If your insurance agency’s sales and service people aren’t using scripts at every stage in your sales and service processes, you’re missing important opportunities to increase sales and strengthen retention. In simple terms, insurance scripts are guides that your staff can use to improve, hone, and polish their interactions with prospects and clients. Often, insurance scripts are only thought of as training tools for new employees, but such a limited use really restricts the potential value that they hold to boost your sales, satisfaction, and retention. Even your most seasoned and successful sales staff can benefit by using scripts.
Insurance scripts can be used to improve various client and prospect interactions, including:
- Outbound and inbound sales calls
- Service processes
- Renewals and cross selling
- In-person or electronic presentations and proposals
- “Elevator speeches” for trade shows and other brief interactions
- Securing referrals or testimonials
- And while insurance scripts are most commonly a tool used in calls, they can also be used as templates for written correspondence and follow-ups, such as emails and hard-copy letters.
Why Insurance Scripts Are Important
Here are just a few reasons why you should be using insurance scripts. They:
- Ensure brand consistency – It’s critical to ensure that every single person on your team, regardless of role, understands your brand, your values, and your key differentiators. When describing the agency, everyone should speak with one voice. On initial contact, how do your sales staff introduce themselves and what do they say about the agency? Do they position the brand the way that you would want it to be positioned? With a script, you insurance agency’s employees won’t have to leave that to chance.
- Improve your sales/renewals hit ratio – Following tried-and-true strategies and techniques that have demonstrated success in the past will help your team to close more leads, cross sell, and manage successful renewals. Document and duplicate successful strategies in scripts.
- Ease difficult conversations – During the pandemic, many of us faced difficult conversations around what business interruption does and doesn’t cover. Delivering bad news or navigating difficult conversations takes practice and skill. Another conversation that should be routine is asking for referrals, but many find that uncomfortable. An insurance script can provide verbiage and a path to guide awkward or complex conversations.
- Qualify a prospect – Using a script can help you determine if the prospect is the right one for your agency. A script can ensure that you gather the right information to present the right solution, propose the appropriate type and amount of coverage, and secure the information the underwriter will need to write the policy.
- Overcome objections – You probably face many of the same objections repeatedly. Determine three or four of most common objections and solicit the most effective messages your sales staff use to counter those objections. Document them in a script.
- Reduce E&O exposures – Having a script can help ensure that you cover essential information to reduce the potential for some of the most common Errors and Omissions claims, such as insufficient coverage or failure to recommend a coverage. An insurance script can contain key product information and coverage checklists.
Putting Insurance Scripts to Use
One of the most common objections people have about using scripts is that they will sound mechanical or robotic – and without practice, they indeed might. Attaining excellence and success in virtually any field requires ongoing practice. Practice often. Use your insurance scripts in training sessions and role play. Practice until they become conversational.
- Every script that your insurance agency uses should have an underlying goal and strategy. What are you trying to accomplish?
- Develop a buyer persona or profile that you are aiming your pitch to.
- For commercial accounts, conduct advance research about the company you are pitching and their industry in advance.
- Don’t be too rigid. If you know the script and you’ve practiced repeatedly, you can go with the conversational flow and work your key points in.
- Avoid insurance lingo, acronyms, and unfamiliar terminology.
- Don’t assume topic familiarity, probe for how much your prospect knows.
- Personalize the conversation. Use the person’s name and the company’s name.
- Listen. If you know your script well, you don’t have to focus on what you’ll be saying next, you can focus on what the prospect/client is saying.
- Build questions in. Be sure to elicit the client’s problems and pain points.
- Every script should end with a call to action. What is the next step?
Your insurance agency’s scripts should be living, breathing sales tools, not static once-and-done exercises. Update them periodically and make them available through a central, accessible file. Keep a running list of comments and suggestions. Hold periodic team trainings to share script successes and innovations that worked.