Veteran insurance agents know that sales skills take time to learn, develop and apply. In sales, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. But if you focus on your weaknesses and continually apply your strengths, you will soon become a well-rounded salesperson. Are you applying all the insurance sales skills you need to rise above the rest? Double check with this list!

1. Be consultative.

In your sales approach, have a genuine conversation with your clients and prospects in order to build a relationship. Identify clients’ needs and match those needs with the policies and services your agency has to offer. How can you identify their needs? By asking the right questions!

2. Ask the right questions.

Don’t just stick to the simple closed-ended questions which can be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Ask open-ended questions and ones that cause your client or prospect to stop and think. For example, you can ask, “What brings you in today?,” “What are you looking for out of an auto insurance policy?” or “How does your spouse feel about life insurance?” Open-ended questions that require critical thinking will allow you to get to the bottom of customers’ needs. By doing this effectively, you grow your business while helping your clients.

3. Be confident.

This is huge. If you’re not confident in what you’re selling, then what makes you believe your clients and prospects will be confident in the solutions you’re providing? For new insurance agents, sometimes you have to ‘fake it ‘til you make it.’ So, if you don’t know the answer to a question, be confident that you’ll find the answer for them. Each sales conversation you have will build your confidence with experience and time. And one of the best ways to emit full confidence is to be competent in company procedures and product knowledge. Competence builds confidence. With effective training, time and practice, complete confidence will come.

4. Get organized.

When a prospect calls your office or walks through the door unexpectedly, first impressions are everything. Be calm, friendly and professional to show you have it together. Some days can be crazy, so try to reduce the paper trail as much as possible. You can start by having a clear desk. Additionally, sales management software like Blitz that allows you to record every instance of the conversation is valuable for cross-selling and sales pipeline monitoring.

5. Listen!

The best salespeople in the world use their ears and mind every day to listen to their customers. Everyone can hear a client speaking, but not everyone listens! Shhh…do you hear that? Your clients are trying to tell you something!

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6. Use effective phone communication.

For many, selling over the phone can be intimidating and uncomfortable, so insurance agents don’t dial as many numbers as they should. This can be overcome by using a cloud-based compliant auto dialer. This user-friendly software can allow you to make up to 3 times as many calls compared to traditional hand dialing. The more calls made, the more opportunities you will encounter, and soon calling will be a breeze!

7. Ensure a quality customer experience.

Service is selling! A poor customer experience can be the difference between keeping customers or calling them back months later in hopes of a win-back. Prevent the latter by proudly serving customers daily to meet their requests. Be sure to keep your word and meet those requests each time you say you will! Trust must be maintained because, without it, you have nothing.

8. Work on emotional intelligence.

Some people are naturally more gifted in emotional intelligence. The good news is that, even if you aren’t, it’s not too late to learn! Emotional intelligence will allow you to adapt your emotions and expressions in response to how the customer is responding throughout the conversation. Read your customer! This is effective for everything in sales, from rapport building to handling objections. Don’t forget that with objection handling, practice makes perfect, so practice often!

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Now that you’ve read the list, how many of these insurance sales skills do you possess? Which ones don’t you have? No matter the outcome, be sure to leverage your strengths and work on your weaknesses to become the well-rounded insurance professional you know you can be!