No one is excited about a phone call that starts off with “Hi there, I have something to sell you”. Often times insurance sales agents try to overcompensate for the fact that they are just trying to sell something by trying to immediately befriend the customer. This can come across as unprofessional. It is important to be light while maintaining a certain level of respect and courtesy.
The distinction between being friendly, business casual, and formal can sometimes be a bit blurry. If an insurance sales agent is not careful they will simply appear as if they are a poorly dressed clown or a 3rd rate stand up comic. On the other hand if that same sales agent is good at drumming up some light heart-ed conversation and a few sure fire knee slappers then they are in a much better position to developing a firm relationship with there perspective insurance customer.
Where a problem usually arises is when the sales agent gets to caught up in there own one liners and showmanship to hear what it is the customer is saying. As mentioned in a previous article the inability to listen is an easy way to waste a perfectly good insurance lead. The same problem could spill over into the fact that a sales agent does not even recognize they may have offended the potential customer, not only damaging any chances for them to make the sale but the reputation of the insurance agency as a whole.
It's not only the jokes that can be a problem when trying to be friendly, but also simply being way too friendly. In some cases this can be overbearing. A customer can also perceive this as if they are being patronized, or as if they are being talked to like a child. No adult ever likes to feel like they are being treated like a child, and its not recommended that one make there insurance leads feel the same. Everyone wants to be respected, and in order to convey respect one must command a certain amount them selves. When an insurance sales agent is over the top friendly it diminishes some of the respect they may otherwise naturally have.
Another way a sales agent becomes detrimentally friendly is when they begin to empathize with the customer so much that they forget what the purpose of the relationship was in the first place. The best way to counteract this problem is to facilitate an environment that benefits both insurance sales and insurance customers. It is important to remember that although sales agents can be friendly with new customers they are not friends. A sales agent need to maintain respect while there customers feel as if the can trust them as a business partner, not as a friend that is there for casual conversation. By becoming too involved with a customer personally, the sales agent my accidentally destroy the potentially budding professional relationship.
In conclusion, a certain amount of casual conversation and natural charm can take an insurance sales agent far, and can turn an insurance lead into and insurance customer. Getting wrapped up in jokes, and becoming to emotionally involved can not only cost you a new customer, it can hurt the insurance agency as a whole. Like everything else in life it is important to achieve balance. If in doubt the more serious and professional route is always the safer bet.