Insurance Industry Change: Virtually as Hard as You Make It
As a motivational insurance sales speaker and former member of the Million Dollar Round Table, I know that selling insurance is easily one of the world’s most intensive, public facing sales jobs. Though products vary from company to company, the most important product you can offer is you.
Then we come to the pandemic. Suddenly, your firm handshake, your trusty, effervescent smile and the friendly banter gave way to videoconferencing, email and a phone call or two. Who had time to prepare for COVID-19? No one. The screeching halt from face-to-face to virtual sales was calamitous. Some insurance industry sales reps determined to keep fighting; unfortunately, many left.
In an industry where new hire turnover rates are 30 percent after three months, once April 2020 hit, thousands of insurance sales reps joined the millions of sales reps in other fields who quit or walked away because selling was “too tough.”
What’s the Difference?
The online resource Business Process Incubator recently completed (as of July 9, 2020) an insurance industry sales survey entitled: How Difficult It Is For Insurance Companies To Go To Remote Working? The results are eye-opening but not unexpected. Let me summarize several of the challenges.
The survey found that it is hard for insurance sales reps to initially explain what was happening, but those who succeeded in overcoming the confusion during the earliest stages had more robust referral networks.
The survey found it is more difficult to sell an “intangible product” remotely. Customers and sales reps can’t share emotions. It is difficult to break through barriers. This is where a sales rep must focus on selling themselves, outworking the competition, and making a difference.
Managing data security is also seen as a big challenge. Insurance providers and their agencies must bolster security and hire more people to ensure confidentiality and protect extremely important customer information. To that end, sales reps must convey trust and instill confidence.
Working remotely is not easy for the sales rep or customer, however, sales reps can convey the convenience and the lessened stress in buying insurance online. In other words, a negative can be turned into a positive.
While some are challenged, others aren’t. According to the survey, the keys are flexibility and technical expertise. Sales reps must either embrace the challenges or get lost in the confusion.
So, what is the Difference?
It can be argued, of course, that the insurance industry and its sales reps live in challenging times, and that the changes faced everyday are enormous. But hasn’t it always been this way?
In what era has selling insurance been stress-free? In what year have so many customers flocked to us that we didn’t have to work? Truth is, there are insurance sales reps who have a winning mindset, and some who don’t.
The insurance industry has always relied on people with vision who have the determination to succeed. If we look at the points raised in the survey, it’s clear that each challenge in the present-day world of virtual insurance sales can be overcome.
The science community has shown tremendous determination and grit to arrive at several promising vaccine candidates. The challenges against them were many. Yet, they persisted and they are close to winning.
Your mission as insurance sales reps is to be inspired to rise up in a similar manner. The difference is you. Stand up to the challenges – and win!
Scott Burrows, Motivational Insurance Industry Sales Speaker, is available for virtual or in-person sales meetings. Contact Scott today through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169.