Most professional baseball pitchers who have achieved Hall of Fame status attribute their success to having a variety of pitches. Not only did these professionals control the speed and pitch location, but they also threw many distinctive pitches such as a two-seam fastball, a four seamer, a curve, a splitter, a change, a split finger, a slider, and a cutter.
Many times while viewing a game the commentators say the pitcher’s best pitch is not moving, causing him to rely on another pitch. Soon the opposing team identifies this weakness and capitalizes on his one pitch arsenal. His fate for that outing is usually failure. The same is true with an insurance producer.
So what are the pitches an insurance ace should throw? The four basic pitches are: the coverage pitch, the premium pitch, the producer benefit pitch, and the personal rapport pitch. You’ll need to deliver all of these throughout the sales process. With effective dialogue, probing, and need discovery, you can identify exactly which pitch will be the one needed to make the sale.
Producers often rely on the pitch they like to throw rather than identifying the pitch that will make them successful. Successful producers know that they need to use the pitch that relates to the most pressing need of the prospect. This pitch in combination with the others will give you the greatest chance of success.
The coverage pitch
Often the coverages and limits on the expiring polices are copied so an “apples-to-apples” quote can be made. How can you make the coverage pitch when all that you’re doing is duplicating the existing agent’s work?
Rather than copying previous tactics, you need to examine the prospect’s exposures, operations, limits and coverages. If you don’t do proper due diligence and just copy the prior work of others, you’re saying that the existing agent knows exactly what to do. This places you in a weak position and nullifies the coverage pitch.
Instead, you should use your knowledge to change the coverage from what the prospect has to what is needed. If the expiring policies offer adequate coverage, you should look beyond the existing coverages and offer new ones.
See also: How to grow your bottom line
The premium pitch
Often prospects just want the bottom line, the lowest premium pitch. These buyers may even ask you to just e-mail the quote.
There are two cautions that need to be observed when tossing the premium pitch. First, coverage usually is secondary for this type of buyer until a claim occurs. Make sure that you document and receive the insured’s signed declination of coverage when you recommend coverage that is not selected by the insured. Often, when a claim occurs, the insured’s memory fails to recall items of importance like declining coverages that were quoted and offered. Unless you have the proper documentation, the agency’s E & O policy most likely will be paying the claim.
The premium pitch can be an effective way to acquire business. But remember that if you win solely by price this year, you can lose by price next year. Your great price this year could be offset by someone’s great price next year. If you’re successful using the premium pitch, make sure that during the policy year you effectively develop the benefits and rapport pitches. Doing a good job with these two extra pitches may enable you to modify the game next year. Ideally, the client will be comfortable with you and the benefits provided, so that next year you should able to overcome another agent’s premium pitch.