Avoiding the Insurance Sales Rollercoaster

Selling insurance is hard work as the product isn’t exactly glamorous. It is something that few people actually want to buy, but they are forced to.  Sometimes it’s mandatory and sometimes people know that there is value, but at the end of the day, there are so many other things on which they would prefer to be spending their money.

This fact can work against us in so many ways when trying to prospect new business.  Although price is often given as the answer to what people think is most important, ease of doing business and convenience will always top the charts.  There is a reason why we can see retention rates of 90%+ even when rates are increasing.  At the end of the day, people don’t really want to have to deal with their insurance, which means it’s harder to get them to give you a shot at writing the business.  Even when price is the main factor, they will typically only leave an agency when there is a secondary factor (often some type of actual or even just perceived poor service).  Lack of engagement by the insurance agency can be perceived as poor service.  When the renewal comes in at an increased rate, they now have two reasons to switch.

Simply put, unless the customer has a reason (perceived or real) that they are being treated poorly, the actual effort that goes into switching insurance agencies is simply not worth it for most people.  So, how does this affect us when it comes to prospecting? Basically, we need to put the highest priority on prospecting. Prospecting is more important than building rapport, gathering underwriting info, presenting the quote and even asking for the business!

We need to be consistent and aggressive in our prospecting efforts.  Whether this is attending local events, hitting LinkedIn or other social media, or making calls to prior clients that we lost, prospects that we quoted and did not sell, or existing clients for other lines of business, having a daily plan to insure prospecting is consistently done is vital to your sales success.

This becomes even more vital when we are “busy” with other activities.  If you fail to prospect during times of high quote and high sales activities, you are doomed to ride the sales rollercoaster.  This is the effect that is created when you are moving people out of your sales pipeline by closing sales but failing to add in new prospects.  You may hit it out of the park this week but then next week you have no sales because there isn’t anything left to sell.

This is why prospecting is the most important task that we take on.  We cannot quote or sell anyone if we don’t have new leads coming into the system.  To put it a little more bluntly, I recently heard an agency principal tell his staff, “If you prospect, all of the rest of the s#!@ will just happen!”.  Every agency is different in how they generate leads, but any producer or sales executive that wants to be successful must have a plan to at least assist in prospecting new business and consistently execute on that plan.  As an added benefit, leads that are procured by the producer or sales executive are much more likely to close than a lead that came in through the agency’s marketing efforts.

About David Siekman

Dave's career in the insurance field began in 1999 as a customer service representative for Plymouth Rock Assurance in Boston. Siekman has held his Massachusetts Property & Casualty Producers license since 2005. In 2013, he was a finalist for the NetVu Automation Excellence award. He's now a Performance Specialist at Agency Performance Partners.

2 thoughts on “Avoiding the Insurance Sales Rollercoaster”

  1. I am 99.9% in agreement with your perspective, except if a Producer does not know how to ask for the business (close the sale), or provide a quality submission to underwriting, your prospecting activity may not generate the necessary revenue.
    (#1 Money Calls, #2 Future Money Calls, #3 Service Calls).

    “Basically, we need to put the highest priority on prospecting. Prospecting is more important than building rapport, gathering underwriting info, presenting the quote and even asking for the business!”

  2. David, I’m completely with you on the value of asking for the business. In my opinion, I put prospecting slightly higher because if I am able to prospect, some business will just close on its own even if I’m not great at asking for it. If I don’t prospect, there is nothing to close. Definitely a good argument for both; probably a better way to look at them is 1 and 1a. I also agree with your priority of which calls to make first as I’d make my closing calls before my prospecting calls because those are more time sensitive. Prospecting needs to be consistent but doesn’t have the sense of urgency that a particular lead needs to be contacted immediately like your closing calls.


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