Beginning a journey as a new insurance agent can be exciting, but can also come with many challenges. Luckily, the industry is constantly growing, offering countless opportunities, but on the flip side, that means increased competition. While the profession can seem overwhelming at first, it boils down to how much work you put in. There are many of areas of importance when you first arrive on the job. From selling to marketing, networking to continuing education, all of this will pay off in the long run. To relieve some of the stress, we’ve formulated a guide explaining the most important aspects of the profession early on. Insurance agents wear many hats, but with sufficient training and the right strategies, you can succeed in no time!
1.Find Your Niche
Deciding on the specific type of insurance you want to work with is the first things that you should do. While some people opt to offer multiple insurance products, at first you may want to focus on just. Carve out a niche and become a master at that niche. Examples of niches include, but not limited to health, Medicare, life, auto, home, and commercial insurance. While you may end up working with other types of products later on, establishing yourself as a master of one product will make it easier to attract clients who have a specific need.
2.Understand Your Product(s)
With your niche in mind, it’s time to become knowledgeable about the product(s) you’ll be selling. Having an in-depth understanding of your product(s) makes you more confident in your abilities, and instills your clients trust. Spend plenty of time learning about the coverages and policies that you will be offering. Identify complex insurance keywords that often give consumers trouble, and translate them into relatable terms that are easier to understand. All of this will help you be more effective at selling, since you’ll be more prepared.
3.Develop Your Selling Skills
To be a successful agent, you need to be good at making sales. Plain and simple. It all starts with learning your products inside and out. Here are some specific skills to help you to get started:
- Value is everything: First off, it will always pay to focus on the value that a policy will bring to someone’s life. Many agents will make the mistake of solely talking about the features of the policy. Instead, lean into your clients emotions. Explain to them how your product will ultimately give them peace of mind by providing some type of security. A good way to relay this is by telling a story or anecdote about someone who was in a bind. Wrap up the story by explaining that your policy helped relieve their stress and financial burden.
- Let your clients do the talking: As an insurance agent who wants to make a sale it can be easy to get ahead of yourself, and become too talkative or pushy. This is a big no-no. While you do want to be a helpful resource, and provide clients with detailed information, it is crucial that the focus of the interaction is you listening to the clients needs. Take the time to understand their wants, needs, and any concerns or restraints such as financial limitations. By being an effective listener, you’ll be able to provide your clients with customized solutions, to match their specific preferences.
- Focus on managing relationships: While finding new leads can be exciting, much of the business that the average insurance agent does in a single year comes from his or her current clients. Even after closing a sale, take time to reach out to your clients, asking if they are satisfied. You should do this a couple times per year. Always be personable, and try to establish a rapport with them beyond simply being their insurance agent. This level of trust will make clients more likely to renew with you and provide referrals down the line.
4.Build a Strong Presence Online
In today’s day in age, it is vital for every insurance agent to have a presence online. In fact, this is where most of your future clients will discover your services. To cover the basics, below we’ve laid out a threefold plan to help you get your feet off the ground.
- Create your own professional website: A must-have for insurance agents is a personalized website. This will allow you to showcase the products that you offer and your expertise in the industry. When creating your website, make sure that it’s easy to navigate for the average person. Also make sure it optimizes properly to mobile devices, and that it is visually appealing with complimentary colors and tones. You can also use your website to let consumers know that you’re reputable. Do this by showing off positive reviews and customer testimonials.
- Keep SEO in mind: Within your website and online advertisements, you’ll want to make sure that you focus on search engine optimization. Placing popular, commonly searched keywords in your copy will help you organically rank higher in search results. There are various online websites that offer insight to the current and popular search terms.
- Use social media: For insurance agents, social media is your friend. Set up professional accounts on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. Beyond that, you need to actively engage with your audience and network of peers. Try regularly posting things like valuable industry insights, or interesting articles that spark conversations. Additionally, make sure that you respond to other peoples comments and messages in a timely manner.
A great way to learn more about the industry and its new, innovative trends is to become a networking master. If you have a vast network of like-minded peers, you will be able to gain valuable insights and equip yourself with new skills. One great way to do this is by joining local and national insurance organizations. These organizations offer various networking opportunities that can help you develop as an insurance professional. Similarly, it will pay off to attend industry events like workshops, seminars or other insurance-related conferences. Lastly, it never hurts to engage with your surrounding community in the form of charitable events or local organizations. Attending events in your town will show others your character, while also allowing you to meet new potential clients.
When you decide to stop learning, you will in turn stop growing as an individual. Taking the time every year to get outside of your day-to-day routine and invest in some educational tools will help keep you informed about new trends and other best practices.
- Professional courses: Some states actually require insurance agents to complete continuing education courses in order to maintain their license. Even if you don’t live in one of these states, taking these courses and earning new certifications will help you brush up on and learn new skills. This is a great way to set yourself apart from the competition, by staying committed to your craft.
- Seek Guidance: Finding and working with other experienced agents or insurance professionals can be invaluable for you and your professional advancement. Seeking formal mentorship can provide you with someone who is there for you in times of need or when you’re seeking advice. You know the old saying — surround yourself with the types of people that you want to be like.
- Read resources and publications: When you have down time during your week, you should try to stay informed by reading insurance publications like blogs, journals, podcasts or any other helpful resources. In the era that we live in there are hundreds of resources online, so take advantage of them, and expand your knowledge.
- Brush up on regulations and compliance: Considering the insurance industry is very regulated, there are a lot of complex rules and regulations that agents must adhere to. Being knowledgeable about industry compliance standards and other regulations will help make sure that you never get into legal trouble, so that your reputation is never at stake.
Being an insurance agent is an exciting adventure that presents countless opportunities, if you are dedicated and committed to growing as a professional. By following the discussed strategies involving networking, education, online brand building, sales, and more, you will be able to get ahead of competition, and set yourself up for success. While it may seem like it is a lot of information to keep in mind, when all else fails, just remember the basics — selling insurance is about building relationships, showcasing value, and ultimately making a positive impact on your clients lives. Once you begin to think about the process like this, instead of just simply selling policies, new doors will begin to open, and you will start to notice the impact of your hard work.
If you are an agent looking for ways to increase your sales and return on investment, Benepath has got you covered. We specialize in generating exclusive insurance leads, to help connect you with more interested consumers. All of our leads are thoroughly vetted for quality and are produced in real-time, giving agents the best chance to connect with clients. We offer health, Medicare, life, group, and commercial insurance leads. If you’re interested in purchasing a lead bundle, or simply want to learn more, fill out a form or give us a call at 888-684-3121.