November 21, 2017

When you’ve been selling insurance for a number of years, you’ve probably crafted your sales pitch to perfection.

You know what questions to ask, what statistics to cite, and which companies to rely on.

But when you first start your adventure as an independent insurance agent, it’s hard to get a client. Even harder to close deals. You feel lucky if you close even 1 out of every 10 appointments.

Until you learn how to sell and build value, you won’t close nearly as many sales.

Perhaps you’ve been there – you spent hours and hours cold calling prospects that never converted. The time and effort drained away your hours. You were spending all your time trying to just get a client rather than actually getting applications signed.

It’s frustrating, and it’s a struggle we hear about all the time. So we started searching for some answers.

The Company Debate

How many times has a client approached you with a specific company in mind?

“I want Blue Cross Blue Shield.”

“We’ve used Cigna all our lives.”

“But AARP gives me a free backpack for joining.”

Before you know it, the client is choosing between carriers, not knowing which carrier is actually the most beneficial to them. But you’re sort of excited, right? They know which carrier they want, and you offer it. The sale couldn’t have been easier, right?

And as certain carriers become more popular, this only becomes more prominent.

And perhaps you’re guilty of this kind of thinking, too.

“CSI is one of the best carriers here. We should really take a look.”

“Aetna is my favorite company. I’ll run a quote for you.”

Or whatever company you might be mentioning to your clients. (Or whatever company has the best incentive at the moment.)

But here’s the problem. All your competitors are offering the same companies as you are. At face value, there’s no differentiation between what you offer and what another agent or insurance carrier offers.

The Realization

As you sell more insurance, worked with more clients, and visited more doors, you start to see patterns. You begin thinking about what you’re really selling.

Perhaps you’ve always assumed that when a client asks for insurance, that’s the problem they’re trying to solve: getting insurance. But it’s not.

People are looking for protection, an advocate, a trusted resource, an expert, security. Insurance agents just happen to be a great solution to problems in these areas (and others).

And that’s when we realized something.

When people seek out insurance, they’re trying to solve an issue that goes beyond their request for some specific company or product. They couldn’t care less about what company you use. 

No matter how great they think Blue Cross Blue Shield is.

The Big Problem

We need to change our approach.

We need to start listening more intently. Ask more questions. Get to the root of the problem your client is facing.

Here’s what I mean.

The old approach:

Customer: “I want a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement.”

You: “Oh, great! I offer Blue Cross Blue Shield. Let’s get you an application.”

Outcome: Sell a BCBS Medicare Supplement and compete with every other agent that’s doing the same thing.

The new approach:

Customer: “I want a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement.”

You: “Are you currently enrolled in Medicare?

Customer: “Yes.”

You: “Parts A and B?”

Customer: “Yes.”

You: “And how old are you?”

Customer: “I turned 65 last month.”

You: “Happy birthday! Did you celebrate?”

Customer: “Yes, I visited my grandkids. We had a little party. It was fun!”

You: “That’s great! Where do they live?”


You: “Well, I want you to know that now is a great time to get a Medicare Supplement. I know you mentioned Blue Cross Blue Shield, but I’d like you to know that every company is required, by the government, to offer the same benefits. That’s why I like to get quotes from several companies to see which one will offer you the best price.”

Customer: “I didn’t know that! That would be great.”

Outcome: Eventually sell a Medicare Supplement that fits the client’s needs. However, you’re also selling yourself – you’ve created a relationship with the client, you’ve demonstrated that you care about them, and you’ve become a trusted, personal advocate for them.

Instead of taking your client’s request at face value, ask questions. Eventually, you’ll get to the root of the request – people want coverage at a price they can afford.

The more you do this, the more clients you’ll receive.

And people love this! There aren’t many agents that sell like this. Most sell to the product. They sell to the masses.

They aren’t selling to the need, and certainly not to the individual.

Your Challenge

How long can you go without ever mentioning a carrier’s name or a specific product?

If you have a hard time building value for your service, then I have a challenge for you: stop selling the product.

See how long you can go without mentioning CSI or Blue Cross Blue Shield or Cigna or Aetna.

See what happens.

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