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Ad-libbing is for Amateurs

Posted By Troy Korsgaden, Wednesday, March 13, 2019


Insurance industry icon and consultant Garry Kinder, along with his brother, Jack, trained me back in the 1980s. Garry says, “Ad libs are for amateurs, and all pros practice.” In our agencies, we typically get the same basic questions every day, and we should deliver consistent responses to them. Ad-libbing, or making up spontaneous answers to questions, is not the way to provide unrivaled, confident service to your customers.

In 2003, I developed the Korsgaden International Concierge Complete Retention and Life Insurance Selling System. It includes all the tools that agencies need to implement a step-by-step method for enhancing service for clients, increasing life insurance sales and boosting client retention. The system contains scripts, letter templates and A–Z instructions on how to convert a client call into an appointment and ultimately into a sale. If you have 10 people in your agency, and every single one of them answers questions differently, there is little continuity in the way your agency is delivering customer service.

So how do you get past this road block to excellence that is common in so many agencies?

Script everything. Write down a list of all the questions, concerns and objections your team members hear often, and then write scripts that specify how you want those conversations to be handled.

Client interaction script samples

Our continuity book includes scripts for all types of interactions with our existing and potential clients. Here are a few examples:

  1. Answering the phone
  2. Making outbound service calls
  3. Conducting annual reviews
  4. Responding to questions and personalizing the information to fit each client and his or her situation
  5. Finding out if a client is happy with the service we provided recently
  6. Setting up an appointment for a review during a personal visit
  7. Gathering information about the client and his or her situation during an in-person meeting, including beneficiary details, current coverage and credit insurance
  8. Letting a client know you will help his or her family claim any benefits in the event of a tragedy
  9. Suggesting options for personal or business coverage and planning

Practice makes perfect

It is critical that you have everyone in your agency practice the scripts you write so their responses don’t sound canned. It will take some practice to follow the script while also maintaining a genuine and caring demeanor. It also takes practice to personalize the script as necessary to fit the client and his or her specific situation.

When your team members role-play the way they handle questions and concerns, then everything will sound like a relaxed conversation — not like a canned presentation. Work with every team member to ensure that your scripts are serving their intended purpose well.

Erase ambiguities

Following scripts made a significant improvement in our customer service. It ensures that everyone in our office is relaying consistent information to our clients. Everyone is singing from the same songbook. It also takes the guesswork out of our communications and ensures that we come across as confident. Scripts also enable everyone in your agency to anticipate and respond to clients’ objections or concerns — or address them before they come up at all.

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