Creating a World-Class Insurance Sales Culture

By Tim Sawyer | December 13, 2012

This post is part of a series on insurance marketing and training sponsored by Astonish.

Selling insurance isn’t like it used to be. Not many people just walk-in or call ready to do business anymore. And when they do, they expect more – more knowledge, more professionalism, more choices, a good deal, or a better price. If your agency doesn’t have a world-class sales culture built into it, then it’s set up to fail.

So how do you build a world-class sales culture? Here’s a step-by-step mini guide to help get you started:

Step #1. Identify Agency VALUES

Perhaps your agency values honesty in all your dealings with clients. Perhaps your agency values building trust by listening to client concerns and delivering custom solutions to common problems. Perhaps your agency values commitment to community. Identifying your agency’s values means identifying what sets your agency apart.

Why is this important? When your agents, CSRs, or producers are on a call with prospects and lose them over a $20 difference in price to a competitor… there must be something more to sell beyond the insurance product. You must set your employees up to sell your agency’s values because your agency’s values are meaningful to the consumer.

Step #2. Make Sure Everyone Knows

Once you’ve identified the values, post them around on the agency’s walls and put them at the end of every email. In other words, rally around those values with everything you’ve got. Every single person working in your agency from reception to principal should know the agency’s values by heart.

Step #3. Incorporate Those Values into Sales Calls

Insurance professionals need to be able to sell an agency’s values during sales calls with clients and prospects.

For example, if your agency values a commitment to the community by giving back, whether through volunteering, fundraising events or donations, that’s valuable to the consumer. That sets your agency apart from competitors and that needs to be something your agents are trained to sell when prospects call.

So how do you train them? Start by listening to the recorded sales calls. Come up with a script that incorporates the agency’s values. Have your staff role play until they’re comfortable using the new language around values and are ready to talk to prospects.

Step #4. Set Up Measurable Goals

Now that your staff has memorized and is incorporating the agency’s goals in sales calls and in every interaction with customers, you’ve got to outline some solid, measurable goals around sales. A measurable goal is a specific goal that can be measured; such as selling X number of policies per week.

A measurable goal is not setting the bar so high that your employees could never achieve it. A measurable goal is looking at current performance numbers and setting a goal slightly higher. If your staff currently sells 30 policies per month, set a goal of selling 50.

Step #5. Set a Deadline

Notice in the example above, there’s a deadline attached to the goal – the end of the month. That’s because goals are more likely to be achieved when there’s a deadline attached to them.

Getting your whole staff on the same page and rallied around your insurance agency’s values and sales goals are proven tactics that get results. Even though it takes a whole lot more beyond these simple steps to create a world-class sales culture in your insurance agency, we know these tactics will get your agency started on the growing path to success.

About the Author: Tim Sawyer is the Co-founder, President, and Director of Client Services for Astonish. His company offers a complete digital marketing system that includes coaching and insurance sales training for local agencies. Showing agencies how to harness the power of company values and sales goals is just one of the benefits of working with Astonish coaching. Many successful local agencies are seeing extraordinary growth and profitability by incorporating the Astonish system into their marketing plan.

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Latest Comments

  • December 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm
    Jim Tex Frazier says:
    After reading Insurance Journal and others before it dating back to 1977; I still wonder where some industry articles come from don't you? We are not Used Car Sales Reps. If w... read more
  • December 18, 2012 at 6:03 am
    steph says:
    creating a value proposition for the client as oppposed to just trying to sell a cheaper product is far longer lasting and tends to build relationships rather than simply clos... read more
  • December 17, 2012 at 11:44 am
    FabIns says:
    Astonish sold cars before they began putting websites together for insurance agents. I don't think they can sit there from a position of experience to tell agencies that what ... read more
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