Closers and Educators: Which Are Best for Your Insurance Agency?
When you start thinking about bringing on more sales representatives to grow your agency, you may feel the need to train them on sales techniques to drive more closings and boost conversion rates. If so, you could be looking at this the wrong way. It may not be the “how” that your representatives need to hear about but the “why.”
Training vs. Education Explained
The sales landscape has changed as far as the customer is concerned. It’s no longer possible to utilize aggressive sales tactics and get conversions with any degree of consistency. Customers today want the information necessary to make an educated buying decision. They want to know why you are their best option. They already know they need insurance as evidenced by the fact that they were willing to meet with you in the first place. This is especially true when you are working with pre-qualified leads.
By the same token, many of your sales representatives are going to know the basics when it comes to selling. What they may not know as well are the intricacies of your product and company. Therefore, your time needs to be more focused on educating the sales rep rather than trying to train them to become one. They’re already there on the fundamentals, and if they’re not, then you should probably start aiming higher when it comes to new hires.
With that presumption firmly in place, you’ll be in a much better position to educate your reps, and they’ll be in a better position to hit the ground running from day one. Here are a few suggestions.
1. Focus on your customers first
The best way that you can educate your sales representatives on the uniqueness of your company and the line of products you serve is to point them toward your existing customers — particularly the ones, who have been with your agency for five years or more. These are your most loyal clients, and they’ve stayed for a reason that goes beyond price. It wouldn’t hurt to actually connect with some of your best clients and introduce them to your new sales reps. You might even incentivize that connection for your clients, offering a $10 or $25 gift card if they’d be willing to sit with your new hire(s) and answer questions about their experience with the agency. Do this prior to sending your reps out on that first call, and they’ll have a much better perspective of why people value your brand.
2. Share your insights
What products do you sell? What is the breakdown of sales, as in which policies are sold more than others and how many of your clients buy multiple policies? If so, how much money are they saving by stacking those policies compared to buying each one individually. What are some specific comparisons to your competitors that you can make based on an accurate picture of client data? Which areas would you like to focus on growing in the next few years? These are all insights that your sales reps can benefit from if you take the time to brief them on each one.
There is an old saying when it comes to bringing on new talent. Be slow to hire and quick to fire! That doesn’t mean you should be looking for a reason to can someone but it does mean that you should take your time with talent acquisitions and give them as much knowledge as you possibly can before turning them loose. If insurance leads are more responsive to education rather than cheap sales tactics, then the well-educated salesperson is going to stand the best chance of succeeding.