Selling insurance is different from selling everything else. Insurance is one of the most expensive things people buy and they can’t see it, touch it, or hold it. You’re selling ideas. You’re selling trust. You’re selling promises. But most importantly....
You’re selling yourself.
This is such a huge challenge that most insurance salespeople quit in the first 2 years and many agents are afraid to hire inexperienced salespeople. I hate to see young producers fail and even more, I hate seeing agents miss out on the largest pool of cheap, passionate, and open-minded talent.
If you know a young insurance salesperson please pass this blog post along to them. And if you are one:
Follow these 15 tips to be an inexperienced but insanely successful insurance salesperson:
1. Dress More Professionally
Obviously, if you dress more professionally clients are more likely to take you seriously. I don’t need to convince you of that.
But when you’re the sharpest dressed person in the office your coworkers and your boss will take you more seriously and most importantly, you’ll take yourself more seriously!
Sometimes confidence comes from the outside in. If you look the part everyone, including yourself, will start to believe it. There is a reason why the saying is fake it until you make it.
2. Find Common Ground
Regardless your prospect’s age or background there’s always something you have in common. Find it.
Did you grow up in the same neighborhood? Like the same baseball team? Shop at the same grocery store? Do you both share any of the same interests?
Ask questions and figure it out so you can focus on the commonalities and skip over the rest.
3. Ask Prospects About Their Kids
If you’re trying to sell to someone much older than you, try to find out if they have a child or grandchild your age and ask a lot of questions about him or her.
You’ll prime their brain to think about their loved one. This makes your prospect more likely to buy from you since they would want someone else to do the same for their child.
Plus, while you may be young and inexperienced, if you’re more polished than their child you’ll come off as a real professional by comparison.
4. Reference Combined Experience
Remind prospects that they’re not buying only from you. Here is an example a newer producer might say to a potential client:
“I passed my licensing exam 3 months ago and I’m so lucky because our office has over 45 years of insurance experience! In fact, every single policy I write is double-checked by the owner of the agency.”
If experience may be an issue for your prospect, make sure they know you’re up to your ears in it!
5. Be Enthusiastic
Have you ever seen an infomercial without enthusiastic people? Maybe one where the person couldn't open a drawer, or somehow spill a bowl... but even those people look excited while it's happening!
Everybody likes enthusiasm and as a young salesman, you can display unbridled enthusiasm without looking like an idiot. People will just think you’re young and have a lot of energy.
They’ll like it. And they’ll buy into it.
6. Follow the Markets
If want to relate to a more mature and professional audience, follow the stock market. You don’t have to be an expert, just know enough to ask questions that don’t make you sound stupid.
After you’ve qualified someone by asking if they follow the market, ask something like, “What sectors do you think are going to do the best in the next quarter?”
And don’t turn into one of those Cramer wannabees who think they always know the sleeper stock or the next penny crypto to moon. It’ll make you look inexperienced to someone who has followed the market for years.
7. Listen to Your Phone Voice
Record your voice on the phone while talking to some clients. Do you sound smart? Do you sound confident? Do you sound like a little kid who picked up the phone in Daddy’s office?
Avoid words like "um", "uh", or "oh" as it will take away from your credibility and you will sound less confident. Confidence is key in sales, and especially with insurance.
Consumers want to know they are talking to a trusted advisor, so be that person... and most importantly, sound like it!
8. Don’t Ignore Sales Fundamentals
I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but Facebook, Twitter, Text Messages and QR Codes don’t sell insurance.
Of course there are tools that can make things easier and more effective for agents, but social media will never replace the basics.
Read “How To Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. It was written in 1936 and teaches you how Teddy Roosevelt, Henry Ford, Benjamin Franklin and a lot of other old people become successful long before Mark Zuckerburg.
Everything in that book is just as relevant today as it was 75 years ago.
9. Speak Less, Listen More
As a young or inexperienced salesperson, there’s always an impulse to demonstrate your knowledge. You want prospects to see you know your stuff because you’re a bit worried about it yourself.
The more you talk or explain things they didn’t ask about, the more obvious it is how much you don’t know. And the more likely you’ll elicit a question you can’t answer!
10. Be Better Prepared
If your inexperience makes you feel inadequate as a salesperson then find a way to get around it. Work harder, work longer, learn more about your products. Have an answer for every possible question.
Read books about sales, listen to sales audio tapes, go to seminars about sales. Get in front of a mirror, a colleague, or a friend and practice your sales scripts, practice your rebuttals, your closes.
Nothing comes to you. Prepare yourself and go get it. The best sales people I have ever met were prepared to answer anything and knew how to ride the wave of a conversation knowing when to ask for the close.
11. Expect to Live In the Trenches
Selling insurance is hard, hard work. Insurance agents you see with big houses and nice cars playing golf around the world didn’t get there overnight. They sold and sold and sold... and sold more.
It’s the only way to become super successful in this business and if you want to be successful you’re going to have to do it too.
12. Become a Marketing Expert
You can’t rely on the agency or carrier you work for to come up with all the marketing ideas and generate leads. You’re not just a salesperson, you are a marketer.
If your agency is falling short on bringing in new business, then use companies like ours to generate new business for you!
13. Don’t Use Jargon
Nothing says “bad salesperson” more than using jargon to someone that doesn’t understand it.
There is no better way to show prospects you don’t care about them than by using terminology no one outside your industry should know!
When you’re new, you have a unique advantage of being able to relate to clients as an outsider. People will actually relate better to you if they feel like you’re still on their side. You haven’t crossed over to the “insurance salesman” side.
Don’t use jargon, it only makes you look like you’re hiding something.
14. Recognize and Act on Buying Signals
I’ve witnessed a lot of new salespeople shoot themselves in the foot because they didn’t know when to shut up. When someone is ready to buy, let them do it!
If it’s that important to explain everything then go ahead and do it… after you get their signature and a check!
15. Don’t Sell on Price
I get it… people are shopping on price, they’re comparing on price, and they’re buying on price.
You buy everything on price too, right? Wrong. Here’s the bottom line:
If you honestly believe people only buy on price then quit today. You’re in the wrong business and the industry doesn’t need you. The entire industry will suffer if you don’t get out now.
To give you an example on this, there are companies out there who pride themselves on not being the cheapest option out there, but instead sell on... you guessed it... the value they provide to their clients and the transparency many consumers crave.
Following these 15 tips as a new or experienced agent will help you get ahead of the curve and learn this amazing industry faster than your peers, and in no time you will be the old dog in the office ready to show someone new the ropes!
Tell us what you think! Have you experienced any of these issues when you were new? How did you overcome the obstacles to be the success you are today?