5 Follow-Up Questions To Ask When Prospects Say, "No"


We spoke in our last article about rejection being at the heart of this industry. Every no leads to another no until eventually, you hear yes, and the mark of a successful agent is never giving up. Always follow up with customers who aren’t ready to buy using tactful questions that help both yourself and your customer understand what’s holding them back. Here are five questions you can use to keep the door open after a customer says no, and secure a sale in the future.


  1. What’s holding you back?

    Simple, direct, and to the point, asking a prospect outright what’s holding them back can be a powerful tool in breaking down their reasoning. This forces prospects to walk through what’s going on in their head. Once you understand the root of what’s holding prospects back, you can adjust your pitch accordingly. There won’t always be a solution here and now, but understanding these hesitations can also help you make an informed decision about when to reach back out to prospects in the future.


    You: Of course, I understand that this policy at this price may not be the best fit. Could you perhaps provide a word or two on what’s holding you back today?

    Prospect: Well, I just started looking and this is a pretty big decision. I do need coverage by the end of March, but I think I’d like to look around a bit before I make a decision.

    You: I understand, it’s important to make an informed decision. I’ll tell you what, why don’t you take a couple days to evaluate your options and I’ll reach back out Monday.

    Prospect: Ok, thanks. That works for me.

  2. If it was free, would you reconsider?

    Of course no policy will ever be free, but this question forces prospects to remove price from the equation and assess the value of a policy on its own. This can be especially effective when a prospect is initially shocked by a quoted price. Once a prospect understands the value of a policy, it will be easier to for them to stomach its price.In this industry, price is the one thing you can’t control, so why lead with the one thing you can’t control. Instead, it’s your job to remove price from the equation, and help prospects understand the value of your policies.


    You: I understand that price can seem pretty high. Let me ask you this, you know this policy helps protect the things you love, if it was free, would you sign up?

    Prospect: Of course.

    You: So tell me, thinking about what we’ve gone over, what protections does it offer you that you’d want to sign up for if it were free?

  3. Do you understand the value of the policy?

    “In all my years of selling, no one has ever said no [to this question],” claims Dan Tyre, sales director at Hubpsot. This opens the door for follow up questions such as, what part of the policy do you think best fits your needs? This could help you talk a prospect through aspects of a policy that they don’t yet see value in or assist you in finding a policy that better fits their needs. You can’t control price, so why sell someone on the one aspect of a policy you can’t control? Instead, ensuring your prospects understand the value of a policy will often help them to remove price from their buying decision.


    You: Now, I know you said you don’t think it will work out, but before I let you go I’d just like to ask one last question. Do you understand the value of the policy? That is to say, what benefits would this policy have if you did sign on today?

    Prospect: Well I suppose so yeah, I have payments on my home I still need to pay off, and if there was a fire I wouldn’t be too excited to make payments on a heap of ash.

    You: And I’m sure there’s an emotional attachment as well, everything you’ve collected over the years. It’s not something anyone likes to think about, but what would you do if something were to happen?

    Prospect: I don’t know. I suppose that’s why I called in the first place.

  4. When do you need coverage by?

    Bad timing can be the downfall of an otherwise perfect sales pitch. There’s no way to control what’s going on in someone’s life, and often there are one or more outside factors leading someone to decline your quote. In situations like these it’s best to step back, take stock, and better understand a prospect’s timeline. Perhaps they don’t need coverage for another two months. If you call back in a month and a half those outside factors that held them back before could change. You can even use software like AgencyZoom's Smart-Cycle to know exactly when to reach back out!


    You: Now I know these prices were a bit higher than you were hoping, but I can see some things on your record, it looks like an accident that’s about to fall off. Do you need coverage immediately?

    Prospect: No, my policy doesn’t expire until March, but I was looking into cheaper options.

    You: I understand that pricing is a concern but should you ever need to file a claim,  having a cheaper policy is going to be the least of your concerns. I want to make sure that I get you the coverage and the protection that fits your needs.  Insurance rates are based on many factors such as your driving record, type of car, etc. I do see that you have a ticket on your record which could be impacting your premium, the good news is that ticket is dropping off in January.  So let’s do this, I’ll follow up with you in January and we’ll redo the quote. How does that sound?

    Prospect: That works for me, thank you.

  5. Is your [Asset] otherwise protected without coverage?

    Most people know they need car insurance to drive, but they don’t always think about the importance of insurance for a vehicle they have sitting unused it a lot. Questioning a prospect whether their possessions are otherwise protected helps them to realize aspects of coverage they may not have previously thought of. For example, if a prospect says their car is sitting in a lot unused and that they don’t necessarily need coverage now, you could ask them if the lot has some sort of protection against theft, or what would happen if the car gets bumped by a neighbor. This can instill a sense of urgency in prospects that may not have been there before.


    You: You mentioned just now that you want to wait, you aren’t using your car at all. Now I just want to be sure, is that car in a lot or a secure garage?

    Prospect: I keep it in my driveway most nights.

    You: Okay, I was asking because, I just want to make sure you had thought about theft. There’s a lot you need to think about keeping a car in your driveway. I know winter is coming, and that can mean hail, and if there’s lots of children near your house, you have to think about what a stray ball can do to your windows.

    Prospect: I suppose I hadn’t really thought about theft or any of that. I just knew I needed insurance to drive. Can you tell me more about what protections the policy gives my vehicle?

We'd like to thank Craig Wiggins Coaching for this Sales Process Scorecard you can use to grade yourself and your producers to start hearing less "no" and more "yes."