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Effective Insurance Agency Telemarketing Scripts And Appointment Setting – Best Practices

An effective insurance agency telemarketing script is one of the key components in a successful insurance agency lead generation initiative. There are, however, many other important elements to be added to ensure continual, in profile, insurance agency leads. Beyond the telemarketing (appointment setting) script, agents should also create buyer personas, targeted prospect lists, niche marketing segmentation (verticals whenever possible), professional eCollateral and a well documented lead handling process. Let’s explore an insurance agency lead generation initiative from an appointment setting perspective.

Perhaps your insurance agency is targeting a niche like trucking, and your agency has a strong close ratio, but lacks sufficient prospects to sufficiently increase revenues. Using a baseball analogy, your trucking insurance agency might have a Ted Williams batting average but you are only playing as a pinch hitter, so you lack sufficient at bats to build your book of business. One solution to increase your pipeline activity is a targeted appointment setting campaign. This can include eMarketing and appointment setting calls, or if budget is insufficient, simply the latter. Before embarking upon your initiative, you should consider the following building blocks for your transportation insurance lead generation campaign:

  1. Buyer Persona: A short narrative on the type of person who can and will buy your solution.
  2. Prospect Scorecard: Create a Prospect Scorecard to quantify your approach to prospecting and pipeline building.
  3. Targeted prospect and email list: Once your agency has clearly identified your target market, you need to build a high quality prospect list. Some refer to this as a suspect list.
  4. Compelling Telemarketing Script with your value proposition and top 3 differentiators: You only get a short window of opportunity for you (or your outsourced appointment setters) to deliver your pitch. It should be concise, compelling and explain your value proposition.
  5. Professional Appointment Setter: Your appointment setter (note that I didn’t refer to them as a telemarketer), needs to be professional, credible, and insurance industry knowledgeable.

Buyer Persona

Let’s begin with the Buyer Persona. A Buyer Persona is a one or two paragraph written description of your ideal buyers. A trucking insurance agency Buyer Persona might sound like this: Mike Jones is an owner or CEO of a trucking company, with a fleet size between 10 and 150 power units. He’s held this position at least three years and seeks an insurance agency that understands transportation insurance and offers both coverages and expert guidance. He does not make quick decisions, but is willing to try a new agency if they offer deep expertise and competitive pricing. He can make the decision to purchase, but may seek to validate it with other team members. Once he decides, however, the sale is very likely to move forward.

You should create Buyer Personas for each major industry you’re targeting, assuming that the key attributes of each buyer and industry are different. If you’re unsure of the key attributes for each prospective buyer, you should utilize a Prospect Scorecard to define, measure and qualify your prospective buyers, by target industry.

Prospect Scorecard & Targeted Prospect List

A Prospect Scorecard can be used to determine the five to ten ideal attributes of your most coveted prospects, and to quantify these to help determine the overall quality of your agency pipeline. This ingredient can be used to ensure you are contacting ideal suspects, thus optimizing your appointments setting campaign. More targeted suspects result in better prospects and will increase the number of prospects which ultimately close.

Once your agents have identified the ideal prospect attributes, by targeted industry, including, industry, type of business, revenues, employees, title, geography, ex-date, etc., you should then build a comprehensive, up to date suspect list. If you’re target small businesses, focus on only one or two titles (Owner, CEO, President). If your targeting large businesses, call high and wide, as the decision making process is often distributed and obtuse. A good, current list, with ex-dates whenever possible, will dramatically improve campaign results. And if you are augmenting your appointment setting with insurance agency eMarketing, ensure you have quality emails and follow all opt-in/opt-out and Can-Spam regulations.

Insurance Agency Telemarketing Script

Once the list is assembled, it’s time to create a compelling call script. A very simple example is below:

Hi (Your Prospect Name) this is Mary Smith calling with XYZ Trucking Agency. We work exclusively with trucking companies, helping insure their small fleets, providing creative approaches to optimize coverages while reducing premiums. We handle your most difficult challenges, from P&C to Benefits Compliance, and take the hassle out of your renewals and administration. With over 60 years of trucking insurance experience, we know what it takes to help ensure your success. It will only take a few minutes to get a second opinion on one your largest cost centers – do you have 10 minutes to meet with one of our trucking agents?

In this simple example, we note that you should use industry jargon to convey expertise. You should include your top 3 differentiators in your telemarketing script. Also note that effective appointment setting campaigns are uncovering companies which may be considering a change. Perhaps their current service levels are inadequate, their renewal was frustrating, or a new executive was recently hired and is seeking to improve operations. So timing is everything, and continuously casting a broad net, will help improve the odds that your producers are in the right place at the right time. Think of this from a metric standpoint. If your appointment setter is working 20 hours a week and dialing the phone 25 times an hour, they are making 500 calls per week, or about 24,000 calls per year. If your targeted prospect list is 1,500 companies, with three contacts each, that means the campaign will reach out to each contact about 6 times per year. Though they will not reach them 6 times (voice mail, out of office, in meetings, etc.), they are very likely to reach them at least once, providing an opportunity to carry your unique value proposition to thousands of prospects.

Professional Appointment Setter – In-house Vs. Outsource

Finding, training and managing a professional and effective appointment setter is somewhat more complex than most agents might perceive. It’s rare that an agency can hire one appointment setter, and be successful with that single hire. This is somewhat analogous to assuming every producer hired will succeed. It’s more likely that one of every two or three appointment setters hired will succeed. This metric is influenced by the support systems and infrastructure used and the supervision provided to support the insurance agency telemarketing initiative. Agents will need to train, manage and measure the results of each appointment setter, and every campaign. The agency also needs to create and refine their call script, and clearly document a lead handling process for both the appointment setter and producers to optimize appointment setting campaigns. Many agencies, may lack the internal resources and expertise to accomplish all the items above.

A long term approach with appointment setting works best, and campaigns will typically record their best result when accompanied by a professional insurance agency eMarketing and branded fulfillment program. And it’s very important that producers utilize a simple and consistent qualification process like the Prospect Scorecard mentioned above.

The Insurance Agency Elevator Pitch

An insurance agency elevator pitch is a succinct summary used to quickly describe your insurance agency, products and services. It should include your unique agency value proposition, and must be delivered within the time span of an elevator ride, in about 30 to 60 seconds. This can be much harder than many agents might initially think, and should be scripted, vetted, rehearsed, and timed. The elevator pitch is a truly important and fundamental component of your insurance agency marketing and insurance agency prospecting efforts.

A great exercise for agents or agency executives is to ask a variety of people in your agency to tell you their version of the agency elevator pitch. Don’t be surprised if the pitch varies dramatically from person to person. Does the pitch adequately describe your value proposition? Does it highlight the products, services and solutions which best showcase your agency expertise? Did the litany of pitches even sound remotely alike?

Some years ago, I met with the executive team and senior managers of a small company, which at that time employed less than 100 people. I asked each of the dozen people I met to provide me with an elevator pitch about their organization. Some people were taken completely by surprise. Others sat and thought, and struggled to articulate an elevator pitch, or even describe their value proposition. The pitches I heard varied drastically.

Elevator pitches are an important digital asset for every agency. They should be vetted, scripted, practiced, and preached. I call it an asset, as it is a fundamental component in the marketing of any agency. And every member of an insurance agency, from agent to receptionist, to customer service representative to executive team should be able to promptly and professionally deliver their insurance agency elevator pitch.

Your sales and marketing efforts are built upon a well articulated and easily repeatable value proposition, which should be a microcosm of your elevator pitch. If you cannot communicate your value proposition in less than 30 seconds, or stumble when trying to express it, it’s time to write it down, rehearse it and communicate your value proposition with everyone in your agency. Once that is done, turn it into a 30 to 60 second elevator pitch. Practice makes perfect, try repeating both of these in monthly management meetings and sales meetings, and it’s important to note that your elevator pitch might vary based on your target niches (P&C versus Group Benefits for example).

Here are a few best practices when it comes to your insurance elevator pitch:

  • Be succinct – 30 seconds is much better than 60 seconds (you may not have 60 seconds!)
  • Create empathy – For example, “We work exclusively with New York contractors” or “we work with trucking companies with 5 to 50 power units” or we specialize in groups between 50 and 150 participating employees”
  • Verticalize – a vertical pitch is easier to differentiate, allowing you to better articulate your unique pitch. “We insure restaurants addressing their unique risks.”
  • Be different – “save money” and “great service’ is something everyone says. What are your top 3, unique differentiators?
  • Transfer enthusiasm! You have to believe it for them to believe it.
  • Close with a call to action – what’s the next step for your prospect

Let’s review a sample pitch, which would run 30 to 40 seconds depending upon cadence:

We’ve been helping trucking companies with their insurance and risk related needs for over 50 years. Everyone at our agency is a trucking fleet expert, in areas including hazmat, specialty cargo, certificate fulfillment, HOS, group health, and owner operator services. Because of our access to extensive markets and deep industry expertise, we provide creative coverages at the best possible rates, and help protect our clients’ bottom line. We know trucking insurance is one of your most important expenditures, and our creative coverage approach will help meet your unique requirements. Can we set up a 15 minute meeting to discuss your specific needs?

Your elevator pitch might be designed to include industry jargon to convince prospects of your deep expertise, it might highlight your most important products and services, your top differentiators, or your service centric approach. Regardless of what your final elevator pitch includes, practice makes perfect, it should roll off your tongue effortlessly. Remember, 30 to 60 seconds is all you get before your most important prospect walks out of the elevator, and your opportunity may be gone forever.