If you want a career in life insurance, it can be a rewarding experience indeed. You can make a lot of money, go on great trips, meet a lot of people, and set your own schedule for things like children’s school trips and such.
But the life insurance business has an astounding 98% turnover ratio. This is because what’s so difficult about getting started in life insurance is getting started in life insurance. More to the point, the key problem with most people who fail in the business is lead generation.
You have to develop a client base to succeed in life insurance. The two keys to success are repeat (or sustained) business and referrals. For the life insurance business, referrals are your life’s blood, since you won’t always find even your most loyal customers interested in a lot of repeat business (except when they have life changing events such as new children come along).
They will tell you that you are supposed to start getting your client base from family and friends, but this is not at all effective for the vast majority of people. The people who know you best, or think they do, can be the very same ones who are most opposed to listening to what you have to say, and many “evil” things are believed, rightly or wrongly, about life insurance and life insurance companies. What’s more, it’s not the most endearing situation to hit up your family and friends for hours at a time so you can advance in a business, and they are likely to give you their time only so you can please your manager and “get practice”.
So where to begin? If you are with an established life insurance company like MetLife, you will be handed a Book of Business when you enter the company. The Book of Business is a file of already established company clients who were being serviced by another agent who quit, got fired, or retired. These are thus all people who already know the company name and are likely to be happy with their policies.
Since they already have policies, you may wonder, what good could they be as a client base? There are a few ways. One, since they know your company, they’re far more likely to at least let you in the door, which is always the hardest part of life insurance sales. Once you’re there, you have a chance to convince them that they need more coverage or need additional financial products if your company sells them. But more, you have the opportunity to get referrals from them. Do they have any friends or children or family members whom they know might be able to use new or additional life insurance coverage? Many times these people are willing to go through their address book for you since they have familiarity with you via your company. You also can fix any problems they’ve been having since their other agent left, and this could lead to future business.
Contacting these people via telephone, mail, or e-mail should be done.
The company you are selling for should be providing advertising and marketing materials for you. If you have access to anything like brochures, mail them out (bulk) to your Book of Business. Also, leave them around in your travels as you visit appointments, network, go on errands, etc.; and attach your business card. Give out your business card everywhere you go.
You can network for prospects by joining groups and organizations which you would join anyway, and then casually, over time, making known your profession to your fellow members through talk and through placing of marketing materials. Most life insurance sales begin with a casual conversation.
The Internet nowadays is a potent client-getting tool. Start a website and a blog, and have an opt-in e-mail newsletter option there. Write articles and publish them at content sites with links back to your website. Produce and place online videos with linkbacks. Use social bookmarking tools for all of your blog entries, articles, and videos. Post at social networking sites such as forums about financial matters or matters of personal interest to you, and include linkbacks to your website.
And finally, above all: ALWAYS ask everyone you meet with or talk insurance with for referrals, and make sure you can use their name when you contact them