Isi has been a successful insurance marketing director, specializing in senior market products and helping independent agents succeed.
Introducing the Best Ever Appointment Setting Script
This tutorial is for independent insurance agents who sell final expense. It demonstrates how you can turn a lead into an appointment. This is useful when a prospect has returned a lead postcard or asked for more information in response to a telemarketer's call.
Specific words, phrases, and concepts are used because they generate the best response, so you will want to pay attention and not veer too much off the path when using this script.
Final Expense Appointment Setting Tips
Remember to speak slowly (about 50% to 75% slower than normal), clearly, and loudly, with a friendly and cheerful tone. You may want to practice on someone or record yourself and play it back.
Ideally, in this step of the sales process, your goal is to set the appointment. You need to be clear about your intent, and politely persistent.
You are not trying to pre-qualify the prospect over the phone or spend a lot of time trying to build rapport because people don’t always take kindly to giving out their personal information to a stranger over the phone. If you try too hard, it will seem awkward and uncomfortable to you and to the prospect. Be friendly and respectful, but get to the point.
Introducing Yourself to Your Final Expense Prospect
First, make a good introduction. Speak with confidence.
- Hello, am I speaking with _______ (client’s first name)? Great! I hope you’re enjoying (the weather) today . . . pause. (This is going to be either sunshine or rain. If it is sunny out you’re golden, if it is raining, make a joke. You don’t want to ask a person how they are because they might go off onto a tangent about how their dog just died and their sink is leaking. They might do this anyhow but it is better if you don’t open that door. Say something encouraging or nice, or offer an empathetic word if needed, but keep it positive as much as possible, and stay on track.)
- Great! This is _______ (your full name) and I’m calling regarding the final expense plan you requested more information on (by returning the postcard) (or) (the other day when my agent called you.) They may remember, so you can just say, “yes, you indicated that you were interested in ______ (give specifics.)
If they don’t remember or are confused, simply remind them or explain, but keep it short.
They responded to a telemarketer or postcard with specific questions, so you want to briefly review that information with them. If they responded to a postcard, remind them of what boxes they checked. You want them to own the fact that they requested more information or showed interest, and remind them specifically what their responses were so you can justify your call and request an appointment. You are also letting them know that you are who you say you are and you reassure them by giving them specifics. Your goal to help them should be apparent.
Be Specific When Setting a Final Expense Sales Appointment
Now the client understands who you are and why you are calling, so it is time to close the deal. Your goal is to get an appointment, so don't be wishy-washy, or you could lose the opportunity altogether. Be confident and lead the way.
- Great! I’m the final expense representative for _________ (their county/area) and would like to spend about (15 minutes) with you to qualify you and review your options for coverage, would tomorrow or the next day be better for you?”
They may object (see "Objections" section at the end) or they may agree to a day right away. Your immediate response is
- “Great, morning or afternoon?” They will choose one, then you will respond with “Great, does 10 or 11 work better for you?” (or 2 PM or 3 PM, or whatever time frames you wish, just offer a time frame.) At this point, you may have the appointment so you can continue to the next step.
When you offer the nearest possible day and time, you create a sense of urgency. They have responded to a solicitation, so your assumption is that they really do want to hear more, and you are there to help. At the same time, you must give them "either-or" questions, which helps them feel like they have choices and that is important.
They may respond that the particular time you suggested doesn’t work for them and give you a reason—they have an appointment or something already scheduled on that day. They may be heading off on vacation or have a few days of events planned. If they do that is fine, just select the next closest possible time frame using the name of a day and say
- “Wednesday or Thursday then?” You can say things like “I understand, well would (Wednesday at 10 or 11) work better for you?” and at that point, they may just go ahead and give you a day, or a day and a time that works better for them. If so, you go to the next step below.
If they just say, “Thursday,” or “next week,” your response is
- “Ok great, morning or afternoon/Monday or Tuesday?”
Either way, you want to always give them a choice, use the closest day possible, and narrow it down to a specific date and time. The idea here is that you are leading the way and yet it doesn't feel pushy.
Leave No Stone Unturned When Setting a Final Expense Appointment
Once the time and day have been agreed to, you want to be thinking ahead to the actual appointment. Once you are there, your goal will be to help the client with a product that works for their needs. (You do want to make a sale—that is the business you are in.)
If there is anyone else that will be involved in the decision-making process, that person will need to be present. You also want to make sure the appointment is not forgotten.
So your next step is to simply ask:
- “Now I don’t want your time to be wasted, so is there anyone else who needs to be involved in your decision-making regarding this?” if they say yes, you ask, “ok great, will he/she be able to make it on ___ at ___?” (state the day and time they agreed to) If not, you need to make sure the other person can be present, so you will use the same process to ask for a day and time when both of them can make it.
Then you are going to ensure they write down the appointment. You let them know you realize it is important to them, and you are putting it in your calendar. You will ask them to do the same.
- “Perfect, I know how important this is to you, so I’m putting our appointment on my calendar right now. Do you have your calendar handy?” (if they don’t, they may say just a sec, you say “that is fine, I can wait.” Once they have written it down, you can say “Great! Thanks, I look forward to seeing you on ___ at ___ (date and time.)
Keep things focused on the prospect. It must have been important to them, or they wouldn't have responded to the initial solicitation.
Finishing With Flair When Setting a Final Expense Appointment
At this point, you have the appointment but there is no need to rush off. Be friendly and leave them with a parting gift. Say something nice, like that you wish everyone was as friendly/smart/nice as they were. And/or say something that personalizes it, like that you drive a certain kind of vehicle, that you are the guy/girl with the (whatever color) hair and (grey) suit/shirt. Or you might want to say something a little humorous, like that you prefer tea to coffee, or that you like chocolate cake. Thank them again and genuinely wish them a good day. Ideally, you want the conversation to stick in their mind, and end on a positive and enthusiastic note.
Objections Can Be Overcome When Setting a Final Expense Appointment
If at any point the prospect raises objections such as they are busy, they are not interested, they have coverage or they can’t afford it, you will need to overcome that objection. Simply reassure them:
- “That’s fine, most of the people I talk to are (busy/not interested, have coverage/think they can’t afford coverage)—that’s why I just ask for 15 minutes of your time. I want to give you a chance to see for yourself whether or not this is something that might work/work better for you/save you money/ensure that you are covered/show you affordable coverage that fits into your budget.”
Then get right back to the point -
- “So, is Monday or Tuesday better for you? Great, morning or afternoon, ok morning, great, 10 or 11?”)
Again, your goal is to help. The prospect may qualify for a plan that fits into their budget. They may be busy, but no one is guaranteed their next breath, and if they have no coverage, their family will be left scrambling to pay for their funeral rather than being able to grieve as they should. They may have a plan in place that is too expensive, or they may need additional coverage.
You want to give them every opportunity to get whatever it is that they need. Final Expense coverage is not everyone's favorite topic, but they will have more peace of mind when they have it in place.
© 2019 Isibane Bergen