5 Common Mistakes Made by Independent Insurance Agents

October 31, 2023
By: Voldico

Avoid common mistakes in the insurance business. Learn about listening, data, follow-ups, business management, and professional development for success.

Experts estimate that the new insurance agent failure rate is between 50 and 80 percent. High numbers like this show that finding success in the insurance business can be challenging. A lot goes into running an independent insurance agency, and it can be difficult. 

Knowing agents' mistakes can help you avoid the traps and pitfalls that cause new and experienced insurance agents to struggle. Below, we've listed five common mistakes agents make when running their business and interacting with clients. Here's what you need to know.  

1. Talking too Much, Not Listening Enough

Insurance is deeply personal. How much, starting when, and what kind - these details and more are only possible to gauge with information from the client. 

The insurance products you recommend should be based on conversations with your client - conversations wherein your client does most of the talking, and you prompt them with questions. This doesn't mean relinquishing control of the conversation during sales discussions. Remember, you're asking questions, guiding the conversation, and choosing the topics. 

Listening builds trust between you and the client. It's your way of showing your client that you're working for them and will select products to meet their needs.

2. Dropping Too Many Numbers in Sales Conversations

Have you ever heard someone say, "The statistics are overwhelming"? That may be accurate more often than you realize. Numbers and complex data can be impressive, but they can also be overwhelming and alienating - especially when you're having a personal conversation with a client about their unique situation. 

Statistics can be helpful, and being able to cite meaningful statistics from memory can help establish you as a subject matter expert, but there's a line. Numbers and statistics are best used when carefully selected and discussed within the context of a story. 

Space out your mentions of data when talking to a client. Choose only the most relevant data for your discussions, and use numbers to support stories - not vice versa. 

3. Failing to Follow Up On Leads Immediately

Leads go cold quickly. Follow up on leads when you receive a tip, whether the lead expects an email or a phone call. Have a specific procedure for following up on leads to help you stay organized. It helps to have good customer management software in place.

Keep a calendar and note anyone expecting a follow-up on each day. Check your calendar every morning to ensure you attend all meetings. If you told someone you would follow up with them, do it. Many professionals say they'll get back to leads and fail to do so. By following through, you can establish yourself as reliable and trustworthy.

Once you've followed up with a lead, stay in contact when appropriate. If the client needs more time, tell them you'll get back to them and set a new date. Following up proves that you're organized and have professional integrity. 

4. Ignoring the Business

There's much more to running an insurance business than having positive client interactions. Improving your business involves keeping accurate records and accounting, hiring the right workers, properly training support staff, maintaining a professional workplace environment, networking with other insurance professionals in the business, and so on. 

You can - and should - do many things to maintain your insurance business. Dedicate some time each week to ensuring your business is thriving and healthy. This might mean auditing records, assessing processes, meeting with business partners, troubleshooting problems, etc. 

5. Forgetting About Professional Development

Professional development is critical to offering clients the right products to meet their specific needs. Products change constantly, and keeping up with those changes will help ensure that you're referring clients to the right insurance for their unique situation. 

You probably already do professional development to maintain your real estate license in your state, but why stop there? Make professional development/continuing education a standard part of your work week. Dedicating just a tiny portion of your time to continuing education helps keep you abreast of the changes in your industry to ensure you're a good resource for your clients. 

Offer Your Clients the Best with Voldico

Deliver high value to your clients. Align yourself with an insurance cluster that gives you access to many carriers throughout the industry. Learn more about how Voldico can help your business - contact us to get started