How Has Covid-19 Affected Your Insurance Sales?

Has the pandemic affected your insurance sales business?

In this article, I discuss the survey I put out to agents and the surprising results regarding how Coronavirus has affected agents selling insurance across the country.

Details On Coronavirus Survey

Let’s start with some details about my research before we jump into the results.

This survey was conducted among my agents on my email newsletter marketing list, as well as those who watched my video on my YouTube channel between May 9th to May 20th 2020.

A total of 153 licensed insurance agents responded with their experience selling during the COVID-19 crisis.

A little bit of context about how I put together the survey.

I split the results into two different camps:

  • Licensed life insurance agents specializing in final expense, and,
  • All other licensed insurance agents.

The reason I did that is because my audience predominantly sells final expense, and my primary product line I recruit agents to is final expense.

I wanted to investigate the difference between the responses of those who are selling final expense insurance as their primary line of business, versus those who sell something else as a primary product.

Of those who took the survey, 47.7% were final expense agents and the remaining 52.3% sold a different insurance product.

How Coronavirus Has Impacted Insurance Agents 

I posed 5 questions to insurance agents on covid-19’s impact on their sales efforts. 

Let’s take a look at each question and the answers I received.

Question #1: So far, how has COVID-19 impacted your new insurance policy sales?

Final Expense Agents Results

All Insurance Agents EXCEPT Final Expense Agents

Being in life insurance sales, I wanted to measure agents’ responses to see how covid-19 has affected their ability to sell insurance policies.

When comparing final expense agents to all other agents:

  • About the same percentage said sales are down,
  • About the same percentage said sales are up, and,
  • About the same percentage between each group said no impact.

All said and done, approximately 70% of each group have seen a reduction in new business sales. So I think it’s safe to say across the board COVID-19 has definitely made an impact.

Question #2: How have you changed your sales process since COVID-19 began?

Final Expense Agents

All Insurance Agents EXCEPT Final Expense Agents

The possible answers for this question include: 

  • “I have sold insurance over the phone since COVID-19 began and do not sell insurance face-to-face.”
  • “I have transitioned to selling more insurance over the phone due to COVID-19.” 
  • “Despite COVID-19 I exclusively sell insurance face-to-face and do not sell over the phone.” 

I asked this question because COVID-19 has presented some of us with an opportunity to diversify our sales efforts away from face-to-face sales to phone sales.

We do have the ability for most insurance products to sell sight unseen. And many agents who have considered selling insurance like final expense over the phone may have used the outcome of the pandemic to do so.

The results showed a few changes, but the difference between the two groups was minimal.

The biggest takeaway:

  • Around 4 out of 10 insurance agents have decided to conduct telesales that didn’t do telesales before.

Also interesting:

  • Approximately a fifth of insurance agents said they continue to sell face-to-face despite COVID-19.

Question#3: “If you’ve transitioned to selling insurance over the phone, do you plan on going back to exclusively selling face-to-face in the future?” 

Final Expense Agents

All Insurance Agents EXCEPT Final Expense Agents

The possible answers for this question included:

  • “Yes, I plan on going back to face-to-face insurance sales as soon as possible.” 
  • “Both, I plan on doing a mix of telesales and face-to-face going forward.” 
  • “No, I will purely sell insurance over the phone.”

The reason I asked this is to test to see number of agents who look at telesales as a temporary solution, wanting to get back to face-to-face sales. 

There are interesting results compared between final expense agents and all other insurance agents:

  • Approximately 72% of all insurance agents that do not sell final expense say they plan on doing both telesales and face-to-face going forward.
  • 46% of final expense agents said they plan on doing both going forward.

When it comes to going back to face-to-face sales:

  • 30% of final expense agents said they’re planning on going face-to-face as soon as possible, and,
  • Only 17% of all other agents said they plan on going back to face-to-face.

Another interesting statistic:

  • 23% of final expense agents versus 14% of all other agents plan on specifically doing telesales going forward because of COVID-19.

Again, these are agents transitioning from face-to-face to telesales. That’s a pretty big shift!

It’s an interesting dichotomy. It seems more likely for final expense agents to go all telesales or all face-to-face, while the rest of the insurance world is more willing to use both simultaneously. 

Question #4: “For those of you who purchased leads, have you seen an increase or decrease in the quality of your leads?” 

Final Expense Agents

All Insurance Agents EXCEPT Final Expense Agents

Bottom line:

  • Approximately 4 out of 10 of all agents said insurance lead quality has increased, and 6 out of 10 agents say it has decreased.

Question #5: “How do you see the COVID-19 crisis impacting your insurance sales business for the remainder of 2020?” 

Final Expense Agents

All Insurance Agents EXCEPT Final Expense Agents

The possible answers to this question include:

  • “I expect to sell more policies.” 
  • “I don’t expect COVID-19 to have much of an impact either way on new policy sales.” 
  • “I expect to sell less policies.”

It appears final expense agents are more positive about the remainder of the year versus all other agents in new business sales (52% versus 42%).

Also:

  • The number of agents who didn’t expect the crisis to change things that much was about the same between both groups.

However:

A larger percentage of non-final expense agents said they expect to have fewer sales compared to final expense agents (approximately 40% versus 30%, respectively).

Comments From Insurance Agents In The Field

I wanted to gain first-hand comments and insight agents on how their experience has been so far through the coronavirus pandemic.

I’ve categorized a selection of responses as the ugly, the bad, and the good.

Let’s read through some of these to get a feel for what it’s really like being an insurance sales agent in the midst of COVID-19.  

The Ugly:

  • “I had a group of 200 employees I was not able to meet face-to-face. I lost a lot of money in that group. I called some sent out a letter to call me, and not many responses.” 
  • “COVID-19 has made it virtually impossible to do in-home or in-office appointments and has had a devastating impact.” 
  • “It has affected my sales by 75%.” 
  • “Basically, I was at a standstill except for current client service sales and referrals. Zero mortgages at all, and my prospects have been terrified.” 
  • “I sell voluntary benefits in the work site with nearly all work sites closing, my business has dramatically slowed.” 
  • “It’s like a rug was ripped out from underneath my business. It’s like a train wreck, horribly derailed.”

The Bad:

  • “Lousy.” 
  • “Huge impact on business networking.” 
  • “I do not sell until this pandemic is over.” 
  • “Very sparse face-to-face FEX, final expense sales, since mid-March. 
  • “Since telesales is a different skillset, don’t want to waste money on lead costs and also felt that a telesales strategy will be flooded in many markets across the country and ROI would be distorted.” 
  • “COVID-19 has totally changed the way I do business and not in a good way. I will have to change the product I sell. It’s scary out there.”

The Good:

It’s not all bad news or ugly news. Here are some good comments from the survey I did. 

  • “Sales have gone up 50%.” 
  • “Switching to telesales is a game changer. And sometimes I close only one out of 10 presentations, but I can get 10 plus presentations completed in six or few hours a day and write one to two deals a day.” 
  • “People are home more, so my contact ratio has been up.” 
  • “I have been working my client database in between buying two sets of leads and my clients, I’ve written 11,000 in final expense and term mortgage protection insurance.” 
  • “I sell less mortgage protection over the phone than face-to-face, but I am grateful for the experience. Now I only want to sell over the phone.”

My Thoughts

There you have it!

Those are the results from my COVID-19 insurance agent survey. Some pretty interesting changes already taking place for sure.

Before finishing this article, I want to provide some thoughts that I’ve had in doing this study.

Winners are winners!

First of all, I think the biggest takeaway here is that winners are winners. Winners will find a way to survive despite bad circumstances.

I believe the agents who will make it out of the COVID-19 crisis are those that have the proper mindset and the will to adapt.

Those individuals understand opportunities are all over the place, especially when things get dicey.

I stress to those who are reading this…

If you were one of the agents who commented or provided information, or if you’re an agent who is suffering financially due to COVID-19, take special care to look for unrealized opportunities.

Uncover hidden opportunity

Is final expense a good career opportunity?

For example, I started in insurance sales in 2011 out of complete desperation.

Nobody sells insurance unless really desperate, right?

At least that was the case for me.

If you remember back to 2011, that was the middle of The Great Recession.

Sure, Wall Street had recovered. Things were doing better on paper, I guess you could say. But Main Street was getting killed. 

At the time I had a personal training gym. And with all the financial calamity happening, clientele slowly dwindle away, spent less, and not stay on as long.

It was like watching a ship sink slowly. It was a slow death. And I was depressed. I tried getting jobs elsewhere and it was hard.

But I am so thankful it happened. Had I not, I would have never cam into this wonderful business called insurance.

I would not be where I’m at in my life now if it wasn’t for this early failure.

Thank God for unanswered prayers

And this is my key point, especially to people who are in business for themselves for the first time and are struggling right now.

No doubt you’re wondering if you should keep going, if the opportunity is there. If I had never struggled at that point, I would have never made it to where I am today. 

Of course, in the midst of it all happening, nobody sits around and thinks, “Thank God I’m struggling. Thank God I’m struggling to pay my bills and my family thinks I’m crazy for staying in this business.”

Nobody thinks that, but you must have faith that things will improve. I assure you, they will. 

And if you can stick with this business, there is so much opportunity!

It may sound cliche, but truth is this:

  • You’re going to come out of this stronger.
  • You’re going to come out of this more successful
  • You’re going to have a level of experience that’s going to take you to new heights.

Follow the fundamentals

If you can battle your way through the mess that’s here now (and will be here for a while), I believe the fundamentals of this business are absolutely 100% sound.

I think certain insurance niches will fare better during and after the aftermath of the pandemic.

That’s why I have tripled down on the senior market with an intense focus in final expense, selling Medicare Advantage, as well as annuity sales.

I think the opportunity is ripe! It’s there for the taking for those agents that go all in.

Reconsider your niche

Ask yourself:

Is what I’m selling really where I want to be for the next couple of years?

Where do you want to see yourself over the long haul?

If you’re interested in the final expense, Medicare or annuity market, I highly recommend that you check out more about how those business models work in my agency here.

COVID-19 has impacted all of us, but it has and will continue to also be a great opportunity to reassess and to research the direction you want to go in your career.

I do hope none of you leave this business because of the pandemic  – please don’t. Find a way to continue, it will be well worth the investment.

Thank you so much for reading!

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