8 Jan 2021
The Key to Successful Selling in 2021
Estimated read time: 5 minutes, 4 seconds
Happy 2021! Welcome to a fresh new year, and in many ways, a brave new world. Obviously, the events of 2020 have transformed the way we conduct business. Like everyone else, smart agents and brokers are recalibrating their sales practices accordingly—as are we.
From everything we’ve gathered, now is the time to get back to basics. For agents, that means doing more of the very thing you do best: connecting with others. Chances are, your people skills led you down this career path in the first place. While always very important, it looks like they’ll be even more invaluable to you in the months ahead.
In other words, the key to successful selling in 2021 will come down to making meaningful connections.. This year, it’s all about relationship building—with current and future clients, with your brokerage firm and colleagues, and yes, with your sales partners at Pan-American Life Insurance Group.
What People Want: “Just Keep It Real”
In times of adversity, it’s normal for people’s values and priorities to change. That’s certainly happened in the wake of COVID-19. Despite cultural differences, people all over the world are now more focused on their families, health, and well-being—and how to protect them. Research indicates that these days, humans are much more driven to cultivate real relationships than pursue trivial pleasures.
Case in point: the global management firm Bain & Company interviewed ordinary people across seven countries, asking them to describe how their lives changed in 2020 and what matters to them now. The study revealed five universal needs and behaviors:
- People want to feel less anxious.
- People are more mindful of their spending and are focusing on essentials.
- People seek a more balanced, healthier lifestyle.
- People want to feel more connected.
- People seek out kindness and purpose.
One more thought: even before the pandemic, we knew that consumers were increasingly attracted to companies and brands that offered personalized convenience, ethical business practices, and authenticity in their communications with customers. That is even more so now.
You Hold the Key to the Protection People Seek
Put it all together, and it’s clear that people are more open to purchasing life and health insurance protection now. Life insurance sales in North America actually increased in 2020, according to MIB Group, Inc., a data-sharing service for life and health insurers.
In fact, applications for those under age 44 increased by a full 7%--particularly noteworthy because sales for this desirable demographic have been down over the last few years.
By connecting with these prospects in a way that speaks to their needs, you are very likely to see more conversions. The most effective sales approach: offer people the security they value, along with a knowledgeable, personalized human touch.
For all the tragedy COVID-19 has wrought, it’s also pushed our industry into a new light. We’ve entered a new golden age for life and health insurance—and you’re at the forefront.
7 Ways to Forge Connections in 2021
It’s a given that most producers are natural-born relationship-building experts. However, given everything consumers and businesses endured in the last year, these seven building blocks of sound relationship-building may be especially useful in 2021.
- Listen More, Talk Less: Take the time to learn about your prospective clients. It will not only enable you to offer them more personalized solutions, but to do so in a language that will resonate on a more personal level.
- Think Like an Advisor, Not a Producer: Ideally, your job is to offer your clients the best products for their needs, budget, and total financial picture, not the ones you want to sell. When you put your clients’ needs ahead of your own, you truly have their best interests at heart
- Increase Your Product Knowledge: The deeper your product knowledge, the smarter the recommendations you can make, not only in terms of product selection but plan design specifics, premium payment options, possible tax ramifications, etc.
- Strive for Exceptional Service: Be a problem solver. Accelerate your response times. When it comes to the customer experience, there is simply no substitute for hyper-attentive service.
- Treat Every Client Like an A-list Client: Everyone deserves a positive service experience. Don’t take your small or high-maintenance clients for granted (you never know where your next great referral will come from).
- Offer More Conversation, Less Presentation: Of course, you need to prepare when presenting a proposal. But steer away from canned sales pitches and engage with your prospects in real, two-way conversations. When applicable, share details of your own life—it makes you more relatable.
- Make Small Gestures of Kindness: The most successful insurance agents can relate to their clients on a personal level. From sending well-timed birthday cards to supporting a client’s pet charity, those small personal touches solidify our connections to others.
Pan-American Life's Role in Relationship Building
Of course, we have a part to play, too. As it happens, our long-term value proposition speaks directly to what people want and need right now.
When you partnered with Pan-American Life, you partnered with a carrier that offers the very things people value most in uncertain times: protection, security, outstanding customer service—all resting on a rock-solid foundation of demonstrable financial strength. As other carriers’ ratings plummet, our stellar ratings speak louder than ever.
From our conservative investment strategies to our progressive portfolio…from our impeccable balance sheet to our above-and-beyond service commitment, we are ready and eager to serve our policyholders and sales partners in the new year and beyond.
From the entire Pan-American Life team, here’s to a happy, healthy, successful new year. We look forward to doing great things together in 2021.