Does cold calling actually work? It’s no secret that cold calling is draining and takes some serious commitment. And without a solid strategy, you might not be seeing great results.
We’ve worked with thousands of insurance agents over the years and the most successful ones often say spending time cold calling each day is an essential part of their marketing strategy. We’ve watched agents grow their agencies from scratch to thousands of clients by using a multichannel marketing strategy that includes daily cold calling.
Here are the six things to remember when it comes to having a cold calling strategy that actually yields results:
1. When is the best time to make cold calls?
A reasonable cold call success rate is 1-2%. This might lead to the conclusion that cold calling is dead, but the truth is that this technique is essential for a multichannel marketing strategy. The best time to call customers is 10-11 am, Tuesday-Thursday. There is a 16% chance that your prospect will answer during this time frame. The next best time to call people is 2 pm at 15%.
2. How many no’s before a yes?
On average, you’ll need to engage in five or six conversations to have a successful cold call conversion rate. Also, it takes an average of 18 attempts before agents reach a lead who is willing to talk.
3. How long should you call for?
Calling for 20 minutes, getting frustrated and then stopping won’t cut it. Block off an hour each day on your calendar strictly for cold calling.
4. What do I say if they answer?
Having a plan of what you will say before you dial will help the call go smoother. A good script will help you focus on what you want to say, rather than scrambling. That doesn’t mean you have to only say what you wrote down. If the prospect is talkative, then have a conversation. A script is there to guide the conversation, not force it. Here is a sample script that you can use to get started. Feel free to modify however you like:
“Hi *|PROSPECT NAME|*,
This is *|YOUR NAME|* and I’m an agent with *|CARRIER OR BUSINESS|*. I noticed that you requested information about *|INSURANCE TYPE|* online in the past.
Right now we’re doing quotes for *|INSURANCE TYPE|*. Can I get you a quick quote to see how we compare with your current insurance rates?
Great! I’ll just need a little information from you…”
It’s also helpful to have a follow-up plan as a part of your script. For example, what happens if you get sent to voicemail? Will you leave a message? What will you say? If someone says something like “now isn’t a great time…” will you shoot for another time that would work better? The more clear and laid out your follow-up plan is, the easier it will be to stick to it.
5. Practice out loud.
Running through what you plan on saying before reaching out will help you sound more natural. Don’t just read the script in your head, say it out loud. If possible, role play with someone you work with, a friend or family member. This will help you be ready for unexpected questions, and feel more confident in the flow of the call. Role play is common practice in every sales organization and is especially important in cold pitches.
6. Take good notes.
At the end of each call or conversation, take a minute to jot down some notes. When you call back, your conversation will be much more productive. Accurate notes will also help sort through bad leads. For example, if you note that a number went straight to voicemail three times in a row, it’s probably safe to cross that lead off your list.
Not every number will be a winner. Don’t dwell on the negative, and take time to celebrate the positives when you do have a good call. If you go into it with a poor mindset, you will have poor results. If you approach it with a plan, and a positive attitude, you will find the hidden gems who are looking for your help!
Cold calling, especially when it’s combined with other marketing strategies, is a great way to grow your agency. By using these six tips, you can maximize your effectiveness and start seeing some good results. Our team at Lift Local wants to help you be as successful as possible. Fill out the form on this page to schedule a call with one of our marketing specialists today!