Tips for Selling Insurance
Whether you just became a new insurance agent or you’re a veteran insurance salesman, you can learn a few new tips on how to sell insurance. It used to be you could cold-call potential costumers to generate insurance sales. People in the business still use that tactic, but it’s often a dead end, due to the dreaded caller ID.
In the 21st century, you want to have a well-rounded sales method based on customer satisfaction, because everyone has the Internet these days. That means people are less bound by local geography. One funny Geico ad or one commercial with that annoying Progressive lady and your potential customers are buying insurance online.
Besides, people have always tended to think of insurance as an odd combination of a gamble and a luxury, so people are naturally reluctant to buy insurance, unless they think they have a reason to need it. With the strained economy, people are pinched more than they have been in their adult lives, and insurance is often part of the budget they hope to do without.
With those sobering thoughts in mind, here’s how to sell insurance to an increasingly global and circumspect customer base.
How to Sell Insurance – Be Flexible
You walk into a sales meeting hoping to sell a certain policy to a customer, probably because it means more money in your pocket. When you get in the meeting, you realize they want or need something entirely different – and perhaps more limited. Should you try to push the more comprehensive coverage on them?
Once you make your pitch and get two “No’s”, try to sell this customer the policy they want (or need). Don’t try to sell them an intermediate insurance plan. Give them the premiums and deductibles that most match what it is that suits this person. You want a happy, satisfied customer who is going to continue the policy, but you also want a person who is going to tell family and friends you did right by them.
Even in the Internet Age, word of mouth has a power all its own. Word of mouth still makes certain movies hits. Word of mouth makes certain television shows and celebrity scandals and even sales down at Wal-Mart a big success. When you have satisfied customers, you’re getting free advertisement from their satisfaction. Whenever the subject of insurance comes up, this person is going to be talking well about you, maybe even giving their acquaintance your number. So it’s smart to focus on “customer need”.
While you’re at it, do like I do: hand them two of your business cards and say, “Hand one to a friend.” You can do that confidently when you tailored your sales to a customer’s need.
Know the Products You’re Selling
The better you know your product line, the better you can serve the customer. Know every single fact about every single policy you sale. Product knowledge lets you recite with confidence anytime and anywhere, with traffic rushing by on a nearby highway, with kids crying in the background, or with waiters rattling dishes at your table.
How to Sale Insurance – Be Professional
Look professional by dressing professionally. When you speak, speak with authority and polish. Learning the full product line helps you achieve the second. Paying a little closer attention to details is how you approach the first.
Think about it: you want people to buy insurance from you. They want you to bestow confidence and assuredness in their future. You’re asking them to be confident enough in you and your company’s professionalism to hand over money every month. How can they be confident in your professionalism, if you don’t inspire that confidence, if you don’t have that same confidence in yourself?
Improve the Weakest Part of Your Sales Skills
People do this in all lines of work: they work on their strengths and not their weaknesses. That’s natural to do, because when you’re working to improve your strengths, it’s something you take pride in and you’re good at. When you work on your weaknesses, it’s something you probably don’t enjoy and you find frustrating. Besides, you have to admit this is something you’re not really good at.
Improving on your weaknesses is how you become a better salesman, though. You want to be a complete salesman. With enough work and patience, you can make this a strength, too. You might even come to enjoy that aspect of your job. And when you do, find the next weakest part of your game and start to improve it.
Be a Public Person – Sales is Public Relations
Make yourself known in the community. Be visible. Join civic organizations. Show up at fundraisers. Be at your kids’ sporting events and school events. Be available and social whether you’re at church, on the golf course, or at the grocery store.
You’re clearly a people person, since you’re a salesperson. Sure, this means you have to be “on” more of the time, but being out in the public more makes you appear well-rounded, stable, and respectable. Eventually, you’re job is going to be discussed and you can talk with authority on the subject. Give good advice and be the trustworthy guy on the subject of insurance. This kind of pr will pay off in the end.
How to Sale Insurance 24/7
I’m not suggesting you try to sell insurance at cookouts and parties. Don’t bring up insurance policies and deductibles until it’s brought up. Don’t go into a sales pitch when insurance plans are brought up. Just be the authority and give honest, straightforward suggestions.
If someone becomes interested in buying a policy, get their name and number and set up an appointment. Then get back to the festivities. Let the game come to you.
The real advice here is this: never tell anyone “I’m off the clock.” If you get a call about insurance, take it. If someone wants to talk about insurance over dinner, make it works. Insurance is a 24/7 job – not a 9-to-5 proposition. (This might require explaining to your wife.) Be versatile and flexible.
Meet on Their Turf – Tips for Selling Insurance
Not only meet them when they want to meet, met potential customers where they want to meet. You want them to feel secure and comfortable. If you mention coming by their home to discuss insurance and they don’t seem comfortable about that, ask this person where they would feel most comfortable talking insurance. Then make it happen.
If it comes down to a meeting out in public, it’s best to take prospective clients out for a quick lunch or coffee. This is like a first date. If things don’t go well, both of you are going to want to get out of there, and coffee or lunch tends to be a quicker proposition. For returning customers, take them out for dinner and drinks. You know this person and the two of your have a lot to talk about. Besides, it’s a reward for a loyal customer.
How to Sell Insurance from Home
If you don’t have a job as an insurance salesman, but you would like to know how, here’s a tutorial on how to sale insurance from home. Working from your house instead of an office gives you a more flexible work schedules. Some customers prefer the personal touch of meeting an insurance agent in their home, instead of an insurance company’s giant, impersonal work floor.
You’ll need a license first. Then you want to sign on with an insurance agency or brokerage.
How to Get an Insurance License
All states require that you have an insurance license to sell insurance. To get the proper licensing, you need to take an insurance course. After this, you need to take a state licensing test, while paying a fee. Don’t expect the insurance company to pay your fee, either. That’s illegal in a whole lot of U.S. states.
When being licensed to sell insurance, you’ll need to prove you know a few different subjects.
- Know the Types of Insurance Available
- Know Your Legal Obligations as an Insurance Sales Representative
- Know the Pertinent Insurance Laws of Your State
Insurance Salesperson Options
Once you have your license, you need to become an employee of an insurance firm. This might be one insurance corporation, or an insurance agency which insures people on behalf of multiple insurance firms. These agencies work as a kind of brokerage, which means you’ll need to know a whole lot of policy information.
Working from home, this company is likely to want you to hire on as an independent contractor, as opposed to a full-time company employee. This means that benefits like insurance plans won’t be included, while you won’t be subject to the withholding of taxes. Because of these reasons, you’ll need to take care of a couple of important pieces of business.
One, seek to negotiate for group health insurance rates, if at all possible. Discuss this with your employer. Two, you need to keep track of your yearly earnings and be ready to pay income taxes at the end of the year. Because you’re an independent contractor, you’ll be paying the social security and the self-employment taxes along with this. Get ready to catch your breath when you see the bill, but know you didn’t pay the rest of the year, along with everyone else.
Install a Home Office
You’ll also have a few other expenses to sale insurance from your home. A filing cabinet is a must, to keep track of the insurance contract hard copies. You’ll also need a computer, for electronic record keeping. Make sure to have these backed up with files off-site, whether from an online records site, Google documents, or a zip file. Consider multiple records backups, or else a house fire could wreak havoc with your business, as well.
Also, you need to have a dedicated land line to handle your business calls.
Have a Steady Stream of Leads
Assure yourself of having a steady stream of leads. Your insurance agency might supply you with leads on weekly, or even daily. Some insurance companies prefer to sell their agents leads. Don’t make this your only source, though.
As discussed above, have business cards and hand them out liberally. Also, consider newspaper ads or online advertisements with e-publications in your local area. Having your own website is a way to bring in customers and publicize your business, too. Heck, you might even blog about your insurance sales experience, or eventually give advice to other young salespeople wanting to learn how to sale insurance from home.
Insurance Selling Advice
Mastering how to sale insurance and make a successful go at it in this business may be harder than ever, but it’s also potentially more rewarding than ever. To be a good insurance salesman, you have to be dedicated, willing to do the legwork, and ready to follow leads any time of the day or night. Once you’ve been in the business for a while, though, your sales skills are going to improve and your network of contacts is going to increase.