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Life Insurance - The Hard Sell.

Hey all,

I'm looking for a bit of advice from anyone who's willing to give it!

I recently took up a job for an outsourced telemarketing company selling life insurance to existing customers of a major bank. The set up is that we're essentially cold calling people as a follow up to a mail out they should have received and, in short, our job is to sign up as many folks as possible!

I was wondering if anybody else has had experience in this area and would care to share some of that with me. We have had a short amount of training and I have had some limited success so far, but feel I am missing out on converting quite a few sales with mistakes such as;
  • not effectively dealing with objections ('I want to think about it' is a very, very common one)
  • not delivering a convincing pitch ( we had a script to start with, but I have been playing around with the delivery to make it sound less script-y)

The way that I have been pitching it is to start with an intro, who I am and a 'How are you?'. I know some people resent this, but I've found that if it's said with warmth then it generally gets a good response, and also I can begin to guage their level of interest from the tone of their response. Follow this with why I'm calling and a legal requirement telling them the call is being recorded.

This is when I drop into the pitch and I generally try to keep it to about 30 - 45 seconds, before I give them a quote for their premiums, then carry on with some extra features and finally tell them that we can get them covered immediately after the phone call and work towards an assumptive close of telling them all that we need to do to get this finalized is confirm a few details.

If they haven't already objected or hung up, it's around here that I try to deal with their objections and like I said, I am having limited success with this approach. I am finding that I often get notions of interest and buying signals such as further questions about different premiums and, after addressing concerns with terms and conditions etc, I'm finding that I often come up against the 'want to think about it' objection. One way I try and overcome this is by informing them of the 30 day 'cooling off period', in which they can cancel the policy and receive a full refund if they change their minds, at which point I often get the same repeated objection, until eventually I can push no further without sounding like a broken record, and tell them we can call back at a later date. The problem with this is that it then goes back into the system and it's somebody else's sale later on if they can convert it.

I also sometimes get folks who have never considered insurance and are interested, but again, want to think about it, often asking to call back in a few months or next year or something. I'm assuming a fair amount of this is a brush-off response to get me off the phone, but I'm also wondering if there's any way to probe the real concern behind their procrastination. I have straight up asked a few what the hesitation is, but most people just say they're not interested right now. Again, this is often genuinely the case but I feel that some are harboring concerns that I haven't addressed.

I'm just wondering if anybody had any experience with something similar. I know there are ways of improving on my targets, there are people who sell like crazy in the office, and I know of at least one or two who do use underhanded tactics to 'strong-arm' people into buying, but please be clear, I'm not interested in duping people into insurance. If they genuinely don't have a need, I don't want to push them for it.

Anyways, sorry for the lengthy first post. I figure more info = better answers!

Thanks folks - by g-bizzle
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