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Insurance Sales Tips

What's your Insurance Agency's Sales Process?

 

Does your insurance agency have a sales process? 

(And I don’t mean flying by the seat of your pants)

 

"Time to make the donuts"

Unless you are too young you remember the Dunkin Donuts commercial “Time to make the donuts!” It showed the same character every day getting up answering the bell and making the donuts. 

 One of the most successful people that most of us all know is Nick Saban. Nick started his amazing journey in my backyard at the University of Toledo. If you have ever listened to him he built his life around one fundamental thing – PROCESS! He enjoys his success for minutes before he is back to the process.

Having a process is fundamental to success. No matter how charismatic, personable, or motivated a sales team is, they are missing out on opportunities and effectiveness by not having a sales process. 

So, does your insurance agency have a sales process?

I am going to spend the next weeks sharing some ideas I have cobbled together about the Sales Process. Especially, the inbound insurance sales process.

You need to build a unique process that best features you or your firm’s strengths. There are similarities but they are not the same from shop to shop.

Are you a Sales Organization? Or Insurance Service Center?

I had a conversation last week with a good friend and colleague. During our discussion he talked about his agency and shared that he has some really outstanding technicians but really only two sales people. He has a top notch agency and they have developed some great programs for the industry that they sell both as retailers and wholesalers. Be that as it may though he has only two pure sales people in what is touted as a sales organization.

If you have been looking at the futurists and prognosticators for business in general and insurance specifically you will see a common thread in their predictions. In the next decade there will be a reduction in bodies in the insurance industry as more and more functions become digitized. These jobs will be largely administrative and clerical.

So most insurance agencies are facing a cross roads. If you take an honest look at your agency workload how much of the day is transactional? Most agencies are heavily weighted towards reactive transactions. And many of these transactions will be done by machines. Reporting claims, paying bills, making changes etc. are things that we do all day every day and the customer will be less dependent on this type of service. Machines are more convenient and also more available to the customer.

Not all of the “Old Ways” of Selling are “Old!”

We spend a lot of time talking about the new consumer and how they buy in the new digital inbound marketing and sales world. But it also is important to remember there are still old skills that are critical in the sales process.

I have been working with a group of insurance producers and every week we have a sales meeting to prepare for the week’s activity. One of the areas that came up was  getting past the initial meeting, another was being able to differentiate themselves from the incumbent or other people working on getting noticed.

The thing you try to accomplish is to differentiate yourself and your organization at that meeting, and if you are successful to do the same all the way to the close. We often fall into the trap of taking up the time in the first meeting cramming as much “Me” and “Us” into the time allotted. We end up doing the elevator speech but often the elevator has too many stories and we lose the chance to be different.

One of the primary things to remember in the new sales process is the sale is all about them! And we spend too much time ignoring that.

Balancing Sales and Digital Marketing

 

One of the toughest aspects of digital marketing for sales organizations is the idea of pulling away from sales to do marketing. You are a sales organization and the game plan is and always has been "sell, sell, sell." Your entire existence is based on the ability to build real relationships with people then ultimately sell to them. But now there is this push to digital marketing and understanding where it fits into the game plan can be a challenge. 

In this article, I am going to give you a few ways to adopt digital marketing into your processes that adds to the sales process and not distracts.

Culture Wars (Part 2) Getting Buy-in for Digital from Staff and Ownership

Here we are again at the end of another year. This is the time where we celebrate our accomplishments or lament our failures. With the end of each year is an opportunity to look at the next year and refocus or refine our mission.

I think it is very clear to everyone now of the importance of incorporating modern Inbound Sales and Marketing techniques into our organizations DNA. Some of us have grasped it while others are still at the starting line. There are many reasons that we are still seeing small businesses not embrace the direction to meet the consumer where they are shopping.

I recently read a common question in one of the Marketing groups I participate in on Facebook. The question was “What should I do to attract new business opportunities?” The person who answered is a high performing Inbound Marketing guru and he did not sugar coat his answer. He said you have to be everywhere the prospects are. It is not easy but it is reality.

Today I want to focus on two major impediments I see in my discussions with insurance agents. They are opposite sides of the same issue, culture! I hear it from Principals who cannot get buy in from staff and I hear from Producers who cannot get the owners to do what needs to be done. So what should you do in either case?

Out of the mouths of Babes: How are you Supporting your New Producers?

Myself and the rest of the Inbuzz team recently had the privilege of working with some young Producers with one of the industry’s top Producer training programs at Westfield Insurance Company’s TAPP Program.

While we were there to share our knowledge and experience teaching the fundamentals of Inbound Sales and Inbound Marketing we also were able to learn from them as well.  Most of these, new to the insurance industry, professionals needed some basics but they also all brought valuable life experience to the session we were involved with.

Some of our key takeaways from this session was that they are representative of modern consumers as well as embarking on a career in sales delivering a product and service to their modern consumers was how they buy, especially on larger purchases.

Finding Insurance Sales Opportunities with Trigger Events

There's nothing like a solution hitting your hands the moment you need it. It is like getting a discount on something you were going to buy anyways, or finding money in your car after leaving your wallet at home. 

With advertisements and constant sales calls people have become numb and hardened to the attempts of sales calls. But what if you could present your solution at the moment someone begins looking for the solution? 

With trigger events, you will be able to position your solution in real time as a need arises instead of making sales pitches with fingers crossed. 

In this article we are going to discuss how to use trigger events in insurance sales to fill your pipeline with quality prospects and how to get in the door at just the right time. 

If Sales Was Easy Everyone Would Be In Sales

A Sales Career is not for everyone. And it can really beat you up even if you are built to sell. But when you think about it everyone sells, in one way or another. Think about it, a doctor comes into the room and looks at your chart. After a few moments of review he says a simple “Hmm...” Already you are anxious and a little nervous and he schedules you for thousands of dollars in tests. You either take his word for it or get a second opinion.

Or you child says after a hot day of fun “I could really use a good ice cream cone” and often you know where the next stop is!

But with the ease of some sales situations we also come face to face with the real dilemma most sales people have with sales and that is getting in front of the right audience. Sales reps have struggled with this from the very beginning and even though how we sell has changed the pipeline is still the pipeline. So how do you or your company keep the pipeline full?

Selling Insurance Without Offering Quotes!?

The idea of “no more quotes”

About a year and half ago I sold my agency and now work for a very successful agency. I have a great deal of experience and saw myself as a student of the science of sales. But I have to admit the experience I have had over the past 18 months with this new agency has been eye opening. How the people I am working with sell is mind boggling. But in the end their method of client acquisition really makes so much sense.

Do Insurance Agents Need CRMs?

I do a lot of teaching each year and I often do some unofficial poling in my classes. I have asked recently “How many of you utilize a CRM?” More often than not there are very few hands raised. So my question to you is this; are you using a Client Relationship Manager (CRM) or are you acknowledging that you cannot really manage your sales (crm)?

Do you have a CRM or a crm!?

No matter how good you are at sales, you need a CRM to help you manage your sales process and client relationships. 

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