialog.

Ask about anything else – besides their address.  Seniors are usually happy to talk to you.  Heck their kids moved out years ago and they’re tired of talking to their spouse after 50 years, or at least that’s the way to bet.  Anyhow, you’re going to give them something free, and seniors like free. They are in a receptive mood.

Sure, ask their street address.  Then comment about their home, their neighborhood.  Slip in a question or two about their insurance or financial needs.  Ask about their kids.  Repeat their address to let them know you’ve written in down correctly.  Comment on their neighborhood or car.  Ask more probing questions.  Get their city and state.  Ask more questions.  Get their zip code and, “Oh yea, can I have your phone number so I have all your information in one place.  Thanks.”

This conversation really is the pivotal period where you find out if the caller is a viable prospect for what you’re selling.  Ask stealthy questions to see if there’s a need for what you’re selling while getting their mailing information.

You must be willing to talk to folks on the phone for whatever length of time it takes to see if they are a candidate for your products and services.  This is your real job now.  Do this right, qualify callers early in the conversation, then set up an appointment to see them in person to close the sale.  And that’s what you do here.  This is your objective: qualify the caller, then set up an in-person appointment to close the sale.

This is where you spend the time to get them to sit still and listen.  Because what a waste of time on this call if you only wrote down their address to send them the booklet.  The goal of offering the booklet was so you could speak with them on the phone and open up a dialog.

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The phone call is really the qualifier. 

Spend a few minutes asking specific qualifying questions.  It’s fair to say, “Do you mind if I ask you just two questions about your insurance – I promise I’ll be brief.  Thanks.”  See?  That didn’t hurt you or them, did it?  If the results are positive, set up the appointment time to go over where their current insurance coverage is failing.  Meanwhile, “I’ll place our booklet in the mail?” works well in your favor – when they get the booklet in the mail you’ve just established credibility: you said you’d mail them something and your did.

The value you receive in a brief phone call…

By the end of this call a few things have happened.  They trust you because you didn’t sell them anything.  You have their name and address, phone.  You know if they are a likely candidate for your products or services.  And if all went really well, you set up an appointment for a personal sales visit or an additional phone call after you look up some rates for the insurance quoting.  If all went perfectly, you know pretty much 100% if they are qualified, ready and willing to buy, and the in-person appointment is just the formality for them to sign the papers.   Nice.

Here’s the checkout page for Jeffrey Dobkin’s Insurance Sales Letters: Checkout Awesome Insurance Sales Letters here!

You might also be interested in Jeffrey Dobkin’s Awesome Financial Advisor Letter Series (view sample financial advisor letter),
and Jeffrey Dobkin’s Awesome Network Marketing Letter Series (view sample network marketing letter).

Bio, Jeffrey Dobkin

Jeff Dobkin has written 5 books on effective direct marketing methods. He also writes sales letters and marketing material for clients – Just call and ask.

He’s just finished writing a series of 12 incredibly responsive sales letters specifically for insurance agencies – that will absolutely make your phone ring.  You can buy these on line by clicking here. Call him directly with questions or comments at 610-642-1000.

Here’s something interesting:
How to Write and Design Your FREE Booklet.

Did you notice I didn’t say anything about the design of your FREE booklet, or the information in it — just the title.

There’s a reason:  While I like nice literature, elegant well-written informational booklets with over-the-top designs, I don’t think it’s important here.

You see, once they called you, the booklet – or rather the booklet title – has served its purpose: to generate a phone call.  Keep in mind sending a nicely written letter and a well designed booklet further increases your credibility.  And I highly recommend you send both letter and informational booklet promptly.

Hope this was helpful.  Call with questions: 610-642-1000.  Jeffrey Dobkin

Don’t forget to order now! Our Insurance Sales letter package now comes with 25 Letters! You get all 25 letters when you order.  Order Jeffrey Dobkin’s “12 Awesome Sales Letters” a sales letter series written specifically for Insurance Agencies – Click Here!