- Approaching clients warmly with a handshake may help you appear friendly during consultations.handshake image by Du...?an Zidar from Fotolia.com
With some exceptions, like auto liability insurance, insurance within the United States is optional as of 2010. The fact that people are not required to have insurance makes it hard for agents to sell their insurance products and get paid, since many insurance agents work purely on commission. Over time, most insurance representatives learn techniques to boost their sales.
- Although people will buy insurance based in part on a logical, rational analysis of the product and their situation, people also buy based on emotion, as asserted by Bryan Eisenberg of the ClickZ marketing advice website. To sell insurance well, you thus should start out by getting to know your client. Ask her general questions about herself and her family to establish trust--the questions don't need to be insurance-related. Then use her responses to connect her to the need for insurance on an emotional level. For example, you could say something like, "I'm a mom, too, so I know you don't want your daughter to have unnecessary stress after you pass. Do you think insurance would allow her to cope more easily?"
- In some cases, your prospective policy holder won't always see the policy you're trying to sell as necessary. In this case, you have to create the need. This means explaining all of the situations in which the policy might be applicable and the policy holder liable. Tell the client statistical information to back up your explanation, such as "60 percent of pet owners need to go to the vet with an emergency within a year." Latch onto statements from the initial consultation to show the need specific to your client; that is, make the policy seem personal.
- If selling on emotion does not work, you'll need to give your client some time to think about the policy purchase. One technique here is to step away into another room at the end of your consultation--tell the client you just need a cup of coffee or a visit to the restroom. This gives the client a chance to process everything you have told him without feeling bullied. Return to the room after a few minutes and ask him how you can get the policy purchase started for him. You may find this technique particularly effective for married couples or partners where more than one person may be involved in the policy purchase.
Do the Math
- Some clients may resist buying a policy only because they do not know how they will afford the premium. Here the trick is to politely ask the client if you can help her do the math to find the necessary money in her budget. For example, you might point out that she could find another $40 a month just by downgrading her cable service, or that she could save another $50 by going out to eat just five times a month instead of ten. You then spend some time convincing the client that the value of the insurance is worth these lifestyle changes.