Selling insurance is one of the toughest gigs around, but it is one of the most rewarding financially and, if you’re dedicated enough, the most satisfying emotionally as well. The principal reason why insurance is such a tough sell is that its products are not self-explanatory. A TV is self-explaining—you hit the power button on the remote and you get to watch Glee. In fact, it can even sell itself if it’s that good. On the other hand, an insurance product such as car insurance needs a lot of explaining (and selling) to do before a prospective client can even begin to appreciate it.
This is where a good licensed insurance agent comes in. But here’s the catch: there are many other good insurance agents out there who can sell the very products you’re selling. To sell insurance therefore, you first need to successfully market yourself.
Fortunately, in this age of snazzy Facebook posts and even snazzier web presence, it’s not as difficult as it appears.
Sell yourself. The first order of the dayis to sell yo urself. This means connecting with strangers at a personal level. In years past, the prospecting insurance agent had to go door-to-door, business card in hand. Not that this traditional strategy has been abandoned, but more and more agents nowadays are happily availing themselves of a less time-consuming, more prospect-friendly alternative—the Internet. According to recent surveys, there are more people now than before who go to the Internet first when shopping for insurance. So put up a Web site, start a blog, set up a Facebook Page or Facebook Group, and make sure you have your friendliest profile picture up in front. A photo goes a long way in creating a personal connection between individuals.
Publish and build credibility. There’s nothing like a publication (or being published in a reputable publication) to establish credibility. Share your views about a hot insurance topic, or contribute an article in a reputable insurance publication. A more up-to-date option is to publish a newsletter or blog online, or share your views in online forums. When you consistently share useful information, your audience will perceive you as an authority. And with a perception of authority comes a credible reputation—one big step closer to making a sale.
Say “How are you?” Once you’ve forged a relationship or made a sale, don’t relax (in the case of the former) or stop there (in the case of the latter). Say “Hello” or “How are you?” on special days, such as birthdays and holidays, through a note or a postcard—again, going traditional paper or going the online route. What matters is that your missives connect, so your relationship is renewed or strengthened. Take the occasion though to remind your client to update you regarding his (or her) policy needs (his situation may have changed since your last communication and he might need your help retooling his policy coverage), but don’t attempt to sell. This is a time to show your thoughtfulness and sincerity, and not your need to sell something.