Insurance Discounts: 14 Ways Agents Can Use Discounts to Sell More

Written by John F. Carroll on . Posted in Customer Service, Sales

insurance-discounts-salesCustomers love discounts.

For a long time I didn’t get it, I thought all that mattered was the final price.

Just give ‘em the discounts and that’s it… Right?

Wrong.

My mind completely changed after one sales conversation 5 years ago.

I was listening in on a live phone call of a producer quoting a prospect and throughout the entire conversation the producer just kept talking about discounts.

Discount this, discount that. Discount, discount, discount, over and over…

Every time the prospect said anything related to a discount the producer would get all excited and congratulate her and explain why that piece of information qualified her for another discount and how much it would save.

I know it sounds silly, but by the time she got around to the price (after reviewing all the discounts again) you just felt like the company really wanted this customer and if the price was reasonable she should take it.

I used to think discounts were just part of the price but now I know you should talk to every prospect and every customer about every discount as much as possible.

So I put together 14 ideas to get you talking more about discounts and I threw in a bonus that can make discount conversations easier:

1) Offer Annual Discount Reviews

This is something I recommend to agents who have a hard time getting clients to agree to a “protection review” or “CPR” or whatever you want to call it.

When you tell clients you want to review their policies to make sure they’re adequately covered they just hear “he’s trying to sell me more stuff”.

(let’s be honest… aren’t you?)

When you offer a conversation about finding hidden savings it’s a lot easier to get your clients to agree.

And when renewal time comes and your client asks themself, “what does my agent do for me?” this is the type of thing that gives them a good enough answer to hold off on shopping around.

2) Become a Discount Expert

How well do you know all the discounts you have to work with?

Do you know every possible discount with every carrier and every type of policy? Do you know the percentages of each? How long they apply? Every qualification it takes to get them?

When you can spout off about all the discounts it’ll make everything else on this list a whole lot easier.

Agents tell me every day that no one cares about anything but price… So be a price expert!

Reach out to your carriers and see if they have any information they can provide that will make it easier for you to learn.

3) Make Discount Cheat Sheets

Create simple (smaller than 1/2 a page) cheat sheets with the different discounts and amounts for all the policies you work with.

Tape them to your computer screen or somewhere else so they’re always within eyesight.

If the information isn’t right in front of you you’re not going to use it or think to use it during live conversations.

4) Explain the Why Behind the Discount

This is a huge missed opportunity for many insurance salespeople.

Every discount insurance companies offer is a compliment to your customers and prospects!

If you don’t explain WHY the customer is saving 5% you’re missing the opportunity to make them feel good, valued, and respected by both you and the carriers you write for.

Think about it. Imagine how hearing these two lines would make you feel:

“You qualify for a 5% discount because you went to college.”

or

“You qualify for a 5% discount because you went to college and we’ve found that people who are able to work hard to graduate college are more responsible, intelligent, and have fewer insurance claims.”

This example also proves you can totally BS it too!  ;)

5) Review Discounts During Policy Changes

If your client makes a change to their policy, don’t just tell them how much the price is going to change.

Use it as an opportunity to review every discount they’re already getting.

And if the change they made gives them a new discount, make sure you make a big deal out of it.

YOU CAN NOT TALK ABOUT DISCOUNTS TOO MUCH!

6) Talk Discounts As You Quote

While you’re doing a quote over the phone, every time the prospect mentions something that gives a discount, tell them right then.

Through the course of the conversation, the more discounts you mention the more they’ll think they’re getting a good price and are a perfect fit for your carrier.

Even if your price is higher in the end, when you focus on every discount along the way the client will feel like they’re paying less than the average person and are getting more value for their money.

Is it going to help you close every deal? No.

Will it help you close one more out of 20? I honestly think it will.

7) Review All Discounts Before Giving Price

While you’re quoting over the phone review every discount prior to giving the final price.

Just go through them line by line and if you can try to include the percentage and dollar amount saved.

8) Surprise Discount Phone Call

Sometimes clients qualify for a discount at a period of time when they might not even know it.

For example, when an old traffic ticket becomes 5 years old and falls off the radar.

Call them and congratulate them!

You’ll probably have to come up with some way to notify yourself when this happens but if you do I promise it’ll be an awesome conversation that can definitely lead to referrals or cross sales.

9) Holy Cow!!!

Don’t overdo it, but when you see a policy with a lot of discounts, act like you’re absolutely amazed.

“Oh my god!!! I’ve never even seen this many discounts on one policy!”

People with lots of insurance discounts are proud of them and I promise, even if they act cool on the phone, they’ll be beaming inside if you make a big fuss about how impressed you are.

Then say, “We need more clients like you! Do you know anyone else who…”

10) Bridge The Discount Gap

This isn’t the case for every discount, but there are a few that you can really help your clients achieve.

And if you do, you’ll really be providing value.

(You know what value is, right? It’s that thing you always say your agency brings)

Can you send clients a link to an online defensive driver course? Get them a discount on a home security system? Help your clients quit smoking by referring them to the most successful programs available?

Even just trying to help your clients save money builds trust and sends a powerful message that you’re out to help them.

11) Explain How Rare Discounts Are

You know what makes a discount even better?

Knowing that lots of other people ARE NOT getting the same discount!

When you compliment a customer on a certain discount, say something like, “Less than 10% of our customers qualify for this discount”.

Now they’re saving money and joining an elite group of super discounters!

12) Learn the Competition’s Discounts

Pay attention to what discounts the competition offers and how they compare to yours.

If you know you’re competing for business with Carrier X and they don’t have a discount for something your carrier does then make a big deal out of that discount.

Want an even trickier move?

Explain all the discounts your competitor offers (and you don’t) that you know the prospect won’t qualify for.

How do you think Joe the Plumber is going to feel when you tell him about Carrier X’s discount for college graduates?

13) Discount Conversation Contest

Challenge your agency’s producers and CSRs to see who can talk about more discounts throughout the day.

I know it sounds silly, but contests like this can force you to change your conversation habits and find new segues in a way that you couldn’t do otherwise.

It can also make the day a bit more fun, which isn’t bad either.

14) Other Rating Criteria Can Be “Discounts”

Just because something isn’t technically a “discount”, doesn’t mean you can’t use it with the other ideas on this page.

For example, many auto insurance carriers give a cheaper price for married people than single people.

They don’t come right out and write it on your policy, but the savings are there.

You should be able to reach out to your carriers or underwriters for that information. In most places it’s public information that needs to be filed with the department of insurance.

Special Bonus: My Math Trick For Figuring Discounts Quick

DISCLAIMER: This might be totally stupid and obvious, but I thought it might help some folks…

While it’s great to mention a discount and it’s percentage, its even better when you can give the actual savings in dollar amounts. Sometimes you need to come up with that dollar amount off the top of your head without a calculator.

If you know the discount percentage, you can come pretty close to the dollar amount saved with this little trick:

Figure out the 10% and 5% discounts and then make a relative estimate.

For a 10% discount you just take the total and move the decimal one place over.

A 5% discount would be half of that.

For example, if I know a customer’s policy costs $862.00 per year and we’re discussing a 4% discount here’s how I’d get a rough number to throw at them:

10% would be $86.20 and half that is $43 so a 4% discount would be between $30 and $40.

It’s just an estimate but sometimes using real savings amounts can make a big difference in the eyes of the customer.

(You could also divide by 10 again if you want a round number for the monthly savings.)

And Here’s What to Do Next:

  1. Decide which of the ideas on this page you could implement this week and set a goal to follow through.
  2. If nothing else, could you go out of your way to talk about 1 discount by the end of the day today?
  3. If you like articles like this, click one of those “like” buttons so I know.
  4. And share this article with another agent you know that’s trying to improve their close rates.

I hope this helps you,
John

 

 

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John F. Carroll

John F. Carroll is the founder and CEO of InsuranceSplash. For years, John has consulted insurance agencies with internet marketing and sales strategy and he is dedicated to making insurance marketing easy and effective for all insurance agents. If you're an agent, connect with John on LinkedIn, he wants to connect with you!

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