It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s nonetheless true: the way to succeed in life insurance sales — the way to build loyalty among current clients and attract new ones — is to stop focusing on sales. Start concentrating on professional growth and client service. Indeed, to grow as an insurance professional, your key to success is to become a knowledgeable resource on how products can dovetail with your clients’ goals and dreams. If you can do this, you will become a more successful professional — and even better, you will become a trusted advisor for your clients. Follow these five tips to rewire your life insurance practice, and start seeing instant success.
Tip 1: Take a new look at clients and prospects
Start with your existing clients. Right now, you should be out there working with them. These are difficult times, and you need to be sharing your knowledge. Pick up the phone and talk to them about their fears and needs. They’re looking for a coach to get them through the tough times. You want to be that person.
Of course, it’s not enough to say you are a trusted advisor — you have to be one, and indicate it to clients and prospects. You should be asking a lot of questions. This shows you are gathering information on their needs for a comprehensive plan, rather than merely trying to push a product on them.
For example, you need to discuss estate planning and tax issues with them. Have they given any thought to how they were planning to provide for their children and grandchildren in the future? By bringing up these issues, you show you are able and willing to put together an action plan containing the necessary steps.
In brief, this means thinking in the long-term. The days of selling a product and then forgetting about the client until you want to sell another product are long gone. This is the era of the relationship.
Tip 2: Reorganize your practice
To work with clients in this new way, you’re going to have to change how you organize your work life. Every morning, you should have a plan for what your day is going to look like: How much time will you be spending prospecting? How much time will you spend poring over the necessary paperwork? How much time will you be spending with clients? You need to have a detailed list of what you’ll be doing each day, or you risk missing an important part of your job. You’re not just a salesman; you have multiple hats to wear.
And since time is always at a premium, don’t waste it. For example, you have to get a sense of when it’s time to give up on a prospect and move on to more likely possibilities. Of course, as you choose your prospects more carefully, this should be less likely to happen in the future.
This is just the beginning. To be a professional, you have to be educated like one. Consider the kinds of continuing education classes that would help you in your area and the designations you may want to earn. For example, check out the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, which can offer some great networking opportunities and a chance to learn from peers in local study groups.
In addition, NAIFA has an arrangement with the American College, which offers CLU and ChFC designations. The CFP is another distinguished designation, available from the CFP Board of Standards. The education that leads to such designations helps you become a better professional. And the designations themselves can help distinguish you as a strategic planner — someone with solutions, and not just “products for sale.”