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10 Questions Every Life Insurance Agent Needs to Ask Their Prospects

Sales Enablement
Dec 7, 2021
7
minute read
Jacob Tegtman
10 Questions Every Life Insurance Agent Needs to Ask Their Prospects

You may have heard the saying "Show, don't tell." It highlights an important truth: People are more affected by experiences and discovering something for themselves than by someone simply telling them facts or information. 

What does "showing" consist of when you're selling life insurance? By asking the right questions, the responses your prospects give show them the answer — as opposed to you telling them — for their life insurance needs.

Why You Need Good Questions For Your Life Insurance Prospects

Over 59% of people without life insurance — 73 million people — say they need it, showing awareness of the importance of life insurance. Another 29 million Americans are underinsured and aware they need more life insurance coverage. More people are growing aware that they need life insurance every day. Yet these potential customers still don't have life insurance.

Why don't over 102 million Americans who say they need more life insurance have it? As a salesperson, it's up to you to uncover which of the many different reasons a prospect has for not having life insurance at all, or for being underinsured. You can convert prospects to customers by asking questions that help them to come to their own conclusions about how important life insurance is for them and their families. 

The answers that people give to important questions about life insurance help to guide them toward taking out a life insurance policy. Read on to discover the kinds of questions you can choose to ask and how the answers can translate into sales.

Top Questions To Ask Life Insurance Prospects

Some of the questions you can ask prospects aren't easy ones, but once your prospect answers, they're going to take you a few steps closer to closing a deal. Keep in mind that in your conversations with prospective clients, you want to avoid "yes" or "no" questions and focus on open-ended questions that encourage a dialog.

Here are some key questions to have ready, in no particular order.

1. If life insurance didn't cost anything, how much would you need?

This is a great question to ask a prospect. It invites them to give a round figure. Chances are, they'll say "A million dollars" or something similar. You can follow this up with "Why do you say that?" or "What would your family do with the money?" This is a good question to try if you're still getting familiar with the prospect and you're just beginning to evaluate their needs or setting up their questionnaire. This type of question is both open-ended and non-threatening.

It's possible to get into conversations with prospects that consider you as an adversary rather than a professional who wants to help them with their life insurance needs. They may respond with a ridiculous amount like "a trillion dollars." If this happens, have a few answers ready to respond with equal good humor and guide the discussion toward more realistic life insurance needs.

2. What is your understanding of life insurance and how it works?

This question invites your prospect to tell you what they know or think about life insurance. Try not to prejudge their answers or interrupt while they're explaining their ideas. The answer can help you discover a lot of ways to present the products that you offer.

With this type of question, be aware you may hear some pretty extreme misconceptions about life insurance. When you respond, acknowledge the client's beliefs or opinions in a respectful way. You can guide them to the correct answer about life insurance gently, bringing them one step closer to closing the sale.

3. How much do you think life insurance costs?

One of the most frequent objections to buying life insurance is "It costs too much." According to an annual life insurance study, more than half of American consumers overestimate the cost of life insurance. Millennial consumers thought that life insurance premiums for a typical 30-year-old were up to six times higher than they are in reality.

The answer to this question could easily lead you into a discussion of how much your products cost ‚ and you may be in a good position to pleasantly surprise them. If they're overestimating their potential life insurance cost, the conversation about more affordable premiums is an easy one to guide in the direction of closing the deal.

4. If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, how much life insurance would you buy?

Top life insurance agents say that becoming a successful seller isn't as much about being a great closer as it is about mastering the art of asking difficult questions. This question probably qualifies as "disturbing" to the majority of people. It's also to the point. The answer may surprise your prospect as well as you, and it's certain to lead to a positive discussion about benefit amounts and needs. 

5. What were your concerns and thoughts when you inquired about life insurance options?

If you've received a qualified lead, the perfect starting point is asking them what they were thinking about when they inquired about life insurance options. The question automatically opens a natural conversation about their life circumstances and needs. You can follow up by asking them about their financial priorities. This question opens a dialog, which helps you to structure follow-up questions. You can offer information about the products you sell and match them with the prospect's needs.

6. What other life insurance do you have to provide for ___________ (need)?

This question is helpful for several reasons. First, you can determine if the prospect has other life insurance, for example, through their employer. The answer can help you get started on a fact-finding process. It can also help you to determine where to place the prospect in your suite of products.

7. Imagine your spouse passes away tonight. What financial needs could you have?

This is another challenging and uncomfortable question to ask, but worth it because it speaks to the heart of why people need life insurance — not just for themselves, but for their spouse, too. If a spouse dies, even one that doesn't work outside the home — there could be end-of-life expenses, costs related to credit cards, car payments, and mortgage payments. 

The answer won't be comfortable for your prospect, but it does ask them to consider their options and realistically think about what might happen if such a tragic event occurred. When asking this type of difficult question, avoid being pushy. The answer offers you a chance to listen carefully and respond with products that you offer that can meet their needs.

8. Have you considered your other needs if your spouse or children pass away?

Many people haven't considered life insurance for other family members. In the case of a spouse that doesn't work, the income-earner in the family might not have considered expenses they would have if their spouse passes away. If the spouse cares for children at home, how would they pay for child care without them? Other considerations include final expenses in the case of a child's death. An extended illness can also add up to a significant sum if the spouse or child passes away. Both this and the previous question encourage your prospects to consider life insurance as a whole-family proposition.

9. What do you think could happen to your family if the income you're contributing stops tomorrow?

This is one way to avoid the "death" topic directly, but it still asks the prospective client to consider the financial implications if they die. Keep in mind you're opening a discussion with your prospect about real needs that could occur and the reason behind life insurance policies. This is an easy question to get your prospect considering their family's financial needs and how life insurance can provide for them.

10. If you were driving to work and hit by a drunk driver, how much do you think your family would sue for?

This is another "difficult" question, but a little less difficult than "If you died tomorrow..." It gives your prospect the opportunity to consider financial needs in a slightly different way. It's also one that few people are likely to consider on their own, and it brings up the topic of their financial worth to their family in a different and unusual way. It's also likely they may know of someone who was hurt in a drunk driving accident, possibly even another family member. 

Raising Good Questions Helps to Close Life Insurance Sales

Sometimes prospects can have objections to buying insurance that you can counter with good examples, but asking these questions can also help you to overcome objections. Thinking about your conversations with prospects as discussions about their interests and their family's financial needs can help you to build client relationships and close more sales. 

You can save time while talking with clients by seeking answers that help you to craft the best life insurance options for them. By being a good listener, you can come up with more questions of your own that help your prospects to think for themselves about how life insurance can benefit them and their family.

Time is valuable for all of us, and you can maximize the time you have to work with clients and ask them these excellent questions by getting high-quality life insurance leads. Nectar generates real-time life insurance leads and live call transfer life insurance leads for you. Every shopper you receive as a qualified prospect through Nectar is already thinking about some of the questions you can ask them. All you have to do is be ready to ask.

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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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