Three of the dumbest closing mistakes
made by life insurance agents.

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Have you ever wondered why you blew a sale when things were looking so good during the interview?

It probably was because of one the below 3 closing mistakes. These simple mistakes were the dumbest closing mistakes made by life insurance agents that I use to observe when training new agents in the field, or working with existing agents that all of a sudden had a closing problem. They are 3 of the big time sales killers.

  1. Buying the policy back during the presentation.
  2. Having the prospect take you for a scenic tour.
  3. Getting into a discussion on different financial products.

Lets examine them one by one and then try and think about how many times you may have lived through each one and did not know why you lost the sale. 


Dumbest closing mistake # 1 - Buying the policy Back

This is the number 1 dumbest closing mistake made by life insurance agents, and is the result of the agent who has not yet learned to stop talking and start filling out the paper work when the client says YES.

But how do I recognize a YES? As soon as the prospect agrees to what he wanted to accomplish during the pre-presentation process using the confidential questionnaire.

Believe it or not, I have seen many new agents whiz right on by the “Yes, I am ready to buy statement ” and keep on talking. What happens is a new or inexperienced agent fails to recognize when the client said “Yes” and keeps on talking because they feel they have not completely explained everything. This can result in what is called “Buying The Policy Back.”

Sometimes it goes like this. Mr. Prospect can you see how this (program/policy) can help you reach your financial goals?  The prospect says or implies a YES, but what happens is the agent, in his/her mind was not finished with their presentation so they go on and say something else like “in addition this policy has great cash value accumulation,  etc. etc. and keeps going on and on.

You just missed the YES exit ramp to closing the sale.  Since you missed the YES and continued on and the prospect now sees something that s/he don’t like about the cash value, s/he will become negative about starting the program. At that point you just talked too much, missed the YES, and what you had sold, you just bought it back.  

The point being is that when the prospect says or implies YES, you need to start closing even if you did not finish the compete presentation. You must learn to listen.

Once you get an implied YES, you should say something like:

 “ Mr Prospect, I can see that you recognize how this plan fits your specific situation. We can set this up to come out of your checking or savings account on monthly basis or we can do it annually. Which would be most convenient for you? 

Whatever way is answered, then I would say, once the program gets issued, I will return with it and go through everything in detail with you and your spouse, assuming there are no serious health problems. With that being said Mr. Prospect, we will need to get the required information about your health.”

(At this point you slowly slide the application in front of you, which should be on the table with your referred lead cards)

  • What is the date of your birth?
  • What is your full legal name? and continue on with the application.

Remember, start learning to listen to when the prospect says YES or implies YES. Then take the YES exit ramp and start closing the sale.



Dumbest closing mistake # 2 is letting the client take you on a scenic tour.

What I mean by this, is that sometime during a presentation, the presentation takes a wrong turn, which I refer to as the wrong exit ramp and you start going down the wrong road. Maybe you start getting into a discussion, about (baseball, football, children events, etc) or any subject that is not related to the presentation you are running at that moment. If you let the prospect take you off the path on a scenic tour, then what happens is that the seriousness of the problem or discussion is compromised? The prospect loses the mental images and word pictures being created by you. This can result in the prospect coming back and saying well “ let me think it over”

As a golfer, I relate this to the times when someone is playing a great round of golf and then it starts to rain and you have to wait for about an hour to restart. That wait causes a lose of focus, feel and touch  and then the balance of the golf game usually goes bad.

So whenever it feels like the prospect is trying change the subject, You should say something like “that sounds like something I would like to hear more about, I would  like to visit about that when we get done here.”  Moving on, where was?  Oh Yes.. then continue with presentation.

Notation:  Whenever you get interrupted during your sales presentation, do not start back up where you left off,  always go back at least one page earlier. This allows prospect and you to get back into the flow much easier. If phone rang or kids started yelling when you just were explaining something, the prospect was distracted during that time. That is why you want to go back one or two pages when you restart.


Dumbest closing mistake # 3 - Getting into a discussion on different financial accumulation products.

This is usually the big killer. If you are selling life insurance, never and I say NEVER start discussing mutual funds, the stock market or any other financial product that may result in higher returns than the cash value of an insurance policy. As soon as that discussion starts, whether by you or the prospect, shut it down because it will result in a “I want to think it over objection” or “I think I can do better with my money objection” that you will have a hard time negating.

If this topic comes up, you need to say something, like yes you might be able to make a better return on your money elsewhere. However, it is important to understand that there are different financial aspects of our financial life.

There is the:

  1. financial accumulation stage (saving for specific financial goals) and,
  2. the financial liquidation stage (liquidating assets for retirement, college, travel, paying estate taxes, final expenses, etc.)

The one we are talking about today is the accumulation stage which is the immediate creation of money to take care of your family. What we are talking about today is usually the first step in building a financial plan. Once you become a client of mine, I will sit down with you and discuss some of the other ways to accumulate and make money. But first, let’s stay on track on what we are talking about today.

(Oh yes, you can use this power phrase to handle any other objections when a prospect says something to the effect of I can do better with my money)


Other closing topics that may help you are closing on the objection and the open end vs closed end closing technique.

Have a great day and I hope this article on the three dumbest closing mistakes made by life insurance agents will help you become a better closer and make more sales. Please share this article with another insurance agent, they will greatly appreciate your kindness.

Ted Wolk, site author


Three of the dumbest closing mistakes made by life insurance agents

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