Enthusiasm as a sales technique

Sales agents should not discount enthusiasm as a technique for selling insurance. Being able to transfer a feeling about a product or service is the key to making sales. An enthusiastic presentation of a policy or program that would benefit a potential customer or existing customer yields sales.

Striking the proper balance between enthusiasm and over enthusiasm or appearing to be faking the emotion can be challenging. There are two strategies for appearing to be genuinely enthusiastic. The first strategy is to begin using vocabulary that displays enthusiasm. Such words include: fantastic, great and spectacular. The second strategy is to recall a situation where you felt enthusiastic. Keeping this event in mind will help you sound more enthusiastic.

As long as sales agents commit to enthusiasm as a sales technique, an insurance agency could see substantial sales growth. The enthusiasm for a product affects your customers. They get excited along with you and begin to see the value and potential in the product you are selling.

How to increase sales in the changing world of marketing

Whether you are just starting out or have been in the insurance business for a long time, increasing sales can prove to be challenging. With the rapidly changing area of social media apps, trying a new tactic to increase sales may be difficult but not impossible. The most important thing to remember when trying new ideas, meant to improve sales, is to take on innovation one step at a time.

Today most insurance consumers do their research on the internet. In fact potential consumers will rely on online ratings and reviews for purchasing new products. In other words, the marketing world is changing in tune with developing technology.

The shift in marketing involves new approaches like:

  • individual marketing
  • customer focus
  • word of mouth is key
  • customers control the message

With this shift in consumer behavior, marketing companies, including insurance, should invest time in learning new apps and technology. In order for this to be successful, it is important to fully explore and master new technologies and apps. You have to remember that these apps are marketing tools which will bring in revenue.

New technology serves to grow your business in three major ways:

  • increasing sales
  • improving customer engagement
  • increasing customer loyalty

Remember that in the new ever-changing maketing environment, techinical knowledge is not neccessary for bettering marketing techinques and boosting sales; curiosity is key.

Looking for Cheap Insurance Leads? You Get What You Pay For

We’ve all heard that old saying, “You get what you pay for.” The moral of that homily is never more graphic when it comes to buying a cheap tool to build a project. It breaks down or just does not work the way you wanted it to work and you end up having to go get a good, reliable tool that gives you the results you want and need.

Cheap tools and insurance leads have a lot in common. If you buy cheap leads, that is precisely what you get – chewed up leads that have already been worked by up to seven other agents. A waste of your time and definitely a waste of good marketing money. Focus your spending on the good stuff, the exclusive to you only leads that have a high conversion rate because they are pre-screened and pre-qualified.

True enough, exclusive high quality leads are a bit more expensive, but they are worth the investment. It’s like another old saying that rings true: “You have to spend money to make money.” Buy the best in leads; get the best in consistent customer conversions. Is it worth paying more? Yes. Your agency’s bottom line and your sales record definitely reflect what high quality leads can do for your sales track record.

Here’s another way to also look at it. You are in business to makes sales, make a living and help others. The only way to accomplish that is to get the best leads possible. Leads that you know are going to convert, either fairly quickly or within a six to eight week time frame. If you work those pre-qualified leads like a trooper, you get the results you want – quickly. Why waste time sitting on the phone chasing someone who has already spoken to numerous other agents? Go for the gold to get the gold. It’s just that simple.

How to Follow Up Insurance Leads

Following up insurance leads is not rocket science, but there is a certain approach that works best when checking back with potential customers.

What do you do with prospects when you were only able to leave a message on an answering machine? You have not spoken to them personally, so what kind of approach would work to stay connected with them? Better yet is the question: Did you leave a message? You may or may not be surprised to learn that many insurance agents in the process of calling leads do not leave a message when they encounter an answering service.

Sometimes there may be a good reason for not leaving a message, say for instance the agent has a bad cold or was interrupted by another call or staff member. However, if you do not leave a message, it is the same thing as not having made the call in the first place. No gain. Waste of time. No follow up. No sale. No connection. Not a particularly good use of dialing time either.

Here’s a good rule of thumb for those pesky answering machines: always, always leave a message no matter how much you may not like talking to a machine. The person obviously wants to hear from you or they would not have a machine on the line to capture calls in the first place. Hang ups are the most annoying thing in the world next to telemarketers. No, you are not a telemarketer if you are calling leads. Leads are individuals who asked for someone to call them about insurance.

Listen to the message. Leave your name and contact numbers. Mention you have the information they wanted and you would like to find out if there is anything else you may help them with while discussing their insurance needs. Do not leave your website url because you want to speak to them, not send them to a website. Sending them to a website means you do not know what they want or need. You can only uncover that information by speaking to them directly.

Now that you have left a message, what’s next for follow up?

If you have their email information, send them an email letting them know you are trying to call them. Let them know you would be happy to help them with their insurance needs and would be pleased to meet with them at their convenience. Yes, it’s true. There are times this approach backfires. That is something that comes with the job.

Just do the best you can with the leads you purchased from an reputable online lead generation company, one that provides quality leads with a high rate of conversion. A significant portion of those types of leads are going to convert either when you first make contact, or later down the road, provided you make certain to stay in touch.

What’s the big secret to sales success?

The big secret to sales success is maintain a relationship with your leads and follow up, follow up and follow up. It’s no mystery that diligence wins the day and the sale.

Summing it all up to sell insurance

If you don’t have it all together when you make calls to leads and remember that each step toward selling insurance needs to be followed diligently, you may not be as successful as you would like to be. It is hard work to call people you do not know and try to sell them insurance. They may feel it is too expensive, even though they may well have asked for an agent to call them with information.

The thing to remember when calling leads is that you are running a business and in order to keep running it successfully, you need to make your calls and convert those leads. Leaving hot leads in your mailbox for a couple of days diminishes the chances of a sale and increases the chances that the prospective customer thinks no one is going to call.

You need to be very organized when you prepare to make calls to insurance leads. Have everything right at your fingertips: your script, any sales literature pertaining to special policies, Medicare information if you specialize in Medical supplements, information on the latest trends in the insurance market that may affect a consumer, a ready smile and a drive to succeed. Yes, you do smile when you are on the phone. It’s infectious and can be hear by your potential customer.

Everyone has bad days, but leave those angry feelings at home or at the door of your business before you pick up the phone to call. You are marketing yourself, and you want to do it the right way. You must know your policies inside out, how they can be adapted to buyer’s needs, what carriers can do special exceptions for a potential customer, and how you can make your lead’s life a lot easier and safer with the right insurance policy.

The more you work on your selling skills the better you get at selling insurance. It just takes the will, drive and dedication to make it all come together and build your business.

Close the sale — not asking leads to close means no sales

There is no sense in working a lead diligently and then not asking for a sale, otherwise referred to as closing the sale. Sure, you may be unsure as to whether or not the prospect is going to convert or not, but if you leave the closing question unasked, you are left in limbo, and “maybe” sales don’t count.

Act like you have the sale in the bag. Talk like they are going to convert. In other words, simply assume there is going to be a sale and nine times out of ten, you will have asked at the right moment to get a lead to buy. While the tenth one may be elusive and say no, “no” does not necessarily mean “no, never.” It may mean “no, not right now.” That is why you continue to work leads even after they have declined to purchase.

You have done your part correctly if when you step back and analyze your call with the lead, you have been leading the individual to the close the entire time you were talking. It’s all in how you close that makes the difference to your sales figures. Sure, there are lots of ways to close, but the easiest one is to simply assume it is a sale and say a friendly “Let’s get your application into underwriting and get your final rate figured out.”

If your close does not work, take the time to find out what the core objection may be and then work to overcome it. Ensure you have a firm follow-up time that you both agreed upon. You may be able to work around their objections and come up with a solution that fits their needs like a glove. Just be prepared for that now-and-then customer that got away and just will not buy insurance, no matter what you say or do. It happens. It is part of the job. Just dust yourself off and get back to work. There is always another prospect on the horizon.

Effective Marketing Approach written by Kirby Thomas

Recently, Benepath sent out a social networking blurb. I am a “fan” of social networking, but sometimes I fall short since the task of managing several forms of social media can be time consuming. This is true especially when the number one thing on any given day is the all important transaction that occurs when we sell something. In fact, a perfect day can be described as one where I receive 1) a good lead, 2) a completed application that was previously sent out, 3) notice of a pending case just approved, and 4) notice that an issued case just “went paid.” That would mean that all of my efforts are paying off.

So, how does social media or networking figure into all of that? One way that it works for me is that I post articles and other items that appear online, such as at MoneyTips.com. This is a portal where consumers ask questions and I answer them. A couple of my articles appear there, too. But more to the point of getting sales moved forward, I use those articles and Q & A sessions as online items of credibility. I also use them as my in-house email auto-responder messages when I receive a lead and the prospect does not pick up the phone. They are used in follow up messages later, as well, to keep the dialogue open or to compel an action.   

We all want to encourage those to whom we’ve sent an application to return it. Rather than simply say “Hey, send that app back already!”, I send them a link to my article on “Simplifying life insurance products”, or the one on “How to get meaningful and accurate life insurance quotes.” Will she read it? She may, or she may not. But, having sent it, I’ve pointed to a well written topical item that this expert has posted on an objective web portal. I’ve kept my proposition from dying a quiet death by staying in front of her, and I did so without actually saying to her that it has been 5 weeks and it is time to get off the dime and send that application back.

The point is this: social networking supported by fresh content that sits on the web will give those who see my name something more to connect to. My approach to insurance, my picture, my intelligence, and my willingness to share useful tips and advice are all right there – in my own voice. The definition of a personal network is “a set of human contacts known to an individual, with whom that individual would expect to interact at intervals to support a given set of activities.” That interaction at intervals will require content that you wish to share across the network so that you don’t just say “Hello, it’s me”, but rather “Hello, it’s me. This is what I do when I am helping others. It may be the case that I can help you, or someone that you know. In the meantime, here is something that I’d like to share.” Next month, something new is there to share. Think of it as a message arc that spans weeks and months, and it is your job is to supply interesting stuff for those who are interested.

Am I a social networking expert? No. Am I a person who understands the power of effective marketing? Yes. Right message, right medium, right audience = marketing. Combining social networking with business objectives amounts to just that; marketing – but with a self propelling element that makes it so that you show up in places you never thought you would. Previous to now, your business card got stuck in a wallet and that was the end of the trail. Now, your message goes out and has the potential to keep on going. One day, I know that I will get a new prospect and when I ask “how did you hear about us?” I will likely hear an answer that I could not have guessed, since I have no idea how far (or where) the message went. My first thought will be “Perfect!”

Kirby Thomas

You Own Your Business – It Is Not Just a Job

New agents tend to look at their new insurance business as a job. That is a big mistake. Since you own your business, you need to work to make it viable.

It is an investment in your future and a labor of love. You would not be selling insurance if you did not see it as being a calling you could dedicate yourself to wholeheartedly by helping people get the right kind of insurance coverage.

It makes sense to sit down before you get started and figure out how much money you want to earn. It’s part of your roadmap to success. As part of that calculation, work with figures that cover how much you intend to spend for each application you write. Do you have limits? Do you have preferences for the kinds of applications you write? Do you want to work in a particular niche? These questions form the backbone of your strategy for success in building your insurance business.

Make sure to separate your personal expenses out from your business expenses. Getting those two things intermingled is a recipe for disaster and the IRS frowns upon it. How do you keep your expenses separate? Easy. Have a dedicated credit card for the business and any business expense goes on it, not your personal credit card. It’s not that difficult to get used to distinguishing what is and what is not a legitimate business expense. When in doubt, ask colleagues what they consider to be business expenses. You learn as you grow.

Along with a business only credit card, make sure to also have a business only bank account. That is even more important when it comes to keeping track of your sales and expenses. It’s your monthly snapshot of the health of your insurance agency and its growth and shows if you are on track.

The third element you need is either an online bookkeeping program, like Inuit or Quick Books or do it the old fashion way. Whatever works. You just need a way to keep track of your income and expenses. If you don’t like the idea of doing your books online, talk to a brick and mortar accountant or bookkeeper. Just be sure to cross your T’s and dot your I’s when it comes to tracking your success.

Final Expense Leads — Work Them Diligently to Grow Your Agency

Selling insurance is difficult, but there are ways to succeed. Do not give up on yourself, because all things are possible when it comes to selling insurance.

One of the biggest reasons agents fail is because they give up on themselves and decide they cannot sell final expense insurance, that no one wants it and that their dream of being successful is just smoke and mirrors. One of the biggest myths held by many agents is that they only need to speak to people about insurance and they will see the light of day and purchase a policy. Although that sounds easy, it is anything but.

If selling insurance were as simple as telling someone why they need it, all agents selling final expense insurance would have booming businesses. While some do, others do not. What is the difference between the successful agents and the not so successful agents? Often the answer is lack of a specific skill set. Selling insurance is not a skill mastered overnight. It may take many months or years, depending on an agent’s learning curve.

New agents often find themselves in a panic on a daily basis wondering where their next meal is going to come from. Being on commission can either develop an agent’s skills very quickly or else encourage them to seek a salaried position elsewhere. However, with the right training, a positive mindset and the drive to succeed no matter what, any agent, even if they are new to selling final expense insurance, can work those leads like a pro and succeed.

Where does an agent start? Right from the very beginning. Ask other agents how they sell final expense insurance and how they work the leads they get from a lead generation company. Find out how they talk to their customers about that kind of policy, how often they keep in touch, what information they send, how they make their customers and potential customers feel like friends and not a sales target. There is a knack to it and if you are selling insurance because you want to help people, then you are bound to learn quickly and learn what works the best for you.

The reality is that a lead is just a lead. It does not work itself. It does not convert on its own. It does not say yes to whatever you propose. It does not always appreciate your phone call either, no matter if they asked for information. While this can be upsetting, the point is to not take it personally and keep working with a prospect to show them you are genuinely committed to helping them find what they need, not sell them something they wish they had never agreed to in the first place.

Most importantly, when you work leads, maintain a business mindset. It’s not enough to chat on the phone and provide information to people asking about insurance policies. All leads must be worked with due diligence. An agent needs to be prepared for the ups and downs of working with leads and needs to realize that success is only to be had in the long-term. Nothing worth working for happens overnight. Invest in yourself and the rest follows.

As an Agent, How Well Do You Know Your Medicare Supplements When You Call Leads?

Do you intimately know all the ins and outs relating to Medicare supplements? When you call leads do you know the latest information to pass on?

There are 10 Medicare supplement plans and a high-deductible version of Plan F. That’s pretty much a given, and some agents may stop there. But what if the lead you are calling needs a better deal? Do you know that the original Plan F outshines and outperforms all other plans? It is considered by most to be the “be all end all” of Medicare supplement plans and is expensive. In some respects, it is a luxury plan. But is there a less expensive alternative?

Why is the answer to that question so important to know when talking to leads you are working? It is important to know because many of the leads with whom you discuss Medicare supplement plans do not know about Plan G. It is similar to plan F. In fact, it is almost identical. So why is it not presented to potential clients more often? In many cases, agents do not want to sell Plan G because it costs less and they make a smaller commission selling it. Think about that for a minute.

Plan F is costly. An agent makes more commission on it. Plan G is less expensive and agents make less of a commission. This is what is called thinking backwards. Instead, sell more Plan G, have a higher volume of sales and very loyal customers because you took the time to explain to your leads that they don’t have to spend a lot of money to get good coverage. That is what being an insurance agent is all about. Helping people find what they can afford and makes sense for them and their budget, not what makes sense for an agent’s commission check.

It’s a new way to regard product offerings as having the potential to appeal to Medicare supplement leads. With very little work, an agent could sell a large number of Plan G supplements and have a decent commission check at the end of the month. Being an insurance agent is about finding the best policy to suit a customer’s situation and budget. Do that and you are bound to have leads convert to sales.


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