To be successful in the insurance industry, one thing is for sure: you must know how to sell. You are not only selling insurance, but you are also selling your personal brand. So how can you be the kind of agent that people can trust and want to work with? Learn from the people who have gone (and succeeded) before you.
In this article, we’ll cover the ten must-read books to improve your productivity and bottom line in the insurance industry. These books include the secrets to successful insurance sales, practical advice, and inspiring stories of entrepreneurship.
Reading: How to sell life insurance books
10 books that will make you a better insurance agent
1. go for not! by richard fenton and andrea waltz
Dealing with customer rejection and objections is undoubtedly one of the most challenging aspects of a career in insurance sales.
or is it?
Salesman Richard Fenton and professional speaker Andrea Vals teach readers how to adopt a mindset that accepts “no’s” and failures on the path to success.
go for the no! Yes It’s Destiny, It’s Not How You Get There is a short informative book written more like a novel that critics say has been a real game-changer (even life-changer) in their careers.
Of all the salespeople who are capable of failure, Fenton claims that less than 20 percent of them overcome the will to fail and learn to develop a “desire to fail” that ultimately leads to success.
is a short but very inspiring paper that can lift anyone who feels discouraged in the insurance business.
The book offers practical advice, but more importantly, it helps you change your mindset so you can approach cold calling and request closure without fear.
2. your agency’s position of power by troy korsgaden
Troy Korsgaden was named Farmers Insurance Group All Lines Agent of the Year twice, an impressive feat considering he was selected from over 14,000 insurance agents nationwide.
korsgaden has trained tens of thousands of insurance agents, brokers and agency personnel to use his common sense approach to selling.
His book Empowers Your Agency: A Guide to Insurance Agency Success delves into the mindset that made him one of the most successful insurance agents in the country.
korsgaden doesn’t mince words, but instead presents the truth about what it takes to be successful in the insurance industry.
strongly believes that focusing on the personal growth of yourself and your agency staff naturally leads to business growth. he believes agency owners should work to “replace themselves” in most areas of their agency so they can scale.
power position your agency covers what it takes to be a successful insurance agent, and is a great book for anyone entering the industry.
3. the personal mba by josh kaufman
Josh Kaufman’s book, The Personal MBA, is a #1 International Bestseller and the #1 Amazon Business Training and Management Bestseller.
kaufman offers a lifetime of valuable business information in one book, and is even recommended by people who already have an MBA.
however, kaufman believes you don’t have to go to business school to learn the fundamentals of modern business. This book teaches you how to make sound business decisions, optimize your productivity, manage uncertainty, and conduct experiments to verify your ideas.
The Personal MBA is packed with practical trading tools and concepts, including “10 Ways to Evaluate a Market” and “The Price Uncertainty Principle.”
For anyone ready to take the plunge and start their own business, the personal MBA can help you get there without the huge investment of attending business school.
4. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. cialdini, doctorate
Communication and persuasion are essential skills for anyone working in sales. It’s your job to build customer relationships and ultimately move enough of them to “yes” so your business can thrive.
But what if you’re not a natural persuader? The good news is that you don’t have to be. Robert Cialdini is a psychology expert who has spent years studying how people come to say “yes.” All of his findings are wrapped up in his New York Times bestselling book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
In his book, cialdini teaches you the six principles of persuasion (or “weapons of influence,” as he calls them), which are backed by more than 30 years of evidence-based research. His book is full of examples in business as well as other real-life relationships.
and, as a bonus, cialdini also shows you how to avoid being swayed by others who might try to manipulate you into a business relationship. This book is a must read for anyone in insurance who wants to improve their sales call close rates.
5. the psychology of selling by brian tracy
If you’ve been in the industry for a while, or even if you’re just starting out, you probably know that sales training doesn’t end once you start working.
The Psychology of Sales by international bestselling author Brian Tracy: Increasing your sales faster and easier than you ever thought possible can help you take your sales to the next level.
tracy’s successful career includes his time as COO of a $265 million development company, after which he founded brian tracy international, a company specializing in the development of people and organizations.
tracy shares that the top 20 percent in any field usually started in the bottom 80 percent (even babe ruth), but they used failure and obstacles to develop strategies that launched them to the top.
The Psychology of Selling is one of the best books for information you can immediately put to work in your business, like the value of open-ended questions (who doesn’t like open-ended questions?) and getting to know to your “non-client”.
tracy’s strategies are based on psychology, but she also gives you real sales tips to help you turn your insights into profit.
6. Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life by Rory Sutherland
Is running a successful business more of a dark art than a science? maybe. But that doesn’t mean Rory Sutherland’s book on Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life lacks a scientific basis.
Rory Sutherland is the legendary Vice President of Ogilvy and has been called the “Modern Advertising Don” by the New York Times. In his hilarious and wildly entertaining book, Alchemy, he uses scientific research and case studies from some of the world’s most successful companies to help you become a sales and marketing genius.
sutherland’s offbeat approach to branding and charming storytelling will make you forget you’re reading a business book. but you will still learn valuable information about human decision making and what influences it.
alchemy is a must read for anyone in business, especially if you’re looking to improve your marketing and establish a brand for yourself.
7. how to win friends and influence people by dale carnegie
Interpersonal skills are key for salespeople and those working in customer service, regardless of what you’re selling.
First published in 1936, Dale Carnegie’s bestseller on how to win friends and influence people continues to resonate with millions of readers today.
Included in this comprehensive guide to interacting with others are six ways to make people like you, nine ways to change people without building resentment, and 12 ways to win people over from your perspective.
Carnegie argues that there is no way to win an argument, and that honest and sincere appreciation takes you far beyond criticizing and being right.
This book has sold over 30 million copies and has truly stood the test of time, such as coming in at number 19 in Time Magazine’s Most Influential Books of 2011. It is one of the best selling books of all time and still contains a number of gems for anyone looking to improve their sales and relationship building skills today.
8. highlights by john hall
Success in any industry, including the insurance business, means staying top of mind with your customers.
john hall, co-founder of influence & co., shares his outstanding content strategy on what matters most: use content to unleash your influence and engage those you care about.
You have probably already learned that the insurance industry is highly competitive. it’s not enough to check your list of cold calls every day. in fact, hall mentions that it takes seven to 13 taps to convert and close customers now.
Business is about relationships, and above all else, hall shows you how to establish yourself as a valued and trusted partner to your customers. this process of attract, convert, close and delight will help you create an authentic brand image and connect with customers.
While this book talks about personal brands and online influence, insurance agents can learn from Hall’s example of turning trust, consistency, and content into a profitable lead generation strategy.
9. What Money Can’t Buy by Michael J. sandal
miguel j. Sandel is a professor of political philosophy at Harvard University. he is also known as one of the most influential modern philosophers. So why is it useful to you, the insurance agent?
Sandel discusses the psychology of human decisions and how they are affected by incentives, sanctions, and advertising in his New York Times bestselling book, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets.
Let’s say you’re trying to predict how a customer might react to bundling other services (like hourly payroll) with insurance. Learning more about how people typically react to these kinds of offers can shed some light on whether this sales strategy would benefit your business (hint: it will!).
Sandel’s findings are sometimes surprising. for example, one study found that fining parents for late pick-up of their preschoolers actually increased late pick-ups.
For the philosophical insurance agent, this is highly recommended and thought-provoking reading.
10. selling the invisible by harry beckwith
Harry Beckwith is a Stanford University graduate who formed Beckwith Advertising and Marketing in 1988. His book, Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing, offers a comprehensive guide to marketing any type of service.
in his new york times business bestseller, beckwith offers a brief but comprehensive look at the nuances involved in making sales.
With chapters like “Let Your Customers Set Your Standards” and “Brands in a Microwave World,” the book is packed with amazing ideas and sales strategies for anyone who talks to customers.
beckwith teaches marketers how to use psychology to improve their ability to sell their services. states, “services are human. its successes depend on people’s relationships… but you can detect some patterns in people”.
selling the invisible will help you craft a compelling value proposition and learn how to identify the real needs of your customers so you can close more deals.
going out and succeeding in the insurance industry
Insurance sales agents earn $52,180 per year on average in the us. uu. bureau of labor statistics. and the top ten percent of earners earned more than $125,500 a year, with the best-selling insurance products, including auto insurance, home insurance and life insurance. But being successful in the industry requires in-depth product knowledge and a particular skill set. For those who truly want to build a successful business, it also requires a mindset shift: one primed for sales success who understands how people think and is strong enough to persevere through rejection.
To achieve your goals in the industry, try to develop these skills:
- sales-oriented mindset
- excellent customer service
- product expertise
- emotional intelligence
- personal skills
In short, you need to know sales, people and your products.
read the stories of people who have gone down the insurance road before you can teach yourself how to build a thriving business book and even open an agency and develop your team. now all that’s left to do? Get out there and grow your business!