How to Sell Life Insurance Over the Phone

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Selling life insurance is extremely difficult for the large majority of agents. The biggest challenge faced by most agents is a lack of new prospects. Prospecting is the most important aspect of an insurance agent’s success, and finding the most efficient and economical method of getting in touch with potential new clients is essential. Considering all the different types of prospecting and their cost versus benefit ratios, telemarketing is still the most cost-efficient means of obtaining new customers.

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Develop a telephone script. Since you’ve decided to prospect using the telephone, it is important that you create a telemarketing script that gets the attention of the prospect quickly, piques their interest and entices them to continue the conversation. Start with a generic sales talk path and refine the script as you get more experience calling.

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Fill out forms on the computer. Once you have successfully transitioned a prospect into a buyer, go through the application over the telephone and enter their information into the paperwork. An experienced agent should be able to fill out a life insurance application over the telephone with a prospect in less than 10 minutes.

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Print and mail the application. After finishing the telephone call, print out the life insurance documents and place them into a large envelope for mailing. The manila envelopes work best because the paperwork can be placed into them without being folded, while still leaving room for another full-sized envelope for the return mailing. Do not procrastinate with regard to mailing out completed applications.

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After three or four days, contact the prospect again to ensure receipt of their application paperwork. Review the documents, answer any questions and urge them to return the application at their earliest possible convenience.

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Forward returned applications. When a prospect’s life insurance application is returned to your office, review it to ensure all signatures have been affixed in their proper locations and any missing information has been added. Mail all completed documents to their respective insurance carriers, along with any initial premium checks that may have been included.


Remember that time is money. In the telemarketing environment, success is a game of numbers. The more potential prospects you speak with, the better your chances of success. Expect a significant deal of rejection, and even some hostility. This is all par for the course. Do not spend any more time than necessary on the phone if you’ve determined someone is not a legitimate prospect.

Become intimately familiar with your insurance carrier’s application paperwork. Filling out these forms is boring enough, especially over the telephone. The more time spent on this part of the process, the more likely your prospect will become frustrated. Knowing the forms is essential to telephone sales because any stumbling may result in the prospect losing interest.

Learn to type properly. If you’re a two-finger plucker, take a word-processing course. Having the ability to type without looking at the keys makes it much easier to progress through an insurance application.

Stamp your return envelopes. The most difficult part of selling life insurance over the telephone is getting your prospects to return the application. By stamping the return envelope ahead of time, you’re giving them one less reason to procrastinate.

Buy a laser printer. Insurance applications are very lengthy documents. Cartridges in an inkjet printer will be exhausted extremely quickly, whereas toner for a laser printer will last quite a bit longer. Additionally, laser printers perform much faster than inkjets, with no concern for smearing the pages.


Not all states permit the selling of life insurance policies over the telephone. Since each state’s insurance department is different, it is necessary to check with your local office to ensure no regulations are being violated by conducting business over the telephone.