Imagine for a minute you’re at bus-stop, waiting area, or some place where time is limited. Can you explain what you do and the benefits of your business in 20 seconds or less?
Insurance sales opportunities are everywhere and luck always favors the prepared. When you're in a position to pitch your business to new insurance leads, a polished and succinct elevator pitch quickly tells consumers what you do and how it can help them.
“So, what do you do for a living?”. How often have you heard that?
Don't ever just reply, “I’m an insurance agent”. Let's be honest, insurance agents are not at the top of the list of the "cool" list when it comes to the average person's interest in what you do. But that doesn't mean you have to be boring about it. Answering that question with much more color builds new contacts for your business. It's not like "buying" insurance leads where you know the person you're talking with is already informed and aware of what they are looking for. The idea of selling insurance to new contacts is about creating a desire to know more and continue the conversation and you're elevator pitch is designed to do just that.
What is an Elevator Sales Pitch?
Very briefly, it's a persuasive, planned, and succinct (20-30 second) speech designed to highlight what you do, how you do it, and what benefits the listener will gain from your business. As the name implies, elevator pitches should take roughly the time to recite as it takes to ride in an elevator, say 20 to 30 seconds.
How many times have you had a brief exchange with a person, a decision maker, company CEO, or a stranger who turns out to be an ideal insurance lead? Were you able to say everything you needed to in a short-time to capture their attention? It’s important to know ahead of time how you’ll choose to present yourself by constructing, practicing, and tweaking your pitch.
Why They Are Essential
”I’m an insurance agent” Great! The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that over 460,000 other people are, too. What makes you stand out from the crowd?
Remember, this is a planned “speech” you can memorize and use on anyone (with minor adjustments). Write it, learn it, memorize it. The better you know it, the better you’ll be able to adjust the details to the person you’re speaking with based on their needs.
Without a planned elevator speech, you’ll resort to answering in a way that doesn’t engage further conversation. You’re more apt to ramble with biographic information that distracts your leads. Telling a person where you went to school, what year you graduated, why you moved to where you live, and other similar information may be important, but save it for a discussion when you have more time to get to know each other.
To help construct these, take a moment to reflect. What does an average month of selling insurance looks like to you? There are many things you probably do across a given month that will be a great point to highlight in your sales pitch. Writing these out ahead of time will help highlight your service.
Parts of a Solid Pitch
The standard format of an elevator pitch should go something like:
- Define the goal of your sales pitch
- Explain what you do
- Explain your unique service proposition
- Engage with a question
Defining your goal
Without a goal, you might as well just say "I'm an insurance agent". The goal defines what you want your audience to understand or take action on. It can be unique for different audiences but ultimately the goal will be to learn more and capture their interest.
- Are you trying to get the listener interested in your business?
- Do you have a new product or service you’d like to announce?
- Did you recently help someone that you'd like to highlight that success?
- What do you want each person to walk away knowing about your agency?
Explain your agency
- How long have you been an insurance agent or advisor?
- What lines do you write and/or what carriers do you represent?
- Do you work locally, regionally, nationally, word-wide?
[Example: At XYZ agency, we've been helping protect assets and managing risk for growing families and individuals for over 15 years.]
Describe your USP
Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is where the rubber meets the road. This is where, you can offer information that makes you unique and tell the person why they should keep listening.
- What value do you bring to new clients?
- Why does a person seek your insurance expertise?
- What makes your customers loyal?
[Example: We guide customers through a wide-range of insurance products to construct a life-long plan that seeks to protect their most valued assets and manage risk effectively.]
Ask a question
- Why do your clients choose to do business with you versus your competitors?
- What is the most pressing issue confronting the lead you're speaking with?
- How does this person view their personal liabilities and risk?
- Be direct: just come right out and ask!
[Example: Are you interested in learning how I can help you reduce your risk exposure and protect your life's work? (or) Would you mind if I shared my business card with you in case you or someone you know would benefit from a risk assessment? (or) What is your biggest risk that I might be able to help mitigate for you?
The Insurance Sales Pitch
Now let's pull this information together in a short sales pitch that’s quick enough to memorize whilst offering succinct details of your value to insurance customers. Using the example above it would look something like this:
"At XYZ agency, we've been helping protect assets and managing risk for growing families and individuals for over 15 years. We guide customers through a wide-range of insurance products to construct a life-long plan that seeks to protect their most valued assets and manage risk effectively. Are you interested in learning how I can help you reduce your risk exposure and protect your life's work?"
A word of caution on "canned" statements. They sound...well...too "boxed" or stale. Practice this and it will become second nature, however, make sure that when you're selling insurance with your polished pitch, it might come of "robotic" if it appears at all unnatural. Make it conversational (with pauses) and it will be one of your best, new assets.
Practice and Execution
Watch yourself in the mirror as you speak. How does your body language present? The way you look and present yourself defines how people interpret your words. How do the words flow? Do you mumble over a few awkwardly written words?
One final note, when you're confident with your elevator pitch, adjust it to match the needs of the person you’re speaking with. If they’ve spoken first, you may be able to gauge what his needs are and present the pitch in a way to show you’re the ideal person to meet his needs. Be creative too! Don't just stick to the old tried and true. You might be surprised by what people will respond to.
Now go out there are start turning those new introductions and casual conversations into new business!