10 Insurance Sales Techniques to Close Deals
By Nick Gallo—
Insurance agents need a range of sales skills to be successful, but the ability to close deals is essential. There’s little benefit to generating leads or nurturing client relationships if you can’t capitalize on the subsequent sales opportunities.
As a result, insurance agents must develop techniques that can convince prospective clients to consistently buy policies.
Let’s explore the importance of psychology when selling insurance and effective sales techniques to help your insurance business.
The Psychology of Insurance Sales
Understanding your client’s mindset is valuable when selling, but it’s especially important for insurance sales. Insurance is directly related to sensitive subjects like safety and loss, and clients often have emotional reactions to the idea of needing coverage.
High-producing insurance agents learn to predict these reactions and navigate them strategically. They understand their clients’ mindsets well enough to encourage positive feelings while avoiding or redirecting emotions that might get in the way of the sale.
For example, consumers are more likely to buy from you when they like you. After all, they need to trust that you're recommending a policy that will adequately protect them.
One way to build the necessary rapport is to make clients feel you have common ground. You can use techniques like mirroring their body language or finding shared interests.
10 Insurance Sales Techniques
Insurance agents will encounter a range of psychological profiles and emotional obstacles when selling to clients. So, they must develop a variety of sales techniques they can adapt to each situation. Here are some insurance sales tips.
1. Tell a Good Story
Storytelling is a powerful way to influence the human psyche. Scientists have even found evidence that hearing stories can immediately increase oxytocin and decrease cortisol, the happiness and stress hormones.
Anecdotal evidence might not hold up in a professional debate, but it can be incredibly persuasive with prospective clients.
For example, an insurance agent wants to sell more cyber liability insurance. They practice telling the story of a previous prospective client who decided not to buy coverage, then lost their business after a data breach. The agent uses that story when delivering a sales pitch to similar leads.
2. Solve a Problem
One common mistake inexperienced agents make when selling is to spend too much time explaining why their carrier or policy is the best. However, clients really only care about solving their problems as efficiently as possible.
Instead of pitching to a client immediately, focus on solving their problems. Ask them questions until you can define their most significant pain points, then offer your best potential solutions.
Not only does that help align your language with each client’s primary concerns, but it also reframes your relationship in a more favorable light. Instead of being an insurance salesperson after their money, you become an ally working with them toward a common goal.
3. Prioritize Loss Over Reward
Most humans have a bias toward loss aversion. We’re usually more afraid of losing what we have than we are excited about gaining something of equal value.
Due to the protective nature of insurance, successful agents are uniquely suited to leverage this tendency when selling to clients. To help close deals, consider highlighting the risks your potential client would face by choosing not to buy.
For example, an insurance agent sells a general liability policy to a contractor. However, the policy doesn’t cover damages due to pollutants like asbestos, mold, or paint fumes. The agent explains how significant that risk is in the construction industry and persuades the client to purchase additional pollution coverage.
4. Show Value Beyond Price
Many consumers purchase insurance policies out of obligation. Something or someone forces them to buy coverage, so they look for the least expensive way to satisfy that requirement.
As a result, insurance agents often meet resistance when they suggest more robust policies with higher premiums. To overcome that issue, shift your client's focus from price to value. Make the cost a secondary concern to the benefits they’ll receive.
Because insurance coverage is so complex, agents can often accomplish this tactic simply by educating their clients on the differences between policies.
5. Quickly Address Objections
Experienced insurance agents know what objections to expect from clients. Over time, they naturally develop practiced responses that can address them and move the discussion back in the right direction.
Less experienced agents can use this technique, too. Even without years of face time with clients, you can research the most common reasons clients hesitate or push back and come up with counters. Consider asking your more seasoned team members for help.
Once you’re confident in your ability to respond to these objections, you can even state them yourself and refute them before your clients have a chance to raise them.
6. Ask Questions
It’s tempting to pitch more aggressively when trying to drive sales, but selling should be a conversation, not a lecture. If you’re doing too much of the talking, chances are something’s wrong.
Simply asking potential customers questions is one of the most effective ways to improve the sales process. For example, inquire about their reasons for wanting insurance and their most significant coverage concerns.
Not only will that help you understand their needs and match them with a better policy, but it will also make them feel like you care about more than just making a commission.
7. Follow Up
Insurance sales agents rarely close deals during their first interaction with clients. Even in the best-case scenarios, it takes time to understand a client’s needs, build rapport, and match them with the right policy.
As a result, following up is a critical sales technique for insurance professionals to master. You may need to follow up with a lead half a dozen times over months before you close a deal. Persistence is one of the most important qualities of successful insurance agents.
That said, there’s a delicate balance between persistence and pushiness. Reach out at a reasonable cadence using language that’s not too aggressive.
8. Show Empathy
Empathy is all about putting yourself into another person’s shoes. In sales, empathy is an important skill to connect with clients. An empathetic sales professional looks at their products from a client’s point of view. That way, you experience how a client might react to the benefits or costs of a product. You can then anticipate potential questions and objections the client could have during your meeting.
Showing empathy during a sales call or negotiation means putting your customer’s feelings first. You build trust with clients by seeking to understand their feelings and doubts while honestly answering their questions. A trusting relationship often leads to more business, as most clients want to work with insurance agents who understand their needs.
9. Build Rapport
Having a good rapport with clients means you understand their needs and listen to their concerns. Your clients know you and feel comfortable coming to you with their insurance questions.
Building rapport with clients is all about trust. A business owner doesn’t want to purchase insurance from someone who they don’t trust. They might feel like they can’t be honest with their agent or will constantly feel worried their agent is taking advantage of them.
Insurance agents can build rapport with clients by being engaged in conversations. For example, you find ways to know your clients, rather than simply contacting them when it’s time to renew a policy.
Building rapport may mean calling to see how your client’s business is doing. Or, you might want to send personalized gifts for clients’ birthdays, holidays, or business milestones.
10. Prepare a Presentation
Professionalism, confidence, and expertise go a long way in convincing clients to purchase an insurance policy. An easy way to show off these traits is to prepare a presentation for clients. Presentations can help you stay on track in your sales meetings and highlight only the most important points of your pitch.
Plus, preparing a presentation in advance lets clients know you’re serious about your business. If you took the time to create and practice a presentation, clients will respect your time, too.
When creating your sales presentation, customize it for each prospective client. Tailoring your pitch shows you understand their specific needs, potential objections, and the benefits of the policy options.
Practice Insurance Sales Techniques
Developing the sales skills necessary to become a top-producing insurance agent requires consistently refining your techniques under realistic conditions. Practice regularly to improve your sales performance.