For some brokers and agents, selling life insurance online may seem more attractive than cold-calling, door-knocking or going to numerous appointments. Unfortunately, the sales process is often much more complex than simply setting up a website and receiving sales notices.
Agents who are successful in selling life insurance policies online consider it just another method of generating leads, often the main one, rather than a sales technique to be tried once and quickly forgotten. If you are not sure how to do this successfully, read on. Below you will find useful tips on how to succeed in the online insurance business.
The first steps
Selling life insurance online means you can work from anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection, so you can say goodbye to long commutes, office politics and strict dress codes. Remember, however, that to sell policies to the public you must be authorised in your country, even if you want to do it online.
The first thing to do is to create your website. A life insurance website should be seen as a tool to attract customers, not as a sales promotion tool. Just like direct mail or telemarketing, the goal of your website should be to put you, the agent, in contact with as many qualified prospects as possible. But your job is still to convert these potential customers into sales.
The sales funnel
The sales process is often compared to a funnel. Many potential customers enter at the top of the funnel and a few closed deals exit at the bottom.
This process starts with a large number of prospects. A prospect is anyone who comes into contact with the seller. A small percentage of these prospects become qualified leads when they express interest. Depending on the seller’s ability to close a sale, a certain percentage of these contacts turn into sales.
Visitors to a website are potential customers. For example, a website with 1,000 visitors per month translates into 1,000 potential customers.
If 10 per cent of these visitors enter their contact details on the lead generation page of your website, you have obtained 100 monthly leads – 100 people who can contact you and offer them life insurance.
If you have a closing rate of 20 per cent, you will convert 20 per cent of these qualified leads into sales. This means that you can realise 20 sales per month through your website.
Do you want to increase sales? There are three ways to do this:
- Direct more potential customers into the sales funnel by increasing the number of website visitors.
- Convert more website visitors into qualified leads
- Improve the closing rate to convert more leads into sales.
Increase the number of website visitors
The easiest way to sell more life insurance online without changing anything is to increase your website visitors. Remember that the more visitors you attract to your website, the greater your potential for closing sales. Let us assume that the conversion rate of visitors into leads is 10% and that the closing rate remains constant at 20%. You can double your monthly sales from 20 to 40 if you attract 2,000 instead of 1,000 visitors per month to your website.
But how can you increase traffic? Consider the following:
- Paid search engine marketing (SEM): search engines such as Google offer paid advertising programmes where website owners can bid on keywords and pay per visitor generated by web searches. SEM can be an effective way to increase traffic, but competition for high-traffic keywords is high, resulting in high bid prices.
- Organic Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): Search engine optimisation consists of optimising a website so that it appears at the top of organic rankings for specific keywords. Website owners can take care of this task themselves or hire SEO specialists to do it for them.
- Social media marketing: integrating a website into social media such as Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and YouTube is an extremely effective way to increase traffic.
Convert visitors into contacts
A large number of visitors is of no use if they only browse your site and do not convert into contacts. You have to optimise your website to appear high in search engines, but also to induce visitors to take the next step and submit their contact data.
An effective way to convert website visitors into contacts is to offer a magnet, e.g. a free life insurance report, in exchange for sending their name and e-mail address. Or you can promise free offers those visitors can only receive by e-mail.
Increase the closing rate
No matter how many qualified leads you get, you are the one who has to close them in order to make sales. The best and most visible website in the industry means nothing to a broker who cannot properly manage the sales funnel, convert prospects into leads and convert leads into sales. No website or digital marketing strategy is so effective that it eliminates the need for a high-level sales capability.
Tips for Success
When building your online insurance business, there are a few important points to keep in mind.
First, you should make your website as simple as possible. If visitors have to navigate through a complicated site just to get some basic information, they will not stay long. Make sure you present all the relevant details your potential customers need in a clear, concise and organised manner.
Make sure your quotation form is as simple as possible. Asking too many questions can discourage potential customers. Be sure to ask for basic data, including contact details, so that you can contact them back at the appropriate time. Do not ask for personal or private information. People want to know that they can trust you before providing something as valuable as their personal data.
You can also help your potential customers by providing them with the appropriate tools they need to make an informed decision. For instance, you can provide calculators to guide them through the quotation process. This way they can find out which product is suitable for them and their lifestyle. This will give you a better understanding of how to tailor your sales techniques to the customer and give you a good chance of selling them a policy that fits their portfolio and needs.
How profitable is selling life insurance?
Since a large part of an insurance agent’s income is based on commissions, profitability depends on the ability to make more sales. For independent agents, profit is determined by the margin between income and operating expenses. The median salary for insurance agents in 2022 was $57,860; to reach or exceed this income level as an independent agent, you would have to earn almost $60,000 more per year than you spend on your business. The top 10% of (non-independent) insurance agents earn more than $130,350.
Is it possible to sell life insurance from home?
Yes, it is possible to sell life insurance from home. To sell life insurance you need a state licence and you may also need a business licence from your state or municipality. A computer, a high-speed Internet connection, a printer and a telephone will allow you to be productive and meet clients virtually.
How do I start selling life insurance?
To become a life insurance agent, you must complete pre-licence training, usually in the form of a course, and then pass a state exam to obtain a life, health and accident insurance licence. In some states, fingerprinting and a background check are also required. Agents can choose to work with one life insurance company (these are known as captive agents), or they can work independently and offer products from several companies. You have to sign an agreement to be appointed by each company you wish to work with.
The bottom line
To successfully sell life insurance online, you need to focus on solid digital marketing strategies and effective closing techniques. By increasing the number of potential customers in your sales funnel, you can increase the number of leads you are able to close, thereby increasing your sales.
Start with an effective website, optimize your search engine marketing (both paid and organic) and integrate it with social media marketing to attract more prospects. Close sales by offering a pleasant experience and high sales competence.