Sometimes relying on your understanding of human behavior rather than your product is the best way to sell a life insurance policy over the phone.

You’re ready to start selling life insurance over the phone. You’ve got a product that you believe in and a list of prospects, not to mention all the essential tools and equipment you need for telemarketing. Now you find yourself wondering, where do I begin? What’s the best way to sell a life insurance policy through cold-calling?

The answer, of course, varies depending on who you ask. And the truth is that there isn’t one best way to sell a life insurance policy. However, there are tried and tested methods you can use to close more deals, and some of the most effective methods deal with human psychology.

best way to sell a life insurance policy

The best way to sell a life insurance policy over the phone: 4 tips you can’t miss

1. Base your pitch on rapport

Rapport is defined as a “connection, especially harmonious or sympathetic relation.” Too often, customers see telephone sales as a disconnected or distant industry, but that doesn’t have to be—and shouldn’t be—the case.

While there may be no single best way to sell a life insurance policy, whatever strategy you do choose must begin with rapport. Today’s consumer is less interested in authoritative or intrusive messaging and more interested in being engaged and establishing trust, both of which are keys to building rapport.

When you make a sales call, ask the prospect about themselves, learn about their needs and wants, and then show them how your product is a solution to those things. Make it about the consumer more than about the product. Show that you’re more interested in helping solve problems than you are in making a sale.


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2. Use mental models

Another tool in selling a life insurance policy is mental models. Mental models are intellectual tools you can acquire to better understand how different people think. The more models you learn, the better equipped you’ll be to each unique prospect’s needs or concerns. Some examples of mental models are general thinking concepts, numerical concepts, systems, and the physical world.

There are dozens of mental models that dictate how people think and respond to concepts. While it’s unlikely anyone will ever perfectly understand them all, it’s possible to learn many of them, and for each one you learn, you’ll have a more in-depth understanding of how others may be thinking.

3. Take advantage of the pleasure-pain principle

Selling a life insurance policy should also necessarily rely on the pleasure-pain principle. First introduced by Sigmund Freud, the principle operates on the idea that every action we take is either to seek pleasure or to avoid pain.

If you’ve taken some time to build rapport and understand how your prospect thinks, you can then tailor your pitch around the pleasure-pain principle so that it speaks specifically to your current audience. If, let’s say, your prospect is worried about income in the event of a critical illness, tell them about a policy with a critical illness component, essentially demonstrating that your product can help them avoid financial pain.

Or, let’s say your prospect wants a death benefit that gives the option of paying the cash value of the benefit rather than a fixed amount, you would tell them about how a flexible death benefit can meet that need.

4. Answer objections

Remember that the best way to sell a life insurance policy relies more on providing solutions than selling a product. An objection, then, is a problem. Your job is to find a solution within your offering.

With life insurance, people commonly object to fixed benefits, length of term insurance, years to maturity, a policy’s cash value, and of course, price, among other things. Each of these presents a problem for the seller. However, if you know your offering, you can solve each of these problems, giving your prospect fewer reasons to say no.

best way to sell a life insurance policy

Further reading

There’s a lifetime’s worth of literature on the psychology of selling, much of it worth a read if you’re looking for the best way to sell a life insurance policy using the principles of human behavior.

One of the best is Brian Tracy’s The Psychology of Selling, which goes into great detail about the motives of buyers and sellers and how they interact with one another.

Another useful read is David Hoffeld’s The Science of Selling which looks more at behavioral economics and social rather than individual psychology.

Finally, Influence: Science and Practice by Robert B. Cialdini offers valuable insights into six psychological principles that help steer people towards a sell. More suggestive than anything else, incorporating these principles into your messaging is almost sure to garner more “yes” answers than not.


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