Whether you’re a new agent just opening your agency’s doors or an experienced one looking for novel ways to reach a new generation of insurance buyers, there’s always something new to learn in the world of insurance sales. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of inspiration to spark your imagination or give you motivation to try a different tactic. To this end, we’ve compiled 25 proven best practices and insurance sales ideas from successful agents across the country. Take a read through, and see if there are any you should implement.
Use this blueprint to lay the foundation for your insurance agency: 5 Smart Ways To Set Up Your Insurance Agency For Success
25 Best Insurance Sales Ideas For Agents
1. Invest in a CRM.
"Even the best agents don't close 100% of their leads because there will always be people who are not ready yet. Having a CRM that automatically emails past leads and reminds agents to make occasional calls can make a huge difference in business. I have made dozens (possibly hundreds) of sales from past leads who contacted me from an automated CRM email months after I got the original lead."
Larry C. Medcalf, MedCard & Medcalf Advisors Inc.
2. Know how to work a sales process from start to finish.
The success rate of insurance agents depends heavily on whether or not they have a proven sales process in place—and know how to execute it backward, forward, and in their sleep. (Tweet this!)
New agents often cobble together different types of sales processes from things they’ve heard and researched. You don’t have to do this! We’ve written extensively about sales processes that actually work for insurance agents (and we have the data to prove it). Here are our top resources for agents just getting started:
- The Insurance Agent Sales Process Quick-Start Template is a practical, easy-to-use guide for improving the planning, activation, and conversation phases of your sales process. It’s useful for brand new agents as well as agents who want to boost their sales numbers.
- Achieving a 16% Bind Rate: How Mark Jameson Uses EverQuote Leads & Defined Sales Process for Continued Success: In this white paper, a top P&C agent walks through the sales processes and techniques that have helped him achieve an average 16% close rate on leads across his four offices.
3. Hire the right producers & train them in best practices for working leads.
Here are some resources:
- Insurance Agency Hiring: Top Agents Share 10 Tips For Hiring Successful Producers
- Hiring A Producer: How Much Does Insurance Experience Matter?
- Insurance Producers: How Agency Owners Hire, Train & Manage Top Performers
- 6 Best Practices For Training Your Agency's Producers
4. Use sales-specific producers if possible.
Successful agents we work with suggest hiring producers who focus only on sales or only on customer service (instead of trying to do both). Learn why in our article, Hybrid Vs. Sales-Specific Insurance Producers: Which Is Best?
5. Dial out as soon as you receive a lead.
To have the best chance at a sale, your team should be prepared to dial out to a lead immediately upon receiving it.
6. Be willing to phone prospects at any time.
Some leads just won’t be able to talk during regular business hours. To give your agency an edge, work when other people aren’t willing to—nights, weekends, and even holidays, if that’s what it takes to find a convenient time to meet with your prospects.
7. Find common ground with every person you talk to.
Agents who focus on numbers exclusively and neglect to build relationships with their prospects and customers will eventually become burnt out, because there is no meaning behind the work they’re doing. How can you avoid that? From your first call, find common ground with the person you’re contacting. Here’s why it works.
8. Don’t purchase or source just one type of lead.
When you’re starting out, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. There are many different lead types you should consider, and you can read about each of them (and their pros and cons) in this article.
9. Always ask for referrals.
If you’re not asking for referrals, you’re missing out on one of the best and easiest ways to bring new customers to your agency. The good news is that even if you don’t have a referral program, there are a plethora of resources available to help you create one from scratch or grow an existing referral program.
10. Cross-sell your products.
The more you can cross-sell, the more likely it is that a customer will stay with you and refer more business to you. And because cross-selling increases retention and your revenue with little to no acquisition cost, it’s the easiest way to boost your business! (Learn more: Insider Tips For Insurance Cross Selling.)
11. Don’t count out direct mail to find new prospects.
"Direct-mailing a list of new prospects works because it identifies people with a basic level of interest in the product I'm selling, which makes them more likely to agree to an appointment to discuss further."
David Duford, Final Expense Agent Mentor LLC at BuyLifeInsuranceForBurial.com
12. Set measurable goals for your agency.
Goal-setting is the first step toward helping you realize your agency growth targets, because if you don't know where you want to go, it's going to be tough to get anywhere. Find out what to avoid when you’re goal setting: Insurance Producers & Agents: Doing These 9 Things Will Tank Your Sales Goals.
13. Use scripts for your calls if you’re nervous about cold calling.
Scripts are a great tool for easing anxiety and gaining confidence as agents and producers are learning to cold call.
14. Know what to say when you face common objections.
Knowing the right things to say in any given situation will contribute to your success. Many agents use scripted game plans, called talk tracks, to help prevent conversations from going off the rails.
We created a free guide that includes talk tracks around four common objections:
- “I didn’t request a quote.”
- “I’ve been called too many times.”
- “Why are you calling me! I wanted to do this online!”
- “I can’t talk right now.”
Download it and give it to all of your producers to make sure your team’s not losing out on deals because of objections they can easily overcome.
15. Utilize sales templates as much as you can.
One of the best insurance sales ideas is to use templates for any sort of communication you send multiple times, especially in email and text message form. One of the top P&C agents with his carrier in the country, Perry Olson, has shared several of the text and email messages his team sends to both insurance prospects and customers, and you can access them all in this playbook—absolutely free.
Engage leads and prospects in the ways that are easiest for them. Download Perry Olson’s Ultimate Insurance Text + Email Playbook
16. Learn sales prospecting methods from leaders in the company.
To be one of the best, you must learn from the best. Be bold in asking sales leaders in your company if they could mentor you or provide some one-to-one feedback or training.
17. Know your follow-up cadence for every call.
Did you know there is a statistically proven method for boosting lead revenue by up to 128%? If you aren’t using it to guide your processes already, you are missing out on potentially binding more policies and boosting your profit. Get the details here.
18. Make sure you’re emailing prospects in addition to calling them.
The average ROI of an email is significantly higher than any other marketing channel—but too many agents aren’t emailing prospects and customers the right way. Here’s how it should be done.
19. Close the book today, but reopen it down the line.
A “no” today doesn’t mean a “no” forever. The most successful agents don’t take no for an answer when it comes to whether a prospect wants to sign up for insurance on any given day —they follow-up down the road, giving a prospect time, before they write off a lead for good. We'd suggest periodically reaching out to each lead for at least 90-days before moving on.
20. Make sure your website is optimized for getting leads.
Put a contact form on your website, so any prospects who land there looking for more information have a “next step” to take. Be sure that you are clearly telling them what to do and what they will get in return, i.e., “Fill out this form to get an auto insurance quote” or “Fill out this form to schedule a meeting.” Then, make sure you follow up with every lead who fills one out!
21. Use social media as the precursor to your sales strategy.
While you shouldn’t count on social media to be a lead generator, you should take advantage of it as a way to build rapport with your audience (many of whom are potential customers). You can get all of the do’s and don’ts regarding social media best practices for agents in The Ultimate Social Media Playbook For Insurance Agents.
22. Don’t focus solely on close rates.
If you’re focusing only on your close rate numbers, you’ll miss the other things in your sales process that helped you achieve it. For example, it wasn’t just that your close rate was ten percent; you had to spend $5,000 with a team of ten producers contacting a thousand leads to generate that ten percent. That example differs greatly from an agent closing ten percent off of twenty referrals. Rates change, scales of economy differ, carriers fall off, companies issue new policies, etc. Focusing solely on close rates makes it easy to forget how you got to that place, and you may end up ignoring marketing channels or parts of your sales process that could benefit from adjusted sales goals.
23. Look beyond the world of insurance for sales tips and tricks.
Sales knowledge is vast and not confined to the insurance industry. Look at sales strategies and tips from other industries, too; these tips almost always translate to our industry, and they can help you understand different ways to approach your process.
24. Take a sales training course.
Take at least one type of sales training course to improve your skills in this area, and encourage your team to do the same. (Sandler Training, Challenger and Craig Wiggins Coaching all are great options to look into.) Gaining the right sales mindset is one of the most helpful things you can do.
25. Purchase leads to give your agency more opportunities to succeed.
For many successful agents, the formula for using leads to bind more policies is a simple one: Lots of quality leads purchased equals lots of opportunities. (Wondering what we mean when we say “quality lead”? Learn more about different types of leads in our article, Auto Insurance Leads: Exploring Every Option. ) This particular agent attributes his success over two years largely to using EverQuote leads exclusively alongside his polished sales practice.
Why EverQuote leads?
EverQuote leads provide qualified insurance leads—it’s what we do better than anyone else! When you choose EverQuote to help fill your pipelines, here’s what you can expect:
- An abundance of insurance leads that will keep your producers busy working auto, home, and insurance products in all 50 states.
- Customized leads based on your preferred geographic area.
- Leads that aren’t resold at a future date. You can work the leads you purchase without worries about new competition from the same source.
- Live transfers for auto, home, and life policies.
- The ability to return leads with incorrect information.
EverQuote partners also benefit from our onboarding process. It teaches you about best practices for sales, how to talk to internet leads, and more. Lastly, you can pause your account at any time, with no consequences. Ready to get started? Click here to get a tour of EverQuote’s tools with one of our experts.