Technology is disrupting traditional industries in a big way all over the world. From Uber transforming the taxi industry, to Airbnb transforming the hotel industry — it’s all around us. Innovative companies are using new technology to challenge the old way of doing business.
The life insurance industry is no exception.
See also: The power of technology in insurance
The forces of change are already impacting our business. Most of our clients are going online to research life insurance options and get quotes. Even clients who need advanced planning are researching everything on their own.
Six-figure premium policies are being sold over the phone. Estate planning cases are being illustrated and presented online and sold over the phone.
It doesn’t matter if you sell term insurance, whole life insurance, indexed universal life insurance or any other type of life insurance — the buying trends are transitioning away from the traditional face-to-face meetings. Each year, LIMRA and the Life Foundation are showing more and more consumers buying their policies online or over the phone.
There’s one key thing driving this change… Time.
Most people would agree that the single most important asset anyone has is time.
Our fundamental behaviors have changed over the last decade to make “time” one of the most important factors of making a purchase.
Think about it. When your internet is slow, or you’re getting poor reception on your phone, how frustrated are you? I would guess very frustrated — your time is being wasted by poor service. Besides sports, how often do you watch live TV? My hunch is not often, since now we have DVRs, Netflix and other streaming services that remove the time spent on irrelevant, boring ads.
Whether or not you realize it, technology has changed our behaviors.
Not only are we extremely protective of our time, but consumer confidence in buying online has exponentially increased over the last decade. Put those two elements together, and you’ll recognize that the industry is going to keep evolving, whether or not we like it.
15 years ago, about half of the American population owned a mobile phone. Today, according to Pew Research, that number is around 92 percent. It’s safe to say that mobile phones are here to stay.
You should know, too, that over 35 percent of our website visitors are using their mobile devices to find our life insurance websites.
This single shift in technology alone would have been enough to change how people buy their life insurance, but it’s happened in tandem with many other changes.
Ten years ago, I bet if someone had asked if you to enter your credit card on a website, you would have said, “There’s no way!”
Today, as long as it seems trustworthy, you probably wouldn’t even blink, because we’ve all gotten so used to online banking and other online payment processors like PayPal.
Five years ago, many people said they would never be on Facebook. Today, 163 million Americans are active Facebook users, out of 323 million total Americans. That means more than half of the U.S. population is an active Facebook user and that number is only growing.
I personally know agents who are setting five or more appointments each week from Facebook ads — not leads, actual appointments. Other agents are generating leads consistently through Facebook ads as well.
Consumer confidence in researching and shopping online will continue to grow, and it’s no different in life insurance.
It’s critical to recognize that consumer buying behaviours are shifting because of time, accessibility and the growing confidence in the ability to buy quality goods and services online.
The evidence is in the numbers. I have personally placed over 3,000 life insurance policies over the phone since I started my business. There are life insurance agents who generate thousands of leads every month from their website(s), and they started less than three years ago. Within 12 months of diving into this new era of prospecting, agents can generate daily leads from their online presence.
Can you imagine life insurance prospects contacting you every day? How would that change your business? Your life?
One thing is clear — life insurance distribution is being disrupted. Consumers are shifting the way they’re buying life insurance.
The cost of resisting this change is that you lose out on a huge pool of high-quality prospects and will never see the revenue those prospects could have injected into your business.
But if you are willing to adapt, you will get access to an unprecedented number of customers. Your workflows will be smoother, you’ll have more time, and you will be able to work as flexibly as you want.
Agents committed to this path are seeing tremendous growth in their business.
This is an excerpt from the book “The Digital Life Insurance Agent,” which is available on Amazon.com. “The Digital Life Insurance Agent“ is an introduction and roadmap to getting in front of the tidal wave of consumers coming online to purchase life insurance, and how to effectively run your business remotely.
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