Insurance Tips: Clientele building, prestige and prospecting

Always assign yourself just a little more work than you can comfortably fit into the course of a day. This practice makes one too busy to stop and lose time on non-essentials.

By habitually calling on people every day and by being disposed to render needed service whether it profits you or not, you gain a reputation for being hard workers. This in itself leads to opportunities for business.

Creating Goodwill

Have you ever devoted an evening just to building goodwill no selling? Please try it. When the weather is pleasant, take a walk around town or even to a park or similar place where people gather for the evening. Stop and talk with the friends and relations you meet.

If you are a restaurant-goer, drop in at the popular places and casually talk to people whom you know.

There is only one rule to remember. Don’t talk about yourself. Ask the other man questions and get him taking about himself.

That’s good manners. It is also good business you will gain in two ways you will sell yourself as a nice person to know and you will pick up some interesting and helpful information for possible use in prospecting later on.

Prospect Card and Record Keeping.

My  experience is that every time you call on the prospect, the first time you will discover that expenses have been extremely high since last two months in the case of many of them. They would have asked you to come back two, three four or six months later. So you would also be satisfied that this is true having verified their inability to buy when you saw them sometime back.

You must put such prospects on your future call list. So now is the time to check through your prospect cards and make appointments. A good fast sales start in the beginning of the year makes your year long goals look much easier to achieve.

Pre-sales Interview

It has been said that for every minute an actor spends on the stage, he spends 14 hours in preparation. He gladly puts in advance work like this for he knows that his performance in front of people will determine his success in his profession.

If you talk with three or four people a day about life insurance, your audience for the month is 90 to 120 people. By an actor’s standard, it is not much but it is just as important to your success that you give a well rehearsed, forceful performance before your audience as it is for the actor to do so before his audience. And, unless you are doing joint work, you have no co-star in supporting cast to help you out when your performance is weak.

Whether you wish to specialise in the sale of Anticipated Endowment, Convertible Whole Life of Deferred and Immediate Annuities or any of the conventional plans, a complete life insurance programming or estate planning is most essential. It will pay you many times over, to rehearse and rehearse some more, until your lines could be spoken as fluently and effectively as an actor’s. No agent can afford to settle for anything less.


You have probably to run into the older prospect who says, I wish I had bought more life insurance when I was younger. I did not realise then how much I needed it or how important it was to start buying it early. Some how, I could have afforded it. But now I am uninsurable.

Don’t just  agree with him and leave. These strong believers in life insurance can help you and through you, today’s young men. They make wonderful centres of influence and are the easiest to cultivate. Ask them to suggest to you their business associates and acquaintances, relatives and family friends. Ask them to recommend life insurance and you as a life insurance salesman. Their testimonials will carry weight and give you a boost before you call.

Sales Interviews

If you lack the confidence, if you think it is too hard to work alone, if you just cannot get started, if you are not satisfied with you results, if you feel discouraged, if you need a pickup, then do some joint work! At times, it is easier to get started if you have someone to go with you. And you might be surprised to find that quite often two men can do a better selling job than one. That the one man can spark the other or vice versa.

If you have a tendency to talk fast, work at slowing yourself down. Speak slowly and distinctly in the interview. Watch your prospect and measure your speed by how fast or slowly he responds. Give the prospect time to digest what you have just said. Remember that the time you are talking, he is weighing your remarks against his own ideas. Stop often to give him a chance to talk or to be sure, you have his understanding. You can’t make the sale without it.

Sales presentation Interview

Stop now and then in your presentation and test your prospect’s interest and attention. Try looking at him right in the eye and saying, Have I made that clear?

If you think you have lost his attention, stop in the middle of the sentence and pause. You will have his attention again.

Sales Interview

Your sales interview need not be purely a narration. Even asking of questions to the prospect can help. When a life insurance salesman asks the right questions, he softly applies pressure on the prospect to make him consider his problem. Ideally, the prospect always applies the pressure on himself as he comes to realise the inadequacy of his present planning.

Following are some questions that put soft pressure on the prospect:-

  • Why did you buy the insurance policies that you own now ?
  • Are you being unfair to your younger children?
  • Are you too modest about the economic value of your life to your family?
  • Have you measured your present insurance against the job you want it to do?

Development of Sales Out Of “Declined Cases”.

What do you do with the agent’s intimation copy of declined case? Most of us throw them in a wastepaper basket. A few agents file these letters away in correspondence files but I have seen an agent who has converted this letter of rejection as a powerful sales tool.

He had mounted the letter, neatly obliterating the name of the applicant, and in red pencil underlined the column where age of the proponent appeared.

Over many years, this agent has made quite a collection of such rejection advices covering applicants of various ages. He told me that he has found these letters more powerful than anything he could say to motivate procrastinating prospects.

How much life insurance do you plan to own eventually? This is a good question to open an insurance interview with a young man on his way up. Don’t be surprised at the high figures you will get. Your next question will be, “By what age do you plan to have it?” When he answers that he hopes to be fully insured by the time he is 40 or 45 years, you are under way.

It is a simple matter to show him how with a goal like that to be reached in another 10-15 years he should better get started on it now. He needs to decide how much of that he can get in force now and how often he will be able to add to it.

Work out this plan with him. Sell him now what he can safely afford to own and set up a definite schedule of future purchase. Give him a copy and keep one in your own file; but don’t file it away and forget it. Be sure, you are on hand when he is ready to buy again.

Answering Objections

Objections are a part of the insurance business. You can expect to encounter some in almost every interview. Here are a few tested ways to handle the objections.

Listen to the prospect talk. Don’t interrupt him. Let him get his objection out of his system. Many times when he hears it aloud, he will see the weakness in it for himself.

Interpret his objection in the form of a question. Ask him if you are correct that his objection is and then rehearse it so that you have a question from him.

Give his objection an answer at once or a reason for postponing it at that moment. If you don’t, he will be still thinking of the objection you did not answer and will not listen to any other arguments that you may have.

Don’t offend him. The objection may seem insignificant or even ridiculous to you, but don’t smile and show it. Acknowledge his comment and if possible, compliment him on his opinion and then give him the answer.

Maintain your poise. Don’t let his objection disrupt you from your sales track. Be flexible enough to handle his objection and let it be the clue to the next point you want to make.

Let a third party answer the objection for you. If you seem to be holding a debate rather than a discussion of a particular point, bring in a third party a visual, a story of someone else’s decision etc. that will break the tie.

Anticipate objections before going into the interview,. When the agent knows something about his prospect before calling, he can sometimes know the objections likely to come up and takes care of them before the prospect can voice them.

Referred Leads

After Close

When you walk out of prospect’s home, be sure you leave something behind. Leave your name and address on your visiting card, and advertisement pull, a folder or something visual for him to look at and ponder about.

Leave a good idea something for him to think over and chew on after you have gone.

Leave a good impression. Give him reason to think of you as a man who was mindful of both your time and his and a man who knew what he was talking about. Try to leave a friend one who will not hesitate to recommend you to his friends and family.

When you get a referred lead, ask, “who else knows him as well as you do? And you have another name for prospecting.

Ask the name of his doctor, his dentist, his neighbour, his fast friends. If he is going to be the source of your prospect list, get the kind of prospects you want to see, the kind most likely to buy life insurance..

Extracts from “Tips for selling LIFE INSURANCE” by Dr. Rakesh Agarwal. Copyright of Sashi Publications, and


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