9 Tips for New Insurance Agents
How do you become and remain successful as an insurance agent? Here are 9 tips for helping you be the best you can be in your new role and field.
As a new insurance agent, you want to succeed. You worked hard to pass your licensing test, and now it’s time to hit the ground running.
What can you do to ensure your success in this fast-paced, sales-driven industry? Are there important strategies or tips that can help you rise to the top?
The truth is, any advice is helpful when you are entering a new field.
New insurance agents understandably feel overwhelmed as they begin navigating the complex world of insurance, sales, customer service and even agency management.
With that in mind, here’s a list of 9 tips that you should keep in mind as you build your new business—
1. Look the part.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but if you want to succeed, you need to “dress for success.” Dress professionally, and you will command the attention of those around you. Your clients, peers, and boss will take you more seriously, and you will feel more confident when you look your best.
2. Learn to sell.
In order to be successful, you have to accept your role as a salesperson and be good at selling. Listen to what your clients are saying and provide them with the solution that best fits their needs. This means knowing the products you offer and how they translate to real life situations. Observe other successful agents, attend sales webinars, read sales books and educate yourself on top selling methods in the industry. Try to learn something new every day and figure out what works best for your individual selling style.
3. Set goals and deadlines.
Make your goals specific, but also realistic. How many appointments will you book per week, month, or year? What percentage of appointments will convert into sales? Rather than aiming for a 100% conversion rate, keep goals simple by saying “I will increase sales by X%... every month, year, etc.” Incremental goals are much more achievable and create an atmosphere of success.
4. Cultivate a support network.
Join an insurance cluster or network or find an agency that has a proven record of accomplishment and rely on team members to help guide you through the process of starting your appointment book. Even if you are working as an independent agent, it is important to have a support network that you can share your experiences with and who can offer you insight.
5. Build a solid client base.
There are many ways to find and keep clients and new agents often find this process daunting. Explore all methods of obtaining leads (flyers, newspaper ads, face-to-face solicitation, cold calls, buy email lists, etc.). Create a system and stick with what works. Use your goals to stay motivated and always be prepared to answer any questions.
6. Gain trust.
When you are trying to build a client’s trust, transparency is of utmost importance. You need to educate prospects about how to do their due diligence on you (like checking FINRA’s BrokerCheck, the Better Business Bureau, and National Ethics Association). You may consider purchasing a background check on yourself to show you have no criminal or civil issues in your history. Know your products inside and out so you can help people, be a trusted advisor, and lead them down the path they need to go.
7. Get customer referrals.
Word of mouth is a very powerful tool. However, how do you get clients to refer other people to you? The most important thing you can do is to offer exceptional customer service. This will set you apart from other agents in this highly competitive business. If your clients respect and appreciate you, they will be happy to refer you. As a new agent, ask your clients about any friends, relatives, or neighbors that may be interested in your services. Also, consider creating a referral rewards program.
8. Nail down your marketing skills.
Learn to promote yourself. Figure out what sets you apart from your competition and use that as an edge to get you ahead. Think about your “personal brand” and how you present yourself and your products to prospective clients. Always make a good first impression and be persistent. If a client says no, adjust your pitch or take them off your list to make room for more viable leads. Teach yourself to take rejection with a smile… you never know when a prospective client may change their mind.
9. Work hard. Really hard.
Be a self-starter and push yourself harder than anyone else will push you. Work smart by following the best practices of other successful agents (there is no need to reinvent the wheel). Put the hours in and be willing to do whatever it takes. Once your daily plan is in place and you have set your sales goals, work hard to carry them out and make those numbers a reality. Your objective is to be the hardest working person in the office.
Starting a new career in any field is a challenge, and insurance is no exception.
You’ll need to be on your game from the get-go, which can feel overwhelming at times. But you’ll do well if you take the tips above to heart and continue to find new ways to improve yourself and your business. Good luck!