The Complete Guide to Door to Door Insurance Sales
Door knocking for insurance is tough. It’s not for everyone, not everyone can be successful, and it takes a special type of person to be successful in door-to-door insurance sales.
Knowing how to door to door sell insurance is something that combines tact, confidence, empathy, experience, tenacity, and drive.
In this guide of door-to-door insurance selling, we look at everything you might need to know about cold-calling insurance sales, sharing tips, tricks, techniques that will help you make the most of your door-to-door insurance sales career and enable you to maximize your efforts and your earnings.
What Exactly Is Door to Door Sales?
Door-to-door selling is a specific type of cold canvassing technique that is used by insurance sales agents, companies, and not-for-profit organizations to help them sell, market, campaign, and advertising their products or services to people and businesses alike.
It is also known as door knocking, cold-calling, cold-canvassing, and door-to-door marketing.
Essentially, a rep or salesperson will travel from one door to the next with the aim of selling or promoting something as part of a direct sales approach.
Does Door to Door Selling Actually Work?
Contrary to forecasts, in 2012-2013, the number of jobs for door to door salespeople actually started to increase, and not just by a small amount. In this year alone there was almost a 35% growth rate for cold-calling jobs in the U.S. In 2017 alone, there were almost $40 billion dollars of revenue closed with door to door selling.
So, when you consider the effectiveness of door to door selling, it works better today than it has done in the past. We will discuss some of the reasons for this as we progress through the guide.
How to Get Started with Door to Door Selling?
Perhaps you have already worked in a direct selling role in the past, and your company has suggested you now try door to door insurance sales.
It could be that you are looking for a career in door to door selling and need to know the best way to hit the ground running in your new role.
Regardless of what brings you here, this next section will cover the most important factors involved in door to door insurance selling with the intention of giving you a head start and helping you enjoy your role as a door to door insurance sales agent.
#1 Researching Your Target Market
Before you even step out to start door knocking for insurance, you need to know whom your target is for your chosen insurance product. The first and most obvious factor will be whether you are going to be selling to a residential or a commercial market.
For the vast majority of door to door insurance selling in the residential sector, there are four types of appropriate insurance products to sell:
- Critical Illness Cover
- Medicare Supplements
- Permanent Life Insurance Cover – Final Expense
- Mortgage Protection – Term Life Insurance Cover
For commercial door to door insurance selling, there are different types of insurance products that are more suited to that market.
These could be:
- Disability Cover with the option for business overhead expense cover
- Employee benefits
- Life insurance for estate, debt, and survivor income requirements
- Exit planning cover such as Key Man Cover and/or buy-sell plans
You need to have a clear idea of who your customers are, and their core demographics to help you capture the interests of the right type of people and also to ensure that when you meet someone who fits your ‘typical customer’ criteria, you treat them with the time and attention that is required to nurture that prospect correctly.
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#2 Get your Head in the Right Space
This point is going to be fairly short, but it matters. Before you even step out of the car and onto your patch for the day, you need to make sure your head is clear and that you are in the right mindset for the day ahead. Choose the right attitude.
You have important information to offer to people. This advice could make a significant difference to both their own and their family’s lives. For this reason, these people need to hear what it is you have to say.
Staying motivated is another key success factor for door to door insurance selling. Expect rejection, expect the no’s, expect people to respond negatively, it’s all perfectly normal.
Keep your head up, stay confident, approach every door as if it was your first of the day, and the yes’s will come.
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#3 Measuring Your Success and Your Expectations
Keeping a close eye on your metrics and performance is a fundamental part of any direct sales role.
Not only will this allow you to measure your success, but it also helps you know if you are operating as efficiently as possible.
There are four primary metrics used for door-to-door insurance selling that you should pay close attention to.
How Many Doors Should You Knock before expecting a sale?
While there are many factors that could influence this number, the most significant being when you make a sale; there is a general rule of thumb to follow when you consider how many doors to canvas in any given hour or day.
In order to meet enough people to be able to close at least one sale, it is expected that you need to knock on 40 doors.
TIP: When you are physically at the door, do not ring the bell, do not bang, just knock. This is what their friends do!
How many contacts or real prospects can you expect to talk with about your product?
Once again, there are many factors that can really tilt the balance on these numbers on any given day or area that you target; generally speaking, you should expect to generate around 10-15 prospects from every 40 doors you call on.
Out of these 15 people, around 1 in every 4 people will entertain a serious or in-depth conversation with you about your product.
Overall, this will result in around 3-4 decent opportunities.
Overall, there is a likelihood of realistically achieving 1 insurance sale per 40 doors knocked.
These numbers are industry averages, and there can be many different outcomes and conversion rates for a range of reasons.
More experienced door to door salespeople can close at higher rates, with some insurances there is a longer sales cycle, finally, if referrals are provided, this can help an insurance sales agent to close more deals with fewer doors knocked.
#4 Building Trust
In order to get your prospects to listen to you, let you in, and eventually allow you to talk to them in detail about what it is you are presenting, you need to build trust. Even if they let you through the door, they will still need to feel like they can trust what you’re saying and that the information you are providing them credible.
This is one advantage that door to door sales has above direct mail and other mass marketing campaigns. Building trust with strangers isn’t easy, but there are a few things you can do that will help.
- Position yourself as someone who knows the local area
- Try to break the ice and don’t go straight into a pitch
- Use yours and their first name
- Always be honest
- Do not stand too close, leave a little distance between yourself and the door
- Be confident but not too pushy
- Try to be warm and friendly
- Stand sideways not head-on
- Listen to what they are saying
- Show your prospects that you understand them and their needs
#5 Getting Past the Doorstep
Now you understand the metrics; you will appreciate that getting across the doorstep isn’t going to happen all too often.
However, when it does, you can safely say that you did enough to build their trust in order for them to have let you in – great job!
You need to be very clear with your prospect about who you are, where you are from, and what you are doing (what you want from them). We make this point earlier, in order to build trust, you must be honest.
Once you have that trust, you don’t want to lose it. When someone trusts you and sees you as a friendly person, they are more likely to be susceptible to being influenced by you.
Your mission at this point is to simply try to get to know them and understand them. In doing this, you can tailor your pitch accordingly and start to appeal to their needs. Once you know their story, you can start to more easily connect the dots.
#6 Closing Door to Door Insurance Sales
Across a range of insurance products, the sales cycle and timeframe for closing will differ greatly. You also might be dealing with referrals, leads, or even have had an appointment set for you.
Aside from this, the prospect might not be completely sales-ready.
In order to close a door-to-door insurance sale, you need to establish exactly what point in the buying cycle the prospect is at and have a good idea of when they are going to be in a position to buy. Never be afraid to ask for the business, and never shy away from dealing with the objections they present.
Door to Door Insurance Sales Process Sample
Here is a typical example of a door to door insurance sales process for you to use as a guide.
1. Get them to open the door – knock, don’t bang or ring the bell.
When they open the door, get them to smile. Break the ice, establish your credibility and let them know gracefully that you have some important information to give them.
Example: Hi, my name is Phil with ABC Medical, and I work with Medicare. I have some important information about your enrollment with Medicare; do you have a little time today for me to share that with you now?
2. Warming your prospect
You need to start to build trust and establish quickly that there is no scam and that you are a genuine person. If you have already been invited into the house, this is the point where you want to use the information and the objects that are present to try and further break the ice. If you notice family pictures on the wall, you might want to ask about the family; if they have a mountain bike in the hallway, you might want to talk about biking, etc.
Small talk helps to warm your prospect and puts them at ease, especially when you are able to connect and find common ground.
FORM is a well-known acronym used in direct selling and cold canvassing if you ever get a little stuck, always revert back to this to help you know what to talk about.
FAMILY – OCCUPATION – RECREATION – MONEY
If you can master the warm-up, the rest of the door-to-door insurance sales process will become a lot easier.
If you aren’t naturally adept at small talk, don’t worry, with practice, you will get better over time. A good warm-up should last between 20-30 minutes, and what’s is just as important as making the prospect feel at ease is that you LISTEN to the information they give you.
3. Move onto a Need Assessment Questionnaire
A quick and easy way to transition from point 2 to point 3 is to simply state that you do not want to take up too much of their time and that you want to give them some important information that will help them, you just need to check a few points with them first. A quick needs assessment will help you easily identify the prospect’s needs from the start.
This is where you use the information they have told you to uncover their needs and match the benefits of what you offer accordingly.
When you offer a price, you should try to offer a choice of at least 2 and no more than 3. Never just give a single option. As with all products in all sectors, you will now usually see three tiers of pricing; a high, a middle, and a lower cost. According to statistics, regardless of the cost, prospects will almost always opt for the middle choice.
6. Knowing when to speak
The best thing to do after a price is presented is to pause. While it might feel a little uncomfortable at first, it is the right thing to do; the prospect will feel like they have an obligation to respond.
Always wait for the client to speak first. Always ask for the business. Objections are not a No. They are a buying signal and what the prospect tells you can help you to sell your policy to them more effectively.
The most important part of objection handling is listening. Listen to what they are telling you, and always acknowledge what they are saying. While your main agenda is to sell, you must always listen to what your prospect is telling you.
Use that information and overcome the objection accordingly.
Reverting back to the same point we made in an earlier point about building trust; you should avoid being too pushy. A term that we like to use for door-to-door insurance sales training is being ‘gracefully direct.’ If someone wants to buy insurance, then it is down to you to make it happen. It does require tact, it requires careful and considerate questioning, and it requires finesse.
Ask your questions out of curiosity, and not because you want to force an issue or a specific response.
If you don’t believe they are ready to buy insurance right away, consider asking them if they may consider making the decision with the month? This will hopefully direct you as to when the customer might be ready to buy; it can also indicate if they are simply brushing you off or if they are serious about their requirement.
What prevents an insurance sales agent from closing a sale?
There are a number of reasons why insurance sales are not closed when canvassing.
- You didn’t handle their objections sufficiently
- You didn’t ask for the business
- You did not listen to their needs and match the features of the product accordingly
- Lack of confidence
- Lack of trust
All these issues are able to be addressed; the important thing to know is which one you are dealing with.
There are no magic lines that work every time, just as there is no secret formula for knowing which prospects are going to buy and which are not. The door-to-door insurance selling sector is significant, and it is this way because there is still a significant opportunity for insurance sales.
Whether you are new to direct selling or canvassing, there is always room for improvement. We hope you have found some of the points and tips for door to door insurance selling useful, and if you have any feedback or comments, we would love to hear them!
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