Grow your book of business with these three insurance sales hacks

Whether you're prospecting or working with your current clients, in person, by phone or via email, there are some phrases you need to erase from your sales vocabulary. This month we're honing in on phrases that we've all used, but that actually come across all wrong: patronizing, twisting the truth, or weak. So read 'em, recognize 'em and replace 'em.

5 phrases to stop using when talking or emailing to clients

You know the basics: "Yes," "Let me see what I can do," "I’ll be happy to," "Congratulations!" "Please" and "Thank you" are crucial to use with every client. But there are a few phrases that you no doubt use that just may work against you. So rethink these common sayings before you use them again:

1. "To be honest" or "To tell you the truth." What? Does that mean that whatever you said before wasn’t truthful? What about last week? Using this phrase calls your trustworthiness into question.

2. "The problem is…." Never present a problem that you don't have a solution for. It assures your client that you can help, you're resourceful and best of all, you’re on top of their problem.

3. "Like I said before." Yes, you may be repeating yourself to your client – for the third time – but this sounds patronizing. Just remember: your client is bombarded with constant emails and phone calls just like you – and it’s sometimes tough to keep all the facts straight. Perhaps it’s time for a face-to-face meeting, so you’re ensured that you have their complete attention.

4. “I totally understand how you feel.” No, you really don’t – unless you’ve been in their exact situation before. Plus, it’s equal to patting them on top of the head. It’s condescending. 

5. "Sorry to bother you." Yes, you're trying to be polite and considerate, but instead, you're starting from a position of weakness. Just jump into what you need when you interrupt: "If you can provide ___, then I can complete your __ this afternoon."

Related: Juice up your insurance sales skills this month


Toss these email closing lines right out of your repertoire

It's seen all too often: rough drafts of emails to be sent out whose closing lines just…stop. No call to action. No sense of what you expect the prospect to do next. No ushering them to the next level without their having to think. When you hit "send," you’ve just wasted your prep time and their time to read it, because they won't take action. And when you send them a series of such emails, you run the risk of irritating them so that they unsubscribe or worse, mark them as spam.

Related: Shed bad sales habits this month to boost insurance sales

"A bad final line can completely wreck your email," said Aja Frost in a Hubspot blogpost. "Not only is it the last thing your prospect reads, research shows it's actually the most memorable element of the entire message." So our second insurance sales hack reveals a few closing lines, many from Aja, to delete permanently from your emails. 

  • We have the perfect insurance solution for your needs. Beware hyperbole. Your solution is never perfect. When you overstate your value, you come across as too hard-salesy and less trustworthy, and it's even worse if you've never spoken to this prospect. How do you know what's the perfect solution for them, when you don’t know exactly what their risks are?
  • I look forward to meeting your every need. Again, watch the hyperbole. You can't possibly meet their every need. 
  • Please call me at 555-5555. If you're prospecting and this is a cold email, you're wasting your breath. They're not going to call you back. Instead, try this: "Are you ready to save time and money on your insurance costs? Let's explore your options together. Are you available Wednesday at 11 a.m. or Thursday at 2 p.m. for a quick, 10-minute call?"
  • I look forward to hearing from you. Don’t hold your breath, because they won’t call. You’re expecting them to go from Step A to Step M. It's just too big a leap. They're not ready to talk with you yet. Instead, ask for a quick 10 minutes of their time to get a clearer idea of what their risks are, so that you can come back with a more custom proposal.

Make it or break it: Finding the right words to seal the deal 

You want your closing line – whether you're delivering it in person or electronically – to be packed with power. To be remembered. To motivate your prospects to respond. Our third round of insurance sales hacks offers you a few ideas to try:

1. Do them a favor. Offer them something for free, like a checklist of top risks that you've found at similar businesses, or a kit on how to inventory their home contents, or the name of a great driving school for their teenager.

2. End with a searching question. Gearing your question to their situation, it may be something like "Is hiring and training new employees one of your main focuses right now?" if you’re offering workers' compensation, and follow with a best practices for hiring checklist. 

3. Use social proof. Tell that affluent prospect how many of his neighbors already have residential earthquake policies.

4. End with a great story. We all love stories – especially those with happy endings. Tell how a prospective insurance buyer similar to them made the right choice – and when disaster struck or they had to file a claim, how glad they were to be covered.

It’s your turn: What's your favorite closing line, and how has it worked for you?