7 Techniques for Closing More Insurance Sales

Seven Sales Closing Tips for Insurance Agents

Even the most successful insurance professional can hit a bump in the road now and then when it comes to sales. You can employ many different techniques in your sales efforts. No single technique will work in every situation, so it’s good to have a few options based on the situation and your prospect.

Here are seven recommended approaches to closing:

1. Sell the value

Make sure you talk with your customer about what makes the product you’re recommending a better choice for their specific situation, as compared to something from another carrier (or another broker). If carrier A has a plan that includes a similar network, but the premiums are lower, it’s okay to sell based on cost. On the other hand, if the plan you’re recommending costs more, be sure you explain what makes it worth the money. An EPO offers many of the advantages of HMO, but often it offers more flexibility when it comes to self-referrals. Ask your prospect if there are any specific doctors, specialists, or hospitals employees want to be able to continue to use if they change health plans. Share some visuals comparing different provider networks or the prescription drug benefits of the plans being considered. This can help set you apart from your competition and create a stronger bond with your prospect. According to research, more than 90% of people make decisions based on visual input data. The brain processes images much faster than words. In addition, when your customer is able to see the value of what you’re offering, they will want to buy from you.

2. Share examples, ask questions 

Be a storyteller for your customers. Tell them how you have helped others save on their employee benefits or reduce workers’ out-of-pocket costs. Ask questions, so you can find out what’s most important to the employer or benefits manager. For example, ask about their current insurance plan (if any) and any issues they have encountered while covered under that plan.

It’s important you create a connection with your customers, so they believe you are working for them – not for yourself and not for the insurance carriers. This will establish trust and help show them you care, eliminating their objections to buy and moving you toward a close. A good technique to help you prepare for objections is to ask your sales team to sit down and share objections they’ve heard from others; then you’ll be better prepared for what you might encounter.

3. Take your time 

While some note that a “now or never” or “urgency” close can be effective in sales, it does not really work in an insurance or employee benefits sales situation. It’s not likely that plan you’re advocating is offering a gift or discount. The most you can hope for is to use your knowledge of an upcoming rate increase to push an employer toward an earlier effective date – or, perhaps, consideration of another plan without an announced rate increase. Certainly, if there’s a bonus program in place, that could be good for you; however, if you’re working in the interests of your client, you’re not going to be influenced by added compensation if the plan with the bonus is more expensive or offers an inferior network for your client.

4. Under promise and over-deliver 

If you are working with a customer who wants coverage effective immediately, don’t make the mistake of committing to an effective date without knowing what can actually be reasonably expected. Carrier requirements vary, and some may be more negotiable than others. In the underwriting and enrollment of an insurance contract, there are many steps to be taken – and only a few that can be expedited. Online enrollment could speed things up, but not every group may lend itself to this, since it requires access to a computer and not all employers provide one for all of their workers. Engage in an open dialogue with your customers to ensure expectations are understood on both sides.

5. Stop trying so hard

Instead of focusing on the close, focus on helping your client find the right match to their situation. Does the plan you are recommending make good business sense – financially and for the employer’s workforce? The more you push, the greater the likely pushback from your prospects. Listen, discuss, and share. Don’t let your excitement or nervousness cause you to miss a signal from your prospect that he or she is ready to buy.

6. Be transparent with information

Transparency builds credibility and trust between you and your clients. When discussing insurance plans, be upfront about both the benefits and potential drawbacks of each option. While it may be tempting to gloss over the less attractive aspects of a policy, your clients will appreciate honesty and are more likely to trust your recommendations if they feel you’re giving them the complete picture. Offer clear, straightforward comparisons and make sure your clients understand any limitations or exclusions that come with a plan. Transparency fosters a partnership mentality and can lead to longer-lasting client relationships.

7. Follow up and stay engaged

Following up with prospects after initial meetings is crucial. A well-timed follow-up can keep you top of mind and provide additional opportunities to address any lingering concerns or questions your prospective clients might have. Send a friendly email summarizing key points of your conversation, offer to answer any additional questions, and schedule a follow-up call if necessary. Additionally, staying engaged with clients even after the sale through periodic check-ins and updates can help solidify the relationship, paving the way for renewals and referrals. Regular engagement shows clients that you are committed to their ongoing satisfaction and are a reliable resource for their insurance needs.

Help from Word & Brown

Word & Brown is committed to our ongoing success. We offer a variety of sales and marketing materials, a team of dedicated sales professionals to present alongside you, and compliance and account management professionals to help you keep your customers happy – and coming back year after year. Visit our new broker web page, or contact any of our six regional offices to get started.

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