Do you sell insurance that matters? Every insurance agent believes they do, or at the very least, thinks the service they provide matters. Unfortunately, within the world of insurance agents selling group benefits, only a select few really sell a product or provide a service that means something. Before you get so angry that you stop reading, give me a chance.

The great majority of agents selling group insurance are laser focused on group major medical. In the absence of a chance to quote to the group, very few look for an opportunity to offer a different product.  And once they have a group, very few agents look for the opportunity to sell a line of coverage that is not already in place. To be clear, many agents will include a quote in the proposal for a new line of insurance, such as dental or disability income insurance, but that is not the same thing as initiating a meaningful conversation with the prospect.

I fully understand the value of major medical but here is why selling it is not selling insurance that matters. When was the last time that you sold a major medical policy — group or individual — to someone who did not previously have medical coverage? And, by the way, helping someone get covered on the exchange because they qualify for a subsidy doesn’t count. Yes, helping people navigate the exchange has value but selling major medical, like selling Medicare supplements and Advantage plans is really not about making a difference. Let’s face it, the great majority of those prospects are looking for the coverage and will buy it from you or any other agent.

Selling insurance that matters is about recognizing that Americans need products such as critical illness insurance, disability income insurance, identity theft prevention and restoration coverage, and life insurance. Selling these products requires a skill set that transcends simply including a quote in a proposal. It is about more than asking for an opportunity to quote on an existing line of coverage in an attempt to lower premiums. And, it is certainly about doing more than providing a spreadsheet. 

‘Ideal position’

As an insurance agent selling group benefits you are actually in an ideal position to make a very real and lasting difference in the lives of your clients and/or their employees. A former coaching client of mine in Utah, Greg Nelson, made sure to engage major medical clients in a conversation about the value of business life insurance and disability income. He created an above average income and helped a lot of Americans protect themselves against the financial impact of an unexpected accident or illness on their business. In a previous article I acknowledged Jon Rauser (who was on EBA’s February cover) who created stand-alone storefronts where employees of clients can learn about other needed insurance products in off-hours with their spouses.

Your real job as both an insurance agent and an employee benefit adviser is to help prospects understand the risks that they are not even aware of — and then provide the products that minimize those risks. When you help your prospects and clients protect against these risks, your value is priceless.  And the first time that you deliver a claim check you will truly understand the real impact of being an insurance agent.

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