08 Oct 4 Steps To Improve Your Listening Skills
Listening is a powerful communication skill and is one of the most effective soft skills an insurance sales agent can possess. Agents who want to work on their listening skills should create a simple listening strategy. An effective listening strategy will focus on the four habits and behaviors listed below.
#1. Slow Down The Conversation
Unfortunately, many sales professionals are known for talking too much and too fast. Even though you might think you are speaking slowly, by deliberately speaking at a slower pace you will be easier to understand and prevent your clients and prospects from feeling anxiety from aggressive urgency. To avoid feelings of nerves, review notes for your conversations in advance when possible and have scripts ready to easily reference and work into the conversation.
#2. Ask More Questions While Listening
While you are speaking, remember to ask questions. Do not assume anything before, during or after a conversation. If your presentation does not include questions, you will not be able to develop a strong understanding of your clients’ needs or anticipate their potential objections. Keep a list of key questions near you during phone and video calls. Aim to ask open-ended questions where you can practice active listening. Use questions such as, “Tell me more about that,” “Can you give me an example,” or “How long has that been going on” to guide the conversation.
#3. Confirm, Clarify & Paraphrase
Unless you are meticulously recording every conversation, at some point during a client interaction, you may need clarification. Take notes during conversations and get comfortable asking your clients to confirm that you understood them correctly. Use the phrases below to help you paraphrase and clarify what you heard your clients say during the conversation:
- “It seems like you ________________”
- “It looks like you _________________”
- “It sounds like you ________________”
#4. Pay Attention To Tone, Volume & Speed
Whether you are speaking to an inbound lead who is contacting you for the first time or discussing coverage options with a client you’ve known for years, it is important for insurance agents to pay close attention not only to what their clients say, but how they say it. When a client is speaking quickly, abruptly stopping or expressing negative energy with their tone, you have an opportunity to alter your approach, but only if you are actively listening.
Put Your Active Listening Skills Into Practice During Conversations With Quality Leads
While you work on becoming a better listener to help elevate your sales strategy, ZipQuote is focused on providing you with high-quality insurance leads. ZipQuote can help you increase your funnel and connect you with high-intent leads and calls. Click here to learn more about how ZipQuote can help you grow your business.