How to be Successful Selling Life Insurance

Author:Shelden SmollanChief Experience Officer
Shawn Redford
Reviewed by:Shawn RedfordChief Business Development Officer
November 17, 2023
14 Minute Read

Explore the best practices and tips for selling life insurance, from developing genuine client relationships to overcoming rejections and objections.

An agent selling insurance successfully

The Significance of Life Insurance in Safeguarding Financial Futures 

Life insurance is more than just a product. It is a promise that you make to your clients to protect their families and their dreams. As a life insurance agent, you have the opportunity to make a positive difference in people’s lives by helping them plan for their future and achieve their financial goals.

What Is a Life Insurance Policy, and How Does it Work?

Life insurance is a contract between your client and a life insurance company. If your client pays the premiums and meets all the policy requirements, the death benefit is a tax-free cash payment that will be sent to your client’s beneficiaries when they die.

Life insurance is a financial product, protection, and investment. Life insurance helps policyholders realize their personal and family objectives and guarantee their financial future and that of their loved ones.

The primary types of life insurance are term life insurance and permanent life insurance policies. Term life insurance covers fixed periods like 10, 15, or 20 years. It is the cheapest insurance, but if your client renews at the end of the term, the costs may rise. Your customer can convert term life insurance to permanent life insurance for lifelong coverage and other benefits.

Permanent life insurance covers your client for life if they pay the premiums. Whole life insurance, participating life insurance, and universal life insurance are permanent. The cash value option in some permanent policies invests some of your client’s premium in a growing account. Your customer may be able to withdraw or borrow from this money while alive.

How Do You Help People Find the Right Life Insurance Policy?

As an independent insurance agent, you have the responsibility to educate your clients about the benefits and features of different life insurance policies and help them find the best life insurance option for their needs and budget. You should consider factors such as:

  • Your client’s income and net worth
  • Your client’s family needs and lifestyle
  • Your client’s debt, financial situation and other obligations
  • Your client’s existing insurance coverage
  • Your client’s future plans and aspirations

How to Sell Life Insurance Successfully?

As an insurance sales agent, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives by helping potential customers protect their family members and achieve their financial goals. You will work with clients to assess their needs, explain the different types of life insurance policies available, and guide them through the life policy application process. You, as an insurance salesperson, will also build long-term relationships with your current clients and provide ongoing service and support on a personal level.

If you are looking for a career selling life insurance that offers a challenge, variety, and satisfaction, selling life insurance as an independent agent might be the right choice for you.

How Do You Become a Successful Life Insurance Agent?

Becoming a successful life insurance agent requires more than just selling insurance policies. It requires building trust and strong relationships with your potential clients. Here are some tips to help you succeed in this rewarding career before you start selling life insurance:

  • Get licensed and certified. You need to pass a licensing exam and meet certain educational and ethical insurance industry requirements to become a licensed insurance sales agent in the USA. You may also need to complete additional business courses or certifications to sell certain types of policies or work with certain companies.
  • Find a mentor or join a team. You can learn from experienced insurance brokers who can guide you through the process of finding leads, selling insurance, building relationships, and managing prospective clients. You can also join an independent agent team or an agency that can provide you with training, resources, sales tips and support.
  • Market yourself and generate leads. You need to promote yourself and your services to potential clients through various channels, such as referrals, business networking, lead generation, social media, advertising, marketing online, etc. You need to create a professional image and a personal brand that showcases your expertise and value proposition to generate more leads.
  • Follow up and close sales. You need to follow up with your leads and prospects regularly and persuade them to buy from you. You need to use effective communication skills and sales techniques to overcome objections and close deals.
  • Provide excellent service and retention. You need to maintain contact with your clients and provide them with ongoing service and support. You need to review their life insurance policies periodically and suggest changes or upgrades if needed. You need to handle their claims and complaints promptly and professionally. You need to build loyalty and referrals by providing them with exceptional customer experience.
Two insurance agents looking over the details of the products they sell

Understanding the Product Inside Out 

Understanding the product inside out is a crucial skill for successful agents. It means having a comprehensive knowledge of the life insurance business and policy details to effectively communicate business benefits, terms, and conditions. You should also keep up to date with insurance industry changes, new product launches, and market trends. Here are some reasons why this skill is important in selling life insurance:

Comprehensive Knowledge

Knowing the policy details, benefits, terms, and conditions can help the agent to explain the product clearly and accurately to the client, and answer any questions or concerns they may have. It can also help the agent to recommend the most suitable policy for the client’s needs and goals, and avoid any misunderstandings or disputes later on. Having comprehensive knowledge can also boost the agent’s confidence, credibility and enhance their reputation and trustworthiness in life insurance sales.

Continuous Learning

Staying updated with industry changes, new product launches, and market trends can help new life insurance sales agents to adapt to the evolving needs and preferences of the clients, and offer them the best solutions of life insurance coverage available. It can also help the agent to identify new opportunities, challenges, and stay ahead of other agents. Continuous learning can also foster the agent’s curiosity and creativity, and stimulate their personal and professional growth.

Building Genuine Client Relationships

Life insurance agents must build real customer connections. It involves building a trusting relationship with the customer and forming a mutually beneficial collaboration. Tips for building true customer relationships:

  • Cultivating trust is crucial for successful relationships and life insurance sales. Transparency and honesty regarding the product, pricing, advantages, and dangers build trust. Keep commitments, provide outcomes, and follow up with clients to preserve trust. Trust helps agents earn customer loyalty, make recommendations, and more often sell life insurance.
  • Actively listening to clients’ concerns, anxieties, and financial objectives is essential for giving effective solutions. Active listening involves listening to the client, asking open-ended questions, paraphrasing and summarizing, and exhibiting empathy and interest. Active listening and good communication skills helps agents understand clients’ pain areas, motives, and expectations and customize their approach.
  • Create a strong personal brand: This is how an agent presents themselves to others and how they want to be viewed. The agent can stand out, display their knowledge and value offer, and attract their target customers by building a strong personal brand. A professional look, distinctive selling proposition, consistent messaging, and favorable reputation may build a personal brand.

Developing a Strong Personal Brand 

Developing a strong personal brand is how you present yourself to the world, and how you want to be perceived by others. It can help you stand out from the crowd, showcase your expertise and value proposition for the best life insurance sales opportunities, and also attract your ideal clients. Here are some ways to develop a strong personal brand as an agent and sell life insurance:

Digital Presence: Life Insurance Marketing

Utilizing social media, websites, and online reviews can help you establish credibility and visibility online. You can use these platforms for life insurance marketing to share your knowledge, insights, testimonials, and success stories with your audience. You can also communicate effectively with your potential customers by cold calling and contacting your existing clients to provide them with valuable information and tips. Life insurance marketing can help you build trust, reputation, and awareness for your brand.

Networking

Joining industry associations, attending seminars, and community involvement can help you get an additional benefit and expand your life insurance network and connections. You can use these opportunities to meet other professionals and best agents from life insurance companies, learn from their experiences, and exchange ideas and referrals. You can also showcase your skills, sales tips, expertise, and personality to your peers and prospects. Networking can help you gain exposure, recognition, and support for your brand.

Setting Clear Goals and Tracking Performance

The ability to set objectives and measure success is crucial for every insurance professional. It involves knowing exactly what you want to accomplish and how you want to evaluate your success along the way. Here are some suggestions on how to organize your business  objectives and evaluate your progress:

Bar, line, and pie graphs coming out of a laptop

SMART Goals

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound objectives are referred to as SMART goals. Using these factors, you may create objectives that are both achievable and worthwhile. Saying “I want to sell more policies” is rather vague, while “I want to sell 10 policies worth $100,000 each by the end of this quarter” is far more specific. This aim is well-defined (what, how much, and when), attainable (within your reach and capabilities), relevant (aligns with your personal and professional ambitions), and time-bound (has a deadline).

Routine Evaluation

You can keep tabs on your progress and analyze your results by reviewing your sales analytics, conversion rates, and customer comments on a regular basis. Spreadsheets, dashboards, reports, surveys, and customer feedback are just some of the techniques that may be used to keep tabs on your data. You may evaluate your progress against both your own targets and the standards set by the industry at large. By analyzing your progress on a regular basis, you can better adapt to changing conditions and make any required modifications.

Enhancing Sales Techniques 

Enhancing sales techniques is a key skill for any agent. It means applying effective and persuasive methods to convince the client to buy the policy that suits their needs and goals. Here are some tips on how to enhance your sales techniques as a life insurance sales specialist:

Solution-Based Selling

Solution-based selling is a sales approach that focuses on how life insurance addresses the individual needs and problems of the client, rather than on the features and benefits of the product. Solution-based selling can help you to build rapport, trust, and value with the client, and show them how your policy can solve their pain points and improve their situation. To apply solution-based selling, you need to conduct a thorough needs analysis, identify the client’s main challenges and objectives, and present your policy as the best solution for them.

Objection Handling

Objection handling is a sales skill that involves preparing for common concerns and offering informed responses that overcome them. Objection handling can help you to address the client’s doubts, fears, hesitations, and persuade them to take action. 

To handle objections effectively, you need to listen carefully, empathize, acknowledge, and respond. You also need to anticipate the possible objections that the client may have, such as price, timing, or trust, and prepare your answers in advance.

Continuous Professional Development

Continuous professional development is an important skill for life insurance agents. It means pursuing lifelong learning and improvement to enhance your knowledge, skills, and competencies in the industry. Here are some tips on how to pursue continuous professional development as an agent:

Certifications

Pursuing advanced industry certifications can help you stand out from the crowd, demonstrate your expertise and credibility, and increase your marketability and income potential. Certifications can also help you stay updated with the latest trends, regulations, and best practices in the industry. 

Mentorship

Seeking guidance from successful industry veterans can help you learn from their experiences, insights, and advice. Mentorship can also help you expand your network, gain exposure, and access new opportunities for more sales. You can find a mentor by joining industry associations, attending seminars, or reaching out to someone you admire or respect in the industry.

Experior CRM

Utilizing Technology 

CRM systems are customer relationship management systems that help new life insurance agents efficiently manage their client relationships and follow-ups. CRM systems can help agents to organize, track, and optimize their interactions with their clients, and improve their sales performance and customer satisfaction. Here are some tips on how to use CRM systems to sell life insurance:

Efficiently manage client relationships and follow-ups

CRM systems can help you store and access all the information about your clients, such as their contact details, policy details, preferences, needs, goals, and feedback. You can also use CRM systems to schedule appointments, send reminders, follow up with leads, and manage referrals. CRM systems can help you streamline your workflow, sell life insurance, save time, and increase your productivity.

Leverage apps and software for presentations, quote comparisons, and client communication

Customer Relationship Management systems can also help you leverage various apps and software that can enhance your presentations, quote comparisons, and client communication. 

For example, you can use apps and software to create engaging and interactive slideshows, videos, or infographics that showcase the benefits and features of your policies. You can also use apps and software to compare different quotes from different insurers and show the client the best options for their needs and budget. You can also use apps and software to communicate with your clients via email, text, phone, or video call, and provide them with timely and personalized service.

CRM login page

Taking Care of Self-Motivation and Resilience

Taking care of self-motivation and resilience is an important skill for any agent to sell life insurance successfully. It means maintaining a positive and optimistic attitude and coping with the challenges and setbacks that come with the sales process. Here are some tips on how to take care of self-motivation and resilience as a life insurance agent:

Overcoming Rejections

Accepting that rejections are part of the sales process, and not taking them personally. Rejections can be caused by various factors, such as timing, budget, or preference, that are beyond your control. Instead of dwelling on the negative, you can use rejections as an opportunity to learn, improve, and move on. You can also celebrate your successes, no matter how small, and reward yourself for your efforts.

Two insurance agents high fiving each other

Self-Care

Stress management, regular breaks, and maintaining work-life balance. Stress can affect your physical and mental health and impair your performance and productivity. You can manage your stress by adopting healthy habits, such as exercising, meditating, sleeping well, and eating well. You can also take regular breaks to relax, recharge, and refocus. You can also maintain a work-life balance by setting boundaries, prioritizing your tasks, delegating when possible, and spending time with your family and friends.

Reiterate the rewarding nature of a successful career in life insurance sales

A successful career in life insurance sales can be very rewarding, both personally and professionally. Here are some of the benefits of being an independent agents:

  • Helping people: As a life insurance agent, you can help people protect their loved ones and their assets in the event of death, disability, or critical illness. You can provide them with peace of mind and security and make a positive difference in their lives.
  • Earning potential: As a life insurance agent, you can earn a good income based on your sales performance and commissions. You can also enjoy various incentives and bonuses, awards, and recognition. You can also have the flexibility and freedom to set your own schedule, goals, and pace.
  • Personal growth: As a life insurance agent, you can pursue continuous professional development and enhance your knowledge, skills, and competencies in the industry. You can also learn from successful industry veterans and mentors and expand your network and connections. You can also challenge yourself and overcome obstacles and develop your self-motivation and resilience.
An insurance agent talking to his team

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions About Selling Life Insurance

Here are some answers to the frequently asked questions about selling more life insurance

How profitable is selling life insurance?

Selling life insurance can be profitable if you have the skills, knowledge, and motivation to succeed in the industry. However, this can vary depending on your experience, location, commission rate, and insurance sales performance. Some of the factors that can affect your profitability are your lead generation, prospecting, closing, and retention strategies, as well as your expenses, such as marketing, licensing, training, and office costs.

Is selling life insurance a good business to get into?

Selling life insurance can be a good business to get into if you enjoy helping people, have a passion for insurance sales, and are willing to work hard and learn continuously. Selling life insurance can offer you many benefits, such as flexible schedule, unlimited income potential, passive income, personal growth, and rewarding career. However, selling life insurance also comes with many challenges, such as competition, regulation, rejection, and stress. Therefore, you need to have a clear vision, a strong work ethic, and a positive attitude to succeed in this business.

What is the secret to selling life insurance?

There is no one secret to selling life insurance, but rather a combination of skills, techniques, sales tips, and habits that can help you achieve your insurance sales goals. Some of the key elements of selling life insurance are:

Understanding the product: You need to have a comprehensive knowledge of the policy details, benefits, terms, and conditions, as well as staying updated with industry changes, new product launches, and market trends.

Understanding the client: You need to conduct a thorough needs analysis, identify the client’s main challenges and objectives in his age group, and present your life policies as the best solution for them.

Building trust: You need to cultivate trust with your client by being transparent and honest about the product, the costs, the benefits, and the risks. You also need to keep your promises, deliver your results, and follow up with your client regularly.

Handling objections: You need to prepare for common concerns and offer informed responses that overcome them. You also need to listen carefully, empathize, acknowledge, and respond to your client’s doubts, fears, and hesitations.

Closing the sale: You need to persuade your client to take action by highlighting the value proposition, and asking for the sale.

How to convince people to buy life insurance?

Convincing people to buy life insurance is not about manipulating or pressuring them into buying something they don’t want or need. It is about providing clients with the right information about life policies, educating and informing them about the importance and benefits of life insurance, insurance policy cash value, and how it can help them protect their loved ones and their assets in the event of death, disability, or critical illness. Some of the ways to convince people to buy life insurance are:

Use stories and examples: You can use stories and examples of real-life situations where life insurance made a difference or where the lack of it caused problems. You can also use testimonials or referrals from your satisfied clients or from people they know and trust.

Use facts and figures: You can use facts and figures from reliable sources to show the statistics and trends of mortality, morbidity, and financial risks that people face. You can also use calculators or tools to show how much life insurance they need and how much it costs.

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Shelden Smollan
Shelden Smollan, Experior Financial Group's Chief Experience Officer, has spent more than 45 years working in the fields of Life Insurance and finance. He is an excellent insurance sales and management executive with exceptional strategic thinking, marketing, and leadership abilities. He has been Experior Financial Group Inc.'s Chief Experience Officer for the past six years, and his vision and expertise have been instrumental in the company's growth and development. By arranging meetings between agents and carriers so that our team of associates can learn from them and draw inspiration from them, he has assisted our IMO in expanding.