Do you think selling everyday products is difficult? Try selling intangible products like insurance. It is not like selling bags, shoes, or cars. Here, you cannot convince potential buyers by showing them how much help the product has been to you. Insurance is a protection against misfortune, and people would never wish for misfortune to reap the benefits of their investments.
Thus, there is always a different approach to selling insurance policies.
In this article, we will discuss useful insurance sales tips and techniques to win more customers. But first, let us quickly look at the teams that represents the insurance business and in what capacities.
The insurance sales team and their roles
Agents bring new business to the insurance company. They usually meet prospects in-person and sell insurance policies. Agents are mostly responsible for human-to-human selling.
In terms of their sales strategies, agents believe in developing strong relationships with customers. They also try to sell policies to the people in their customer’s networks (referrals).
While agents represent Insurers, brokers represent consumers. A broker can suggest policies from many different insurance companies to a customer. Moreover, agents can bind coverage (complete insurance sales) while brokers cannot. Brokers are crucial for insurance sales because of their broad network of consumers.
Customer service representatives or call center agents
Large insurance enterprises outsource calling to call centers. Whenever there is a query on their website, need to inform customers about policy updates/renewal, insurers route this task to the call center agents.
Plus, every insurance company needs a working customer service unit. This team oversees maintaining a long-lasting relationship with the clients. You can see this unit as the bridge between the clients and the company. Their goal is to ensure customers are happy and satisfied.
In-house sales team
The sales team is responsible for controlling the sales funnel to purchase. Typically, agents and brokers bring the leads into the sales funnel, and the sales team takes it from there. The sales team is responsible for follow-ups until the leads convert into customers.
Field sales teams
The field sales teams are responsible for closing sales away from office premises. They meet the prospects in person and influence them to buy policies.
Insurance sales techniques (pre-requisites)
There can be different sources of insurance lead generation. Be it online or offline, agents and sales reps need to pitch in to close the sales. For instance, in 2018, in the United States, 51% of all life insurance policies were sold by independent agents and 38% by affiliated agents. The same is the case across the world. In India, insurance companies employed nearly 32 lakh agents for selling life and general policies through agency distribution channel (PwC: Insurance Impact Assessment 2020). It indicates that the role of human agents in selling insurance policies is still in place.
The following are some of the mandatory skills for sales in insurance.
- Good communication skills are an essential part of any company’s success. Many people think they have good communication skills. But practical trials will prove that they need to learn more, especially in a product as emotionally driven and complicated as insurance.
- Proper onboarding training ensures the entire team is up to speed with relevant techs. Today, it is almost impossible to get by without sales tools. Nonetheless, only a handful of employees do comprehend how these tech tools work.
- Interpersonal skills are a must-have for everyone from the sales sector. It helps to ascertain the interest and needs of potential clients. This way, agents and sales reps can quickly and easily prescribe the best solution.
17 Effective insurance sales tips for success
Here are the effective insurance sales tips and techniques that you can train your agents for successful selling.
1. Automate processes
If your agents are still struggling with excel sheets, then you can imagine the productivity they are losing every day. It will directly impact your sales as well. Therefore, you must invest in automation to offload them of manual, tedious processes. Now, you can achieve automation at various scales. The simplest could be to use Insurance CRM. Here, you can automatically assign leads to agents, track leads, track agents’ activities, create task reminders, and more. After having a CRM in place, you’ll only need a little training to make agents familiar with the system.
2. Use technology
Welcome to the 21st century, where technology rules it all. Sales teams are increasingly using technology today. You do not want to stay behind. However, there is a big difference between making these techs available and leveraging them. Be a smart sales professional and use technology to make your team more productive. You can invest in simple technologies like CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software designed specifically for high-velocity insurance sales.
3. Explore market
Many times, sales do not happen because there’s a similar product in the market at a lower price. Insurance is a very competitive sector, and there are several policies with similar benefits. Agents must be aware of the competitions. They must highlight the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) or additional benefit that your product has over competing products.
4. Be confident about the product
Many people miss this point. You could equip your sales team with all the necessary skills and still struggle to get the result. Yes, because they do not believe in the product. If you do not know that what you are selling is worth it, you will find it hard to convince others to buy it. It is pure logic. Bargaining a price will be a hassle because you are not sure the product worth it. So, get your team to trust the product and services.
5. Develop need-payoff
Sometimes, people don’t realize that they need an insurance policy. For example, travel insurance. People don’t consider this, especially for domestic travel. Therefore, agents must know how to probe into the customer’s concerns and develop the need for the insurance policy. In the case of selling a travel insurance policy, agents can talk about the potential threats of damage to expensive belongings like a camera, missing the flight, etc. Thus, developing a need is one the best insurance sales tips anyone can give you!
6. Listen to the customers
At times, agents go on explaining the product without understanding the actual needs of the customers. Many times, sales do not close because customers don’t really find value during the conversation. Therefore, agents must be good listeners as well. Suggesting a solution after listening to the customers’ concerns has more weightage on selling instead of direct pitches.
7. Build a personal connection
Remember that the buyer, on the other end, is also a human. Try to build a personal connection with the prospect. It will also help you gain more referral buyers from the prospect’s network. Selling policies that give you higher commission is a big no! Agents must sell the policies that cover the customer’s requirements.
8. Do not be a robot!
Do not get it wrong, but customers often make purchases based on emotions. The truth is buyers are eager to know the people behind the scenes. They want to connect with you on a personal level to be able to trust you with their cash. To get ahead, you ought to take out the robotic approach. Be sure to build a relationship with your clients.
9. Be professional
It can be a bit confusing. We just stated the importance of getting personal with customers. But getting close to customers does not mean throwing all the professional etiquettes out the window. Or to dress informally for meetings. You can build a lasting personal relationship and keep it professional too.
10. Don’t use insurance jargon
You might be familiar with industry-specific terms (jargon), but your customers might not know them. Many people misunderstand knowing jargon as their knowledge about the subject. Moreover, while selling insurance, you’re not there to brag about your knowledge or experience. But you are there to help customers invest in the right policy that can benefit them. Therefore, avoid using jargon and try to explain the policy benefits in the simplest way possible.
11. Value your prospect’s time
Agents must respect the customer’s time. Don’t force the customer to continue the call or schedule an in-person meeting. Also, even if the customer is friendly when you’re meeting in-person, don’t get drawn away and extend the meet unnecessarily. In either case, respect your time as well as customers’.
12. Do not forget the young customers.
Young people make up a big part of the global customer pool. It is even more imperative with insurance companies because young people will form the customer base of tomorrow. Therefore, remember that young people are just as important as the older generation. Young people buy expensive stuff like houses and cars. And set up businesses too. The point is – do not judge prospects based on their age. In the coming years, millennials and Gen-Z will become the primary customers for insurance companies.
13. Script and practice your sales call
New agents may hesitate to call customers. They may even get disappointed when the sale doesn’t close. Therefore, you must share sales scripts with agents and ask them to practice the call to sound more confident during the actual phone-call with the customer.
14. Learn to handle objections
Customers don’t usually welcome calls from companies. It is mainly because of the huge numbers of promotional phone calls they used to receive during a couple of decades ago. Today, as soon as the customer hears that “I am Xyz from Abc insurance company,” they disconnect the call or ask the agent to call later.
Thus, agents need to handle such objections and proceed with communications. The better opening could be (for in-bound leads) – “this is regarding your query on the Xyz website.” It will help the customer recall the context and will not object to the call.
15. Brush-up sales fundamentals
Whether it’s insurance sales or selling in any other industry, the reps must know the sales fundamentals. It will help them learn the dos and don’ts that helps sell more effectively. For instance, people from different regions have different speech accents. Because of this gap, agents may find it hard to communicate their thoughts to customers and, on the other hand, will not be able to understand what the customer requirements are. Also, at times, some speech accents may sound rude or offensive to customers, even though the agent did not mean to offend.
Therefore, brushing up on sales fundamentals and effective communication strategies are among the evergreen insurance sales tips that always helps in winning customers easily.
16. Check your voice on the phone.
There is something unique about every good customer service representative. Yes, you guessed it: they have incredible voices. In case you are wondering, this is well-planned. Smart salespeople understand the need to help the outside world trust your business. Sounding confident is a great way to build trust. Therefore, you must check your phone voice from time to time.
17. Learn from co-workers
Learning is a never-ending process. While selling itself, people discover new techniques that work best for your target customers. Therefore, create a channel where your agents can communicate, discuss their challenges, learn from each other’s mistakes, and also learn new ways of selling from experienced salespersons. Plus, as an insurance organization, you can host internal training sessions or formal knowledge sharing sessions to encourage agents to learn from peers. Ultimately, insurance sales tips from the co-workers are the best.
Learn the techniques of reducing closure cycles through data driven sales in insurance:
Insurance sales techniques: the bottom line
Now you understand the insurance sales tips and techniques and the importance of insurance sales training. These techniques should help you get your team ready for the market.
But that is not all!
As stated earlier, your team needs a seamless solution! That will help them access the information they need as they go out to the field. Undoubtedly, they need real-time information about the product and potential clients. Hence, you need a tested and trusted cloud-based CRM system to give them all they need to succeed in the field. A quality CRM system is sure to help your team reach its full potential without going under the knives.
LeadSquared mobile CRM streamlines field insurance sales from start to end. You should give it a try!
- Challenges in life insurance marketing and how to solve them
- Understanding why you’re not selling enough life insurance policies and what to do about it
- Decode the insurance sales funnel
- How to use insurance workflow automation to improve sales?
Insurance selling techniques FAQs
By being proactive with client outreach, listening to customers, providing solutions to their concerns, using the right technology, and providing a better customer experience, you can increase your insurance sales. Details.
Selling in insurance involves prospecting, preparation, outreach, objection handling, and closing. To ace all these, you must understand the market, focus on the right leads, use CRM, listen to your prospects, and adopt a problem-solving approach instead of hard selling.
Before approaching a client, study their profile, understand if they have previously engaged with the Insurer, what are the products they’re interested in, check if you have adequate knowledge about the product, and then schedule a meeting to discuss the insurance policy and benefits.
While selling insurance over the phone, be polite, listen to the client, prepare your pitch, revise the script, and be confident.