Cover - How To Sell Life Insurance Successfully: Learn From A Top Agency!

How To Sell Life Insurance Successfully: Learn From A Top Agency!

By David Duford - January 03, 2023 - 5 Mins Read

Interested in learning how to sell life insurance successfully?

In this mega-article, I will detail ALL the information you need to determine if selling life insurance is a good career opportunity.

The purpose of this article is to give you insight into how life insurance sales really works.

You’ll learn what type of life insurance products you can sell, as well as how to market for life insurance leads.

My goal is to FULLY expose what the life insurance sales business is all about and if selling insurance is right for you!

Let’s begin!

NOTE: Are you an aspiring or new insurance agent looking for more insight on how the insurance sales industry works? Check out my free New Insurance Agent Resource Guide to help answer many of your questions (as well as ones you didn’t know you had!).


Benefits Of Selling Life Insurance

In this section, I will detail my top 9 favorite benefits of selling life insurance.

If you’re either considering getting into the insurance business or just became licensed to sell life insurance and want clarity on the industry, this insight is for you.

Through the process, I’m going to share with you my perspective on learning how to sell life insurance as a licensed personal producer since 2011 as well as recruiting insurance agents since 2013.

God’s Work

You may think this is silly. But there is much truth in it.

When you sell life insurance, you are doing God’s work.

I say that with complete sincerity.

I think it was the Goldman Sachs CEO during the Great Recession that said that the company was doing God’s work in the midst of suffering Americans who perhaps blamed the financial industry for their woes.

The good news is that it’s a little different for us life insurance agents!

My point about selling life insurance is that you do GOOD WORK.

Life Insurance Agent Job Description

The nature of life insurance is unique.

Your clients’ beneficiaries realize the beauty of what we do when their loved one we insured passes away.

While everyone else is taking money… the estate, the probate court, taxes, family members… we step in and actually PROVIDE money.

This helps survivors pay off final expenses and other financial obligations. Life insurance may even help maintain the lifestyle the survivors were accustomed to.

As an agent learning how to sell life insurance, you provide peace of mind that very few sales people in other industries could never provide.

All life insurance agents should hold their heads high because of the good work they do!

You can stand proud for what you do and the help that you give.

The Money

That brings us to our second benefit of selling life insurance.

When you learn how to sell life insurance effectively, you can make a GREAT living.

One of the great things about learning how to sell life insurance is that you can literally write your own paycheck.

Even if you’re dealing with low-income people like selling final expense insurance, you can make a six-figure income with enough dedication and hard work.

Statistically, there are more millionaires in the financial services industry than any other industry.

If making money is a big goal of yours, then great!

Selling life insurance provides the pathway to do just that.


For many agents, especially independent agents, freedom to run their lives as they see fit is a huge benefit learning how to sell life insurance provides.

A licensed insurance agent is a business owner, and has full decision-making power choosing which carriers to work with.

Also, in many cases, agents have the power to make their own schedule.

That means you can decide when you take time off from work and when you go on vacations.

Maybe, you’ve got events with your children. They’re still in school, and you want to spend time with them.

You can definitely do that selling life insurance.

For example, I take the end of the year off to spend with my family at Christmas time.

Could I do that with a “real” job? Of course not!

The difference between learning how to sell life insurance and a “regular” job is that the latter means you have a boss and requires that you put in a number of hours.


But there is a potential “downside” to all this freedom…

The flip side is this: with freedom comes responsibility.

The good news is that freedom is attainable, especially for agents who work hard at figuring out how to sell life insurance successfully.

Relationship Business

Selling life insurance is a relationship business.

This is not a transactional type of sale. You’re not a store clerk taking orders.

Instead, you must sell yourself and make connections with your target prospects.

In other words, successful life insurance agents create a foundation of a real friendship with their clients.

Relationships Sell

A relationship orientation in sales allows more life insurance sales opportunities as well as referrals.

The beauty of learning how to sell life insurance successfully is once you establish a relationship, you’re in a position to help them with more insurance as their needs change.

All of this is because the people who buy from you want that business relationship. They want someone to fill the role of a life insurance advisor.

Passive Income

What is passive income?

Passive income is income you don’t have to necessarily work for in the long-term.

For example, there are many insurance products that pay lifetime renewals. And with enough clients, an agent can make a very comfortable living off of maintaining his book of business.

Most products for life insurance have renewals.

Some don’t have it at all, like term insurance.

Permanent types of products like final expense companies usually have some kind of renewal.

With that, there is the ability to passively earn some kind of income.

To boost your renewal income, you can cross sell renewal-focused products like Medicare Advantage or Property And Casualty to your leads and book of business.

Also, you can recruit, build an agency, and duplicate yourself.

When you recruit and train life insurance agents, you earn income from their production.

Bottom line, there’s a great opportunity to earn income passive selling life insurance, either through cross-selling or recruiting.

Level Up!

With learning how to sell life insurance successfully, the sky’s the limit!

Most that enter the insurance sales business start as a licensed agent.

However, over time you can grow your career into management or a corporate leadership role.

Prefer not to have a job every again? That’s fine! If you prefer selling, you can move up to more lucrative markets as you build your experience level.

Most agents start with an entry-level, such as final expense or Medicare.

And some stick with it for their entire career!

It is completely fine to stay in something like final expense or Medicare sales. Lots of money can be made in both.

Others will level up into annuity sales, or possibly get into the small business market.

When you learn how to sell life insurance, you can grow as much as you desire!


When learning how to sell life insurance, you’ll discover there are many life insurance markets to choose from.

The best analogy is to think of the automobile market.

You have entry-level cars like Kia.

Then you’ve got kind of mid-level consumer cars, Honda, Ford, and Chevrolet.

And of course there’s the luxury cars like Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes.

They all appeal to a different target market.

Some target the low-price market, while others appeal to the high-end market.

The same concept applies to the life insurance business.

You have different groups of people and with different insurance goals.

For example, I’ve mentioned previously that I focus on selling final expense insurance.

This is predominantly a senior-citizen product with the average prospect 60 years old and older.

However, if you’re not too keen on the senior market, you could target small business owners.

Small business owners have good incomes and a need for insurance-based financial planning.

Also, you could sell disability insurance, key man protection to cover important people that work for the small business owner, and life insurance planning for the business owner.

Bottom line, new agents must choose the business model that most makes sense to them.

Once that’s complete, then you must drive all your focus on that market to become an expert.

I interview successful insurance agents on my YouTube live streams. One thing I point out is the importance of becoming a master of one product or market provides a better chance of success than selling multiple products as a newly-licensed life insurance agent.

You tend to make more money as a specialist in life, not just in insurance but in all careers.

Work Ethic Rewarded

Thankfully, figuring out how to sell life insurance rewards those with considerable work ethic.

For me, as an entrepreneur looking into learning how to sell life insurance successfully, I thought,

“Wow, this is exactly what I want! I can work as hard as I want, and make the kind of income that I want.”

If you:

    • Have a  good work ethic,

    • Focus on seeing the people,

    • Helping your life insurance prospects out, and,

    • Put your clients’ welfare above your own.

You’ll do great selling life insurance =).

Hard work pays off in dividends. Just be forewarned that hard work is front-loaded.

You must work your ass off during your first few years before letting off the gas.

Simple, But Not Easy

Last but not least, learning how to sell life insurance is simple… but not easy!

It is simple because life insurance is something everybody really needs.

Very few people don’t need life insurance.

However, if someone is hurt financially because of an unexpected death, life insurance is the way to eliminate any forthcoming financial pain.

As a life insurance agent, you want to drill down to your clients’ most visceral emotions regarding death.

In return, you want to paint the picture on how your clients’ family suffers given an unexpected death.

You can do this without any high-pressure tactics.

Helping our clients into this state of mind opens their minds to how life insurance is the solution.

As long as you can ask good questions, it is simple to go through the process of selling life insurance.

Now, it’s not easy. Let’s not conflate easy with simple!

Anyone who has seen success KNOWS this is a difficult business.

No more than 5% to 10% of new insurance agents survive their first year.

That means nine out of ten of you are out within your first 12 months.

Here are the reasons why that’s the case:

    • No business plan. You must have a sales and marketing strategy if you hope to win in the life insurance sales game.

    • No mentor. You need someone in your corner you can call on to help you with sales, marketing, and underwriting questions.

Best Paying Life Insurance Jobs


Now that you understand the benefits of selling life insurance, let’s discuss which life insurance jobs pay the best.

Most agents learning how to sell life insurance decide to “niche” in a certain life insurance market.

Few sell life insurance purposely to anyone and everyone.

Finding and focusing on a speciality is one of the best ways to sell life insurance.

Last point, there is no ranking to these life insurance job options.

They all have the potential to earn 6-, even 7-figure incomes, with enough time and dedication.

How much you can make selling life insurance depends on you!

Let’s begin!

NOTE: Check out my review of the best insurance sales jobs for more info on possible agencies you can join.

Final Expense Life Insurance

What is final expense?

In a nutshell, selling final expense involves presenting low-cost life insurance coverage options to help pay for final expenses like burial and cremation costs.

What makes selling final expense insurance a lucrative life insurance job is the size or the market.

Plus, final expense is simple to sell and easy to get final expense leads.

Lastly, it’s a 1-call close sales process where the hardest-working agents usually win.

Once you get good, you can duplicate yourself through the creation of your own insurance agency.

You can recruit and train new agents to follow your system.

This creates a passive override income from their production.

For most final expense agents, this is where the big income comes from.

The creation of an agency and duplicating your system for others to use may provide 6- and 7-figure incomes.

Mortgage Protection Life Insurance

Selling mortgage protection is a life insurance product sold to new homeowners.

As a new agent learning how to sell life insurance, you target your mortgage protection leads to new homeowners.

Many times, new homeowners are open-minded to buying life insurance.

They recently purchased a home and are now in debt.

Mortgage protection life insurance can eliminate the risk of foreclosure on survivors if the owner passes away unexpectedly.

Mortgage protection insurance is a great life insurance job opportunity. Unlike some life insurance sales positions, you’re marketing to a more receptive audience.

Even better, some prospects show opportunities for cross-selling other products like annuities and mortgage protection.

And you can recruit agents, too.

Indexed Universal Life

Indexed universal life (IUL) insurance offers a great sales opportunity to help folks out who want both life insurance coverage and the ability to grow what’s called a “supplemental life insurance retirement plan.”

Unlike investing in the stock market, IULs are life insurance products allowing growth with increases in the stock market while protecting against stock market losses.

IULs offer peace of mind to clients who worry about trusting traditional retirement strategies.

There are many strategies you can use with an IUL.

For example, you can fund a parent’s college savings plan for her kids. Many are receptive to that.

Additionally, you can sell a supplemental life insurance retirement plan.

This is designed to supplement the client’s pre-existing 401k or IRA retirement strategy.

Indexed universal life insurance is lucrative in the small business market, too.

One of the best reasons to buy insurance is to cover obligations or risks.

And small business owners carry plenty of financial risks.

For example, many have concerns about retiring, business succession, and estate planning. Indexed universal life insurance helps with all of that.

Also, business owners need life insurance to replace income and cover the deaths of key people in their organizations.

If you get good at the small business market, it’s a very lucrative business model to specialize in.

Many life insurance gurus I’ve studied like John Savage and Ben Feldman focused in this market.

And it made them multi-millionaires.

Voluntary Payroll Deduction Business

I’ve got a friend in the life insurance business who does what we call “voluntary payroll deduct” business (VPD for short)

He targets large employers like school systems and grocery chains.

His company helps his clients’ employees navigate benefit options. And through that service they make life insurance sales.

And every year like clockwork, they write millions upon millions of new life insurance premium and commissions.

VPD is lucrative because of the “scaling factor.”

If you can win over a corporate benefits manager to sponsor your VPD company, you have an exponentially larger pool selling life insurance prospects compared to traditional, 1-on-1 selling.

The benefit is more life insurance policies faster!

Insurance Based Retirement Planning

Last but not least, another great life insurance job opportunity is doing what’s called “insurance-based retirement planning.”

This suits the life insurance agent who likes helping clients protect their retirement income from stock market loss.

There’s lots of opportunity in this market selling annuities and indexed universal life insurance.

For example, I have a friend in the business who exclusively does dinner seminars targeting soon-to-be retired people.

He shows them how to never outlive their money and live with peace of mind.

Last I checked, he was right at or slightly over hitting $1,000,000 in commissions in 2019.

Lots of Opportunities, But Which Product Is Right For You?

One takeaway from describing the best-paying life insurance sales opportunities is this…

There is an overabundance of opportunities!

But too MANY options may lead to indecision.

So how do you select the perfect life insurance job opportunity?

First, do further research on the markets mentioned above.

Google-search for more information.

Research my website for more details, as I have lots of articles and videos on most of these life insurance job opportunities.

I recommend working to narrow down your search to 2 best-fit opportunities.

Then, reach out to agencies for an interview to see what the business is really like.

At the end of the day, the most important thing you can do is to START! 

Sure, you may not start off where you ideally want to be.

But… once you learn how to sell life insurance, you can pivot to another life insurance opportunity fairly easily.

Best Ways To Market Life Insurance


Let’s say you’ve picked a niche in selling life insurance and are ready to proceed.

Before you do, you must put in place a marketing program that’s proven to get results.

Many people learning how to sell life insurance do not think about their long-term life insurance lead strategy.

They randomly try different life insurance leads and ultimately never settle on one strategy.

In this section, I’ll describe proven life insurance marketing strategies you can implement in the life insurance careers mentioned above.

Let’s jump right in!

Project 100 – Friends And Family Warm Market

Working your warm market is the traditional way to generate life insurance business.

This is also called the “Project 100.”

If you work in a career agency like New York Life, this strategy may sound familiar.

Here’s how the Project 100 strategy works.

Everyone has a warm market. You have friends, family, and a sphere of influence.

Odds are higher this network of people would listen to your life insurance sales offer than any random agent.

Added, your friends and family want you to succeed.

This means more willingness to listen, thus more likely to do business with you.

Even better, referral-generation from your sphere of influence is much easier.

This helps you grow your pool of prospects with the best life insurance leads one can generate.

Apprehension Working Your Warm Market

If working in your warm market is so great, why do so few do it?

For many, selling family and friends is awkward. I wasn’t comfortable with it as a new agent.


As a new agent, I had little product knowledge.

Plus, I didn’t like the idea of guilt-tripping my sphere of influence to buy.

My perception of selling friends and family was negative.

I figured I’d lose out not only on sales, but lose friendships, too.

It took me years to realize…

I had the wrong mindset about approaching friends and family.

Let me explain why.

Introduce Ideas, Not Sell

First, think of “selling friends and family” as introducing them to what you do.

If you’re worried about offending family and friends, tell them you’re not going to sell them anything.

Assure them your focus is to explain the kind of work you do.

This reduces tension for both your warm marketing prospect and yourself.

When you meet, ask fact-finding questions. Learn more about your warm market prospect to see if your life insurance product may help.

But do it in an educational, consultative way, not hype-y and high-pressure.

Here’s the good news.

If your life insurance product solves a problem, your warm market prospect will sell himself on buying it.

You’ll tell by the questions he asks.

Prospects asking questions are a good indicator you’re speaking with someone interested.

Using this low-key consultative strategy, you’ll sell warm-market prospects who need your help without “upsetting the apple cart” with those that don’t.

Bottom line, mindset is everything when utilizing the Project 100 warm market strategy as you begin learning how to sell life insurance successfully.

Focus on building value if a life insurance need exists.

And ask for referrals, regardless if your prospect buys or not.

Referrals are the best source of leads in selling life insurance.

One last thing about working your sphere of influence.

Even if you’re reluctant to sell friends and family, most prefer buying from someone they know versus a someone they don’t.

And this gives you a big leg-up on making sales and realizing success!

Interested in conducting a Project 100 marketing strategy?

Here’s a document I found from MassMutual that helps you put together your own Project 100 list.

Cold Calls

Now we’ve covered working in your warm market, let’s talk cold calls.

Cold calling involves setting appointments over the phone or dropping in unannounced with prospects who have not requested information from you.

Maybe you’ve heard claims that cold calling is dead…

Not true!

Cold calling is ALIVE and WELL. And arguably working BETTER than in the past.

Here’s why…

Generating Leads


Most agents invest money into generating insurance leads through Facebook, Google placement ads, direct mail, and so on.

However, only a small portion of prospects actually respond to advertisements.

My belief is that only 10% of prospects end up responding.

In other words, you’re missing out on 90% of the opportunities!

Invesp found the same disturbing trend in internet advertising.

Eight percent of internet users were responsible for 85% of clicks on display ads!

Here’s my point…

The only way to reach the rest of the 90% is through referrals and cold calling.

If cold calling sounds intriguing, consider prospecting the small business market.

Many business owners have zero personal benefits and are receptive to cold calls.

Plus, they respect you for having the guts to approach them on a cold basis.

Often, business owners will give you 30 seconds to explain why you’re there and what you offer on a cold call approach.

And what’s crazy is that it’s rare anymore to see life insurance agents cold calling small business.

Last point I’ll make… cold calling is a great strategy when you have little to no funds to finance a paid lead generation campaign.

A little hard work and sweat equity can go a long way!

Seminar Marketing

The next method to generate life insurance leads is actually using a seminar marketing method process.

Seminar marketing is pretty simple.

You give a presentation to a group of people on a topic related to the product you sell.

For example, if you sell Medicare Supplements, you can do an educational seminar on how Medicare works.

Seminar marketing generates an incredible amount of interest in your product while simultaneously generating high-quality leads.

Why? Because seminar marketing positions you as the expert.

Also, you build rapport and trust with your audience as a speaker. Further, speaking gives you a celebrity-like effect.

Two Ways To Do Seminar Marketing

There are two primary seminar marketing methods agents use to generate life insurance leads.

The first is the paid method.

This is the traditional “dinner seminar” annuity agents, pre-need funeral home reps, and Medicare agents put on.

You invest thousands of dollars on postcards, radio, and television ads to pull in prospects to listen to your presentation.

This method works well, but it just takes a lot of upfront money.

I know an annuity agent that’s writing $1,000,000 in annuity business monthly through this method.

To sell that much annuity business, he invests $15,000 to $18,000 monthly to find interested prospects.

If the idea of investing that much money into leads doesn’t appeal to you, consider the cost-free approach to seminar marketing.

Instead of investing a lot of money, approach different locations locally in need of speakers.

There are many of these opportunities.

Churches, support groups, anywhere where a group meets regularly.

Having a guest speaker breaks up the monotony, and exposes you to many people who would make great prospects.

The main benefit of cost-free seminars is access to high-quality leads without the large up-front expense.

Plus, there’s little to no competition among other insurance agent speakers, since most fear public speaking.

I teach insurance agents how to do this cost-free seminar marketing strategy. You can learn more about it here.

Purchased Leads

The final method I want to talk about is purchased life insurance leads.

Purchased leads are one of the most popular forms of generating leads in final expense, Medicare supplements, and mortgage protection.

The concept is simple.

If you buy direct mail leads, you place the order and receive leads within 3 to 4 weeks.

With Facebook and Internet leads, you place the ads and receive leads within a day or two.

Not all leads are buyers

Understand this…

Not all replies to a purchased lead is a buyer.

The definition of a lead is someone who expresses at least a marginal interest in the information offered to them.

In fact, a lead system generating 3 out of 4 people that will tell you “not interested” is a positive result!


A 25% conversion rate is sufficient to pay off the lead campaign cost and leave a multiple in profit.

Obviously, this number varies, based on average commission and client acquisition cost.

The moral of the story… a good paid lead generation system can work well, even with most not buying.

Final Thoughts On Marketing For Life Insurance

I’ll leave you with this thought.

Think long about these 4 different ways to generate life insurance business.

Then, choose one and ONLY one marketing approach to master.

You MUST understand…

Success in life insurance is all about SEEING THE PEOPLE.

If you CANNOT set consistent appointments with prospects, you will soon fail, back to the job you HATE.

All of the above methods work… as long as you follow the strategy CONSISTENTLY.

If you are busy today and not tomorrow, you’re taking half the year off.

You’re not seeing enough people, and you’re going to make half the income you could.

A good lead system predictably gets prospects on a consistent basis.

Can’t do that? Your lead system sucks!

And it’s unlikely that you’re going to see long-term success in life insurance sales.

When you consider a lead system, ask yourself,

    • Is this sustainable?

    • Is this something I can scale?

    • Is it something that I can get more than the occasional couple appointments a week?

Make sure you find a life insurance marketing system that allows for the kind of activity necessary to earn the income you want.

Sales Tips

Now we’ve gained an understanding of the benefits of:

    • Selling life insurance as a lifelong career,

    • What life insurance products we can specialize in, and,

    • How life insurance lead systems work,

I want to hit on my favorite “how to sell life insurance” tips I give to agents that want to learn how to sell more life insurance.

No matter what niche you begin in, all these selling life insurance tips are relevant and will make a HUGE difference in your life insurance job success.

Master One Product

I’m a big believer that the best salespeople in all industries are masters of one thing.

Think about it.

Who makes more money in the medical profession – the general physician or the cardiovascular surgeon?

The general physician knows a lot about a lot of things, but he doesn’t have specific knowledge like the cardiovascular doc does.

Why is that important?

Because the surgeon with his special skill set commands an income at least 10 times as much as the general physician.

The surgeon is able to perform a skill few people can, and for that he has the ability to make a lot more money.

It’s the same for when learning how to sell life insurance successfully. 

It doesn’t matter what you sell. My focus is selling final expense life insurance.

I know it very well and can convince pretty much anyone I run into to do business with me over my competition.

Learn how to sell life insurance in a niche you’re passionate about. Become THE expert!

Over time, add other products as you develop your skill set. Avoid overload in the beginning.

Use A Proven Lead System

Defining and executing a proven lead generation strategy is pivotal to your success selling life insurance.

For example, the top 10% of final expense agents generally all do some sort of direct mail final expense leads.

You don’t see a lot of cold calling in this business.

However, you see some telemarketing lead generation, but your big producers pretty much do direct mail.

If you’re in the final expense business, you should probably do final expense direct mail leads.

It just makes sense to do what others have already tested and proven to work.

But perhaps you’re in another line of business. What do you do?

Do your research.

Find out what the top life insurance agents do in your particular niche and duplicate it.

Brian Tracy said this once that, “Success leaves clues.”

And he’s right! Top producers started at the bottom. In most instances, all they did was figure out a strategy to duplicate.

In other words, top producers followed someone else’s lead to get results.

Bottom line, learning how to sell life insurance successfully is all about finding a marketing system PROVEN to work.

Sell To The Masses

The best way for a new agent to get started in any kind of life insurance business is to find a market with LOTS of prospects.


Because the more people you talk to, the more opportunity to sell!

Selling to the masses eliminates the number one issue many agents experience..

NOT having enough people to talk to.

With a mass market appeal life insurance product, it’s easier to book more appointments, increasing your sales success odds.

Examples of mass market products include:

    • Mortgage protection,

    • Sell term life insurance to business owners, and,

    • Final expense

In these 3 categories, there are millions who don’t have enough life insurance

And if you pick one mass market to specialize in, you’ll realize tremendous activity potential.

Focus On Long-Term Opportunities

Take a term insurance salesman.

If a term insurance agent is smart, he realizes that many of the people he’s seeing will become customers – not just on a one-time sale – but multiple times over the course of the agent’s career.

Whenever possible, make the person you meet with a client.

Once a client, you establish a level of trust. Odds are your client likes you and would continue to buy if you approach him at different stages in his life.

A smart agent agent focuses on making the sale based on what’s appropriate for the client, not for the agent.


Because making the first sale opens the opportunity for future sales.

For example, I’d rather sell a less-commission product like term insurance than push for a lucrative pay-out product like index universal life…

IF my client is more comfortable with the term product.

The point is this… you have many opportunities over time as the client goes through different stages in his life to sell more lucrative life insurance coverage.

And the best way to sell life insurance is through making the dinky, low-commission first sale!

I had an agent from Florida join me on a ride-along.

He told me a client called him out of the blue and wanted to buy long-term care insurance.

He did a $6,000 premium on the case and got him approved.

Then, the client wanted a second $2 million term insurance plan.

This agent made $30,000 in commission off of that policy! And it all began from a first-time purchase.

Remember, keep the long-term in mind! 

The power in this business is in the long-term potential for sales with clients you already have.

With happy clients, you’ll get more referrals, build deeper into your book of business, and clients will become friends.

Find A Mentor You Like And Trust

Finding a mentor when selling life insurance is vital!

Learning how to sell life insurance successfully is like an apprenticeship in the old days.

For example, a father teaches his son his trade so that one day he can replicate his father’s success.

Learning how to sell life insurance is exactly the same.

You need a mentor to take you under his wing and to show you the ropes.

That allows you to learn how to sell life insurance the right way the FIRST time.

Life insurance sales mentors help tremendously with all of the following:

With a mentor in your corner, you’ll learn the business faster and likely increase your odds of short- and long-term success when learning how to sell life insurance.

Phone Or Face-To-Face?

Now you know more about:

    • The benefits of learning how to sell life insurance,

    • What are the best life insurance jobs,

    • How to generate life insurance leads, and

    • Tips to succeed long-term in selling life insurance successfully,

Let’s discuss differences between selling life insurance over the phone (at home or online) and learning how to sell life insurance successfully the traditional way – face-to-face.

As technology advances, opportunities to sell life insurance in non-traditional ways increases.

In fact, I have several friends in the business making millions a year selling life insurance that never physically see their clients, speaking only over the phone.

What you want to decide is if one method is better for you than another.

So let’s begin.

Selling Insurance From Home

Many agents now sell insurance from home.

And it’s an accessible set-up with the right sales and marketing platform.

Typically, there’s two ways you can sell life insurance from home:

    1. Use an inbound insurance lead program, encouraging prospects to call for more information. Usually, the insurance IMO sponsors this lead program.

    1. Use a website generating organic leads or purchase internet-generated leads. The agent makes outbound sales calls to persuade prospects to buy.

Pros Of Selling Life Insurance Over The Phone

Perhaps the biggest advantage of learning how to sell life insurance over the phone is maximization of time.

Unlike face-to-face agents who waste hours daily driving between appointments, as soon as you end one conversation selling life insurance over the phone, it only takes a few seconds to dial the next number and begin a new conversation.

Further, agents specializing in life insurance sales face-to-face put tens of thousands of miles on their vehicles annually.

This translates into higher vehicle upkeep, and regular purchasing of new vehicles as older ones wear out.

Also, it’s pretty sweet having a 1 minute commute to your home office.

Cons Of Selling Life Insurance From Home

What’s the biggest drawback?

Learning how to sell life insurance over the phone is completely different than selling face-to-face.

For example, phone sales agents can’t utilize body language, eye contact, or physical contact like a handshake.

Studies show this form of communication is more powerful than words alone.

When selling life insurance over the phone, your only communication tools are your words, your pace of speech, and tonality.

And for more agents, getting used to effective selling over the phone takes more practice than face-to-face sales.

From an income-earning perspective, agents who learn how to sell life insurance successfully over the phone convert less leads into prospects compared to face-to-face agents.

Here’s why.

Depending on the market you sell to, less people are willing to buy life insurance, site unseen.

They’re used to face-to-face interaction with life insurance agents.

Granted, younger populations don’t feel this way as much as older populations. So it’s situational.

Selling Life Insurance Face-To-Face

Learning how to sell life insurance face-to-face is the traditional prospecting and sales format.

Even as I write this article in 2020, the majority of life insurance agents sell face-to-face.

For many reasons, I think selling face-to-face is better than selling over the phone.


First, selling life insurance face-to-face maximizes conversion opportunities.

When you meet prospects face-to-face, there are higher odds they’ll buy than through a conference call.

Plus, prospects are kinder and more respectful.

More agree to an appointment than exclusive over the phone sales.

This translates into higher presentation volume for face-to-face agents with a decreased need for as many leads compared to the phone sales agent.

Second, I think it’s easier to learn face-to-face sales.

Learning how to sell life insurance online or from home is a harder skillset to learn than relying on traditional methods.

When selling life insurance face-to-face, you have the benefit of body language and physical contact.

You cannot underestimate this advantage.

The more communication tools available, the easier time you have relaxing prospects, opening their minds to your sales presentation.

When doing life insurance sales over the phone, you rely upon your words, tonality, and pacing. You miss out on the advantages body language provides.

Career Drawbacks

Up to this point, I’ve spent a lot of time telling how great it is to learn how to sell life insurance.

However, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine!

There are DEFINITE drawbacks to a career in learning how to sell life insurance.

In this section, I’ll detail my thoughts on the drawbacks of a career selling life insurance.

LOTS Of Work

Make no mistake!

Learning how to sell life insurance is a difficult endeavor.

Further, over 90% of agents selling life insurance fail out within their first year.

Why? One reason is a lack of work ethic required to succeed.

Maybe these agents treat learning how to sell life insurance as “just another job,” putting in minimal effort.

Imagine yourself owning a business. Your money and reputation is on the line.

Failure could spell financial ruin. Success could provide the lifestyle of your dreams.

With that said, would you give that business 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week?

The answer is no.

All new businesses need tender loving care, attention, and hard work to possibly succeed.

And life insurance sales is no different than running a business.

As the old saying goes…

“Want success selling life insurance? Just work half a day! So… decide whether you’ll work the first or second 12 hours of the day.

LOTS Of Time

Want to earn hundreds of thousands – even millions – of dollars in your life insurance career?

Guess what? It ain’t gonna happen over night.

Like all good things in life, it takes a long time to achieve success in learning how to sell life insurance.

In fact, many successful life insurance agents struggle early on in their career.

I failed out of life insurance sales within my first year (luckily I got back in!).

When I talk with an agent struggling, I tell them many good life insurance agents seriously considered quitting due to the adversity they faced.

I believe it was Al Granum that said:

“If you want to succeed in selling life insurance, all you have to do is simply survive!”

Another legendary agent selling life insurance likened learning how to sell life insurance to a doctor completing residency.

Residency takes 4 years plus to complete before the doctor can practice medicine independently.

And while in residency, he’s not making much money. But, he knows that in the long run, the effort will materialize into a great income.

How much time will it take for you?

That depends on your goals.

For example,

    • How much money do you want to make selling life insurance?

    • Do you value things like freedom, spending time with your family, pursuing hobbies or travel?

Agents define success differently. And that’s fine.

Either way, expect several years of unrelenting effort before you ease off the gas pedal.

Only First Year Driven Commission

Of all the drawbacks mentioned, this is the biggest.

While learning how to sell life insurance provides big first-year commissions, most products offer little to no renewal based income.

This means when you stop working, your income stops, too.

When you sell life insurance, your income earning power is inextricably tied to whether or not you’re working.

As a young man getting started in this business, this shouldn’t disturb you.

In fact, you should embrace the grind and put in hours of work to develop your skills.

However, I discovered as a young father and husband that I wanted to generate passive income.

That way I could have more time with my family.

Although I sure loved working 12+ hours a day, 6 days a week at the time, I sensed my priorities may change as we added more kids to the family.

How To Create Passive Income

How do you create a passive income selling life insurance?

Build and grow an insurance agency!

And that’s what I did.

I recruit agents nationally to sell life insurance products like final expense, annuities, and mortgage protection.

When you recruit and train life insurance agents to sell, you make a small portion in commission on each of their sales.

This income stream is about as close to passive as you can get.

I’d say it’s more “semi-passive,” as any agency who does not train and support agents is usually out of the business.

However, agency income is passive enough for me.

For example, I take month-long vacations in the summer, and take off most of December to celebrate Christmas with my family.

And since I have agents who are learning how to sell life insurance, I continue to make an income.

Don’t Want To Recruit? That’s Fine.

If you’re not into recruiting life insurance agents, consider cross-selling renewal-driven products to generate a passive income.

One of my favorite renewal-driven products is Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement policies.

In most states, Medicare Supplements pay $250 to $300 annually for 6 years, and Medicare Advantage pays $255 in renewal income as long as the client retains her coverage with your carrier.

Imagine having 1,000 Medicare clients. You’d make $250,000 to $300,000 a year!

Better yet, Medicare requires little service work relative to other renewal-driven products like property and casualty insurance.

Pretty sweet huh?

The agents I teach how to sell life insurance successfully who do well consistently get guidance on pointing some of their effort towards Medicare sales to generate passive income.

How To Get Started

If you’ve made it this far, you’re very interested in learning how to sell life insurance and wonder what the next step is.

It’s pretty simple.

Before you can sell, there are a few things to take care of first.

First, learn how to get your insurance license if you haven’t already.

Not sure how to get it?

Read this article on how to get your insurance license. It’ll answer all your questions.

Once you pass the exam, find an agency or insurance IMO to partner with.

Do your due diligence. And don’t be in any rush to get going.

In most cases, it takes time to find the right insurance agency. Many jump into the first opportunity presented without comparing.

Beware Multi-Level Marketing Agencies

Understand that most of the heavily-advertised opportunities claiming to teach you how to sell life insurance are multi-level marketing in nature.

How can you tell?

Recruiters focus on materialism (flashy cars, expensive watches) and teach you to recruit insurance agents as a part of being a new agent.

This is asinine.

Agencies should focus training on how to sell life insurance successfully over recruiting.

Recruiting is fine, but comes after a consistent level of success selling life insurance.

After you find the right agency, put on the blinders and go all in.

Diligently follow their prospecting and sales methods.

Remember, most agencies design their sales and marketing platforms because it’s proven to work.


I hope you enjoyed my article on selling life insurance and realized value from it.

Whether you’re looking to sell life insurance part-time or full-time, this article should help you out.

Also, I recruit agents nationally who want to become top producers. More information here, as well as Agent Success Stories to review.

I’m open to constructive criticism and questions from my readers.

Feel free to leave a comment below, or contact me here.

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