I'll be completely upfront with you: I'm not a big fan of gimmicks. Selling life insurance is a serious business, and putting on a "persona," acting outgoing and enthusiastic, isn't going to make up for poor fundamentals.
And you know what?
Hollow slogans and over-the-top claims like freedom from fear, freedom to live, and "this is all you need to achieve financial freedom" won't cut it either.
I'm sorry, but I don't buy it.
At the core of it all, succeeding as a life insurance agent isn't about selling a product.
Because behind the glossy exterior, every policy is someone's life story — and that's what makes this industry so unique.
In this guide, I'll share my experience as an agent and the seven steps that helped me succeed in the business.
Let's get started:
The Secret to Success as a Life Insurance Agent
You need to be self-motivated
Self-motivation means you are driven by your internal desire to succeed and achieve your goals. It's not about what other people want for you or expect from you; it's about what YOU want for yourself!
You need to be able to set goals and take action on them without being micromanaged by others. You will have many clients, each with their own needs and expectations of you. If you cannot manage all of this alone, you should consider another career path.
I started with this point because when you become self-motivated, you'll have the drive to work hard and move forward no matter the challenges.
Accountability means being responsible for your actions, words, and thoughts. If a part of your life is not working out as well as it should, then it's time to make some changes by keeping an open mind and being willing to learn from others' experiences.
If you must take any lesson away from this point, it's this: don't blame others. Just because you're not getting the results you want doesn't mean someone else is at fault. It means you need to try something different or go back to the drawing board and develop a new strategy.
Take, for example:
If you are struggling to get new business, ask yourself, "What can I do differently?" or "What am I doing right now that is causing my clients not to call me?" Do you have a website? Is it up-to-date? Is there an email address where people can contact you online? Are you doing any advertising?
It's all on you!
As long as we can be accountable for our actions and words, we can keep improving ourselves daily and become better versions of ourselves than we were yesterday.
Always Turn Up
One of the most important aspects of being a successful life insurance agent is showing up.
If you don't show up, you can't be accountable for your actions. Nobody will trust or buy from you if you're not responsible for your actions. If nobody buys from you, then there's no way that they'll want to work with somebody who doesn't show up!
Show up daily without fail and always arrive on time (or earlier than expected). It's okay to be late occasionally because we all make mistakes sometimes—but if this becomes a regular occurrence in your business life, it will hurt more than just yourself: it could cause other people harm too!
Keep this in mind:
You're on a mission to become one of the best life insurance agents in 2022, so make sure you think about how important it is for both parties involved when doing any project together. Not only does showing up mean you're dependable, but it also means that chances are high that everything gets done according to plan!
Work On Your Soft Skills
Soft skills include communication, social skills, leadership problem solving, and critical thinking: all competencies necessary for success in any field of work or life.
Here's why it is crucial:
Earlier I mentioned that selling life insurance isn't about selling products. It's about selling solutions, building relationships, and providing help. If you can't sell yourself as a solution to a problem, who will?
To become a successful life insurance agent, you need to have the ability to listen to and understand your clients' needs, then find the best solutions for them. You also need to communicate those solutions clearly and concisely in an engaging way. This isn't easy. It takes practice and hard work, but it's essential if you want your clients to trust you enough to buy from you over the long term — because if they don't trust you, they won't buy from you anyway.
The best way to develop these skills is by working on them daily. Write down things that you would like to improve in yourself.
What are your weaknesses? What are the things that you feel most uncomfortable with? You can always start with small steps, like taking a course or enrolling in a seminar.
Don't be afraid to ask for help from others when needed!
This is critical because most insurance agents lack the confidence to approach prospects, especially high-net-worth individuals. Many can't take advantage of off-the-cuff conversations, and some don't know how to communicate their message effectively or even what questions to ask them. Therefore, it's essential to have someone specialized in this field who can guide and assist you and provide feedback on how well the prospect received your sales pitch.
Be honest with yourself: are you good at these soft skills?
If not, seek help from mentors or other professionals who can provide guidance.
To help get started, you can check out The Taylor Method. It is a purpose-built sales training program for insurance agents and financial advisors that's transforming thousands of struggling insurance agents who were once like you into confident professionals. It does this by providing them with an easy-to-implement roadmap that works on all levels - from the basics like handling objections and closing deals to advanced skills such as negotiating complex policies and influencing opinion leaders.
Listen, I can't reiterate the importance of building relationships with your prospect - this is often the difference between an agent who makes a sale and one who doesn't. The Taylor Method ensures you're the former.
Master The Art And Science Of Unlocking Opportunities
As a life insurance agent, you are tasked with selling a product many people don't understand. One of the most important things you can do is to master the science of unlocking opportunities.
I know this sounds basic, but it isn't.
The truth is that opportunities abound. But most people lack the skills to capitalize on them. You need to know what to do and when to do it. For you, this is the place where the Taylor Method's actual value shines.
Here's an example of how I do it:
A client "agreed" to a $200 a month policy, but not the $3000 they actually need.
So, how did I unlock this opportunity?
I'll reveal it in a moment:
I discovered that the client had about $60,000 in credit card debt. When I brought up the issue with the client, she explained it happened six years ago and now pays $2,000 monthly on that account.
That's not all...
I also discovered they owned a home valued at $1 million and only had $500,000 worth of mortgages on that property.
I referred the client to a mortgage broker who could refinance that property and exchange credit card debt for mortgage debt, which is tax-deductible. For this client, it was $60,000 of credit card debt at 20% for $60,000 of mortgage debt at 4%, which is tax-deductible.
When that debt was lowered, I could take the monthly payment of $1,800 (net after $200/mo mortgage), which was used to pay for the mortgage, and put it into a retirement plan. In other words, she's spending the same amount of money now as she was before, but now she has $1 million in coverage and a $100,000 tax-free income coming her way in retirement.
In the end, it was a win-win for both of us.
Properly executed, this is the likely outcome 9 out of 10 times.
Take Advantage Of Ongoing Training And Community Support
Training and community support are crucial to your success as a life insurance agent. The company should provide you with ongoing training, but it's also important to take advantage of opportunities to learn from others in the community.
I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but if you're not equipped with proven sales techniques and strategies, it will be difficult for you to succeed as a life insurance agent. A good training program will teach you how to win over potential customers and encourage them to buy policies from you.
Community support is equally important because every agent has different strengths and weaknesses, which can be challenging when first starting.
You also need a mentor.
Having a mentor is another way for agents to learn about the ins and outs of being successful in this field. Having someone who has been in business for some time can help guide your path toward success by sharing tips and tricks they've learned along the way.
The good news is that there are many ways for you to learn from the best in the business. And the Taylor Method is one of the favorite resources insurance agents leverage. This online training is not only designed to help you get your career off on the right foot, but it also provides helpful tips and tricks on how to succeed at every stage of your career.
Take advantage of this training and use it to improve your sales skills, build rapport with clients, understand what makes them tick, and ultimately grow your business!
Contribute to societal good
In addition to making a living, it's essential to contribute to the greater good. The world is filled with many worthy causes that need your help. I recommend you volunteer for at least one charity or nonprofit organization in your community each year.
"What has this got to do with becoming a successful life insurance agent," you ask?
It's about believing in the greater good. It's about giving back to people who need a hand up. It's about finding ways to do good and make connections at the same time - because really, what better way is there to get to know someone but through good deeds?
Bottom line: Giving back is a win-win situation. Not only will you touch lives and leave a much bigger footprint on the world. but you'll create meaningful connections and develop relationships with potential clients.
A lot of what makes a successful salesperson is intangible, but this job requires more than just personality. It requires an understanding of your prospect and an ability to come across as a solution provider—not another "snake oil salesman." Now that you have a better idea of how to develop a successful approach, you should be able to get started on your journey to success as a life insurance agent. Best of luck!