At Client Focus, we’re fortunate to work with many of the most successful insurance agents in the industry. These agents do some things differently than their peers, and we see the results in the amount of life insurance they sell. It’s common for these agents to sell seventy-five or more life insurance policies in a year. They earn incredible bonuses—sometimes six figure bonuses—not to mention being recognized in other important ways, such as travel, president’s club, etc.
Agents frequently ask us how they can emulate those results. The answer is surprisingly uncomplicated, but it involves two stages: the tactical stage and the strategic stage.
The tactical stage is when you’re sitting in front of a client discovering their needs. That conversation is an art form that we’ll cover in a separate article. In this article, we’ll cover the strategic side, i.e., “How do you position yourself to sell more life insurance?”
To get the answer, we’ll need to work backwards.
Focus on the right goal first.
No matter what you’re selling, it’s critical to understand your leading indicators. For example, if you’re selling cars, the thing to focus on is not cars, but test drives. No test drives mean no cars. The same focus applies to home sales—you need clients walking through houses in order to sell houses.
Life insurance also has a leading indicator. It has lots of names, such as “needs analyses,” “discoveries,” or “consultations.” For life insurance the leading indicator is that meeting where you sit down with your client, uncover the risks that they weren’t aware of, and propose solutions. More consultations means more life sales.
Here’s the problem, though: not every consultation results in a life insurance policy, and for many agents this can be frustrating. We see this play out every day when agents enroll in our service to get a quick burst of appointments. The idea is that the appointments will produce life insurance sales, and it does produce some. But it doesn’t produce the incredible, ongoing results as top agents get. Why? Great question. Here’s the answer.
You just got a new client. Maybe they have an auto policy and they barely know you. Will they buy life insurance right now? Maybe. Maybe not. Will they buy life insurance within the next 2-3 years? That depends on whether or not you nurture the relationship.
To sell life insurance, you need to have a conversation that involves deeply personal questions and potentially expensive recommendations. A relationship of trust will be a prerequisite in most cases. And like any relationship, that requires effort. It requires nurturing.
Nurturing is much bigger than selling. It means doing things such as:
- Meeting regularly
- Communicating appreciation between meetings
- Showing care and credibility
- Educating and empowering
- Providing value
An agenda that nurtures client relationships will produce something now and in the future.
Benefits of Nurturing
Nurturing relationships deliberately and consistently has some enormous benefits.
- Many agents sit down at the beginning of the year and set life insurance goals as if they’re starting from scratch. Agents who nurture, by contrast, already have a pipeline that’s ready to go in January.
- Agents who nurture never find themselves desperately needing to “get some appointments so that they can hit their life goal.” They often surpass their life goals early in the Fall.
- Agents who nurture get more referrals than agents who do not. It goes without saying that a stronger relationship of trust will yield greater referrals and more social media endorsements. (Check out how to make your agency a referral generating machine.)
- Agents who nurture have peace of mind, knowing that they are working toward their moral obligation to protect their clients.
- Agents who nurture have more high-quality relationships, which results in greater job satisfaction.
- Agents who nurture sell more life insurance, make more money, and get more perks and recognition.
It’s hard to make an argument against an agency model that focuses on nurturing client relationships. Nearly all of the most successful agents do it year-in and year-out. By contrast, the agents who struggle the most typically overlook this critical agenda in favor of “getting something right now.”
If you want to have a thriving, successful agency and reap the personal and economic benefits of being a top-tier life insurance agent, start nurturing relationships today and never stop.
by Matt Wagner, Vice President of Strategy