If you’re a relatively established agent with experience selling auto or home insurance, you may have asked yourself the question, “How can I diversify my portfolio and break into the world of life insurance sales?”
If you haven’t had much experience selling life insurance products, it can feel like quite a leap to go from insuring tangible items, like homes and cars, to lives. Every vehicle or home owner needs insurance, after all, but life insurance often feels like one of those optional extras that only folks over a certain age tend to think about.
However, if you’re willing to learn the ropes and be persistent, selling life insurance can be just as rewarding—if not more so—than what you’re doing now. You can not only expand your income but also help families of deceased loved ones stay on their feet in the face of sudden tragedy. Helping clients replace their cars and personal items certainly offers an emotional reward as well, but for recipients of life insurance payouts, not having to worry about financial security after a devastating loss can mean everything.
With that in mind, here’s a quick rundown of how to get started with some successful strategies for selling life insurance, including practical tips you can begin using today.
How to start selling life insurance in addition to home and auto plans
1. Talk about life insurance.
Sometimes, what would seem to be the simplest thing to do is actually the biggest hurdle: shifting the customer conversation to life insurance. You’ll never sell any life insurance policies if you never mention that it’s an option!
Think about how comfortable you already are selling home and auto policies. You’ve probably had countless conversations around these products and you’re so familiar with the details you could list them in your sleep. So it’s natural to expect some awkwardness—especially at first—when you bring up the topic of life insurance, particularly if your customer hasn’t clearly expressed an interest in it. It might feel like you’re trying to needlessly upsell them or shoehorn in an extra sale that they might not really want.
But to sell an insurance plan, you have to be comfortable talking about it. You must be able to run through the details with ease, explain the benefits confidently, and answer common questions. And the best way to learn how to navigate those conversations is to begin having them as soon as possible. If you prefer, try having the first few conversations with family, friends, or even people you meet at networking events.
2. Use emotional language, but back it up with facts.
There’s a saying in sales that people buy out of emotion and then justify with logic. As closely as you can, you’ll want to mirror this progression from emotion to logic in your conversations.
When the conversation begins, paint a picture of why a life insurance plan is so important. If you can load the interaction with emotional trigger words, it can be extra impactful. No one wants their family members to “struggle” after a “devastating loss,” for example.
Once the customer understands emotionally why having a life insurance policy is so important, you can move on to the logical, factual reasons they can use to justify the purchase as a good decision.
3. Focus on the benefits to the customer.
Insurance policies are complex. Even for the agents who explain them and sell new plans every day, they can be quite complicated. For the average, everyday customer, insurance plans might as well be written in another language.
Transparency is great, and you always want to explain any details to customers who ask specific questions regarding the policy. However, try not to get too lost in the weeds by running through each plan line by line. Instead, steer the conversation toward how the customer will benefit from buying the insurance plan. This is a positive way of explaining what the plan does in a way that sounds appealing rather than overwhelming.
4. Make sure you’re selling a quality product.
One of the key aspects that will affect how you succeed in life insurance sales is whether the quality of your insurance plan holds up under scrutiny. You need to have both a quantity of conversations and a quality product to be successful.
You can talk about life insurance policies with everyone you meet, but if your policy falls short on benefits and doesn’t offer the coverage people want, you’re going to have a hard time selling any plans.
As an agent under the umbrella of a larger agency, you may have limited control over the details of each insurance plan. But when you do have control—or if you feel comfortable bringing your concerns to your agency so the policies can be reviewed—it’s always going to be more helpful to the customer and to your bank account if you make sure the plans offer high quality benefits.
5. Keep life insurance policies complimentary to the customer’s auto and home insurance.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes for a moment: It’s far easier to take the leap on a life insurance plan you didn’t set out to purchase if it’s bundled with the home and auto insurance you did set out to buy. This is doubly true if the bundle results in a great deal with plenty of benefits and significant cost savings.
If a customer with a car loan is purchasing insurance from you, for example, you could offer to pay off the car loan with the payments on the life insurance policy. That offers a clear financial benefit to the customer, as well as the peace of mind knowing that their loved ones will be taken care of if the worst should happen.
6. Perfect your follow-up.
It’s common for customers to want to think about such a major financial decision before they take the leap. Many people will want some time to discuss options with their spouse or even shop around a little bit.
It’s up to you to make sure your company stays in the forefront of their minds while they think it over. Be persistent, friendly, and helpful, and never forget to check back in with a potential customer who expressed some interest in purchasing a plan.
7. Keep yourself accountable by measuring what you can control.
As you learn to sell life insurance, you’ll need to develop a thick skin for rejections. So many agents take negative reactions personally, but you can’t afford to let every rejection hurt your feelings if you want to be successful. After all, it’s difficult to have the necessary quantity of conversations when each “no” seems like a personal blow.
Instead of measuring your success based on “yes” answers, which you can’t always control, keep track of the things you do have control over. The number of conversations you have about life insurance in a given month, the clarity and efficiency with which you explain each policy, or even the effort you put into following up on potential leads are all far better ways to judge your own success, especially when you’re first getting started.
8. Always return to the following four key areas.
The steps we’ve covered above all fit into four main categories:
- Mindset: Building your confidence to talk about life insurance, getting your head in the right place to have effective conversations, and handling rejections
- Activity: Getting out there and actually having those conversations on a regular basis
- Training: Improving your conversational skills and fully learning the details of each insurance plan
- Follow-up: Reaching out to customers later to try to close the deal
If you find yourself struggling or confused about what to do at any point, chances are one of these four areas is lacking. If you can return to these key principles time after time, you’ll be able to keep yourself on course for success.
Keep your pipeline full with high-quality leads from EverQuote.
When you’re ready to make the leap into selling life insurance, EverQuote is here to connect you with eager customers. With EverQuote, you can start off on the right foot by contacting leads who have already expressed interest in buying life insurance. In fact, you’ll be able to contact interested shoppers just seconds after they request a quote. Knowing your customers already want to buy life insurance propels you over the first and largest hurdle (bringing it up in conversation) and puts you on the path toward consistent, successful sales.