Life Insurance

Top Tips for New Life Insurance Agents

Sep 23, 2021
man working at desk
Life insurance can be a rewarding field, as well as a challenging one. Many new agents need to know how to market themselves, find potential leads, and talk to clients about their family’s protection needs. If you’re a new life insurance agent, here are eight tips to help you build client trust, create positive word of mouth, and hit the ground running:

Tip #1: Put the Customer First

One of the best ways to earn loyalty and valuable word of mouth is by always putting your customer first. It is also an effective way to get more profit: research shows that customers will pay up to 16% more for a better customer experience. Agents who go out of their way to make customers happy and be there for them will always be more successful than those who only look at the bottom line.

When it comes to putting the customer first, listen and be available so that they can quickly contact you whenever they need you. Allow your customers to customize their insurance so they only pay for what they need and simplify your processes with a unified platform that keeps your target customers’ preferences and needs in mind.

Any effort that you make towards putting your customer first will help you build a solid foundation of happy buyers for your business.

Tip #2: Find Something to Set Yourself Apart

Why should your clients pick you for help with their insurance? Figure out your differentiating factor that makes your clients comfortable giving you their business, even if they can get it faster or cheaper elsewhere.

Use your distinguishing factor to market yourself and stand out in a competitive field. This should play out in how to interact and engage with clients, and really in any other way you choose to present yourself to potential clients and potential partners in marketing and your community.

How you brand yourself should also factor into your online presence. For example, sharing helpful articles and valuable information on LinkedIn or Facebook can help you brand yourself as an authority that customers can turn to for assistance.

Tip #3: Ask for Referrals

Many insurance agents squirm at the thought of directly asking their clients for referrals. However, they are likely one of your most lucrative and underrated sources of leads. In fact, they have a 30% better conversion rate than other lead sources.

Consider offering an incentive program to encourage your customers to refer their friends and family. For example, you can give gift cards or discounts if a new customer mentions their name.

The more you can get valuable word-of-mouth, the easier your job is going to be.

Tip #4: Streamline Low-Value Activities

Sales is a critical part of your job. If you’re spending time on other tasks, such as inputting data or filling out endless paperwork, you’re taking precious time away from this central aspect of insurance. Yet, the average salesperson spends just 33% of their time actively selling.

Streamline the parts of your job that do not actively help you sell or provide service to your customers. For example, automating data input and templating emails can help you spend more time on high-value activities instead of in front of a computer.

Tip #5: Maintain Transparency

One of the most precious resources an agent can have is trust. Your clients are trusting that you are providing them with the best possible service. If that trust is broken, they can quickly move along to another agent.

Trust is a critical way to stand out from your competitors: One Accenture study found that only 27% of customers trusted their insurers. In a Deloitte study, just 11% of people stated that they had strong trust in insurance agents.

Preserve this valuable trust by maintaining absolute transparency with your clients both during and after the sale. Provide your clients with the information they need to perform their due diligence and ensure that you don’t have anything questionable in your background. For example, give them information on how they can check your history with FINRA’s BrokerCheck, National Ethics Association, or the Better Business Bureau.

The more peace of mind you can offer, the more likely it will translate into loyal customers.

Tip #6: Do Your Homework

Don’t show up to any meeting without doing your homework first. You cannot provide a thorough service to your clients if you haven’t already figured out some options based on their age, family size, occupation, and income.

Take some time to create a customized agenda and learn a little more about your client before sitting down with them. Personalized service can help you stand out from the competition and make a smoother meeting.

Tip #7: Network with Pros

One of the best ways to improve your selling ability is by learning from the best. Surround yourself with people who will help inspire your career and help perfect your skills.

Although this should include veteran insurance agents, it doesn’t have to be limited to insurance. Making relationships and networking with salespeople in other industries could also help expand your pool of potential leads. For example, a top real estate agent can send new homebuyers to you for life insurance. Their recommendation to their own clients will carry a lot of weight: a survey from Nielsen found that 92% of people trust referrals from people they know.

Tip #8: Sell Value, Not Price

It’s easy to default to talking about price when discussing options for clients. While it is information that a client will want to have, don’t make price the deciding factor. Discuss the value of each option and educate them on how different coverages will keep them protected.

If you simply provide your clients with the cheapest options, not only will you miss out on valuable commission, but your customer may find that they don’t have the coverage they need when disaster strikes. Instead, emphasize the value of insurance and find the right product that will keep them covered when they need it most.

Does your client always choose the cheapest option when they buy hotel rooms or perfume? Price alone is rarely a deciding factor in every purchase. When it comes to their protection, cost should be weighed against many other factors.

Create a Career You Love

Becoming a successful agent takes hard work and perseverance. Every successful agent you see did not get there overnight. However, that also means that it is possible for anyone willing to put in the effort to create a thriving career.

Insurance can be a rewarding and challenging career. Taking the time to build your brand and reputation can help you stand out from the competition and create a loyal customer base.

Visit the Ethos agent portal today for more Ethos news and insights. Not signed up with Ethos yet? Get started today!


[1] McKinsey & Co. Rethinking U.S. life insurance distribution. Retrieved from

[2] PWC. 2017. Experience is everything. Get it right. Retrieved from

[3] Finances Online. 2021. 50 Significant Referral Marketing Statistics 2021 data analysis and market share. Retrieved from

[4] Krogue, K. 2018. Why sales Reps spend less than 36% of time selling (and less than 18% in CRM). Forbes. Retrieved from

[5] Accenture. 2021. Guide insurance customers to safety and wellbeing. Retrieved from