Insurance sales is a field with high potential for earning and a relatively low degree of operating expenses once you've gotten your license. It's even possible to work out of your home as an insurance agent, using computer-driven leads and telecommunications to do most of your work remotely. As with other sales positions, your success is largely determined by how hard you work at it.
Choose what kind of insurance you want to begin selling. In general, it's best to start selling one kind of product rather than investing in licenses and training for various products all at once. Insurance commonly sold over the phone includes auto, mortgage protection, supplemental health, life and disability.
Make contact with an insurance company that allows agents to work remotely from home. Insurance agencies make their money off of the production of individual agents, who cost them virtually nothing to keep on the books. Because of this, an insurance company may be willing to save a position for you until you've completed your education.
Register with your state insurance board as a potential licensee. This includes submitting fingerprints for a background check in most states. If you have a recent felony conviction or any financial fraud convictions as an adult, it's likely you'll be denied a license on that basis.
Complete a "Life and Health" or "Property and Casualty" course at your local insurance school. You can take the course in a classroom or online.
Take and pass the insurance exam for the products you've studied for. If you pass, you should receive a temporary certificate on the spot.
Contact your sponsoring insurance agency to begin training in the specific products you'll sell. Companies often want you to train on-site, but once that period has passed, you should be allowed to work from home.
Selling Insurance From Home
Acquire leads, the names and contact information of people interested in insurance. Insurance companies often provide you with leads to follow, often at a per-capita cost. You can also develop your own leads through networking, customer referrals and advertising initiatives.
Set up "remote signature" qualifications with your insurance company. These are methods for using voice or electronic methods to establish the veracity of a document without requiring an actual physical signature. Without this qualification, you have to finalize documentation via mail and fax or through in-person visits.
Develop a sales script that includes phone, email and instant-message communication modes. Your sponsoring insurance company is likely to have at least basic notes for these scripts, if not whole-cloth documents. Using a script is likely to improve your closure rate.
Keep meticulous track of your time and contacts. Be reliable in your communication with those contacts: If you say you'll call Monday afternoon, call Monday afternoon — not Tuesday morning or Monday evening. Insurance sales is a numbers game — the more positive contacts you make, the more insurance you'll sell.
Find an experienced insurance salesperson to help guide you through your first months of selling. A mentor helps cut short your low-profit period while you're learning the ropes.
- Courtney Rogers; Insurance Executive; American Income Life, Richmond, VA
- "Exam Cram: Life and Health"; Bisys Education; 2009
- "Exam Cram: Property and Casualty"; Bisys Education; 2010
- Martin Poole/Lifesize/Getty Images