Insurance exam study tips

5 Sales Skills Needed to Sell Insurance

You’ve passed your insurance exams. You’ve gotten the job with the agency, or struck out on your own. Now, you’ve got to actually convince people to buy your insurance products, or the bills won’t get paid, the groceries will dwindle, and all the hard work and learning will be for naught. But you’ve never sold before, other than the popcorn and candle flyers you used to bring home from school, that is. So, how do you know if you CAN make it as an insurance sales person? The good news is that selling insurance takes skills that you can learn. You may already possess some of them. We’re going to look at 5 of them today.

  • Asking the Right Questions

    NEVER ask a prospect a question that could end with a “No”. The reason? They’ll tell you just that, and your sales pitch will be dead in the water. Ask targeted questions. Ask about goals and plans. Ask about current conditions. Ask the right questions that will lead them to the realization that you have a product to offer that they need. Get them to say “yes” without asking them to say it. Those are the right questions to ask.

  • Listening

    The art of listening, truly listening, is becoming a treasured relic of the past. Most people are so busy talking that they forget they have to listen to the other person speak. Your prospect will tell you what you need to hear. You can’t ask the right questions if you don’t listen to the answers. You can’t know your prospects’ needs if you don’t listen to them tell you what they are. Listen with intent and interest. It’ll be a win-win for all concerned. (It also makes you appear to be truly interested in them as a person, and not just a prospective sale. More on that later.)

  • Poise when Presenting

    You’re going to have to talk to them, as well as just ask questions and listen to their answers. Be confident. Be as professional as you can be NATURALLY. (They’ll know if you are pretending to be something you really aren’t.) Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know, but I can find out for you” when presented with something you don’t know, or are in any way uncertain about. Honesty is better than telling an untruth for the sake of looking like a hot shot know-it-all. Conduct yourself with poise and ease and you’ll have a successful sales presentation more often than not.

  • Persistence

    No one ever got anywhere in sales by quitting after the first “No, thank you” whether it was polite or not. No one ever got anywhere in sales by being intimidated when a prospect said “no, thank you.” A sales person has to have a tough skin and a go-to-it attitude. The first thing to do when an offer is rejected is to simply make another offer for another product. Perhaps they are happy with their life insurance, but not so much so with their homeowner’s policy. Or their auto insurance. Offering them something else can lead to a sale. If they flat out refuse, move on to the next prospect and try again. Keep trying. Sales is nothing but a numbers’ game. Keeping a steady flow of prospects in front of you is one sure way to win at it eventually.

  • Organization and Focus

    You can be organized but still be unfocused. You can be focused but greatly disorganized. By combing the two, you can become an unstoppable force in sales, and in life. Keep your files and papers in order. Set up a calendar weeks and even months ahead. If you are just starting out and haven’t many appointments yet, fill the time with other tasks like setting up computer files, reading industry articles and reports to keep you constantly learning and on top of your game. Spend the time building relationships with existing clients through phone calls, emails, or social media. Showing them that they are valuable to you will make loyal customers out of new sales. Stay focused on your people, and on your processes, and your sales will continue to grow.

It doesn’t take much to make it in sales, but it does take the right attitude and the right set of skills. Put these 5 skills into practice and you’ll have a leg up on the competition, no matter how tough the market may be.