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How to Get Started With Selling Life Insurance

Insurance Agent Development
Aug 10, 2021
minute read
Nectar Team
How to Get Started With Selling Life Insurance

Selling life insurance is an excellent career option for many individuals. The median wage for agents in 2020 was $52,180, while the top 10 percent of agents earned over $127,840 during that time.

With such high potential earnings, it makes sense that so many people gravitate toward this career path. However, it's imperative to understand that those earnings are directly dependent on individual performance. The following tips will help you learn how to sell life insurance and broaden your client base.

Become an Expert on a Life Insurance Product

Insurance agents tend to be more successful when they master a few products upfront instead of trying to be a jack of all trades. Mastering a product means knowing more about it than your competition and providing clients with valuable insight and tips on that product.

For a deeper understanding, consider the medical field. A general practitioner learns about many different things, but that knowledge is limited in comparison to specialists. If you go to see your general practitioner, they can treat you for minor issues. However, if you have a brain or heart issue, they have to send you to a neurologist or a cardiologist — specialists in those fields. They know how to address brain or heart trouble and potentially treat life-threatening problems. As such, these specialists make a great deal more money than general practitioners.

The same holds true for life insurance agents. Those who focus on mastering one product initially tend to make more money, as they can offer more specialized wisdom and insight to potential clients.

For a greater chance of success selling life insurance, consider the following tips:

  • Pick one area that is familiar to you. Perhaps you have some first-hand insight into how final expense life insurance works after the passing of a loved one.
  • Pick a personally relatable area. Maybe you recently spent a lot of time looking into term life insurance for yourself and your family. Because you already know what it's like to be on the client end of the spectrum, you have a greater understanding of how it works and the benefits it can provide.

Choosing a product that falls into one of these categories can help you start your insurance career on solid footing and is often the best way to sell life insurance.

Potential Life Insurance Products to Start With

The life insurance industry is full of great product options to specialize in, such as:

  • Final expense life insurance
  • Term life insurance
  • Whole life insurance
  • Variable life insurance
  • Variable universal life insurance
  • ‌Group life insurance
  • Indexed universal life insurance
  • Mortgage protection

Pick one or two to start with and add more later if you wish.

Gain Knowledge Through Real-Life Experience

Any time you start a new job and go through training, you have the opportunity to ask questions. Unfortunately, it's common to have few or no questions at all during training, as it can be challenging to be aware of your knowledge gaps until they come up in practice.

For example, if you were to start a job as a server in a restaurant, you might think of a few questions while in training. However, you likely wouldn't think about the ingredients in a particular dish until a customer asks about them.

The same goes for selling life insurance. You can read all of the books and training materials you can get your hands on, but they will only teach you so much. Much of your knowledge will only come from experience.

Don't think you need to learn it all before you head out into the field. Gather all of the knowledge you can from your available materials, but know that every day is a learning experience.

Understand Your Target Market

Once you've chosen your area or areas of specialization, it's time to complete one of the most important life insurance selling tips: study your target market. Understand their challenges, goals, and how your product can help them.

For example, term life insurance is most prevalent in people aged 25-45 who are working their way through key life events. This is typically the age group buying homes, getting married, building families, and saving for kids' college funds. They usually have a lower net-worth than older age groups and higher debt-to-income ratios.

Knowing these facts can help you understand the market on a more personal level. It's fairly easy to see that many people in this age group worry about what would happen to their families if they passed away. A wife and mother of three, for instance, is likely concerned about whether her family could stay in their home and pay bills if she were to lose her income.

As such, she is probably looking to ensure that her spouse has everything they need to take care of these things. Insight makes it much easier to determine your target market's needs and help find potential solutions.

Sell the Benefits, Not the Product

Consumers are often on guard when they sense a sales pitch coming on. Not many people enjoy being "sold to," so you'll need to handle your prospects with care. Don't focus on selling your insurance product. Focus instead on selling the benefits your insurance product provides.

Here's where your research from the previous step comes in handy. When you study your target market and understand their pain points, it's much simpler to determine how precisely your product can help your prospects.

Consider approaching the husband and father from the previous example. If he’s already focused on ensuring that his family is cared for, the last thing he will want to hear is that you want him to spend money on something. He's already working to save money for his family and keep it secure. If you focus on selling the product, he will probably turn away from you quickly to protect his family's money.

You will probably get much better results if you focus on what exactly that life insurance product can do for him. In this case, you might paint a picture of how term life insurance would help his family pay off their mortgage and help the kids save for college if he were to pass away.  

A relatable scenario like this can help him understand how purchasing term life insurance is an investment in her family's future. And remember, always do what’s best for the prospect.  

Simplify Your Pitch

Another way to make your sales strategy more effective is to keep your sales pitch simple. Remember when you are out prospecting that your target market is not full of insurance specialists, and your presentations are not a test. You'll spend most of your pitch time prospecting to people with no insurance background and little to no understanding of complicated or technical life insurance terms.

Your prospects don't want to hear industry jargon and complex explanations. Instead, they want simplified language that clearly explains how your product will help them.

When designing your presentations and pitches, remember who your audience is. Write the language as though you're speaking to a friend. This will put your prospects more at ease and make your presentations go more smoothly.

Build Your Toolbox

As time goes on, you can add products to your toolbox. You'll most likely find yourself learning about more products throughout your career and adding new areas of specialization as a result. Learn and add when you can, but be sure that you master each new product thoroughly before moving on to the next one.

Be Consistent

It's important to prospect consistently. You will not sell to every single prospect you meet, but the more you prospect, the more you will sell. Try these tips to help:

  • Determine whether you want to sell life insurance full-time or part-time. This decision will impact everything from the number of leads you generate to the number of people you meet with regularly.
  • Set a goal for a specific number of sales presentations to do each week. Full-time life insurance agents should aim to complete anywhere from 10-15 presentations each week. Part-time agents might aim to complete 5-7 each week.
  • Sell to large markets to have plenty of leads. It's hard to complete 10-15 presentations each week if you don't have a large enough market. Choose mass-market products, such as term life insurance or final expense life insurance.

Have a Consistent Flow of New Leads

When it comes to being a successful life insurance agent, the biggest challenge is lead generation. There are several steps you can take to find quality leads:

Company leads

Many life insurance companies provide their agents with leads. This can be helpful, but it also comes with a price: a lower commission. The company takes part of the money you make in exchange for giving you the lead in the first place.

Start a website

You can create a website for your agency to help generate more life insurance leads, but it takes work. Having a website that converts visitors into leads requires you to do more than simply list your contact information and the products you offer. You have to provide valuable content to attract leads in the first place.

For example, you will need to write useful, engaging content (think articles like "10 Ways Term Life Insurance Benefits Your Family" or "What's the Difference Between Whole Life and Term Life Insurance?") Making this effort is worth the reward, and establishing a converting website should certainly be part of your lead generation plan. However, building the website, getting it to rank in search engines, and building a following takes time. You likely will not see the results of this effort for a while.

Leverage Social media

Social media has become a popular tool for generating leads and making sales. Unfortunately, it's similar to creating a website in that it takes time to build your following, create unique and valuable content, and attract customers.

Get Referrals

Another useful way to generate leads is to reach out to your current clients. You can ask them for referrals (friends and family members) who might benefit from using the life insurance products you sell.

It's also important to remember that your current clients' needs will adapt as their lives change. While they may have needed term life insurance when you first started doing business, you can revisit them later to discuss the benefits of switching to a whole life plan.

Buy your leads

Each of the tips above can provide its own benefits, but sometimes you need a helping hand when you're first starting out. Thankfully, there's a simpler way to get your life insurance career off to a strong start by buying life insurance leads.

Benefits of Buying Leads

Buying leads as an insurance agent has proven to be quite fruitful and beneficial. This is especially true when purchasing through companies that have high standards, such as Nectar. We provide the following benefits when buying insurance leads:

  • We collects valuable leads through a variety of platforms that attract shoppers looking to buy now. This means that our leads are already open to the idea you want to sell them.
  • The shoppers' information is provided to you within minutes of them expressing interest. This helps with contacting shoppers while your product is still top of mind.
  • Nectar only receives the initial money you pay for the leads. Unlike insurance companies, it does not take part of your commission when you close the sale.
  • It frees up your time. By purchasing high-quality leads, you can focus your time and energy on mastering your product, completing presentations, and closing sales. You'll also have the opportunity to work on other lead generation methods, such as your website, without missing potential clients.

A Final Word

If you're committed to mastering your insurance products, generating leads, and consistently prospecting, you're well on your way to establishing an outstanding career in life insurance. Use Nectar and the tips above to give yourself a strong start.

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This article reflects the features of Nectar as of the date of publication. Features are subject to change at any time. This article is meant for informational purposes only, it is not a guarantee that using Nectar will help you achieve specific business or financial results and is not intended to serve as the sole recommendation for any business financial decisions.

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