How to sell insurance? It differs from the way sales functions in almost all other categories. Think about it, no one goes home to unpack a bag of insurance! Unlike retail, insurance is an intangible promise – peace of mind. To a certain extent, you’re selling yourself; that you’re the expert who will provide your clients with coverage when it’s needed most.
We’ve talked a lot about how the insurance market has significantly changed in recent years, and how it continues to evolve. The internet has changed customer behavior, legislation and regulations impact the market, and technology solutions influence your workflow. With this in mind, I’ve put together some tips on how to sell insurance in the modern era.
How to Sell Insurance Online
For an agent to be successful at selling insurance online it’s important to treat this approach as a lead generation method, and not as a set-it-and-forget-it sales technique.
Your digital presence isn’t a closing tool, it’s a lead generation tool. As with traditional sales and marketing strategies, like direct mail or cold calling, the goal of having a website or social media page is to put you, the broker, in front of as many qualified leads as possible. It’s still up to you to convert those leads into sales. Digital channels allow you to capitalize on data to direct more qualified leads into the sales funnel.
For example, people who visit your agency’s website represent leads. If your website receives 1,000 unique visitors per month that’s 1000 leads. If 10% of those leads enter contact information on a quote request form, that’s 100 leads for you to contact and pitch insurance plans to. With even just a 20% close rate, you can make 20 sales per month that were initiated from your website.
When thinking about how to sell insurance, keep in mind that a website isn’t just for sharing information with prospects, it provides a platform for you to gather data on your leads and enter them into the sales funnel. Any other channels you utilize as part of your insurance agent marketing strategy is for the purpose of directing leads to your website. It’s the central hub for them to gather more information and for you to collect contact information from them in return.
Social media, paid advertising, email campaigns, etc. should all direct visitors to your website with the goal of getting them to share their contact information.
Are you asking for the sale on your website?
Are you directly and effectively asking for your website visitors’ contact information on every single page on your agency website? If not, then you’re not asking for the sale. Your website should, visually and graphically, focus on getting the visitor to share their contact information. Take a look at our updated website, www.ease.com:
This is the top section of the website. Notice that the call to action buttons for “Get Demo” and “Watch Video” use the brightest color. This is one way you can visually and graphically leverage your website to ask for the sale.
Now of course actually getting prospects to share their contact information is a lot easier said than done. When building your strategy on how to sell insurance, the question you have to answer through your website’s content is why should they share their contact info? They need a reason, and the reason is additional information.
Here are three ways your agency website can ask for contact information. Provide forms for:
- A personalized quote
- Blog subscriptions
- An insurance guide (educational content)
Everyone needs insurance, and most consumers who are researching insurance options do their research online. A recent study found that 74% of shoppers use websites or aggregators for obtaining quotes and researching information.
Despite this, remember, your agency’s online presence is a lead generation method, not a sales tool. Consumers still prefer to make purchases by directly engaging with an agent or rep. In fact, 50% close the purchase through direct contact with an agent.
How to Sell Insurance to Millennials
Selling insurance to millennials requires understanding their consumer mindset; they’re going to dictate the future of insurance for at least the next 30 years!
A study by Harris Group found that millennials prefer experiences over stuff. Why own a car when you can hike Machu Picchu?! If you consider the approach corporate giants like Disney and Starbucks are taking, it’s clear to see how companies are leveraging this knowledge to appeal to millennials. Companies are using omni-channel marketing strategies that revolve around the customer experience.
Too often insurance agencies use the same messaging to communicate their value proposition; “We’re ABC insurance, we’ve been in business since 1950 and provide great customer service”. While this sort of messaging provides credibility to your agency, it doesn’t say anything to the consumer mindset of the average millennial. Revolving your insurance agent marketing strategy around the customer journey is essential in the digital era.
Millennials are seeking a quality customer experience from the companies they choose to do business with.
Be Consistent Across All Touchpoints
A five-year study found that millennials crave consistency and connection in their customer experience. This applies to various elements of the customer journey; branding, service, communication, and engagement. Millennials want a fluid experience when engaging with your agency.
They may read a blog post about employee benefits on their iPad, then request a quote through your website using their home computer, and finally email you to schedule an in-office meeting through their mobile phone during their work commute. What millennials value is how you can make that experience consistently easy, seamless, and engaging for them.
Get to Know Them
Millennials spend most of their time online. Affluent millennials with an average household income of over $100,000 spend 53 hours a week online. This means they consume a lot of content; video, infographics, blogs, podcasts. In order for your agency to stand out amidst all the noise you need to speak to their specific needs and wants.
If there’s anything to make note of in understanding how to sell insurance, it’s this. As much as possible, the customer journey you provide should be tailored to them. In terms of marketing and selling insurance to millennials this means displaying relevant content and offers. For example, if they recently purchased Telemedicine for their startup company, email an article about upcoming voluntary lines to look out for in 2018. You can easily use online surveys or website tracking data to gain insights into the preferences of this demographic; how they like to consume content, what digital channels they prefer, etc.
Develop New Ways to Connect
Millennials in particular like to connect with others to share experiences and to get advice on purchasing decisions. When you consider the popularity of social media platforms like Facebook or Yelp, it’s easy to see how this makes sense. Look for creative ways to enable that sort of community engagement – whether through an online community forum, customer reviews, and/or a social media page.
B2B Content and Strategy
The B2B sales cycle is a longer process. This means the content business owners consume when doing research differs from the average B2C consumer. In fact, research shows that 81% of B2B decision makers prefer to get company information through a series of articles as compared to advertisements.
Based on this consumer mindset for B2B prospects, consider these types of content:
Getting your agency’s content in front of B2B prospects requires a more strategic targeting method. Launching a paid advertising campaign on Facebook for your agency’s employee benefits services won’t do much good in generating qualified leads.
Research finds that LinkedIn is the number one social media channel for acquiring commercial clients. While that may not be surprising, what may surprise you is that blogging is the second most successful method for acquiring B2B clients. So writing a blog post on ACA compliance and sharing it on LinkedIn is a more effective insurance agent marketing strategy to generate relevant leads.
There’s no universal method on how to sell insurance to businesses. It’s important to understand that combining strategies is the best way to cover all bases for your insurance agency B2B marketing strategy. Check out these other blog posts on the broker tool belt that are relevant strategies for B2B sales and marketing:
Final Thoughts About How to Sell Insurance
As I previously stated, there’s no single method on how to sell insurance. Closing more sales requires combining all of these strategies. No matter who you’re selling insurance to, the modern consumer requires unique relevant content and a fluid customer journey.
It may sound like a lot to implement, but this is the 21st Century! Easy to use technology solutions for insurance agents are accessible online. Leveraging the power of technology will provide you all the tools and knowledge necessary to successfully sell insurance and close more sales in the digital era.