Insurance agencies work hard to get the phone to ring.
Yet so often, people have no idea how to respond to that call. Some people look at a ringing phone as an interruption to doing their job and try to avoid taking the call. When that person picked up their phone and called your office it was the most important thing in their life at that moment in time—you cannot afford to miss this opportunity to win their business.
I heard a story the other day about how not to handle a phone lead. Prospect calls asking for a quote on car insurance in California. The person that answered the phone says “oh it's 4:55, could you call back tomorrow?”
At our insurance office, we try to route that call to someone that can provide the caller with what they want right now, because if you don’t someone else will. We just had the opposite happen here at Partee Insurance Associates.
First, we answer our phones “it’s a great day at Partee Insurance how may I direct your call?” The caller wanted to be called back because she realized it was 4:59 and she didn’t think we would help her. Our teammate told her we had someone available to help her now. When all was said and done, we picked up not only a raving fan but an auto policy, homeowners, and six rental units, just because someone was willing to treat that caller like a valued client.
If they want a quote and we don’t have a producer available, we collect all the necessary information so they can be called back with a quote and not just a list of questions. The first thing we want is their name, then their phone number in case we get disconnected and then we ask them for their e-mail address so we can get our presentation of solutions to them right away. We also use some small talk to put the prospect at ease (how did you find us, what has you shopping for California insurance, can you tell me about you and your family) as these are rapport building questions to show that they are important and not just another lead. Now as quickly as possible collect the under writing information and deliver your quote by phone and e-mail. Then last but not least follow up until they make a decision. Follow up is an ongoing activity, not just one attempt.
About the Author: Wayne Partee, President & CEO of Partee Insurance Associates, was first licensed in 1970 and has more than thirty-seven years experience in all lines of insurance. He is Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), a professional designation achieved by only a few people in the industry and most recently obtained his Certified Workers' Compensation Advisor (CWCA) designation. Wayne stresses service above all else to his clients and his community. He continues to give his time, talent and treasure to a number of local organizations.