We get it. Trying to sell insurance in these far from optimal times is becoming increasingly hard for insurance agents. There is more pressure and fiercer competition than ever before, not to mention that some customers are losing jobs and might not be able to afford their insurance anymore. Just consider this data point from McKinsey & Co. that suggests one in four insurance professionals will lose their jobs by the end of this year; precisely why you need to keep reading to discover creative ways for increasing insurance sales. Including how to cross-sell, up-sell, and how to sell insurance on social media from the Social Selling Mastery pioneers.
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What Does An Insurance Sales Agent Do? | Be An Educator & Advisor
Are you new to the game and don’t fully understand what it takes to sell insurance? Insurance Agents are primarily responsible for contacting prospective clients to inform, educate and advise on their insurance packages or deals. Because insurances sales agents usually sell one or more insurance type, they need to be proficient at analysing their prospect’s needs and then consult accordingly.
A typical day for any type of insurance sales agent usually looks like this:
- Everyday administrative tasks such as record keeping and handling policy renewals.
- Cold-call prospects to expand their customer base.
- Help current policyholders settle claims.
- Customise client’s insurance programs.
- Describe and thoroughly explain the features and terms of various policies.
- Contact prospective clients to assess their needs and subsequently data about their financial resources and existing coverage.
- Analyse their clients’ current insurance policies and suggest valuable additions or changes.
How To Improve Insurance Sales
Here at SOCO, we believe that learners are earners – the more you learn, the more you earn. As an insurance sales professional, you need to be constantly learning more about your product, the market, the latest sales skills and new ways to reach more prospects. Here’s what you need to learn, to earn more in insurance sales.
1. Focus On Your Existing Clients
Ensure They Know ALL of Your Product or Service Range
It’s an undeniable fact that clients have more choices available to them now than ever before. Therefore you need to focus on ensuring your existing clients have their needs met. More so, how can you serve them again?
For this reason, the influence of having dense product knowledge is invaluable for Increasing Insurance Sales. For instance, if you sell travel insurance, can you also identify a complimentary product to cross-sell like accident insurance or health insurance?
Clients are always looking to you to be the product expert. So be sure to do your homework to ensure you can answer any questions they have.
Understand Clients WANT Your Advice
Many Sales Professionals make the mistake of selling their products or services before fully understanding the clients most pressing challenges. For instance, could you imagine your doctor handing you a prescription before fully understanding your symptoms? Of course not!
Your customers are looking for your advice, knowledge and expertise to inform their decisions. However, you don’t have to share everything about your product with your customer – purchasing insurance is already overwhelming enough. Above all, if they have a question for you, you need to know the answer.
Know Who Your Clients Are
Now that you’ve created an image of your client’s needs, now it’s time actually to get to know them. Drawing conclusions and understanding a client on paper is completely necessary, but so are building strong relationships.
You also need to ask questions and uncover problems. That’s what makes you a consultant. It would be best if you asked questions to reveal problems. For example, what are your main goals or benchmarks for life, insurance and savings? That’s how you could find out what are the biggest challenges that your customer has.
Remember, you’re not selling a package, promotion, product, or service; you’re selling a solution to their problem.
2. Maximise Your Conversions in Insurance Sales
Lead With Storytelling
When trying to sell your product or service, you could either tell your client how great it is or tell them a true story of how it improved someone’s life or business.
For instance, Insurance Professionals could share how having insurance allowed one family to get their loved one the best treatment available and gave them the financial freedom to spend valuable time with them when they needed it.
Unfortunately, storytelling is overlooked as a powerful selling tool; as Dr. Howard Gardner says “Stories constitute the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal.”
Note: Using ‘client’ in place for the prospect, lead, customer – Seems more familiar to insurance industry readers.
Differentiate Yourself From Competitors
Frankly, to remain relevant, you need to create a unique sales value proposition to the products or services you’re offering clients. More so, for this to be effective, you’ll also need to understand and implement the best ways to share that information with your potential customers.
To quickly work this out, consider the four answers that clients need to hear before they say yes:
- What problem will your company’s product or service solve?
- Who might benefit from your solution?
- What are the real benefits the solution offers?
- Why is your company’s solution better than the ones your competitors are offering?
3. Cross-Selling & Up-Selling Strategies
To quickly define, Cross-Selling is the process of offering customers a relevant product or service that complements their purchase. Upselling is the process of increasing a customer’s value by encouraging them to purchase extra services or products – particularly of a higher price range. However, how can you effectively ensure you’re increasing insurance sales with these techniques? Here’s a couple of our favourite strategies, give them a go!
Ask Cross Sale Related Questions During Quotes
When you’re attaining the relevant information to produce a client quote, they don’t know what questions you need to ask. So why not ask anything? Therefore, this is your opportunity to find out other needs or wants they may have.
Fulfil Your Clients Most Pressing Needs First
It’s easier to cross-sell to clients when you’ve actually created a foundation of trust and respect beforehand. Don’t be tempted to jump straight to the next product or service you’re trying to cross or upsell. Your client needs to feel valued, listened to and respected; if not, you’ll just come across as disingenuous, and they’ll likely take their business elsewhere. So, focus on their most pressing needs or challenges first, satisfy them and then try to delight them with an additional extra.
4. Incorporate Testimonials & Reviews
Social proof is an intriguing psychological phenomenon that all sales professionals should familiarise themselves with. Considering that 86% of millennials say “user-generated content (i.e. tweets, videos, pictures, or content created by unpaid contributors or fans) is a good indicator hallmark of the brand’s quality. Therefore it’s imperative to encourage customers to share their purchases via your social channels.
Genuine connections are becoming the face of marketing, and when people talk – they boast of their satisfaction for your product or service, and all of a sudden, they’ve advertised your business for free. Testimonials are everything; they’re authentic and invaluable to generate new leads. So it’ll come as no surprise that relying on word of mouth will have a higher generation and conversion rate.
Ask For Referrals
Referrals don’t cost anything, and they arrive with a high level of trust built-in. Therefore, they are carrying a high degree of credibility vital for professionals to increase insurance sales.
While most say they would prefer to receive customers through word of mouth, many haven’t created a strategy around getting referrals. So they end up waiting by the phone or checking their email in hopes of getting referral business. Hope, however, is not a strategy. Instead, ask your current and former clients, and even those that rejected you.
Mainly because they might have declined to hire you for any number of reasons—perhaps they couldn’t afford you, they didn’t have the budget at the time, the timing wasn’t right for them to proceed, or their priorities changed. But they could still see value in what you offer.
Part of developing your strategy is sensing the right timing. No one likes to be surprised or put in an uncomfortable position by being asked aggressively for referrals. It’s useful to set the stage during your initial conversations or meetings with prospects to let them know what to expect. Try saying something like, “Now that you are looking into our services, you’ll probably start noticing a lot of other businesses that could benefit from this sort of service. In the same way, you came to my business through a referral from a good friend of yours, and I would like to ask you from time to time if you know of two or three people who could benefit from my service. Would that be all right with you?”
Then be sure as you’re working with them in the weeks and months that follow to ask them again if they know of two or three people who could benefit from your service. It’s instrumental in asking this after a customer has had something nice to say about how you have helped them. Tell them you’re happy to hear that and then pop the question.
You always need to be asking for referrals. Remember that establishing, building and maintaining partnering relationships with clients contributes to your overall success and personal selling success.
5. Use Social Media to Increase Insurance Sales
So what are the benefits of utilising Social Selling for increasing insurance sales?
Let’s look at the Performance Benefits of Social Selling by comparing Users of Social Selling with All Others. These numbers are from a whitepaper published by Hootsuite sourced by Aberdeen Group.
- Total team attainment of sales quota 64% versus 49%
- Customer renewal rate 55% versus 48%
- Sales forecast accuracy of 54% versus 42%
- Per cent of sales reps achieving quota 46% versus 38%
When it comes to prospecting on Social Media, you need to start by finding out where your target audience ‘hangout’ online, then join the conversation.
You need to know where your target customers are congregating on social media. Success in social selling requires discovering the top three ways of consistently reaching a large number of your ideal target customer. Why three ways? Well, to avoid putting all of your eggs in one basket with just one way and to avoid spreading yourself too thin in time and money in more than three ways. Sticking to your top three ways of consistently reaching a large number of your ideal target customer is manageable and will keep you focused.
In order to position yourself as the ideal solution provider, you’ve got to stand apart from the competition by proving your expertise. The way to achieve this is to establish yourself as an authority, as a thought leader, and as an expert in your industry. Engage your audience by posting updates that are interesting and relevant. Share with them all the knowledge you have.
When it comes to selling using social media, you could sell through pre-recorded videos, sales pages, live webinars or virtual face-to-face meetings using video conferencing software. With the vast selection of tools available, you need to find what works for your product or service and your customers.
No matter what tool you use, plan your benefits in advance and know how to overcome common objections.
Empower Advisors To Grow & Maximise Current Accounts
The financial services industry is facing a crisis.
Trust is at an all-time low, which makes generating new business challenging. Not to mention that insurance sales advisors are now competing with technology, complex, intangible products and, of course – endless competitors.
That’s why SOCO’s Insurance Sales Training program equips participants with the vital application skills needed to identify opportunities in current customer accounts. As well as generate new business and focus on high ROI activities such as upselling and cross-selling.