insurance sales psychology

Psychology is an insurance broker’s best friend. A little insight into the human mind can help you overcome common objections as well as your own bad habits. Even better, you don’t have to have a degree in psychology to put these insurance sales psychology tricks to use.

Overcome Omission Bias and Indecisiveness

When people don’t know what to do, they often opt to do nothing. This tendency is called omission bias, and for insurance sales agents, it’s a sales killer. If your clients are on the fence about buying disability insurance, they won’t buy it, and that means that indecision is just as bad as rejection. To overcome this barrier, you need to find a way to get your clients off the fence.

One way to do this is to frame the choice as a decision between two actions. Instead of asking clients if they want to buy coverage, ask them if they want to buy a more robust plan or a more affordable plan.

Another good tactic is to have clients who turn down coverage or who fall into the indecision trap sign a Waiver of Liability. This form will help protect you against E&O lawsuits in case your clients ever regret their decision not to buy coverage. It may also prompt your clients to reconsider their decision and finally take action to protect their paychecks.

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Get Philosophical

In Stoicism, there’s a phrase “premeditatio malorum,” which means “premeditation of evils.” It basically involves thinking about all the bad things that could happen to you, like getting sick, losing your house, or losing a loved one. The point isn’t to become sad or fearful. Rather, the practice is about facing the harsh truth that misfortune is part of life. Once we accept this, we can face the future bravely and prepare ourselves for whatever may come our way.

Many people believe that they could never become disabled, even though the reality is that disability is incredibly common and can affect anyone. You can encourage premeditatio malorum by asking your clients to imagine what their lives would be like if they were diagnosed with cancer and couldn’t work during treatments. Then you can empower them to prepare for this possibility by purchasing disability insurance.

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Leverage Buying Psychology

People can be illogical when it comes to money. For example, $5 for your morning coffee might seem like a small price for a bit of joy, but spending $1,825 on coffee every year may seem extravagant – even though they’re actually the same cost.

Many people object to the price of disability insurance even though it provides a good value by protecting a person’s most valuable asset (their paycheck). Price objections often come down to the way the cost is presented. Agents can overcome these objections by presenting the numbers in a way that highlights the value, such as the high-low strategy, which pairs the highest denomination value with the lowest denomination price.

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Let People Draw Their Own Conclusions

People don’t like to be told what to do, but they love to play the devil’s advocate. In fact, if you tell someone that they need to buy disability insurance, they may instinctively start coming up with ways to try to prove you wrong.

So how can you convince people to buy disability insurance without telling them to buy disability insurance? Simple – by asking questions that encourage them to conclude that disability insurance is a good purchase on their own. As a bonus, this method encourages engagement, which is also a helpful psychological trick.

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Use Social Proof

Although people don’t like being told what to do, they do like knowing what other people usually do. Taken to a negative extreme, this can lead to a sheep-like mentality in which someone would jump off a bridge just because everyone else was doing it, but it can also be a good thing. People like proven solutions. If everyone else seems to enjoy a restaurant, the food is probably good. If no one else eats there, maybe there’s a good reason.

This concept is called social proof, and you can use it to make more sales. For example, instead of telling your clients that they should buy a retirement protection rider, you might tell them that most of your clients who are trying to catch up on retirement savings are interested in the retirement protection rider.

Fight Stress and Burnout

A little stress is normal. Too much stress can be detrimental to your health. It can also hurt your career – if you’re suffering from burnout, you may find yourself becoming less and less effective in your job.

Meditation may help. Research shows that meditation can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, improve memory and cognitive ability, and promote better sleep. It doesn’t require any special equipment or training, either, so if you’re feeling stressed or unfocused, there’s no reason not to give it a try.

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Build Relationships

Reciprocation is a natural human tendency. When people do something nice for us, we want to do something nice in return. Insurance agents can leverage this to make more sales and increase referrals. It’s not about making shady quid-pro-quo deals – it’s about building strong relationships and establishing goodwill. For example, you can give out free advice or small gifts.

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Need more ways to improve your sales? Check out our disability insurance sales tools.


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