Any insurance agent can purchase web leads; what really sets agencies apart is the closing process. As shopper demand for a digital insurance shopping experience continues to rise, so too has the competition for the consumer’s business. More and more agencies are turning to web leads as a way to keep up with the changing market, which means that agencies must be top of their game once the consumer is on the phone. We’ve compiled seven tips for closing online leads that will help you and your agency stay sharp when it comes time to seal the deal.

1. Get There First

When a shopper fills out an insurance inquiry form online, he or she should expect to receive multiple contacts from multiple agencies. However, the window of true opportunity runs thin. Many consumers who are making the time to research rates NOW won’t want to dedicate time to this task later on. The likelihood of converting a lead into a sale decreases significantly the longer you wait to get in contact. Even the difference between minute 1 (391% likelihood increase) and 2 (160% likelihood increase) is highly significant1. Impress the consumer with your rapid response — pick up the phone and dial!

2. Understand the Consumer’s Viewpoint

No longer are shoppers coming to their local insurance agent for information and service; consumers expect agents to come to them. Many shoppers don’t want to look into carrier options, research what kind of coverage they need, or call in to multiple offices for quotes. Why? Because they value their time. Remember this, and you will go far. Yes, they submitted a form to receive multiple offers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are eager to sit through the full quoting process with multiple agencies (another reason speed to contact is so important!).

Start the conversation by first thanking the shopper for their time and let them know your priority is to make the process as quick as possible. When on the phone generating a quote, keep the customer engaged. Use empty space to ask conversational questions. The more silence, the more aware they will be of passing time. If they’re really pushing to get off the call, offer to gather only the minimum information over the phone necessary so you can email them a quote before following up at a more convenient time. Respect the shopper’s time as much as they do, and they are more likely to show you respect in return.

3. Be Persistent but Not a Pest

If you are unable to reach the consumer on the initial call, don’t give up. The optimal lead contact strategy includes at least 12 touch points within the first week, as 93% of converted leads are contacted on the 6th call attempt. The beauty of online insurance shopping is that shoppers can submit inquiries at any time, from anywhere, and sometimes they’re not in the most convenient place to take a call. Sticking with a consistent follow up schedule that involves a mix of communication channels (call, email, text2) significantly increases your chances of getting that consumer on the phone. This kind of consistency should continue throughout the entire sales process, but be sure your persistence doesn’t turn into pestering. If the prospect asks you to stop contacting them, honor their wishes, and avoid making more than three consecutive calls to a single consumer (hello blocked number!).

4. Ask Questions and Listen

When you get the consumer on the phone, it’s natural to want to immediately jump into your pitch, cover any objections before they arise, and essentially dominate the conversation by spewing out why they should opt for your coverage. This is called Word Vomit.

Step 1: Relax.

It is a myth that the more you talk, the better. You want to make the consumer feel that they are controlling the conversation and less like they are being sold to.

Branch outside of the standard line of questioning and dive deeper into their needs. Ask about their past experience with other insurance companies. On a scale of 1–10, how confident do they feel in understanding their coverage? What is most important to them — price, coverage, or service?

Asking these kinds of questions will not only make the customer feel heard, it will also save both you and the shopper time by honing your conversation to cover what most resonates with them.

5. Be an Advocate for the Consumer

No one likes feeling like they are being sold to. If the consumer feels the intention of the call is to get their money and run, the conversation is likely to be unsuccessful. Try to construct your pitch and phrases in ways that let the consumer know you are on their side as much as possible. And you should be on their side! Use empathy statements where applicable, let them know you are dedicated to finding a policy that best protects their family while keeping their budget in mind. Don’t be afraid to talk of your own insurance shopping experience, the ups, the downs (even if it’s totally made up!). Any time you can turn a sales pitch into a collaborative, team experience, the better.

6. Be Confident

This one speaks for itself. If you are not confident in yourself or your product, the shopper won’t be either. Replace phrases like “I’ll try”, “I think”, “this might”, etc. with “I will”, “I know”, and “this will”.

Remind yourself throughout the day what about your agency makes it the BEST, whether it’s price, customer service, coverage, and so on.

Be passionate about your product and team, and let this enthusiasm radiate throughout your conversation. If you aren’t 100% convinced your policy is the absolute best option for the shopper — good luck convincing them!

It’s true what they say about being able to hear a smile over the phone. Even if this is your worst day, the sky is falling, the stock market crashed, you have gum in your hair — doesn’t matter — leave your baggage at the door, put on a smile, and make the customer feel like talking to them is literally making your year.

7. Remember Your ABCs

Last, but most certainly not least, never forget the most fundamental rule of sales: Always Be Closing. Your script/sales cadence should include opportunities for soft closes throughout the entire call. Try to squeeze in at least 2–3 soft closes before you reach the end of your pitch or quoting process. If you can do more, even better! Give yourself every opportunity to close the sale early — you may find you can save yourself a lot of time.

Ask questions like “Shopper, you mentioned that price and coverage are the most important factors to you. If I can show you that this policy provides you the absolute best value for your coverage and money, will you allow us the pleasure of providing a policy for you?”. This allows you to get a sense of how the customer is feeling, uncover any objections upfront, and provides you an opportunity to hold that shopper accountable when it comes time to close. “Based on what I’ve covered today, do you have any reason to feel our policy won’t provide the best value for your needs?”

We recommend taking some time to collaborate with your sales team to brainstorm creative soft-close statements and practicing them in roleplays until closing throughout a call feels like second nature.

1 Velocify, The Ultimate Guide to High Velocity Selling, Part 3: Building a high-performing inside sales team.

2 Only if an option for your carrier. All QuoteWizard customers are TCPA compliant and have agreed to be contacted via phone, email, text, and direct mail.