Agent to Agent: How You Answer the Phone Makes a Difference
By Bob Mucci
As insurance professionals, we sometimes forget how impactful a seemingly minor detail can be at converting a prospect into a lead or a lead into a sale. With the importance of generating leads through online methods now no longer a moot point, it’s more important than ever to pay careful attention to how we answer the phone at our agencies. Many internet leads now pick up the phone and call different agencies as they’re shopping for insurance.
That initial phone call is the first, and possibly only, chance an insurance agency has to make a positive first impression on prospects. Here are a few tactics we've found successful at creating a positive first impression:
- Attitude is everything. Callers will feel the attitude of the person answering the phone almost immediately. Though it may sound cheesy, one of the most effective ways to project a positive attitude over the phone is by smiling while talking on the phone. Smiling automatically puts the answerer in a better frame of mind – one geared to helping the caller, not treating the caller as an annoyance.
- Consider an opening talk track. To ensure everyone in your agency is portraying the right attitude when answering the phone, consider asking everyone to answer incoming calls with the same talk track. “Hello, welcome to XX Insurance, how can we help you today?” is one example of a line you may want to encourage everyone to use when answering the phone. The fact that your agency is local and personal is a selling point to consumers shopping for insurance online. It’s something they may not get from carriers who sell direct. It’s important to showcase that when you answer the phone.
- Change agency culture. Typically, agencies don’t think of insurance “shoppers” as opportunities. They think of them as a nuisance. That’s not the right attitude to take when selling to modern-day consumers. The modern consumers don’t have time to visit your office or take a lot of time finding the right insurance, which is why many go online hoping to fill out a quick form or purchase a policy instantly. If they’re calling your agency, it’s a HUGE opportunity to sell your agency and the value adds you provide, such as the ability to shop multiple carriers for them. They may not know that’s what agencies do. That’s why a change in agency culture is needed. The goal should be to educate staff about the importance of “shoppers” and how to treat them with care.
We've found success with this in our agency and hope you will too!
Bob Mucci is the VP of Massachusetts-based Wolpert Insurance. As a leading local insurance agency, Wolpert Insurance specializes in providing Massachusetts insurance consumers with reliable commercial trucking insurance, moving and storage coverage, movers insurance, garage insurance and effective risk management solutions.