Guide to Product Training
for Insurance Agents
Irrespective of the type of insurance sales you offer, training new insurance agents is a key task that requires careful planning, preparation, and time.
As with all matters related to the people within an organization, their training and development is a significant investment and one which everyone involved is fully committed to.
This is the complete guide to product training for insurance agents which contains a comprehensive framework to use as guidance when you are developing your sales training courses and inductions for your team.
Insurance is inevitable, everybody needs it. It cannot be seen, and most are unaware of the reasons they need it.
Insurance Sales is an industry like no other, and it takes a working network to be successful.
Tips for Training Insurance Sales Agents
This guide to product training for insurance agents applies to all facets of the insurance world, regardless of the type of insurance sales you are in, whether you are new to the industry or not, there are going to be a number of useful pointers to incorporate into your daily routine or into your insurance sales training course.
While they might not all be applicable to your specific insurance agents needs at present, they serve to act as a handy reminder for the different ways you can help individuals achieve success in insurance sales.
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Industry-Specific Insurance Sales Training Techniques
One of the most important starting points with any insurance sales training is the coverage of regulatory requirements.
The exact details of this will usually be rigid in nature and will require product familiarization and policy-specific data transfer.
There are a number of ways an organization or individual might choose to get acquainted with this information, the most important of which will depend upon whether the insurance sales training is coming from the perspective of an insurance broker or the actual insurer themselves.
With the vast majority of insurance companies facing tighter regulations, place a great focus on the precise policy frameworks, exclusions, features, and benefits.
After the initial training, it is important to ensure that all insurance agents are regularly updated on industry changes, additions, deletions or developments that could impact them and their clients.
TIP: Make sure that any new or experienced insurance sales agents are kept updated with any changes to policies or offerings by having regular refamiliarization training.
This can be provided remotely or in-person, depending on the size of your team and their location.
Communicate changes via email (for future reference) but follow them up in a session that is dedicated to the recent change(s) to ensure that any changes are understood and can be articulated by the agent.
Here are the key take-aways for industry-specific insurance product sales training:
- Provide ongoing updates to the team quickly and effectively. Always follow-up to confirm they are being correctly applied.
- Regulatory changes always need to occur within a given time frame. Make sure you plan them in advance and should anyone not attend, make sure you document the reasons for the non-attendance and complete the training/updates with them as soon as possible. Always retain records of this training.
- Due to the high volume of data that is often linked with insurance policies and the vast amount of information provided in a training session, always provide details handouts and undertake a knowledge-based question and answer session to confirm
- If your team works remotely or in different time zones, always offer a range of insurance sales training formats at different times and dates.
- Always make any training compulsory with no exceptions. Compliance must always come before commission!
Additional Reading – Independent Insurance Agency Resources
Generic Insurance Sales Training Techniques
Whether it is for 1 or 100 people, aside from the regulatory or industry-specific product training content, you will need to cover a range of general insurance sales training techniques.
For any sales trainer, the vast majority of sales techniques are easily transferred from one sector to another.
These include Soft Skills, People Skills, Numeracy and Literacy Skills, Sales, and Marketing Skills.
Some of the more generic sales skills that are essential for success in the insurance sales sector are listed below.
- Building a pipeline
- Pipeline management
- Customer relationship management
- Asking for open and closed questions
- Closing the sale
- Getting referrals
The vast majority of insurance sales agent will take a different approach to each of the above points. Check out our complete guide on email marketing.
Depending on the company some will have systems and processes in place that outline how each of these points should be handled; in others, insurance sales agents are given the freedom to handle these independently.
Regardless of which type of insurance product sales training you are completing, you need to address these key points in isolation.
Each of these points should become second-nature for your sales teams, and as such, they require careful and considerate management or guidance as to what your expectations are, and how often they might be expected to communicate this information with management.
What Soft Skills Do You Need to Be Able Sell Insurance Successfully?
Determination, Conviction, Confidence, and Resilience are all key soft skills needed for success in this industry.
But this is just the start!
Insurance sales isn’t for the faint-hearted, nor is it a career that anybody can master.
When you enter the world of insurance sales, you realize quite quickly that while you are selling a product, you are actually selling peace of mind. Here are the top six soft skills that all insurance sales agents should possess.
It goes without saying, that part of any insurance sales training course needs to be focused on communication.
Not only does this relate to the ability for an individual to be able to speak clearly and communicate professionally across a range of channels; it also refers to the importance of being able to listen.
When clients and prospect are asked the right questions (we will cover the value of both open and close ended), and insurance salespeople actually listen to the information that is being offered, the client wins. This key soft skill leads to lost of happy customers leaving 5-star reviews on Google.
Having a way with words is immensely valuable but being able to hear the information that is being offered by a prospect and transform that data into a meaningful conversation is key.
- Positive Attitude
It doesn’t matter whether you are experienced in sales or not, approaching insurance sales with a positive attitude is essential. It can lift the spirits of those who work around you, and it is an almost infectious attribute that people love to be around. Insurance sales require a positive approach and attitude at all times; without this, the individual and the team that works around that person will be impacted, and not in a good way.
‘’Positivity breeds positivity’’ – Always has, always will.
This is nice and easy; it won’t take long to explain. If you want to be successful in insurance sales, you need patience and lots of it.
Prospects no longer buy from pushy salespeople, and they will not be rushed or pushed. Patience is a key soft-skill in insurance sales.
While some customers will know what they want, and be in a position where they are ready to buy, others will need a little more nurturing, and for this, patience and respect are required.
Never giving up, being resilient, and keeping that positive attitude through all eventualities is a core soft skill.
While there are certain skills that can be taught in an insurance sales training course, persistence needs to come from within.
As anyone who works in the insurance sales business will tell you, things change constantly. Whether it is with the underwriters, the policies, the requirements or more, being able to adapt and learn new things quickly is key.
Understanding the intricacies of the various insurance products is the only way an insurance sales agent will be able to match the right policy with the right person.
Sales training for new insurance agents will cover a lot of new information; and for the more experienced insurance sales agents, staying abreast of the latest changes and developments is equally as important.
Information recollection and retention in insurance sales is a fundamental requirement and something that all insurance salespeople, new and old need to be able to do.
Aside from helping people, listening to their needs, creatively solving issues and offering peace of mind in a way that speaks to their individual needs; insurance salespeople need to be able to demonstrate empathy.
Building trust and being able to do this over the phone as well as in person is an essential skill, and it is something that all the best insurance salespeople are able to do naturally.
Aside from the soft skills, we have mentioned above, literacy and numeracy skills are key.
After all, if an insurance sales agent is going to be the face of your company, then you need to ensure they are representing your brand in the right way at all times.
Most companies will have specific templates for email communications, they will provide quotation platforms and apps that can quickly and easily create pricing plans for new insurance policies, and there will be an administrative or support function for the insurance sales agents that confirm matters in writing once a sales or claim has taken place.
While this is the case for many of the larger organizations, it is not always the care for all insurance sales agencies.
Make it easy for your insurance sales agents to focus on what they do best.
Provide them with the right tools that support them in their selling role and always have pre-formulated templates that they can use to follow up with prospects and clients following a phone call, meeting, or policy discussion.
Continue Reading – Complete 2019 Guide to Marketing Ideas for Insurance Agents.
Insurance Sales Product Training Tips
Taking an approach to insurance sales that is perhaps a little outside of the standard classroom approach can help to increase engagement, it can help to cement knowledge more quickly, and it can make the process of insurance sales training more enjoyable for all.
- Use A Blended Approach to Insurance Sales Training
Rather than running a typical classroom style of a training session that is led by a tutor or insurance sales trainer, add some diversity into the mix.
Harness mobile-learning and online learning platforms to provide insurance sales agents with educational variety.
It has also been proven that when a learner is given some variety in their course delivery, it can lead to a higher rate of retention of the information that is being taught, and better completion rates overall.
What is more important, for insurance sales training that occurs across borders, offering online training can help to ensure that more people receive the training in a timely fashion.
Without a shadow of a doubt, immersive training carries far better engagement rates than traditional instructor-led training.
- Sticky Learning Tools
With so many advances in technology, there is a huge range of fully customizable platforms that can be used to make insurance sales training, learning, and development more interactive, more fun, and more engaging. Gamification is a great example of this, along with other decision-making tools that can play-out real-life scenarios in order to simulate actual customer meetings and circumstances.
This may require some investment, both in cost and time, but the results and the overall insurance sales training process is improved, along with the results.
- Performance Support Aids
Regardless of the tools you decide to use for your insurance sales training; you need to ensure that your agents feel support and that they have easy access to any information they might need to support their learning and their selling. You could provide an e-book or PDF guide, or go one step further and develop an insurance sales specific app to help them with their roles.
The key goal is to provide support once any training is complete.
Product Training Guide Summary
High-quality insurance sales training takes time, it takes meticulous planning, and it needs to be carried out with the same enthusiasm and drive that you expect your insurance salespeople to possess.
As we all know, the insurance sector landscape changes rapidly, and any training, along with the training techniques will also need to develop to match the needs of the insurance salespeople as well as the industry and the relevant industry changes.
Additional Reading: The Complete Guide to Agent Lead Generation Programs
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