Outline for Developing Your Own Cold-Calling Script

Published 09-29-2016 into Cold Calling

This script outline is to address the basic components of a general sales script for commercial insurance.  We’re going to assume you’ve either side-stepped or sweet talked your way through the gatekeeper.  Don’t worry; we’re going to cover the gatekeeper in later posts.  So cold-calling is a lot like premeditated murder – you’ve thought it through and know what you want to do, but you never know how your victim is going to react so you need to have the fluidity to adjust your approach on the fly. 

First, INTRODUCTION – don’t ask them how they are doing.  This is small talk.  They know you don’t care and you’ve just wasted 5 to 10 seconds of the 20 second window you have to impress them.  Not a good first impression.  You want to be direct and brief, just like murder. 

Instead, try introducing yourself and stating the purpose of your call.  Keep in mind while ‘your’ purpose is to schedule an appointment, ‘the’ purpose is to get the prospect interested enough to let you in the door.  So put a little thought into this because it is the only way to get to the next stop on the appointment train –

‘Hi Prospect, my name is Rob with ABC insurance agency.  I see your insurance renewal is coming up on July 1st and I’d like to put a proposal together for all your commercial coverages.’

-          Weak.  It is brief and to the point but it isn’t going to generate any interest from the prospect. 

Side note –

When I was cold-calling it was not uncommon for a prospect to tell me they receive 5 to 10 calls a week in the 2 to 3 months prior to their renewal.  Why give you a shot and not them?

Or something like –

‘Hi Prospect, my name is Rob with ABC insurance agency.  I see your business insurance is coming up for renewal and I have a great program for paving contractors that has been very successful against Penn National.’ 

-          Strong.  Perhaps it is a little salesy but it makes a couple statements to the prospect, which just might win over their cold little hearts. 

The first part implies you know the renewal date.  Great.  The second part implies you have some working knowledge of the industry.  This is a big step in the right direction.  The prospect can infer that you currently work with other pavers in the industry and have an understanding of their unique needs.  We’re all snowflakes here. 

The last part is where the magic happens.  The prospect’s jaw drops as you reveal that not only do you know the renewal date, you also know their current provider AND you have taken business away from them. 

Ok, so their jaw isn’t going to drop, but you are differentiating yourself from all the other practice quoters out there.  You are showing your value as a professional insurance agent without the perception of bragging or being cocky.    

Side note –

Some say it is a better idea to be specific here (i.e. how you were successful) but I disagree.  You don’t even know this prospect or what motivates them – it could be price, it could be coverage, it could be service.  It is probably a combination.  Instead of taking a shot in the dark let their imagination go to work.  You are better off finding out their motivations during the initial appointment anyway.    

By now the prospect is thinking that, despite choosing the insurance industry as a career, you are in fact a winner!    

Now is the time to go full steam ahead to our next stop, the QUESTION.  Without the question, your intro is nothing more than a public service announcement that lacks a public audience.  Let’s look at a few examples –

‘Would you be interested in a second (fifth?) option for your upcoming renewal?’

‘What is the best way to go about submitting a proposal for your renewal?’

-          Mediocre.  These are subservient because you are essentially telling the prospect that, without knowing anymore about the situation, you are willing to spend precious time doing work with no rules of engagement.

Side note –

These are the types of questions a 3rd party marketing/appointment setting firm might ask on your behalf and why the highest quality appointments will always be the ones you set for yourself. 

Or something like–

‘I’d like to schedule a brief meeting to tell you a little more about it and review your current program.  Do you have a ½ hour to spare this Wednesday or Thursday morning?’

-          Better.  You are an available resource with access to something that may benefit the prospect; it gives you some power and separates you.  At a minimum you are experienced and intelligent enough to realize you need some additional details before committing to going to work for them. 

Side note –

It is always better to ask the question in the form of an open-ended option (e.g. this Wednesday or Thursday morning?) versus a closed-ended yes/no (e.g. would you be interested…). 

Here is where you shut up and let the prospect answer.  If yes, success!

If it is not a yes, head to the next stop – RESPONSES & REBUTTALS.  There is a lot to be said about this part of the call so we’re going to do it in its own post.

Simple, right?  Call, introduce yourself, state why you are calling, and ASK for what you want.  Like most things that are simple, the complexity lies in the execution so practice up.  No one picks up the phone with an instant knack for making cold calls.