Things You'll Need
How to Succeed at Selling Insurance
Decide which kind of insurance to sell. It may sound odd, but some insurance sales people have a passion for earthquake and fire insurance, yet they lack the personal gravitas for life insurance. Others love the intricacies of health insurance but don’t really want to deal with legalities of renters’ or homeowners’ insurance policies. Know ahead of time the kinds of policies you enjoy selling most, and then gear your advertising and overall business toward them.
Investigate the pros and cons of becoming an independent insurance broker versus becoming an insurance agent. A broker works with a number of different insurance companies, and many clients believe brokers to be able to get them the cheapest quotes. An insurance agent is tied to one company and exclusively sells the products this company offers. The advantage here lies in the expertise you will develop in a short period of time. There are also the discounts you can offer to clients who have been with that company for a long period of time or who purchase multiple insurance policies.
Double-check your materials and ensure that they are the most up-to-date sales sheets available from the company. Sometimes the materials change once a month, other times they weekly. Never keep any of the old sheets in your portfolio; it makes you look ill prepared and might actually have you quote the wrong figures to a client.
Memorize the sales materials. Insurance sales require an appearance of utter competence and trustworthiness; if you need to consistently refer back to the brochures and sales materials, you fail to present yourself as the authority on the subject matter. You might actually want to consider putting together very simple sales presentations for the policies you are selling.
Find qualified clients. Information calls or email requests generally point to an interested
party, but only a small percentage will actually turn into qualified clients who take the conversation to the next level and begin sending out buying signals. To minimize the amount of time you spend with those who are just gathering information, and maximize the time spent on potential buyers, invite prospects to your office. Whenever someone will come to your office–rather than you traveling to the client’s home–you stand a better chance at actually closing the deal.
Close the sale. In the old days there was more arm-twisting, simply because consumers were more apt to just go along with whatever the agent said. Since the availability of the Internet, the tide has turned, and consumers need facts and sometimes time to digest them. Show yourself confident in your product by gently pushing toward closing the sale; at the same time, be ready to back off immediately. Clients appreciate that they are in the driver’s seat, and this will get you more closed sales than the more adamant approach.
Build a good reputation through customer service. The business deal is not over when you leave the client’s home or they leave your office. Instead, consider this the beginning of the business relationship. It pays to wow the customer with excellent service. You may do so simply by contacting the client a few days later by phone, just to let them know that the home office has acknowledged receipt of the policy application, and also to offer further status updates.
Solicit referral business from satisfied clients. Leave your business cards and some extra cards. If you have not already done so, have mouse pads, wall calendars or pencils with your name, company logo and phone number printed up. People love to help each other out, and when it comes to referring someone to a good insurance agent, it pays to have your information front and center.