Insurance is a *tough* industry to crack, and the reality is only the strongest survive. By wondering how to be a good insurance sales rep, you’re already beating out the thousands of reps who think they’ve got it all figured out — way to make your job that much easier!
To have a B2B or B2C insurance sales career you can brag about, there’s no one straight path to follow.
But there definitely are a combination of skills to acquire, habits to form, and attitudes to shape to help you be a better advocate and agent for your customers — and it’s all outlined for you below.
I know; I’m amazing. (You’re welcome.)
‘Nope,’ ‘No,’ ‘Not interested’ — embrace it!
People say no. A lot. Can you deal with that for the long-term?
Some days, your product is selling like hotcakes. Other days, your customers have their no’s sitting at the tip of their tongue ready to strike down any hope you have of closing a deal.
And that’s okay! You’re not selling ice cream, for crying out loud — people need time to make big decisions and purchases. So that “no”? Often, it’s really just a placeholder for the yes.
But you won’t get there if your soul is crushed after every rejection. If you want a successful insurance sales career, learn to be resilient and embrace the suck.
If all else fails, pretend you’re a brick wall — nothing penetrates a brick wall.
I’m gonna keep it real with you: No amount of time spent in the insurance sales games exempts you from needing to freshen up your knowledge and techniques.
No one doubts your expertise, but do you really want to risk your career with a we’ve-always-done-it-this-way type of attitude?
I mean… we saw what happened when Blockbuster refused to adapt to a changing landscape. Awkward.
The best insurance agents are always learning and willing to improve. Even if your agency leadership provides great training opportunities, own your insurance education and:
- Read books, articles, research, studies, and more
- Rub elbows with other pros at (virtual) conferences
- Surround yourself with quality professionals
- Learn from your mistakes
- Learn to take advice and constructive criticism
Plus, what about the experts you Slack with on a daily basis?
Whether you’re a fresh or seasoned insurance sales agent, consider your colleagues as an additional (and free!) resource to ask questions. They are right there, after all.
Brush up on your people skills
To consistently crush your insurance sales career, your communication, attentiveness, and customer service game need to be at a 10. (Ignoring calls puts you at like a 3 — but I don’t make the rules.)
You don’t need to be blessed with the gift of gab, but you must be able to effectively engage your customers to get them to buy the right coverage and understand policies.
When your customers speak, do you really listen? Can they reach you or are you notorious for missing calls?
Investopedia’s Mark Cussen says one of the major complaints of those who buy life insurance policies is there’s no one around to answer their questions after purchasing a policy.
- Availability: Cussen says, “A timely response to inquiries and phone calls is a must, and you must be able to do what you say you will do when you say you will do it or at least have a good reason as to why you can’t.” Keep your customers happy and reassured by picking up the damn phone when they need you. It’s simple.
- Emotional intelligence: Successful insurance sales reps listen and empathize with clients on a deeper level to understand prospect needs. When you know their pain point, you can help them see financial reality clearly, even when they swear they’re uninterested.
Own your customers’ experience
If you’re just in this for the money, keep that on the DL — your customers will notice, and they won’t want to buy from you. Why would they?
Closing a deal might feel like the hardest part of the job, but really, it’s earning the trust of a skeptical customer who probably already thinks you’re shady.
Every interaction prospects and clients have with you and your agency adds to and is part of the customer experience:
- The way you speak.
- The timeliness of response.
- The quality of response.
Create a customer experience you can be proud of, sales rep. Your bottom line will thank you for it.
Stay organized and aim for consistency across the board
Some sales reps take years to nail down time management and an effective follow-up process — but that doesn’t have to be you.
To be a good insurance sales rep, develop organization skills so you’re not stuck in a procrastination cycle where you squeeze in calls during lunch because you were catching up on yesterday’s work during breakfast…
In an on-demand business, “the most successful insurance agents budget their time just like one would budget their money,” says insurance expert Tim Wilhoit on LinkedIn.
Whether you use a system to set goals, manage time, or create a consistent follow-up cadence for leads, you need some sort of process to help you prospect in a way that’s disciplined and replicable.
Take your tech skills to the next level (and keep them there!)
You can’t confidently say that you’re the best sales rep out there if you don’t connect with your clients on every platform there is. And there’s a lot — welcome to the 21st century, amiright?
By not being accessible on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, you’re missing out on more sales opportunities you can count.
Here’s the thing: A good insurance sales rep takes full advantage of any available digital tools and technologies to better communicate with customers, follow up on calls, and keep track of sales activities.
Plus, be aware of how your customers like to use technology to find information and connect with companies. Then, you can easily tailor your strategy to target them in ways they respond to.
Sales and marketing are more aligned than they’ve ever been, so embrace the digital age (because it ain’t goin’ anywhere) — the more tech variety you implement into your sales strategy, the more deals you’ll close.
Create your own techniques — but don’t forget the classics
The advancements of artificial intelligence (AI), social platforms, tech tools, and more make it easy to think classic sales techniques are a thing of the past.
FYI: They’re not. And they still kick ass. Nothing beats human-to-human interaction for your buyers, especially because money is involved.
“Yeah, but no one cold calls anymore!” In your dreams, sales rep.
As you chart your own path in this industry, remain flexible and change with the times. But don’t forget that “old-school” cold calling still gets the job done.
Keep these tips in mind:
- You prefer email and text messaging, but business still gets done over the phone. You have to be an effective cold caller.
- Your tone, pace and inflection are being assessed. Your prospect is going to want to confirm that you actually get what you’re talking about.
- Your prospect listens carefully to see if you’re the right option as their insurance provider. No time to craft the perfect response here! Be quick on your feet to provide value.
Now you know how to be a good insurance sales rep
It’s as simple as this: Great sales reps focus on multiple skills to be successful. Are you up for the challenge? Apply these skills to start kicking butt in your insurance sales and get your career on track. Ready to take off and be the damn good insurance sales agent you are? Check out the ultimate playbook that’ll help increase your sales with the right strategies.