The Best Marketing Guide for an Insurance Sales Agent
TLTR: This article discusses an insurance sales agent’s roles and responsibilities and explains nine ways agents can effectively sell insurance in 2023.
As an insurance agent, you need to understand that people don’t decide to get insurance on a whim. The need to buy insurance stems from the usually well-grounded fear that they might face a risk that could financially compromise them.
Understanding how you can sell insurance to a specific market demographic is a must. Knowing how to effectively advertise an insurance product and turn prospects into loyal customers is an important skill for modern insurance sales agents to possess.
Before getting into some of the most effective ways of selling insurance policies, let’s first understand the basics!
In this blog
What Does An Insurance Sales Agent do?
Insurance sales agents, or insurance agents, as they are better known, are insurance professionals who offer insurance products to their clients. Besides insurance products, they can also sell mutual funds, securities, and annuities. Insurance sales agents can also offer their clients financial services such as retirement planning.
Insurance sales agents are also known as “producers” in the insurance business world. Despite the different titles, they both serve the same role. They are also the first representative that clients talk to when they decide on purchasing an insurance policy.
It is the producer’s job to devise insurance packages that are tailor-made towards the individual needs of their clients.
The two most prominent types of insurance that they sell are:
Property and Casualty Insurance
Sales agents who work in property and casualty lines sell insurance products and services to individuals and businesses that provide protection against any form of financial losses resulting from fire, storms, theft, motor accidents, and other factors that can damage a property.
This insurance can cover product liability insurance, worker’s compensation, and medical malpractice claims for businesses.
Life Insurance and Health Insurance
Sales agents who work in life insurance specialize in selling insurance policies that pay beneficiaries when a policyholder passes. They also specialize in annuities related to retirement income.
Agents working in health and long-term care sell insurance policies that cover the cost of medical care and assisted living for the retired and elderly. These agents may also sell dental and disability insurance.
Note: All insurance sales agents need a state-prescribed insurance agent license to work in their profession.
Some of the primary responsibilities of insurance sales agents are:
- Reach out to potential clients to expand the customer base.
- Talk to prospective clients to retrieve information about their financial state and discuss suitable coverage.
- Explain the features and range of various policies.
- Examine their client’s current policies and suggest any changes or add-ons.
- Carry out any administrative tasks and carefully maintain a proper database.
- Assist policyholders in settling claims.
How Insurance Sales Agents Can Sell Insurance Effectively in 2023
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the insurance game for over a decade or if you just started out a few weeks back! As an insurance agent, you need to be an expert in marketing insurance policies to both your clients and your prospects to find success.
But as a new insurance sales agent, it can be difficult and overwhelming trying to figure out how to get your footing in the business.
Here are nine tips and techniques that you can use to help you start strong:
Work On Your People Skills
Perhaps the most crucial weapon that an insurance sales agent needs to have in their arsenal is the ability to maintain a conversation and relate with their prospects and clients. All sales practices require free-flowing communication in order to reach an agreement.
So, work on your people skills and be the type of sales agent that your customers trust and actually like talking to. One way to understand what technique works best is by practicing with one of your contemporaries who has been working as a sales agent for a while.
You can also watch tutorials online or sign up for workshops that focus on this aspect.
Work On Your Strengthening Your Industry Knowledge
You could be an exceptional talker who is immediately capable of grabbing people’s attention. But this trait is rendered completely useless if you’re incapable of delivering on your promises. Make sure that you’re well versed in the insurance products that you’re selling.
Understand the range, limitations, and exclusions of each policy that you’re selling. For example, did you know that while insurance for buildings covers damage resulting from fire, smoke, floods, and earthquakes, it doesn’t cover damage resulting from neglect or lack of maintenance?
Rest assured that your client will evaluate your performance as an insurance professional throughout the sales process. Deciding to buy insurance is a serious decision, and your clients won’t settle for anything less than the best from you.
Dress For Success
You could be an insurance sales agent who is more than capable of meeting and even exceeding your client’s expectations. But looking the part plays an even more important role than you might think.
When it comes to sales and marketing, your appearance will significantly influence your customer’s behavior and, ultimately, their purchasing decisions. It can sometimes be even more important than your skillset and experience.
And given the level of competition in the market today, you could use any advantage you can find. When you dress professionally, your clients are more likely to take you seriously. So, invest in a good business attire. A little perfume or cologne is nice too (but don’t overdo it). Remember that a professional appearance conveys success.
Double Check All Written Communications
Think about the last time you encountered typos and obvious grammatical errors in a company’s email or other communications. How did it make you feel? It lowered your opinion of that business, didn’t it?
According to research on The Journal of General Psychology, spelling errors directly affect people’s perception of writers, especially when there are a lot of spelling errors. Remember that poorly written content comes off as unprofessional. It shows that you’re inept at your profession.
Fostering doubt is the last thing you need in an industry where your progress depends on building trust with your prospects and clients. So make sure to carefully proofread all your emails. Doing this will also help you identify any errors in policy explanations that you might have made while writing your first draft.
You should also double-check short text messages. Build a culture of peer-reviewing all long-form documents that need to be sent out.
Learn From Your Co-workers
Starting out in the insurance sales business can be confusing. One of the first things you can do to get a handle on the job is to find an experienced co-worker and shadow them. It’d be even better if you got them to be your mentor. As an apprentice, you can improve your competency as an insurance professional much quicker.
You’d be surprised how much you can gain by paying attention to your peers and contemporaries. An agent might have some valuable insight into a specific topic that you were interested in. Another agent might have years, if not decades, of experience in dealing with a niche market.
So, be open-minded and maintain a zeal to learn new things every day.
Empathize With Your Prospect or Client
Good salespeople know the value of being able to empathize with their clients. As an insurance sales agent, your clients will need to believe that you’re there for them and not the other way around. Ask about their family, their pets, their music preference, or anything else they care about.
Treat your clients like human beings and not just a means of financial gain. Make them feel at ease. Sales is a long-term practice and your clients can decide on replacing you with a different agent any time they want.
An effective technique is to identify which generation you’re selling insurance to. This can allow you to customize selling approaches that you can take to reach an agreement. Statista mentions that Gen Z’s made up 67.06 million of the U.S. population in 2020.
As a generation who has never seen a world without mobile technology, they would perhaps be more comfortable talking with you via video conferencing platforms like Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Maybe you could also try to find common ground with them by talking about the latest TikTok trends.
Encourage Positive Reviews
Review platforms hold more power in the court of public opinion than you may realize. You could have created an amazing website that showcases dozens of accolades that you have amassed over the years. But one of the first things people look at before getting insurance for themselves, their property, or even their pets on review sites.
Also, make it a point to leave a positive reply to all the comments that people leave (even negative ones). This shows that you’re listening and are making a genuine attempt to better your services. Some of these review sites include Google My Business, Yelp, and Thumbtack.
Conduct Customer Surveys
As an insurance sales agent, you can expect to get rejected by some of your clients. But remember that the sales and marketing aspect is a continuing process. And just because you experience a rejection from one client, it doesn’t mean that you’ll continue to experience rejections moving forward.
One of the best ways to understand the needs of your clients is through customer surveys. Develop brief questionnaires that you can ask your clients to fill out in your office or through email. Make sure to ask for open-ended testimonials that explain how you can improve your services.
You can even add incentives like gift cards and lottery tickets to encourage customers to fill out the surveys.
Join an Insurance Agency
One of the best ways to mitigate much of the stress, effort and expense of selling insurance in 2021 is by joining an insurance agency. A good insurance agency can handle all of your marketing and administrative tasks for you.
As professionals in the field, agencies will provide insurance marketing services on your behalf. They allow their agents to focus solely on sales and grow the value of their book of business. As insurance agencies also need to keep themselves at the forefront of insurance technology, agents can usually rest assured that their administrative needs are adequately met.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How Do Insurance Sales Agents Make Money?
Insurance sales agents are paid a commission by insurance carriers that they work for. Their clients don’t pay them. Instead, every time their clients make a premium payment, the carrier whose policy they sold pays a set commission rate.
How Much Do Insurance Sales Agents Make?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, insurance agents made an average of $52,180 annually or $25.08 per hour in 2020.
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