7 Ways to Optimize Outbound Appointment Setting at Your Insurance Agency
This blog post was originally published on the Engagex blog on January 15, 2021.
Updated with new info and republished on May 23, 2022.
Consistently conducting Customer Insurance Review Meetings can be one of the most effective tools for growing your insurance agency.
These policy reviews provide an opportunity to get referrals from satisfied customers, increase customer retention, and identify cross-selling opportunities.
However, getting customers to schedule a meeting can be surprisingly demanding.
At Engagex, we offer appointment setting services to set these appointments for you, and we’re quite effective at it.
Needless to say, we would like you to use our services, but we ultimately want to help you be as successful as possible with whatever appointment setting process you choose.
With over 15 years of experience, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t.
Here are some things we do at Engagex that you can implement at your agency to make your appointment setting efforts effective and worthwhile.
1 - Get a Hands-Free Headset
Headsets are far more comfortable when making a high volume of calls and help reduce caller fatigue.
On top of that, headsets are much faster than picking up the handset for each call, resulting in more dials per hour.
2 - Identify a Standard Script
Having a quick, structured explanation is very important for your appointment setter when calling any client.
Pin down a 15-20 second summary of the purpose of the call and the appointment itself.
Here's the main part of our script:
"(INSURANCE AGENT NAME) wants to thank you for your business and loyalty. They would also like to schedule an appointment with you in our office. We want to confirm you're getting all the discounts you're eligible for and make sure your coverage selections reflect any recent changes or future plans. The conversation should only take about 30 to 45 minutes."
When setting appointments, keep in mind that people like options - various appointment times available and different formats for the meeting (virtual, office, phone, etc.).
At Engagex, we give options AND assume the appointment after the initial explanation by asking,
“Would a morning or afternoon appointment work best for your schedule?”
Then we give them multiple times to choose from depending on their answer.
It’s also important to have some go-to responses for common objections.
Save yourself time and use ours!
20 Common Client Objections to Annual Insurance Reviews (and how to respond)
3 - Specify Appointment Guidelines
Make sure to decide beforehand what your schedule looks like, if you allow virtual, phone, or home appointments, and whether staff members other than the agent will be conducting policy reviews.
These small bits of information will help eliminate any confusion and make your scheduler more effective and consistent.
It will also ensure that your clients know what to expect at the appointment, which will minimize the number of no-shows.
4 - Hire an Experienced, Part-Time Caller
Phone work is more challenging than many people anticipate.
It requires great people and analytical skills and a personality that does not get discouraged by rejection.
Sometimes your secretary or staff members handling your scheduling don’t have these skills or personalities and, to put it frankly, are just not that great at outbound calls.
Some benefits of hiring an experienced caller are that they understand how to handle most objections and are much less likely to get discouraged or burnt out.
Now, you may be wondering why we advise you to hire a part-time caller rather than a full-time one.
Because the objective of these calls is simple - to set appointments - the calling can feel very monotonous.
When I started at Engagex in 2017, I was a full-time appointment setter.
After just a few months, I was burnt out from the long hours spent making the calls.
Thankfully, I was able to grow within the company and move into a new position, but the point is that sitting for long hours, and making these simple calls, over and over again gets tough.
Calling for just a few hours a day helps appointment setters stay sharp, friendly, and professional. They’ll stick around much longer and facilitate higher-quality interactions with your clients.
5 - Establish a Consistent Calling Schedule (Including Variation & Flexibility)
People are just not naturally great multitaskers.
If you have staff members trying to make calls while doing other things, they will make few calls and set even fewer appointments.
It's crucial to establish a calling schedule when your callers can focus solely on making calls and setting up appointments.
At Engagex, it takes about 14 dials (on average) for every appointment we set. If our callers didn’t sit down and dial consistently, we wouldn’t schedule all the meetings we do.
In this way, it’s a numbers game. The more dials your caller makes, the more appointments they will set.
If the calling is inconsistent and sparse, don’t expect a consistent flow of appointments.
Another thing to consider is that your schedule should vary the times and days you call.
If you can’t catch your customer home on a Monday morning, chances are, you won’t catch them home on a Tuesday morning either.
Set up call shifts in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
This way, you can catch customers at home after work and make sure they get a call back when they might request one.
The easiest way to make sure calls are spread out at different times of the day is to utilize a click-to-call dialing software, which brings us to number 6!
6 - Utilize a Click-to-Call Dialing Software
Click-to-Call software may be expensive and a little tough to implement, but if you’re serious about appointment setting, the benefits of having it greatly outweigh these factors.
Click-to-Call software significantly improves dials per hour and makes scheduling a breeze.
The system automatically loads in the next client’s number and information without you having to dial any numbers.
Make sure whatever software you use allows click-to-call, can track important call information and results, and run reports.
7 - Outsource Appointment Setting
If setting up these steps seems a little daunting, one great thing about outsourced appointment setting services is that we already have these steps accounted for.
Our services can provide some of the best numbers for contacting and scheduling appointments and help create a consistent and steady flow of customers in the office for insurance reviews.
Plus, it takes the stress and time off your plate, not to mention that it’s almost always cheaper and more cost-effective to outsource.
We hope these tips will help your in-house appointment setting efforts!
Again, regularly getting in front of your clients helps you sell more policies.
If you need any help getting the volume of appointments you desire, learn more about our appointment setting services here.
Have YOU tried any of the above tips?
What works for your agency?
Tell us in the comments below! And feel free to share with your fellow agents!