Successfully Informing the Customer
When you work with direct mail leads like I do, you need to make sure the customer understands that you are calling in response to a process he or she initiated. This is very important, because it helps to differentiate the call from a cold call sales attempt, something your customer probably deals with at least a couple of times per week if his or her experience is anything like that of the average household. As you develop your script, make sure you inform the customer of all the key information regarding the appointment:
- Who you are
- The insurance you sell
- The fact that this is in response to a request for information
- Your availability
- The length of time he or she will need to be available (5-7 minutes)
Keep in mind that final expense appointments tend to be under an hour each, since the terms of the insurance are fairly straightforward and easy to explain. This often makes it easier for people to find time.
Planning Your Time
There are a few different ways you can plan your time, and really, how you set your appointments will depend a lot on where you are and what kind of transportation issues you have to deal with. In an urban area like San Antonio, I am always aware of the fact that there will be commute times to nearby cities, and there will be rush times when it really isn’t productive to schedule appointments without extra travel time because traffic is predictably tough.
For rural sales agents, this is going to be different. If you are in a rural area, you might find final expense appointments are never really affected by heavy traffic, but you’re also going to have to plan to put more miles on your vehicle and allow more time between your appointments because you will be traveling further between each one, on average.
I like to plan appointments about an hour apart if they are all in the same city. If I have to go out of town, then I need to take the travel time into account. One way that I work to make my schedule more efficient is by grouping my calls to a certain area so that I can make multiple appointments while I am there. This reduces the number of hours I spend in traffic each week and lets me take more appointments without overcrowding my schedule.
The other thing I do is limit myself to three appointments in a row. If I get three in a row, then I take the fourth hour off. This gives me a break if everything is going according to plan, and it gives me some catch-up time if the day has gotten away from me for one reason or another. As I get toward the end of the day, I’m also less likely to take three in a row, since the rush hour traffic is almost certainly going to affect the commute even if I stay within San Antonio.
As you approach your own schedule-setting routine, you’ll need to also plan regular time for making your appointment-setting calls. In my case, I get a little extra help from my wife, which lets me get out on some days to take appointments during prime calling time. Generally, that is between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Mondays through Saturdays. Evenings are another good time to call if you did not schedule as many appointments as you would have liked for the next day. There are some agents who won’t call or work on the weekend, but I really think if you want to fill your calendar, you have to make yourself available during the times other people have available, so I put in my time on Saturday mornings and I take Saturday appointments if need be.
How To Set Appointments: A Script
If you are looking for a basic script that works to inform your leads about your business, you are in luck. Below, you will find the script I used in the video transcribed as close to verbatim as possible. You’ll find it hits all the pointers we discussed earlier in terms of informing the listener. It’s also very efficient at moving through the information and to a place where you can get the appointment set. Feel free to customize it as needed to fit your style. Here it is:
“Good morning, [first name]!”
Wait for a response.
“Good morning, Mr./Ms. [last name]. This is Matt. I’m licensed by the state of Texas, and I was appointed to help you out. I was calling because you had filled out some information that came in the mail regarding funeral and burial plans. I see that on there, you put [details to help the listener remember the paperwork].”
Wait for a response.
“The good news is that you do qualify for it, and I’m the guy that takes care of that in your area. I’m going to be there all day on [next business day], and it will take about five to seven minutes to let you know what you qualify for, because you do qualify. When might be a good time for me to stop by?”
At this point, you’re either going to get a positive response or you’re going to receive a less enthusiastic one. If you get a positive response, then it’s just a matter of negotiating the details to set up the appointment. If the customer is enthusiastic enough but not available right away, you can always schedule further ahead if you want to. Another alternative would be to go ahead and give the person a call back a few days later to see if he or she is more available later in the week.
The Insurance Squad is here to help you figure out your best practices for final expense appointments, from setting them to closing on a completed application. Follow through with these tips to organize your appointment-setting process today.