New to the insurance industry and not sure where to begin or how to proceed? Here are 4 tips to help new agents land those sales!
As you begin your journey in the insurance field and offer your clients valuable safeguards against disaster, it's only natural that you'll want to make a name for yourself. While training may help you recognize forms and procedures, the logical side of insurance is balanced with the art of interpersonal communication. It's a little more challenging to figure out what clients want to experience versus simply what they want to see or hear before signing a policy.
With that in mind, here are four tricks you can use to make your mark, even as a beginner.
#1 - Dress to Impress
Remember that it's never casual Friday with your clients. Whether you do your work as an independent sales rep or work office hours at an agency, looking the part is vital.
You aren't just a person with information on a policy to your potential clients, after all. You are the human being reassuring people that their loved ones will be taken care of if something happens to them, the individual that will make them whole again after a natural disaster.
- Develop a professional wardrobe with mix-and-match pieces like formal slacks, shirts, ties/scarves, and outerwear such as suit jackets or cardigans: this ensures you will always look tidy and ready for business.
- Invest in a good pair of formal shoes and keep them maintained, if necessary, with polish.
- Always keep a spare pair of clothing at the office in case of an unexpected client meeting or a wayward coffee cup disaster.
- Invest in an office toiletry kit with a razor/shaver (for facial hair, if necessary), deodorant, nail brush, and a toothbrush. The kit may languish in a drawer 99% of the year, but on the day you need it, you'll be very grateful it's there!
#2 - Think Before You Act
Always pause a moment before hitting "send." In the final stages of setting up a policy, back-and-forth communication often becomes fast and frequent. Even with short, single-line emails, grammar and punctuation do count!
You are representing your professionalism each time you send an email, so make sure it speaks as well to your attitude as it does your knowledge on policy premiums. Avoid slang or getting overly-friendly in language; while it's perfectly fine to be warm and friendly with your clients, they are still your clients and deserve respect.
- Pay attention to your spell checker suggestions and consider using a third-party grammar checking app or website before sending your messages to clients.
- If you find that you lapse into casual slang while leaving phone messages, try creating a script for relaying common information -- call me for a quote, I have information on your policy, etc. -- and reading from it when necessary to keep your "voicemail tone" professional.
#3 - Speak Up and Network
Don't be afraid to ask peers for help. If you aren't sure if your approaches and responses are as fine-tuned as they need to be, joining an insurance cluster may benefit you through new ideas and expertise.
Voldico, for example, is an excellent path for new agents to find their footing while avoiding learning the industry "the hard way." By networking with other agencies, new agents enjoy the benefit of years of experience and can then pass that confidence on to their clients.
Rather than a competitive environment, an insurance cluster fosters a collaborative one -- to the benefit of all members.
- Join an insurance cluster. Joining Voldico is free and membership benefits are available immediately. Because it's simple to sign up and has a great deal of potential to offer, this is one of the first steps you should consider when starting out in the industry.
- Have an online presence and actively participate in industry social media sites.
- Keep an eye out for industry networking events.
#4 - Jot it Down
Take notes whenever you talk to a client. You don't need to write a novel, but take simple notes about their retirement plans, how many children they have, whether they're considering a large purchase like a boat or home, and so on.
Not only will this help you present them with a more personalized experience when you talk, but it will also signal cross-sale opportunities later on. That 12-year-old daughter they have today will be 18 in a few years, and car insurance will become a necessity.
The same idea applies for insurance on a vacation home they're saving up for: knowing their plans gives you a road map to being in the right place at the right time.
- Your notes should always be discreet and kept out of the client’s view whenever possible. No one likes to be "examined" after all!
- A small note pad in a client file (paper or digital) should do the trick.
There's no magic formula to being an amazing insurance agent, but the fact that you're already looking for ways to improve your budding career is a huge step in the right direction. Just double-check your work and spelling, put a professional face forward, and personally connect with your clients: you'll be a policy-writing superstar in no time!