The insurance industry is ever-changing. With the average age of insurance agents being around 60 years old, it is important for our industry to recruit new talent. Whether you are a recent licensed agent or agency owner who is working to groom our industry’s next generation of agents, follow these ten tips to guarantee success for those who are new in our profession.
1. Dress for success
First impressions matter, and in the insurance business, you are selling trust. By dressing for success, your clients will likely take you more seriously and have more confidence in you. Dress for the job you want, not always the job you have.
2. Find a mentor
A mentorship program can be beneficial to both a new and veteran agent. New agents are able to learn the industry, viable sales techniques and more from a veteran leader, while gaining valuable leadership skills and building confidence. With technology shaping our industry, new agents can influence veterans of the business to adapt while embracing this shift.
3. Use your resources
What resources does your agency have available? What are your differentiators? Perhaps you work alongside niche producers you can bring in on accounts to better serve your clients. Do you have a fellow agent who is experienced on reading policies and doing coverage reviews? Do you have a risk management, marketing or other essential departments you can tap into?
4. Build a rapport
Building a rapport with your clients and prospects is critical in this business. Get to know your clients on both a professional and personal level. Set yourself apart from your competitors by remembering the little things, relating to them and reaching out throughout the year … not just when it’s renewal time. Just as equally important — build a rapport with your peers. This will aid in building trust with your co-workers, and the rewards will pay off when they want to refer business, bring a producer in on an account or more.
5. Market yourself
The insurance industry is extremely competitive. Other agents often have access to the same products and services you do, so be sure to set yourself apart. Brand yourself. How you carry yourself, speak, your demeanor, punctuality and more help build your brand. Additionally, with resources like LinkedIn, differentiate yourself by utilizing your resources and posting educational content. You will be viewed as a true insurance professional and also be at the forefront of your client’s mind by creating multiple touchpoints throughout the year. Don’t forget, too, a handwritten note still goes a long way.
6. Transparency is key
There is nothing more persuasive than transparency. Be sure to be clear, concise and transparent when providing a quote, going over coverages, reviewing potential risks and more. Clients need be presented all the information so they can make an informed decision. It is critical to be transparent with your employer and peers, as well, in order to effectively achieve your short- and long-term career goals.
7. Don’t talk the talk
As a new agent, don’t be so quick to exhibit your new found knowledge of the industry by using insurance jargon and lingo. You may come across as too eager, and often times, potential clients may not fully understand what you are trying to convey or sell to them. By avoiding the terminology, you are more likely to relate to your clients as you work to find them the best possible solution for their insurance needs.
Epictetus said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Listen to your clients. Know when to speak — and when to listen. You may discover additional opportunities for account rounding or more! Also, listen to those who have been in the business and learn from their experience.
9. Dial for dollars
Set aside an hour each week to “dial for dollars“ and increase your prospect list. In order to make your time effective, take a few minutes beforehand to strategize. Develop a call list and briefly research those companies/clients you will be reaching out to. This will allow your full hour to be spent actually prospecting rather than wasting your time looking up who to call, phone numbers and more.
10. The price of success is hard work
It takes an average of eight attempts to reach a prospect. It can take weeks, months and even years to land an account. Don’t give up. Continue to brush up on your industry knowledge, new products and services. This is a tough business, but with hard work … it is very rewarding.
As Greg Reid said, “A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”