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5 Habits of Highly Effective Life Insurance Agents

Tricia Sharpton July 12, 2013 0

Life insurance agents are on the front lines, responding in times of personal crisis to fulfill the promises made to customers.

Agents spend a lot of time drumming up new businesses. As important as prospecting and closing are, it’s important to not lose sight of the core expectations life insurance customers have:

  • Responsiveness
  • Compassion
  • Professionalism
  • Timely payment of claims

The insurance and financial services consulting organization called LIMRA recently surveyed 4,242 life insurance beneficiaries to see how satisfied they were with their agent experience. A whopping 95 percent said they were satisfied.

That’s good news. But there’s even better news for the agents who offered an experience that earned an “extremely satisfied” response. The agents who go above and behind in areas such as ease of the claims experience and responsible are the ones who see the best results:

  • They’re more likely to get repeat businesses
  • They’re more likely to get referrals
  • Their clients are more likely to have strong feelings about the importance of life insurance

The LIMRA survey put an emphasis on quick turnarounds for claims. Top-rated life insurance companies process claims in about 19 days. The survey also suggested additional services can result in more businesses for agents. These services might include grief counseling, legal advice and coverage coordination.

In the life insurance business, you can do a lot to set yourself apart from the competition and earn the trust—and the business—of your community. Here are five tips that will be particularly helpful to new agents just getting started in life insurance.

Get a mentor. New agents can benefit enormously from a mentorship. Guidance from a veteran agent will give you great ideas and priceless insight. Find someone who is a top producer, someone respected in his or her market. Take them out to lunch and ask a lot of questions. They don’t even have to be in life insurance—you can learn a lot from a good CPA or estate planning attorney, for example.

Be empathetic. When you’re explaining policies and plans, put the client first and show them all their options so they can feel good about their decision. Passionate agents who listen and who can emotionally connect with clients can earn their trust. If they can show these same qualities during times of grief, they can make a difficult time a little easier.

Work with a successful company. Independent agents should work with the best-rated carriers. Partnering with respected leaders makes it easier to stand behind the products you’re selling.

Be knowledgeable. The best agents are familiar with a wide array of insurance products. Continued education keeps you abreast of the latest changes to the industry, so make sure you’re getting ongoing professional development. Subscribe to industry newsletters, seek additional certifications, join professional organizations and get the life insurance training you need.

Be available. Customer service skills make or break an agent. Make sure your responses are timely. Make sure you’re accessible by phone and email. Make sure you keep your appointments—not just when you’re closing the sale, but when your clients have questions after purchasing the policy.

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