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10 Life Insurance Selling Mistakes to Avoid to Place More Cases

Avoid these 10 mistakes to place more life insurance cases:

  1. Relying on stats
  2. Not helping customers see the need
  3. Not listening
  4. Using jargon
  5. Talking too much
  6. Making assumptions.
  7. Not presenting solutions.
  8. Not educating yourself on the products
  9. Not following a sales process
  10. Not asking for the sale

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 1/17/17 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.

Life insurance can be more difficult to sell than health, home or auto insurance.

This is especially true when a family falls on hard times. It’s just not compulsory (although it should be!).

But, a life insurance policy can be of great benefit to your prospects and customers – they just need to truly understand its importance.

Top 10 Life insurance Selling Mistakes

Here are the top 10 mistakes you want to avoid when selling life insurance.

1. Relying on stats

While statistics might be super impressive to you and your colleagues, they fall on consumers’ deaf ears.

You see, it’s not enough to tell a prospect that thousands of people die before “X” age, essentially relying on statistics to convince people that they need this product.

What they need to hear is a story about how one family suffered as a result of not having life insurance.

That story will impact their decision-making – not a stat – because it shows the real consequences that result from not investing in life insurance.

2. Not helping customers see the need

At least once in your life, you’ve probably experienced a salesperson who was able to convince you that you needed a product or service.

That’s your job, but you can learn from the pros.

They ask questions to get customers thinking about their lives.

For example, to help customers see their future needs, you can ask what their income levels will be in 10 years.

3. Not listening

One of the keys to effective life insurance sales involves just listening.

You can learn a lot about a prospect or customers by improving your listening skills, and then using the information you glean to direct your discussion towards solutions that will suit those needs.

You need to know your customer’s triggers so you can better address how life insurance can assuage fears, like being able to fund a college education or paying off the mortgage.

4. Using jargon

Studies have shown that millions of Americans are ready to buy life insurance, but for a variety of reasons, are “stuck” in between gathering information and pulling the trigger.

One of the common problems people face when buying life insurance is communication.

As a life insurance producer, you can help move these consumers into the purchase phase by communicating clearly.

For example, consumers generally don’t understand life insurance terms like underwriting or know the differences between life insurance types.

If they don’t understand what the process is or the products are, they won’t buy.

Whenever you can, use everyday language when speaking with prospects to help them along the purchase path.

5. Talking too much

This point may seem very similar to the mistake of not listening. We’re not suggesting that you don’t talk at all, or that you only listen.

However, talking too much means you don’t give customers a chance to talk.

You won’t be able to “hear” what they’re saying about their situation and their fears.  

According to some experts, you should let your customers do 80 percent of the talking.

Be aware of how much talking you’re doing and how much you’re letting your prospects talk.

Make adjustments so you don’t miss out on the valuable information they’re holding.

Consider starting a conversation with, “So what would you like to talk about?” or “Why am I here today?”

You’d be surprised how that can open the gates to what’s important to your prospect.

6. Making assumptions.

This mistake is closely tied to not listening.

It’s tempting to assume you know what makes a person tick, their ability to buy, how serious they are or even what the outcome of your meeting will be.

But assumptions can be deadly for a sale.

They hinder your ability to accurately reading your prospect and ultimately sending the meeting off track.

You aren’t listening as well as you should be when your mind is busy forming opinions.

Putting assumptions aside allows you to recognize opportunities and to clearly see the next steps that need to be taken to make the sale.

7. Not presenting solutions.

You can be so excited to share all the “bells and whistles” of a policy that you forget what your clients really need is to know how a policy will be a solution for them.

If you don’t show them that, you’ve lost them.

Grab their attention by showing them the way the policy will benefit them.

The right solutions make the sale.

8. Not educating yourself on the products

It would be impossible to know everything about all the products that are available.

But, to be a successful life insurance producer, you need to have an in-depth knowledge of the products and services that you favor.

You should also know enough to offer possible alternatives.

Be able to share specifics about:

  • The ins and outs of the contract.
  • Relative costs.
  • Flexibility.
  • Benefits.

Your ability to confidently explain details of life insurance products and services helps your clients trust you and believe what you say.

Inadequate knowledge can hurt your credibility and ultimately cost you a sale.

9. Not following a sales process

Many insurance producers are lacking a logical sales process.

Here’s an example of the right way to move a sale forward.

  • Opening discussion. Don’t wing it. Going in without a plan never works and a sale won’t materialize. Have a prepared agenda to act as a guide and ensure you don’t miss any important information.
  • During your presentation. You should always be aware if your prospect is engaged in what you’re saying. Are they buying in? The questions they ask and the comments they make are the best indicators of where they’re at.
  • Underwriting process. This part of the process can be the most stressful – for you and your client. Allay their worries by staying in close contact and answering their questions and addressing their concerns quickly.

It may take some practice to get the sales process down, but it’s well worth your effort.

10. Not asking for the sale

Although getting the sale is your ultimate goal, it can be tough to get there.

Here’s some help.

  • Tell yourself that the purpose of a meeting is to make the sale. It may seem silly, but being intentional can make all the difference.
  • Make a connection with the prospect. Show them that you’re someone who understands their needs and has the solution to their problem.
  • Educate the client. Take the time to lay a good foundation. Get all the important issues out on the table.
  • Want it. Don’t look for reasons to try to delay the sale. If the prospect is engaged, you’ve given them the right information and answered any objections – pull the trigger.

Don’t wait until your client’s motivation to buy slips away, which is likely to happen if you put off asking them for the sale until the next meeting.

The bottom line for closing more cases

Don’t make these life insurance selling mistakes that cost both your customers and yourself.

Be ready to listen, use everyday language, tell stories, and help prospects see the need for life insurance, and you’ll place more cases!

What life insurance selling mistakes have you been guilty of making?

Writing a Large Life Insurance Policy

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