How to Sell w/ out Selling - A Guide to Closing Sales w/ out Looking Like an Insurance Salesperson

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

Your Comprehensive Guide to Closing Sales without Looking Like Just another Insurance Salesperson

When I started working as an appointment scheduler at Engagex in 2017, a response that I got daily (if not more than that) was,

“I don’t need anymore insurance.”,

“I don’t want to come in so he/she can just try to sell me more insurance.”,

“I’ll only come in if it’s a review - I don’t want to buy anymore insurance.”

and other responses along those same lines.

Call center representative listening intently to customer over the phone.

Generally speaking, people don’t like to be sold to.

This can be frustrating to you as an agent, because customer insurance review meetings are one of the BEST ways to identify opportunities to sell new policies to your existing customers.

Selling new policies may even be your main motivator to meet with your customers in the first place!

And as you know, sometimes your clients are at risk because they have too little coverage or recently had a change in their life that requires a new policy.

To get them the coverage they need, you have to up-sell them.

However, the customer insurance review meeting is NOT the time or place to try to sell them the new policy.

Yes, you read that right.

The customer insurance review meeting is NOT the time or place to try to sell the new policy.

So, if you shouldn’t be hard-selling during the meeting, how are you supposed to up-sell your customers?

This blog post is meant to be a comprehensive guide to up-selling/cross-selling your customers without coming across as an insurance salesperson.

Let’s get into it.

There are five steps you’ll need to take for this process to work.

  1. Create educational content about the different types of coverage your offer

  2. Utilize the Needs Assessment Form

  3. Conduct the review meeting - Investigate & Educate

  4. Action Items

  5. Follow-up & Close the Sale

Something important for you to keep in mind: The purpose of the customer insurance review meeting is to investigate and educate.

Step 1 - Create Educational Content

The first step - creating educational content - will take some work up front, but once you’ve created the content, you’ve got it for all of your customer insurance review meetings!

You’ll only need to go back periodically to make minor changes and updates as needed.

Don’t let this part scare you - it will be well worth your time.

As a captive agent, your company might already have this content available for you to use!

Educating your clients about their current coverage, risks, and solutions to those risks will help them feel the need and recognize the value of a new policy.

Insurance client sits in lobby and reads information from his agent about car insurance.

Here are some things to consider when creating educational content that sells policies:

The most common media for educational insurance policy content will be:

  • Electronic document/article form (this could be a page on your website or blog)

  • Physical handouts like a pamphlet or flyer

  • Video

If you have the capabilities to create videos explaining your policies, it's a good idea to do so.

Once you have every product outlined in multiple formats, you will be prepared to offer the most useful deliverable to your client.

If your client prefers video, send a link to your video (you can easily host it on YouTube or Vimeo).

If they want a physical pamphlet, hand them a pamphlet.

If they want an email with a link to an article, be prepared with that too.

What products should you create educational content for?

It will be beneficial to create content for each product you offer.

Go through each insurance category and subcategory and identify policies your customers might be interested in.

For example:

Category: Auto

  • Piece 1: Liability

  • Piece 2: Uninsured Motorist

  • Piece 3: Medical

  • Piece 4: Comprehensive

Category: Home

  • Piece 5: Home/Rental

  • Piece 6: Separate Structures

  • Piece 7: Contents

  • Piece 8: Additional Living Expenses

  • Piece 9: Liability

  • Piece 10: Guest Medical

Create an educational piece for each policy you offer so that whenever a customer asks for more information, no matter what it is, you will have a quick deliverable answer.

Insurance agent teaches clients about their coverage options.

With each educational piece you create, you will want to follow 4 steps:

  1. Explain the function of the coverage, and the circumstances under which the coverage is needed. Explain any terms that might be unfamiliar to your client. Explain any numbers or figures involved in the policy.

  2. Give a specific, real-life example

  3. Clarify the benefits of having the policy

  4. Consider Frequently Asked Questions

  5. As you meet with your existing clients to review their policies and discuss their needs, take note of questions that frequently come up. These questions will provide you with a good idea of the most important things to include in your educational content. You will want to review your content to make sure the information contains the answers to these questions.

As you allow your clients to learn for themselves why they need certain additional policies, you will have greater success cross-selling more policies.

Step 2: Needs Assessment Form

A tool that is sometimes under-utilized is the customer needs assessment form.

This form is a simple questionnaire about the risks your clients face compared to the coverage they currently have.

Functions of the Needs Assessment Form:

  • Identifies current risks/needs

  • Gathers info - long term goals, education plans, retirement, etc.

  • Identifies top concerns of the client

  • Notes any recent life changes

Benefits of the Needs Assessment Form:

  • Gives you (the agent) a clear picture of the client

  • Helps you (the agent) prepare for the meeting

  • Aids in the investigate portion of the customer insurance review

  • Gets your client thinking and in the right mindset for the review

The Needs Assessment form helps you to investigate to identify gaps, overlaps, risks, and solutions to those risks.

Have your clients complete the form before insurance review meetings (or at the beginning of the meeting).

Download the Free PDF here:

Needs Assessment Worksheet-V2
Download PDF • 156KB

Step 3: Conduct the Review Meeting

Remember: Investigate & Educate

Here’s a brief outline for you to follow for the review meeting - make sure you’re present and tailoring the meeting to the client’s needs:

1. Naturally start the meeting with a few minutes of pleasantries

  1. Discuss customer’s interests/hobbies

  2. Ask about their goals and desires

  3. Be natural and build a genuine relationship

2. Verify contact information

3. Review the completed Needs Assessment Form

  1. If they haven’t done it, take a minute or two to fill it out with them by asking them the questions on the form

Insurance agent meets with a couple and reviews their current coverage.

4. As you work through the review, you’ll discuss each type of insurance coverage.

To discuss it effectively, first, educate them on the purpose of the coverage and instances in which it has been useful.

Next, review their current coverage and whether or not it’s sufficient in your expert opinion.

Now, confirm whether or not the client is satisfied with the level of coverage they currently have.

After discussing each type of insurance, talk about potential discounts that your client is eligible for.

This is typically the most exciting part of the review for your client and will reinforce the value you’re providing them with.

Solely giving the customer a discount without letting them know won’t help your retention - your customers need to know that you’re providing them a discount for them to recognize the value YOU provide.

5. After reviewing all of their coverage, let your client know about any new products you have available that would be applicable to them.

6. Review your action items

  1. Make sure you’re both on the same page about any updates that need to be made to their coverage.

7. Review their long-term goals that you can assist with

8. Close

  1. Thank them for their time and let them know that you’ll be in contact shortly to follow-up on any action items you’ve identified, along with any educational info for them to review.

Step 4: Update Information & Complete Action Items

Update your customer’s file with any additional information you collected during the review.

This could include a spouse's name, employment details, or life changes.

Insurance agent marks off action items from her to-do list.

Update any changes to their policy that were discussed in the meeting.

If you need to increase or decrease their coverage, make sure you take the steps necessary to get that done right away.

Complete any action items or tasks that were requested or came up during the meeting.

These could be things like sending the customer a copy of their policy or checking on the status of an open claim.

From your notes, you will be able to identify educational content to send your customer that relates to their needs and interests.

You might have even already provided them with the content they need during the meeting and that works, too!

Step 5: Follow-up & Close the Sale

One week after your meeting with each customer, give them a call to see if they have reviewed the educational materials you sent with them.

Ask them if they have any questions about it.

Give them a quote for that specific line of coverage and give a recap of why they would be interested in it.

This is where new policies will naturally be sold.

Remind your customers that you will be inviting them back for another appointment in about a year.

Insurance agent calls to follow-up with a client about increasing their coverage.

Say something like “Mrs. Jones, how about I give you a call next September so we can schedule our next appointment to meet again in October”.

This way it's no surprise to your customer when you try to set up another appointment.

Remember that consistency is the key to having a successful customer insurance review program.

You will need to meet with your customers each year to successfully grow your agency over time.

Following the steps in this guide will help to shift your customers' views of you from an insurance salesperson to a trusted insurance advisor.

Are there other things you've done to help establish yourself as a trusted advisor rather than a salesperson? Let us know in the comments below! We'd love to discuss.

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