Life insurance agents play a big role in helping people prepare for unexpected circumstances. Their job requires them to go beyond selling insurance protection and take on roles as communicators, counsellors and facilitators.
A life insurance agent can be a very rewarding profession. There is unlimited earning potential and ample room to grow professionally. As an agent, you can take pride in the fact that you’re helping people in some of their most vulnerable moments. The policies that you sell will help individuals meet their financial obligations in the event that something unfortunate occurs.
Over the years, demand for life insurance has seen a steady rise. This can be attributed to the various initiatives taken by the IRDAI to increase awareness of life insurance. Insurers, to meet this demand, have employed agents to sell policies on the company’s behalf. Insurance agents thus have a crucial role to play in the industry – they form the link between insurers and policyholders. Also, considering that the industry is highly competitive, companies offer a great deal of benefits to attract the best talent. It can therefore be concluded that there’s a lot to be gained in this line of work.
Now, before you take a step towards entering this profession, you need to be certain on what the job will require you to do. Here is a look at some of the roles and responsibilities of a life insurance agent:
• A life insurance agent will help the insurance provider promote and sell insurance products and services to its customers.
• Collect all details pertaining to the clients’ needs. Study and analyse it, and accordingly suggest suitable life insurance plans.
• Develop marketing strategies to attract new customers, keeping in mind their preferences.
• Seek new customers through networking and calling prospective clients on a regular basis.
• Give sound financial advice and customer support to clients. Provide exact facts and figures, and always be available to speak with them whenever they have any doubts or questions.
• Explain features, benefits and costs of various policies to the customer before he or she signs the policy documents.
• Calculate life insurance quotes and communicate the same to the clients.
• Make certain that all necessary paperwork is filled out and filed to activate the policy coverage.
• Monitor life insurance claims to ensure they are settled rightfully for both the insurer and the policyholder or nominee.
• Perform administrative tasks like handling policy renewals and maintaining customer records.
• Constantly monitor sales results to identify positive or negative trends.
• Work towards meeting the allotted sales target by employing various methods and strategies.
• Provide service to existing policyholders, as required due to sales activity.
• Customize insurance programs to fit individual clients.
• Maintain correspondence with customers to remind them of premium payments, policy maturity, etc.
• Collect information about competitors to know about their services and offerings. Explain the edge that you as the agent, along with the products and services offered by your insurance company have over them.
Important Skills to Succeed as an Life Insurance Agent
To find success as an insurance agent – be it captive or independent – there are certain skills you will need to have. The first in the list is excellent interpersonal skills. An agent should know how to make customers from all walks of life, in various emotional states, feel comfortable. In case of the policyholder’s demise, the agent needs to be careful about how he or she approaches the family to help them with the death claim. In a way, you, as the agent, are providing a certain level of emotional support during their difficult time.
The second in the order is communication skills. If an agent doesn’t know how to properly communicate a product’s offering, there is very little possibility of making a sale. A life insurance agent should be able to explain the policy’s features in a way that is easy for the applicants to grasp. Additionally, the agent must also have good command over the customer’s preferred language in writing. There are some clients who prefer email exchanges over on-call or face-to-face communication.
Being tech savvy is also essential for succeeding as a life insurance agent. You can find many prospective clients on the internet – via the company’s website, review sites, and social media. There may be users who have posted queries or shown their interest towards certain policies on different forums. An agent should know how to respond to them and, finally, direct them to the product page for closing a sale. If you choose to become an independent insurance agent, you must definitely know how to establish a good web presence. This is a less expensive and much more effective tool for reaching out to the masses.
The above-mentioned points are just few of the skills that an individual will need to possess to become a life insurance agent. If you think you have what it takes to make it in this line of work, you must certainly give it a try. However, keep in mind that to become an agent, you will need to complete a certain training program and pass an examination. Once these are complete, you will be handed the license to sell life insurance policies.