The insurance industry offers business leaders, insurance agents, sales producers security and stability, an opportunity to earn a great living, and the ability to learn about – and get involved with – diverse industry sectors. At the same time, it’s a highly competitive industry. While everyone needs to buy insurance, there are many local, regional, and national agencies and brokers competing for the same slice of commercial insurance business. Whether you are training new talent or providing additional motivation to your seasoned producers, here are 10 training tips to share to help them generate more sales.
1. Listen and Ask Questions
Listen to potential clients and ask insightful questions. Producers should take a look at their questioning skills and habits to see where there is room for improvement. Conduct role-playing exercises with top producers to demonstrate to new sales staff the art of great questioning during a prospect call or face-to-face meeting.
2. Understand the Client
Understanding what is important to each individual buyer and their decision-making process is critical. Knowing this allows producers to better match their selling process to an individual’s buying process and, as a result, close more deals.
3. Don't "Sell"
Insurance salespeople have a bad rep for being aggressive and always trying to sell something. Adopt a consultative role in approaching sales rather than pitching a product or a program.
4. Talk About Solutions to Challenges, Add Value
Focus on addressing the challenges potential clients face today. Be clear about the agency’s value proposition and what the firm can offer, such as any special or exclusive programs, particularly in tough industry sectors or coverage lines where insurance placement has become more difficult. Have strong product and industry knowledge to gain trust from prospects.
5. Adopt a Great Attitude
Make sure the passion for what you provide and offer comes through when meeting and talking with potential clients. Producers should approach every potential client with a great attitude, knowing they are helping to protect a business’s or individual’s assets.
6. Aim High
While producer goals are already aligned with that of the agency’s, encourage salespeople to shoot for the stars. Have them take a look at the type of clients they want to add to their books of business and strategize how to achieve and exceed their goals for the year. Be sure the agency can support producer goals with a robust marketing plan.
7. Manage the Sales Process Effectively
Depending on the agency’s book of business and the demographics (employee size, revenue, industry) of the targeted client, if it takes as much time to close a sale on accounts that generate $5,000 in premium as it does for those that bring in $50,000 in premium, it only makes sense to focus on accounts with greater revenue potential.
8. Know What the Next Step Is
Avoid ending a conversation without having a plan of action for next steps. Set up a follow-up call or commit to sending additional information or a proposal for a future discussion at an agreed-upon date. Without a next-step plan of action in place, prospects end up going into a black hole, never to be heard from again.
9. Keep Working the Sales Pipeline
Moving on to the next sale in the pipeline is the best way to get over a lost sale. Top performers are constantly working to fill the front end of their pipelines by initiating new conversations on a daily basis.
10. Don't Stop Learning
Keep looking at what does and doesn’t work in the sales process. Share success stories with other salespeople. Reach out to mentors to sharpen sales skills and better overcome objections from prospects. Take online insurance sales courses or attend seminars when available.
All employees, from new hires to seasoned veterans and business leaders, should have ongoing sales training courses and activities available to them. This empowers them to brush up on their skills and learn new information that will help them on the job.