What You Need to Know as an Insurance Agent
Research has shown that non-verbal communication, also known as body language, can be more impactful in a sales interaction than verbal communication. This is true for the final expense insurance agent and the preneed insurance agent, who is dealing with difficult subject matter (death, interment, etc.) as well as overwhelming information (cost, myriad requirements, preplanning). The best salespeople know that body language is essential to any successful interaction, both on the emitting and the receiving ends.
Emitting: What Your Body Language Says
When presenting information to a client, there is so much information to verbally relay to them, that you may not be aware of the non-verbal signals you are sending.
- Eye Contact: Effective communicators make eye contact with clients when they are presenting information to show honesty and directness. Making eye contact also shows that you are listening and interested in what the client is saying—and we all know that listening is a key component in successful conversation. Eye contact can be comforting, it shows a recognition of emotions and makes the client feel important and heard.
- Proximity: There is a delicate balance between giving a client space to breathe and seeming distant. An article by Rose Johnson advises, “Different cultures view proximity in various ways, so take notice if the person you’re communicating with is uncomfortable. This could mean that you are standing too close, and should create some distance between the two of you.”
- Vocal Tones: Tone of voice is important for many reasons, including getting the necessary information across. It may be frustrating at first, but spend some time listening to yourself talk to clients. Are you speaking too fast for them to process the complicated information you’re relaying? Do you sound like a car salesman, excited about his product, when you should pay more heed to the client’s feelings? Do you speak quietly or nervously when discussing money and fees? Awareness of your bad habits is the first step to changing them so your client receives consistent, transparent communication.
- Facial Expressions: Your face expresses your emotions, and as a preneed insurance agent or final expense insurance agent, you know that emotions pay a large role in this line of work. Talk to yourself in the mirror to gauge if your facial expressions are respectful and understanding, as they should be. Smiling shows you care for the client, but they should never feel like you are laughing at them!
Receiving: What The Client is Saying
As a final expense insurance agent or preneed insurance agent, your interactions with clients vary greatly. Much of what is being communicated by the client is being communicated non-verbally. Successful insurance agents can perceive if a client is uncomfortable, engaged, or overwhelmed. Forbes Magazine states, “During any kind of sales presentation, the most informative body language signals to monitor are your prospect’s engagement and disengagement behaviors. The former indicate interest, receptivity, or agreement with what you are saying. The latter show resistance, defensiveness, disagreement, and even hostility.” Watch your clients facial expressions, proximity, and eye contact to determine what they are communicating, and alter your own body language accordingly.