Selling Insurance Online During The Pandemic: How They Did It
Are you wondering how to start selling insurance online? See how three women used digital tools to become successful insurance agents during the pandemic.
Like many who chanced upon a career in insurance, these three women did not set out to be insurance agents, but chanced upon the opportunity through Max Life Insurance.
Before joining Max Life Insurance, Salzina Fernandes was a successful Sales Manager for over 8 years at Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, a multinational car manufacturing corporation.
Before entering the insurance industry, Kalpana Talukdar and Parul Patel were homemakers. Parul was a tutor and Kalpana was a Law graduate married to a forest department official.
Salzina was motivated by the saying “surround yourself with people that are headed in the direction you want to be headed in”, and connected with Max Life Insurance’s Sales Manager at an inspirational seminar on insurance.
Parul wanted to be a source of inspiration for homemakers and help them start facing responsibilities head-on to manage their finances. “We’re in an unprecedented time, and right now, there is an alarming need to ensure that our money is managed well, and our families are secured,” she says.
Kalpana’s goal was to ensure that the breadwinners of all families stay financially protected. “I do feel that women can manage expenses, save and invest more as they are the homemakers. They run the house. It is critical to make a note of finances incurred and look for opportunities to invest and secure, wherever possible. For your family, you are the difference,” she says.
“For your family, you are the difference.”
Leveraging Digital Technology
All three of them learned how to leverage the digital technologies provided by Max Life Insurance. According to Kalpana, digital prospecting helped simplify her daily business interactions and helped her reach a large prospect segment especially with the customers becoming more aware of securing their financial future.
With many people losing jobs, facing paycuts and the uncertainty in life they found it necessary to remain committed to their customers’ needs. The various tools and applications provided Max Life insurance helped them move seamlessly to digital operations.
They leveraged digital tools like Max Life’s Real Value Tool, MQuote, mProspect to understand their customer needs, manage their queries, and share quotes with them digitally.
Salzina leveraged social media to reach out to her prospects and made it a point to connect with her customers on a 1-to-1 basis to add a sense of reassurance in their lives.
While Kalpana connects digitally with her clients and prospects via social media and messaging apps, Parul used leads from agent recruitment meetings to initiate a conversation with businesses through video and Zoom webinars.
As Parul noted, “The digital medium helped me ease my work, and I could stay connected with my prospects and clients throughout the day and help them with any query that they might have.”
Learning How To Sell Insurance
Selling insurance successfully requires more than just tools. It also requires some knowledge of selling and sales skills and handling rejections.
As Kalpana says, “I constantly collaborate with budding agent advisors on handling rejections, as that is a major part of the sales process. I believe that when one is trained in rejection handling, they can even get the customers to affirm to them. As an agent, always remember the following mantra - Believe in moving your customers from need-based analysis to a want-based analysis that helps them achieve their goals faster than simply pitching a product to make a sale.”
Setting targets was also an important part of their insurance sales success. Salzina set a target of securing at least 75 families in the pandemic, further bifurcating this target into weekly and monthly targets, which helped her reach her objectives.
She also volunteered in groups to provide medicines to the elderly and the needy, donated food grains to laborers and the homeless, conducted various sessions on Personality Development and Financial Literacy and helped numerous students get in line with their goals through Career Advisory sessions.
Salzina believes in personal communication and in building a bond with the person, to help deepen her understanding of their family, financial condition, and their potential financial needs for the future.
This helps her conduct need analysis and so she can offer them personalized solutions that help them get aligned to their goals. She also learned that being available for customers when they needed you was one of the most critical aspects of being an agent.
She understood that there was more to the insurance purchase than just the price of the product and that delivering an exceptional customer experience and educating customers on financial awareness are what it takes to become a successful insurance agent.
Salzina recommends these 4 critical steps to manage the transition from prospect to customer in any insurance business:
Analyzing the prospect
Based on their need and wants, the timeline for the fulfillment, paying capacity, physical fitness, etc., create a mind-map of your prospect.
Check their availability
Ask prospects for a good time to connect and then discuss their financial goals and their current levels of financial protection in full, to get a base for thorough need analysis.
Make a list of assets and liabilities to understand the shortfalls that need to be eradicated. Salzina uses the Max Life Real Value Tool to show customers the Ideal Life Cover amount that would help their family lead the same lifestyle in their absence
Based on the first 3 steps, recommend the best available product that suits their short-term and long-term needs, segmented into C.P.R.S., which are Child plans, Protection plans, Retirement plans, and Savings plans.
Salzina believes that life rewards those who take risks and venture forth in power mode. She also realized that highly effective insurance agents have a sense of urgency about them and know how to embrace the art of hustle when necessary.
According to Parul, selling life insurance in India has always been about building trust and winning the customer. 2020 was a year that challenged every aspect of business and tested us all as to how well can we adapt, but she intends to continue to look for opportunities and build bigger and better relationships with customers.
Parul believes that in a challenging situation, her role as an insurance agent is to explain the importance of securing the family needs and protect loved ones in these times. She remains focused on securing her clients’ future and considers them as her extended family to ensure that all remain protected and secure in the current environment.
Focusing On The Future
Kalpana’s focus for the future is on renewals and financial literacy and she hopes to continue being an inspiration to her colleagues, contribute to the 'Protect India' movement and ensure the happiness of my customers. This is the advice I would like to give to all the strong women aspiring to do something in their lives.
Salzina has been recognized as ‘Agent of the Year’ by Max Life Insurance consistently and is the Area Chair (Goa & Maharashtra) at MDRT for Max Life Insurance. She is working towards promoting MDRTs worldwide through the Membership Communications Committee (MCC) and mentoring MDRT aspirants in the region.
This year, she hopes to financially secure over 110 new families, ensuring a golden retirement and securing their children and their future. She also aspires to take up new courses and broaden her horizon of financial knowledge.
As she says, “From the things you spend money on to the way you invest, as a woman you tend to take a notably different path when it comes to dealing with your finances. Being aware of these differences is crucial to help you better understand your financial habits and overall standing when it comes to the larger goal of financial independence.”
Kalpana aims to become one of the most admired Life Insurance Agents in the sector by enabling financial security for her customers, and contribute her bit in enhancing the insurance penetration in the country, which is the most pertinent need of today. She feels that Max Life has undoubtedly helped shape her career, given her ample opportunity and some great memories.
Parul’s immediate goals for the future include doing the MDRT every year and qualifying one or more councils in a year. She too hopes to become an admired Life Insurance agent who helps people realize their financial value by giving sound financial advice, which is her key area of expertise.
Were you inspired by these stories of success in challenging times? Do share your own experience in the comments below.