6 Things They Don’t Tell Insurance Salespeople

January 11, 2016

insurance salesThe insurance sales business is about more than a catchy sales pitch, a prospect list, and a telephone, but you wouldn’t know it from some of the training young agents are subjected to. Selling insurance in 2016 is a world apart from where it was even ten years ago. Customers are savvy shoppers, competition is stiff, marketing happens mostly online, the right tech is a must. It’s enough to have you asking why you spent so much time learning about products, price-points, and sales strategies.

Sure, that stuff’s important, too, but if you really want to up your sales game, here are six more things they didn’t teach you but should have.

6. Understand You’re Up Against the Pros

By pros, I don’t mean other salespeople. I mean your customers. Face it, they are way more experienced at saying “no” to a salesperson than most sales professionals are at closing.

Make no mistake, “sales resistance training” is real. Whether you’re an 18-year-old shopping for coverage for your new beater car or a septuagenarian shopping for a term life policy, everyone has at least one negative sales experience story. That’s worth keeping in mind when you’re working with new prospects.

It’s these type of experiences that can lead your prospect to be wary to be too open or honest about their intentions or personal circumstances, making it impossible for you to offer the right insurance solution.

So how do you counter this? That’s where being personable and building a rapport comes in. Gain your prospect’s trust, put them at ease, and you’ll be one step closer to closing the sale.

5. Get Comfortable with Tech

Sure, you’ve got an autodialer and you know how you use it, but there’s more to 21st-century insurance sales than standard office equipment. Is your CRM software helping build your book of business? Are you using social media and your web presence effectively?

Technology isn’t just an advantage for today’s salespeople; it’s a necessity. The latest tech can help you automate parts of your business, saving time and money. Other tech solutions help you find and nurture sales leads and keep up with their progress through your sales pipeline. In short, the right tech can help you close more sales. Surely, that’s a good reason to get up to speed on the latest offerings.

4. Remember Your System Needs Regular Maintenance  

You probably already know how important having a system and trusting your sales process. But the best agents also realize the job of tweaking that system and refining that process is never really finished. They know that fixes big and small can really make a difference. Should you move your cold-calling hours to the morning? How could you improve the opening in your call script?

Without a system to work your leads, you’re more likely to miss sales opportunities or be thrown by a bad batch of leads. But your productivity and business growth can also suffer if your system doesn’t get regular updates. Make your system dynamic, evolving to suit changing lead pools, sales strategies, business goals, and economic climates.

3. Realize That Sometimes You’re a Consultant

Hold up. Aren’t you in sales? Yes, but don’t forget a consultant is also selling solutions. All those recommendations for their clients, be it multinational corporations or busy professionals at home, usually results in the client buying some solution. New data suggests this needs-based sales approach can be very effective in a variety of circumstances.

For insurance, this means the way to win the sale may not be your elevator pitch or product summaries. Instead, start asking probing questions and practicing active listening. Find out as much as you can about your prospect and their insurance needs. Then shape your sales pitch to address their specific coverage needs. They get a tailored product solution just for them, and you get a sale.

2. Focus on Solutions, Not Product or Price

The distractions are coming from both sides. Sure, they told you sales was about selling the right insurance solution, but then they spent most of the time teaching you about products. Likewise, your prospect wants a solution but keeps asking about price.

About 80% of standard agent training focuses on products, so it’s no wonder young agents get in the habit of giving sales presentations and pitching new products when they should be listening. Comparatively little time is spent on solving customer needs with those products. Your prospect won’t buy for your reason; they’ve got their own. Find out what their needs are and present the right product that meets those needs.

On the hand, some prospects can become so obsessed with price, you get obsessed with price. It’s a downward spiral from here. Someone else can always go lower. But behind the price concern, there’s usually another concern. Often the real worry is that the prospect’s needs and goals won’t be met by the product, or that the benefits will be outweighed by the cost, or that your quality of service won’t be worth it. Keep digging to find out what’s behind this prospect’s price obsession. Only then can you address the root sales objection and close the sale.

1. Diversify Your Prospect Pool — Buy Aged Leads

And the number one thing they don’t tell insurance agents? Diversify your prospect pool and you will grow your business. For insurance sales, buying aged leads is the way to go. With aged leads, which are anywhere from 30 to 90 days old, you can sidestep the competition and be confident that you are getting the most for your money.

A whopping 95% of agents do not pursue leads after the first week. If everyone who ever asked for a quote bought right away, there would be no reason for anyone to call the next week. But we know that’s not how insurance customers work. Prospects get turned off when they are bombarded by sales calls. They may end up buying nothing. Yet they were still interested enough to ask for a quote — the salesperson and the insurance solution has to be right, though.

Enter the many successful agents who work aged leads. Aged leads are also attractive because the cost per lead is significantly lower than that of real-time leads. Where a fresh exclusive lead could cost as much $25, an aged lead could cost as little as $0.25 when bought in bulk.

Working aged leads means buying in volume and working that system, which typically involves good CRM software, to get the most from your leads. You can learn more about working aged leads here and here.
Ready to diversify and grow your insurance sales business? Head over to The Aged Lead Store now to search and buy thousands of high-quality aged insurance leads.

About Troy Wilson