The role of an insurance agent is multi-faceted. To succeed you need to have good business acumen, intuitive social skills, and incisive management abilities. But above all, you must be a masterful salesperson. Insurance sales can at once be rewarding and incredibly difficult. Agents entering the field can understandably feel overwhelmed by the complex world of agency management, insurance, and sales.
Selling insurance is unlike most other things. Your customers can’t touch or see an insurance product, yet it is one of the most expensive things they will ever buy. That means, as an agent, you must become adept at selling ideas. You must be able to effectively sell yourself so that your prospects like you and trust in the promises that you sell.
That often comes naturally with experience and the development of some essential sales skills. The following insurance sales tips tips will help ensure you get off to a successful start.
Dress for Success
The adage, “dress for success” still holds true today. Prominent companies such as Facebook and Google give the appearance that casual attire in the workplace is the best approach. That might well be the case for the tech industry, but in the sales profession, casual attire could spell career doom.
It’s mostly psychological, but people tend to take professionally dressed salespeople more seriously. No doubt you do the same on a subconscious level. Imagine discussing a multimillion-dollar deal with an individual. In your imagination is that person wearing a crisp suit and tie or t-shirt, jeans, and trainers? Which individual would you perceive to be the most serious about the deal?
Hopefully, you will agree that the person in the suit would be most suitable for the interaction in this scenario. The same goes for your prospects. If you show up to a meeting dressed professionally from head to toe, you will instantly convey an image of seriousness and confidence that goes some way to developing that all-important trust. You will probably find that you naturally feel more confident and successful when you dress the part, too.
Talk Like Your Prospects
How well do you know your target demographic? It is important to have a deep level of knowledge about the people to whom you are selling. So much so that when you converse with a prospect, you can talk about things you have in common. More importantly, though, you must be able to speak the way your prospects do.
That means using the words they use. To do that you need to know your target demographic as well as you do your best friend. If you do not naturally speak like the people you are selling to, you will need to start practicing. When you talk to them, it needs to be natural and relatable. It is not easy, but the process is necessary to earn the trust of your prospects so that you can sell more effectively.
Listen More, Speak Less
As a sales professional, you may feel an instinctive impulse to demonstrate your knowledge during interactions with prospects. Show some restraint. The more you talk and try to explain things that the prospect didn’t ask about, the more you risk talking yourself out of a sale.
Instead, let the prospect do the talking while you listen carefully. By listening to what they are saying, you can gather the necessary information needed to address their personal needs. Approach every prospect as an individual, and never assume that your previous solution will be suitable for the next appointment.
Listening is one of the most important skills you can develop as an insurance agent. You will rely on this skill to understand clients and serve them the best solution. And, eventually, you will utilize your listening skills to manage staff and run a thriving agency.
Become an Expert
While you should not bombard your prospects with knowledge, it is important that you have an abundant supply. To become a successful agent, you will need to be an expert in the market which you operate. If for example, you specialize in selling life insurance to millennials, it is crucial that you possess expert knowledge of the products you are selling, the people within the demographic, and the industry as a whole.
By constantly accumulating information, you will eventually be able to identify the correct solution for a particular prospect instinctively. The amassing of knowledge is important, not so you can prove to the prospect how much you know, but so you can satisfy their concerns quickly, effectively, and professionally.
There may well be times when you must defer a question and explain to the client that you will get back to them later. However, the fewer occurrences of this, the more confidence the prospect will have in your abilities. More confidence leads to a higher chance of making a sale.
Sell on Benefits, not Price and Features
To effectively sell an insurance product you need to understand the product well. Knowing the product helps ensure that you can offer it to the right people as a solution to their problem. Knowledge of a product leads many new sales professionals to focus on the features. However, listing off the ten great features of your life insurance policy is unlikely to peak the prospects interested.
They, like most people, are probably only interested in hearing what is in it for them. Sure, they can figure out for themselves how the features of the insurance product translate into usefulness, but most do not want to do that work. Besides, as a sales professional part of your job is to make a smooth path to the sale.
Make it easy for your prospect to make that purchasing decision by focusing on the benefits of owning the insurance policy. The benefits help them form a clear picture of how useful the insurance would be in their life.
Being an insurance agent is a highly noble and critical profession. But without the necessary skills and approach to the job, success can be difficult to achieve. Give yourself the best chance of establishing a thriving insurance agency by building your career on a solid foundation. Hopefully, the preceding tips will help you on your way.