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IIABA's Virtual University Offering New Sales Skills Programs to Independent Agents and Brokers

Courses Enhance Selling Ability, Relationship Effectiveness of Big "I" Members

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 31 - The Big “I” Virtual University (VU) of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) is now offering Richardson QuickSkills™: a four-star rated portfolio of online sales skills programs designed to further enhance its 300,000 member agents and brokers’ abilities to meet clients’ needs and communicate with prospective customers.

These programs—the six-module Consultative Selling Series and the eight-module Six Critical Sales Skills Series—are offered through the Virtual University in conjunction with Richardson, an internationally recognized sales training and consulting firm . These highly interactive Web-based courses can be taken on a per-module basis or can be taken as two complete programs. More information about VU classrooms is available by visiting and selecting the “Virtual University” tab.

“Independent insurance agents and brokers annually cite producer sales training as one of their foremost priorities,” says IIABA Vice President of Education & Research Madelyn Flannagan. “IIABA has responded by providing this critical training in an online format that allows these producers to remain productive in their daily work while they are conveniently acquiring new and improved skills.”

  • The Consultative Selling is a six-part sales training program that takes an in-depth look at sales as an interactive process and offers courses that make up the framework of a sales call: Opening, Need Dialogue, Resolving Objections, Solution Dialogue, Closing, and Preparation.
  • Six Critical Skills Series is an eight-part sales training program representing the foundation of a client-focused sales process. These six skills—questioning, listening, positioning, checking, presence and relating—are the essential skills salespeople need to effectively understand client needs, position winning solutions, build long-term relationships and close a sale. Continuing development of these vitals skills enable a salesperson to fully uncover client needs and more effectively position his or her products.

“We have focused on advancing agent and broker understanding of the skill sets that bring the sales dialogue to life in a telephone conversation, face-to-face meeting or sales presentation,” explains Flannagan. “Every course concentrates on an individual skill that is crucial when combined with the others involved in the selling process. A weakness in one of these areas negatively impacts all the other skills and inhibits the odds of an overall sale.”

Agents and brokers have the option of taking courses individually or as an entire series at a discounted rate. 

Consultative Selling Series courses:

·                     Leveraging the Opening

·                     Leading an Effective Need Dialogue

·                     Resolving Challenging Objections

·                     Positioning an Effective Solution Dialogue

·                     Closing to Win and Maintain Momentum

·                     Maximizing Sales Call Preparation

   Six Critical Skills Series courses:

·                     Structuring Questions to Uncover Needs

            Prefacing Questions to Encourage Client Responses

            Drill-Down Questions to Impact Sales Results

            Effective Listening

            Persuasive Positioning

            Checking: The Power Skill

            High Impact Presence

            High Mileage Relating

·          “These are just some of the latest programs we offer in the newly redesigned Classrooms area of the Virtual University,” Flannagan says. “The VU’s curriculum is filled with online courses and self-study programs—many with CE credits—that enable agents and brokers to broaden their knowledge and continue their education in a variety of areas without the time and cost implications involved with traveling or enrolling at local colleges and universities.”

Founded in 1896, IIABA is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address:


​127 South Peyton Street
Alexandria VA 22314
​phone: 800.221.7917
fax: 703.683.7556

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