Don’t forget to follow up!
If you’re an insurance agent, or a salesperson, you’re probably tired of hearing this reminder from your mentor. To many of us, follow up is not our most favourite part of the job. In fact, many tend to delay the process as much as possible.
Why it is important to follow-up?
In a perfect world, we close a sale every single time we meet with a prospect. However in this real world, only 2% of sales happen after the first meeting with the prospects. 2 percent!
These no fuss prospects are among those who have most probably carried out their own research before meeting with you. They come with knowledge about insurance and may even have identified the sort of plan they want.
The only thing left to do is to find the right agent that fulfills s their needs. Not just the one with the right solution but the one with the fitting personality!
But what about the other 98% of prospects? Although you cannot expect all of them to make a purchase eventually, you can however expect that those who would, need a little bit of convincing. This is where you need to flex your follow-up skills and make sure you don’t make a blunder that will make them lose interest in you or your product.
According to a research done, 80% of sales require at least 5 follow ups after the initial meeting. Sadly, 44% of salespeople give up after just one follow-up.
How can you follow up without annoying your customers?
1. Give them a reason for you to follow up
You’re almost done with your meeting with a prospect and things don’t look so good. Well don’t just shake his hands, say your goodbyes and secretly hope that he will call you soon. Instead, find an excuse for you to follow up with a call sometime in the near future.
What kind of excuse? During the meeting, when you could already tell that the prospect is not going to buy a plan from you, don’t feel the need to disclose all information in the desperate attempt to close a deal. Instead let the prospect know that his situation is unique and that more fact finding and research is required and you will need to get back to him with all the information.
Customers love to feel that they are unique, all humans do. So this will spark some curiosity in them and get their interest. Use this opportunity to set the next appointment with them as soon as they are available.
2. Inquire the best way for you to stay connected
If a prospect is unsure about you or your product, they may not want to hear from you again. So asking him if you could stay connected would probably just get you an unfavourable answer.
So be creative.
One way to do this is instead of asking them for permission to follow up, you let them know the methods you use to stay connected with your “contacts”. Mention the most common ways to communicate – Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, SMS or phone call and then ask which way(s) does he prefer to be contacted.
It is important to ensure that the door isn’t closed behind you once you leave the meeting. And this method ensures that the prospect is not given the opportunity to close that door!
3. Determine the next course of action before ending the meeting
Unless you manage to successfully close a deal, you should never leave a meeting (or end a phone call) without first determining the next course of action. So before ending your conversation, know already in your head the next step to take.
What step to take next will large depend on the outcome of this meeting. Maybe you will need to meet again to provide further information about a plan he’s interested in. Or from the discussion you just had with the prospect, you’ll have a proposal for a better solution.
Determine the next step and quickly set a date for the next meeting while the prospect is still “in the mood”.
4. Know why you are following up
Before picking up the phone to follow up with a prospect, first determine the reason why you are making that call. Do not ever call or meet with a prospect without a good reason to doing so. Don’t call to just say hi and leave it to nature to take its course. Not everyone appreciates a courtesy call.
You may catch the prospect at a wrong time. Without a good reason for your call, you may end up annoying him and things will become awkward later. Avoid this.
So determine your reason before hand. Have a list of questions to ask or some exciting information to share. The objective of this call is to secure a next meeting with the prospect.
5. Know when is the best time to follow up
“The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.” – Joshua Harris
Based on a research by InsideSales.com, calls that are made between 4 to 5 pm had a 164% better connection rate than calls made between 1 to 2 p.m.
Numerous studies have been carried out with regard to sales and sales techniques. Insurance agents need to keep up with the science of selling or risk being left behind. Want to know the best days to make contact with your prospect? Based on the same research – Wednesdays and Thursdays!
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