Selling insurance can be tricky, especially if you take into consideration the insurance price and the fact that insurance isn’t a product that the client can see, hold, or touch.
Here are six awesome insurance sales tips for those agents who are new or simply want to take the next step in their career.
Tip #1 Improve your communication skills
Simply understanding how insurance products and services work will not differentiate you from your competitors. None of your insurance knowledge matters unless you can effectively convert this knowledge to real value for your intended audience.
To become a great communicator, you can start developing these three basic communication skills:
Essentially, insurance professionals need to develop confidence in the products and services they provide to serve and protect the clients. You should also need to have strong confidence and belief in the value you provide through your products or services. Ask yourself: ‘What is the value you bring to the market?’, ‘What makes you special?’. If you cannot clearly identify how the client benefits from doing business with you, you will lack confidence and your client will feel it. If you don’t believe in your business, then why should your clients?
I love this quote from John Maxwell who said, “If you don’t place a high value on yourself, rest assured, the world will not raise the price.”
Successful insurance specialists don’t try to pretend something they are not. If a leader is authentic and genuine, clients know what to expect, and the opportunity to build trust comes.
To succeed, you should upgrade such a skill as empathy. Before offering your prospects any products or services you need to understand their needs very clearly. Insurance professionals don’t sell products or services — they ask meaningful questions and listen to the answers attentively. Once you understand the prospect’s ‘why’, you’ll be able to present a valuable solution.
Tip #2 Learn sales negotiations strategies
Agents are required to negotiate frequently as a natural course of doing insurance business. Some of you may probably enter negotiations with a pit in your stomach and fear that typically results in poor outcomes. In fact, negotiation is an effective tool to improve results, revenue, and business. Let’s see a few universal laws of efficient negotiations:
- Never enter negotiations without preparation. The preparation process involves understanding the position, needs, and interest of the other side, and then make them feel that they are winning or at least not losing. It involves asking questions and taking notes.
- Don’t lead with price. Start negotiating with a clear understanding of the other party’s needs, concerns, and preferences. Explore options other than price to bring more value rather than committing to price concessions. Your goal is to create an atmosphere of cooperation and a feeling that both sides are working together to find out a win-win solution.
- Stay cool. The negotiation table can be loaded with agendas and emotions. Great negotiators know how to stay cool, providing leadership and valuable solutions, while others invest in personal agendas and useless emotions. So stay cool, use logic to negotiate and close deals.
Tip #3 Improve your writing skills
Even as the insurance industry is becoming increasingly digitized, many jobs still incorporate writing in their daily activities. Whether dealing with prospects or corporate clients, or sending internal instructions, professional writing skills are essential for the insurance sector to win lucrative contracts, resolve disputes, and improve customer service.
In the era where phone calls have been largely replaced with customer service via email, Facebook messenger and chat apps, the skills of your team at writing competently, choosing the appropriate language, and selecting the right tone are paramount.
Persuasive writing is the key to generating sales, but it can be tricky to find that balance between a formal and friendly tone. Besides, a customer care representative needs to communicate empathetically including in writing, as clients often ask help being under immense stress due to a domestic fire, a stolen car, or a leaking roof.
Tip #4 Have a referral rewards program
There are a lot of agents who hate asking their clients for referrals because they’re afraid of bothering them or asking for “too much”. However, this approach is dead wrong.
In fact, referrals are ‘social currency’. We all like to recommend trustworthy companies and quality products to each other because it’s our way of helping one another. Unfortunately, many insurance agents simply don’t know how to ask for referrals in an effective and comfortable way.
Here are key steps to take when setting a referral program up:
- List your clear goals
- Create an action plan to reach out to prospects
- Choose referral incentives
- Provide valuable free resources for clients to share with their potential referrals
- Set up tracking to know where leads are coming from
- Remember to thank the people who referred you
Tip #6 Invest in marketing
When it comes to insurance agency marketing, some people leverage “our products/services sell themselves” approach. Unfortunately, you cannot just sit, do nothing, and expect an insurance business to land in your lap. Some business owners get displeased at the prospect of paying for marketing and leads. But here’s a secret: as long as the business is profitable, paid marketing is worth it.
Before starting off with your marketing, you need to establish your target audience. Who is your client? What products or services are they looking for? What are their pain points? What value can you provide to them to ‘resolve’ their pain points? Having clear answers to these questions will prevent you from wasting time on leads that won’t turn into clients.
It’s impossible to succeed with marketing if you don’t have a scalable and repeatable process for following up with your prospects. For that purpose, you can use CRM databases to track “touches” or create automated email campaigns.
Look at your website as if you were a first-time viewer. Ask yourself if your copy is interesting and informative. Does your website communicate your message clearly? Is it obvious for site visitors what products or services you provide? Is it easy for visitors to find your contact info to reach you? As a result of reviewing these questions, you may find your website may need a little updating.
If you were looking for a silver bullet sales technique, you probably didn’t find it here. Again, we don’t believe there are any silver bullets in sales. It’s all about the discipline to show customers that you care about them and their needs.
We’ve chosen the tips that demonstrated real results in practice. Anyway, you shouldn’t run and implement them all. Define your goals first, and then develop a strategy that correlates with them.
Anna Grechko is a marketing enthusiast and knows the field inside out. She is the marketing specialist at Smart IT. Sharing knowledge is a big part of her career, so Anna doesn’t miss any opportunity to do so.