This is a list of key selling tips for agents seeking success in the field of life insurance sales. Each selling tip is expanded upon with specific details on how it pertains to life insurance in particular. The result is a complete picture of the areas on which aspiring agents should focus to get their insurance business off the ground.
7 Hot Tips for Selling Life Insurance
Any salesman will tell you that selling is difficult even in the best of circumstances. Life insurance presents particular challenges, though. Unlike cars, refrigerators or cell phones, life insurance is a purchase you don’t get to enjoy actively; it’s there for the people you leave behind.
It can be hard to get people enthused about spending money on an intangible product from which they derive no direct benefit.
Nonetheless, life insurance has existed in one form or another for hundreds of years, so the market for it is there. While you do have to work somewhat harder–and smarter–to make your sales, the payoff is well worth it.
Following are seven straightforward but surefire tips that, if followed, will have you raking in huge commissions in no time.
1. Dress for success
Appearance is everything. If you’re going to present yourself to clients as a respectable professional, you have to look the part.
Dressing smartly may not be easy for young agents who don’t have the resources to stock their closets with rows of fancy suits. However, you don’t need an extensive wardrobe; a few well-tailored suits and spiffy ties should be enough to do the job. Nor is it necessary to have the most desirable designer labels, which most clients won’t be sensitive to anyway.
If you are well-groomed and tastefully dressed, you’ll have cleared your first (and maybe your most important) hurdle. Investing in your image is the cost of doing business.
2. Relate and endear
You could be the planet’s most knowledgeable life insurance salesman with the best stable of products, but none of it matters if you can’t make your clients like you.
When you charm your customers and make personal connections with them, they’re more apt to buy from you, refer others to you, and even forgive mistakes and inconveniences that may arise. A good personal relationship with a client smooths every road.
So greet them with a smile. Be chipper and enthusiastic, and make pleasant small talk. Get good at profiling so you can find inroads to connect. Are you meeting with an older couple? There’s probably nothing they enjoy talking about more than their grandkids.
A younger couple may find appeal in such topics as the challenges of wrangling young children or the travails of the local sports team.
If you can find ways to endear yourself to your clients, a great many other pieces of the insurance puzzle will start to fall neatly into place.
3. Keep your presentations clear and understandable
Life insurance illustrations can get complicated, especially those of the funkier breed of universal policies. Don’t worry about making your prospects understand all of the technical details; managing that stuff is your job. You need to clarify the big picture: What does it cost, what does it do, and where do they sign?
When presenting products to your prospects, put yourself in their shoes. To the extent possible, divorce yourself from your expertise and ask yourself what features of this policy will matter to the client, and then present on that. Keep it clear, simplified, and to-the-point. Your clients will appreciate it.
4. Be prepared
A meeting with insurance clients can go in many different directions. You don’t want to get paralyzed obsessing over every conceivable eventuality, but it probably makes sense to have a couple of contingencies in place in case things go sideways.
Based on what you know about your customers, try to anticipate some possible concerns or objections, and be ready to show alternatives to your main pitch.
Whatever comes up, remember to stay calm and take it in stride. Nothing instills more confidence in a prospect than when an agent is composed and unflappable in the face of the unexpected. It suggests experience and the ability to solve problems.
5. Have your application ready to go
Before you head into a meeting to propose any insurance product, you should have the app and associated paperwork in order and ready to go. That way, if a prospect expresses sincere interest and inclination to sign, you will have the app on hand to capture their wet signatures as soon as they decide.
Also, if you don’t have to grope around for paperwork (or worse, set another meeting to execute), you’ve underscored the image of the capable and organized professional that you should always be projecting.
An immediately available form can also motivate your client to apply. If they are still deliberating, you can point out that (product illustrations aside) they can’t determine the eventual cost of insurance until they begin the application process.
Since they are under no obligation to purchase, why not apply now and see the offer that comes back? Chances are, once all the paperwork and underwriting are in the rearview mirror, they’ll go ahead and accept that offer.
6. Vet and refine lead sources
The biggest challenge for any aspiring life insurance agent is getting in front of prospective clients. Explore different ways to find leads and figure out what works for you. If you have the cash to pay upfront, you can acquire some promising prospects by buying lists with the contact info for people who meet specific personal and financial criteria.
Seminars can be useful too. You also should consider joining networking groups and courting referrals as much as you can.
Of course, you also want to make sure that you’re meeting with the right kinds of prospects. Professionals often say that in life insurance, you have to make two sales: the product to the client, and the client to the insurance company.
Get a sense of your customer’s overall health status as early as you can in the process. You don’t want to spend too much time on a prospect who won’t qualify for that second sale.
7. Above all, know when to shut up!
Sales, in general, is a delicate art. It’s not easy to convince people to part with their money, even for something that’s in their best interest. As you interface with your clients, be sure not to get so lost in your “sales patter” that you fail to see the forest for the trees. If a client is ready to buy, then you should recognize it and just let it happen.
If you want to explain further particulars, you’ll have plenty of time to do so during the underwriting process. First things first, though: Get the signature on that app.
If you stick to this simple plan, you’ll be stunned at how quickly success follows. Now get out there and start selling!
7 Hot Tips for Selling Life Insurance