Starting in the industry at 18 with no prior experience let alone financial service experience can be a daunting prospect. I was taught the following and these vital pointers have seen me well through my career so far!
It is a good idea to absorb the experience of those around you, who have been in the industry a lot longer. I learnt from the start that it is great to have up to date product knowledge but when dealing with clients, selling the individual products simply does not work. Either for insurance uptake or lapse rates further down the line. It is most important to talk to your clients about what the policy is going to do for them. It is the need and what the policies can do for each client's personal circumstance that hits home.
I address this is by asking the right open questions and not using jargon but speaking plainly in a way that the client understands and can identify with.
Pre-empt potential hurdles – how likely is a client to be disgruntled if they received an offer of terms which is £50 per month more expensive than you quoted them for? Especially, after having a nurse medical and waiting 3 months for a GPR to be completed. Now how likely is a client to be disgruntled if you have taken the time to understand their medical history before you apply, carry out pre-sales research, provide them with a quote which takes into account the potential £50 per month loading, apply, then receive the offer of terms they were expecting?
Summarise your discussions often – there can be a lot to take in for a client when discussing protection (think WOP, deferred periods, Trusts, Joint/2 singles, TPD). Summarizing, particularly at the end of the conversation is vital in ensuring the client understands what needs and solutions you are giving.
Keep it simple and be open with your clients at the end of the day.