The Top 3 Insurance Sales Mistakes

By | February 10, 2013

Everyone makes mistakes, including even the best group health insurance salespeople in the world. What differentiates them from the rest of the pack, though, is that they understand that rather than beating themselves up and wringing their hands in despair over their mistakes, they are far better off making an effort to learn from those mistakes and recover from them a better salesperson. Here are some of the mistakes that insurance salespeople commonly make, especially when they are relatively new to the industry, and how they can be overcome:

Mistake #1 – Acting on Business Intelligence Too Slowly

The scenario – a fairly new insurance salesperson has taken the advice of some more experienced peers and made the investment in business intelligence reports from a reputable company that came highly recommended. The reports are even exclusive for a certain period of time so really all the salesperson has to do is follow up on them and do what he really got into the business to do – sell insurance. However, figuring that he has the time to contact the potential prospect later, and as the competition will not be sold the same lead, the salesperson ties up some other loose ends first, intending to call the lead soon.

A few days go by. The potential prospect, under pressure from their own management to find a good health plan and find one quickly, has begun making serious inquiries themselves. By the time the first salesperson remembers to call, he or she has already been sold on a proposal that they got from another agent, one they contacted because they had a job to do quickly.

Rather than reflect for days on the stupidity of the move, an insurance salesperson can learn from the mistake and make time every day leverage his business intelligence reports as soon as it crosses his desk. It may still take weeks to close the deal, but at least now the insurance salesperson has his “foot in the door” right from day one.

Mistake #2 – Being Too Aggressive with an Undecided Potential Prospect

Any salesperson knows that he does need to be persuasive and exert a certain amount of pressure to close any deal; however, it is very easy to become a little too aggressive with a potential prospect, especially when the product being sold is business insurance.

Even if the potential prospect you have been speaking with has the power to make the final decision about group health insurance, he is not the only person involved. Many managers do speak with others in the company first about such things and then have to digest the feedback they get before making a final choice. If an insurance salesman pressures them too hard during this process, they may not take it very kindly.

Instead, a great insurance salesperson will take the time to develop a real understanding of the potential client and business, and most of all encourage them to ask as many questions as they like. And if the potential prospect does seem to be dragging his feet, a simple phone call or email checking in and asking if he has any other concerns can be all the persuasion the prospect needs to choose to go with such a helpful and concerned salesperson and the products he or she is offering.

Mistake #3 – Assuming Everything is OK

Another big mistake that insurance salespeople in all fields make is assuming that a client who was delighted with their coverage when they purchased it will still be feeling the same way when it comes time for them to renew it. Many a group health insurance salesperson has been surprised to learn that a client is making a change and not signing up for their product again because they have been having problems. “Why didn’t they call and say so?” thinks the insurance salesperson.  “I could have helped with that.”

The reason they didn’t call is probably because they too are very busy, and the salesperson’s lack of follow-through seemed to indicate to the client that he didn’t care very much anyway and the best plan would be to cut their losses and switch to a new plan as soon as possible.

The rather obvious lesson that can be learned from this mistake is that regular follow-up is essential, even if it is just a quick monthly call or email. A few minutes is all it takes, but those few minutes could be the difference between building up a loyal clientele and becoming known as a fly-by-night salesperson who does not provide good service.

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About the Author/Host

John Pojeta

John Pojeta - Vice President of Business Development

John researches new types of business and manages and initiates strategic, corporate-level relationships to expand exposure for The PT Services Group. John came to The PT Services Group in 2011. Before that, he owned and operated an Ameriprise Financial Services franchise for 16 years.

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