What would you say distinguishes a great insurance sales agent from a great politician or the most popular person in school? All three of the aforementioned categories include people who have personalities that win over large numbers of people. In short, they're very well liked, but they're not necessarily the same type of person. It therefore makes sense that each attracts a different makeup or demographic.
While you can't gain the confidence of every insurance shopper, you can begin to leverage all the things people commonly like in an insurance agent. Technology doesn't have to be a hurdle, and it's important to remember that the game is the same even when shoppers want to be buy insurance online.
As an insurance sales agent, you simply need to humanize the insurance sales process when digital marketing and let your personality shine through as you promote your insurance products. Here are some tips that apply to all types of insurance sales agents.
Which Type of Insurance Sales Agent Are You? Can You Be Both?
In any field, one person may be liked by many for being soft-spoken and honest while another has a more assertive and take-charge personality to which many respond well. Just as two equally popular presidents may have vastly different policies, two top insurance sales agents can have big wins using very different styles of closing a deal with a lead.
A great insurance agent will be able to oscillate between different styles based on the customer's behavior. When you sell insurance policies, you have to be caring enough to be trusted but assertive enough that the insurance products the client buys are actually protecting them.
Are You Reliable and Caring?
Unlike other fields where sales is all about being cut-throat, insurance is different. For an insurance sales agent, sales come second to avoiding financial loss by protecting people and their livelihoods. Insurance shoppers are letting you into their lives and trusting what you say before placing everything they value into the hands of the insurance companies you represent. Sales agents hoping to take advantage don't last long.
If an insurance lead senses that you're a trustworthy and reliable person who will be an ally, you're many steps ahead! On the other hand, if you're just out to make a buck and don't care about your clients, they will sense it and hang up. Also, word about you will eventually get around.
As much as we think the mantra 'fake it 'til you make it' is a good idea, the fact of the matter is you can only fool so many people so much of the time. Your true colors will eventually show, so it's best to stop faking it and start caring.
What's So Great About You?
When you're looking to give an insurance quote, your most well-defined personality traits will come through right away, giving the shopper an idea about the way you do business. In other words, it's your human characteristics that end up making or breaking a sale.
As an insurance sales agent, if you had to point to one thing that you do that wins over prospects, what would it be? Your answer may be that you patiently educate consumers and that you have a winning personality or that you know how to earn a person's trust. Or perhaps, you feel you make your clients' lives easier and well-protected and that your reputation of doing so carries clout.
Ideal Insurance Sales Agents
It's important to start building upon being all three of the following types of people in your community:
As an insurance agent, you're expected to be the good guy and more. The customer wants to sense that you have expertise and that you understand more than they do. They want to know that you're not just selling a big package for a high commission and that you're out to save them a buck in the long run. In fact, ensuring that your client doesn't fall into a financial sand trap is the whole concept behind selling insurance, and you have to prove that you can take on that heavy responsibility.
They expect you to teach them about what they are buying, not just to tell them what to buy. Most people don't trust insurance companies, but you're the friendly neighbor and protector who is there to steer them right.
Three Other Roles for Insurance Sales Agents
The good guy
Insurance sales agents explain how to avoid big losses and how the insurance companies they represent can cushion an otherwise insurmountable financial disaster. A great agent has much more knowledge than what they glean for insurance sales agent licensure and prospective clients can tell the difference.
Chances are that if you went into insurance sales you have a natural ability to connect with people, which must be your number one priority always in the field. So, before you make another sale, let's figure out what people like about you and how you can leverage that to your advantage.
Step 1: Grade Yourself
First start jotting down what you think people think about you, especially according to the six categories mentioned above: the educator, the friendly neighbor, the protector, the good guy, the expert and the mitigator. Then, from one to 10, rank yourself on how well you fit each category.
Step 2: Ask People Why They Like You
The next step is to find out what people really think about you. Your spouse may get a little worried or think you're feeling insecure, but do ask him or her why they married you. It's fine if you explain the purpose of such a loaded question but be sure to get some honest feedback and take notes. At the end of the conversation, have your spouse rate you on the aforementioned categories.
Don't stop there. Ask where you need improvement and how you can seem more trustworthy or caring. Most importantly, ask if you're a good listener and if you're reliable. Do you take charge of situations or do you have a wait-and-see attitude? Are you the first person they'd turn to in times of need?
Tell your closest friends and colleagues that you need some honest feedback on why they think you're a good guy and how they feel about coming to you with a big problem. Also have them rate you in each of the six categories.
Remember, if you get criticized by a loved one or acquaintance, they are doing you a great service. This the stuff that makes a successful insurance sales agent! If you hear the same criticism from more than a couple of people, chances are that you have some refining to do.
Compare how you think you are with how others see you. Based on your results begin journaling about your interactions with every person you come into contact with, not just leads and prospects. Be mindful of the negatives and positives you uncovered when you talk with people and see if you can hone your people-skills. Eventually, being the best you will become second nature.
Buy Insurance Leads
Whether you buy insurance leads or generate your own, you have to get your personality out in front of strangers all the time to close a fraction of the leads you speak with. The more people you meet, the more deals you'll close; It's all about the numbers.
The importance of having dozens of insurance leads in the pipeline at all times cannot be overstated. Buying qualified insurance leads is the perfect cost-effective way of digital marketing your agency and making sales.
At SmartFinancial, dedicated account managers are always on hand to provide actionable advice based on what's worked with insurance agents in the past. SmartFinancial's insurance shoppers want to purchase insurance online and can be your next customer.
A Word on Authenticity and Branding Your Insurance Agency
Authenticity is the number one factor in winning over new insurance customers and retaining the ones you have. You must learn all you can about a customer while selling yourself--it's not easy! Every bit of communication must be earnest and for a reason. Every post on social media will tell customers about who you are, so be very selective and discriminating about how you brand yourself.
We hear so much about brands these days, and you are the brand of your agency, so be mindful of typos (they spell carelessness and lack of attention to detail) and pay attention to how the post reflects on you. Don't get pulled into argumentative posts that pull you into one camp or another. If you do, you're alienating half your readers. At the end of the day, do you want to lose customers based on who they think should be president?
Photos, Videos and Social Media
Videos and photos of yourself are a great way to let people know more about the person on the other end of the phone. Make sure the quality is solid and that you look your best and are dressed well. Most smartphones create good quality photos videos so there should be no cost.
Edit the videos down by downloading a video editing app (but avoid filters, and anything fake!). No one will watch a two or three minute video: cut your video down to under a minute, which is even the rule for most entertaining videos (unless you're posting a song about insurance!). We've seen some insurance agents get very creative and go into costume and character while others are just as successful being the person-next-door. Find what feels authentic to you and put yourself out there--and regularly. You'll soon become familiar to people, for good or bad, so make sure you're happy with what you're posting before you do it!
Having a family automatically triggers a sense of connection with others so let there be photos of your loved ones in the background or even include your kids in your videos and photos. Think outside the box (without going overboard), and have fun with the project.
The bottom line is that you're seeking new customers, which is not very different from reaching out to make new friends, so post regularly and have your loved ones share your posts. If you keep plugging away and having fun with it, you'll see results.
Personalize the Quote
You can even send video quotes to prospects, to add a personal touch and smile to a very dry price tag. It's harder to ignore an earnest smile, and a video message is even better! It's up to you to humanize the insurance sales process, and we're here to help you bridge the digital divide!
A Word to Life Insurance Agents
More than anyone, you sell a sensitive product. Life insurance agents specialize in asking tough questions, but if its difficult to make insurance sales sales over the phone, establish an authentic connection using Zoom or Facetime.
Just as you did with family you could not see during the coronavirus quarantines, you can discuss your insurance programs with clients face to face, no matter how far you may be.
Some Life Insurance Agents Specialize as Financial Planners
Some life and health insurance agents sell mutual funds and retirement income products, like annuities, and are therefore financial resources to be tapped. Some insurance agents even do estate planning. Have you thought about becoming a financial planner too? Prospective clients may need help with retirement planning. As you can imagine, the insurance sales agent that has gone above and beyond would be entrusted with this most important task.
Property and Casualty Insurance Agents
Most insurance sales agents sell car insurance, but if you can offer comprehensive financial planning services that include home, even life and health/Medicare, you can sell insurance the way it was traditionally sold by the neighborhood insurance company. Let the consumer have a one-stop shopping experience.
With video conferencing, you can discuss the important services that insurance sales agents offer at your agency. Successful insurance sales agents work hard at establishing firm relationships with their clients. They strive to offer all insurance needs; some even sell dental insurance.
The insurance agencies that offer it all will end up faring well in insurance sales. Agents can still be specialized, but having a comprehensive menu of products is key for retention.