How to Sell Insurance

How to Sell Insurance

How to Sell Insurance with Integrity & Make Good Money

We need more educated and client-centered agents in the U.S. If you are here wondering just how to sell insurance, you are in the right spot. We need people like you, and we at Medicare Life Health are here to help.

Insurance sales is an honorable profession. You can make very good money doing it. Moreover, it offers you freedom and flexibility. So, let’s dive in.

Why Sales?

Sometimes, true-blue sales positions get a bad wrap, and this especially goes for insurance sales. In fact, I think one of my first introductions to the profession was in Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day. Murray’s character encounters “Ned” the life insurance salesman whom he tries to avoid in all but one of the cycles of his ever repeating day.

While making fun of the life insurance salesperson did make for pretty good comedy in Groundhog Day, it certainly shows how society can negatively view sales.

I recently read about LinkedIn’s efforts to improve how salespeople are seen in their campaign “The Real Face of Sales.” LinkedIn says their campaign wants to debunk misconceptions about sales. They say,

“Real Sales is about generating personal bonds with clients, solving problems and providing personalized value.”

I couldn’t agree more. Sales is important, and insurance sales is even more important now than ever.

Why Insurance Sales?

How to Sell Insurance

If you are a Gen X’er, Millennial or even Generation Z, your country needs you. Insurance sales is an aging profession, and we are losing agents to retirement faster than we can replace them. Moreover, more and more people need insurance agents, especially in life and health.

10,000 Baby Boomers are aging into the Medicare system every day, and they need health insurance agents. Also, life insurance agents are needed as insurance products become more complex and are used for a variety of different solutions.

I recently wrote an article for www.MillennialMoney.com that detailed out why you should consider insurance sales. You can read the whole thing here, but to point out briefly your opportunity, I’ll quote myself with some startling statistics here:

Aging Agents & Retiring Boomers

Let’s look at a few numbers:

  • 60. That is the average age of an Insurance Agent.
  • 60,000. According to ThinkAdvisor, the industry will need 60,000 new agents every year for the next ten years to maintain agent numbers. However, as agents retire, the industry will need to grow, not just maintain, to keep up with demand.
  • 48,300. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states insurance sales is a faster than average (at +10%) growth profession. It needs 48,300 additional agents over the next ten years.
  • 10,000. That is how many Baby Boomers will hit Medicare age (65) each day until the year 2030. The “Silver Tsunami,” is the media’s name for this cultural wave. It has created a unique opportunity for insurance sales that smart agents are capitalizing on.

Why Sell Insurance as an Independent Agent

There are two kinds of insurance agents, captive agents and independent agents. Captive agents work for one insurance carrier and are sometimes even employees of this company. They must sell their company first.

Independent agents are more entrepreneurial types that pick which carriers they want to sell for and can represent many companies at one time.

Being an independent agent can take the pressure off of having to push just one plan or one product. For example, in the Medicare Industry, the U.S. is seeing a rise in popularity of Medicare Advantage (MA) programs. These are good plans for many people but having more options can make the decision process more confusing for seniors.

Independent agents that represent both Medicare Advantage Plans as well as Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans can educate seniors on the benefits and drawbacks of both ways to set-up Medicare without pushing or selling a particular plan or carrier.

Don’t get me wrong, captive agents can be great agents too. There is a need for both, and you need to discover what is best for your situation. I am only saying, there is an important distinction between selling and educating, and being independent helps you to do both, easier.

How to Sell Insurance – Getting Started

After you have decided why you want to sell insurance and if you want to be captive or independent. You will need to decide what kinds of customers you enjoy working with. This will then help you to decide what kinds of insurance to focus on selling.

Step One: Picking Your Customers

Picking your customers is a huge part of learning how to sell insurance. Moreover, it is often the main reason why you will want to continue in your insurance business or quit before you even begin to see results.

If you like your target customer group, identify with their needs and desires, and feel satisfied by helping them, then you will want to stick with it. It is so important then that you set-up your business to work with people you like. People that keep you energized instead of bringing you down. People that make you smile or laugh and that you are genuinely interested in.

How to Find Your Market

Here are some questions to help you decide who you like working with.

  • Do you like working with young adults, young families and working professionals? Then try Life Insurance and Disability.
  • Or, do you like working with older adults and seniors? Then try Medicare and Final Expense.
  • How about small business owners? Try commercial insurance lines.
  • If you are all around kind of gal/guy – there is always room in P&C for those that like the hustle.

Make sure that your market brings you up, and does not pull you down, and it will be much easier to not only stick with it, but love what you do.

Step Two: Finding Your Support System

Yes, you can go at this all alone, but it is much easier with a support system. It will help you get off the ground faster, and it will keep you going when you want to quit.

When I first started selling insurance, I went with a very formal support structure and joined a large Insurance Group. I was “independent” but was trained and supported on one particular insurance brand that I lead with. This can be great if you meld quickly with the culture of the local office, but I didn’t really find my groove here. So, after a test run, I quit working with this group.

It wasn’t until 2 kids and a stint with a corporate job later, that I figured out where I suppose to be. Moreover, discovering what kind of support I needed.

Now, I work as an independent agent, with a small insurance agency that specializes in Medicare as my support system. I have an “upline” mentor that helps me sell and even helps me set appointments, all for an override on my business. This works out great for me because I am still completely independent, but I have someone to call when I need help or need encouragement.

You need to find out how much support and flexibility you need. From corporate to “mom-and-pop” there is a support system for everyone.

Step Three: Contracts & Training

Contracts and IMO’s

As an independent insurance agent you will need to decide what carriers you want to represent and then get contracted and trained with them. This is tricky to do all on your own. So you will need to find an “Insurance Marketing Organization” (IMO) to help you get contracted and hold your contracts for you.

I found an IMO that happened to be headquartered right here in my hometown of Omaha – Senior Market Sales. They were very helpful in directing me to what carriers were appropriate for my location and market. They also were the ones that introduced me to my upline and mentor.

Training

Once you are contracted with a carrier, you will need to be trained on their products. This is especially true for Medicare Advantage sales where you need to take a Federal training and pass a test each year to be able to sell this line. On top of that, Medicare Advantage and Part D drug plan sales require you to test on individual products with each carrier before you can sell them.

Training is huge for all types of insurance, and it goes beyond just initial product training. In order to be good at selling insurance, you need to fully understand the various products and how they can all be used to add value to your customers lives. Therefore, you must be the kind of person that doesn’t hate training and learning. It doesn’t have to be your favorite thing, but if it is, then you will have a leg up on every other agent.

Writing this blog has been one of the best things I could have done to fully understand the products I sell. Moreover, it has helped me in getting more sales! I can’t tell you how many times people ask for my cards to give to all their friends at the end of an appointment. When they do this they tell me that was the best explanation of Medicare and Medicare Advantage they have ever heard and all their friends and family need to hear it too.

Fully training on and understanding the products will help you to be more helpful to your clients and more creative with your solutions for them.

How to Sell Insurance – Getting Out There

After you are contracted, trained, networked and ready to go, it is time to get out there!

Creating a marketing plan that works and evolves as you evolve is an ongoing process. The full extent of this project is beyond the scope of this article, but we have a free resource for you to begin or continue what you may already have.

If you have not already, please sign-up for our Agent Newsletter. Sales and marketing are the main focus on this newsletter and it will introduce you to both traditional and digital ways to meet your dynamic customer base. Here is where you can sign-up:

Conclusions and Actions

In Summary, we need more insurance agents right now. There is a great opportunity available to those that want a fulfilling career helping others protect themselves and their loved ones. Will you join us?

I would love it if you would reach out to me directly with any questions or thoughts. Please email me or leave a comment below!

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