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Tips for Training New Insurance Agents

Tips for Training New Insurance Agents Starting a career as an insurance agent, or in any new industry for that matter can be challenging. While there are always unforeseen bumps in the road, the proper training helps to set people up for success. The transition from a freshly new agent to an experienced vet is a journey requiring hard work, dedication, and most importantly guidance. The best agents aren’t always the best teachers, plain and simple. With that said, there are some things everyone can adopt to help trainees reach their goals. By creating a supportive environment, you’ll pave the way for the next generation of agents and bring out their full potential. 

Explore the Industry Landscape

Most fresh agents don’t understand the complexities of the insurance industry. Before going into too many specifics, give trainees a broad explanation of the sector. Go beyond simply teaching them about insurance products and their associated details. Instead use your time to explore more nuanced topics such as regulations, compliance, new industry trends, the effect the economy has on insurance, and more. While you don’t want to overwhelm them, a simple yet effective general overview will put them in a great starting position. 


One way to do this is by holding breakout training sessions focused on a particular topic. For example, maybe on Monday, you spend the majority of the day exploring new technology related to insurance. Then on Tuesday, you go in-depth about a specific insurance product. Training sessions that are focused on a specified subject prove to be more beneficial to agents. This is because they have time to absorb the information, and ask questions without feeling overloaded. Another tactic to use is talking about an area of the industry that has changed over the years. Exploring shifts in the industry, keeps trainees up-to-date and shows them that  nothing in the insurance world ever remains static over time. 

Focus on Communication Skills

Talking with interested prospects and clients is the bulk of what being an agent entails. Keeping this in mind, it’s crucial to focus a chunk of your training on building the trainees’ communication skills. There are various aspects to effective communication, all of which you should go over in detail. 


Start with annunciation and clarity. Train agents to have both a clear voice, and to be concise in their explanations to clients. Having good articulation, and conveying complex topics effectively is important to teach early on. Equally, if not more important, is active listening and empathy. Explain to agents that the industry revolves around customer service and making customers happy. To do this, it’s vital to pay close attention to the needs and concerns of others. Things like financial situations, policy specifications, and family or marital status all must be taken note of. In turn, your trainees will be able to craft helpful answers and responses by taking note of the consumer’s preferences. Last but not least, is trust. It’s your job to convey how crucial it is to gain trust of clients through transparency. The only way to establish long standing relationships is through trust. The sooner trainees understand this, the easier selling will be. 

Use a Mentorship Program 

Mentorship programs are great investments to encourage the long-term success of fresh insurance agents. Training an employee is one thing, but mentorship goes beyond that. A successful mentor develops personalized relationships that provide both support and education for the new agent. Mentors should provide real-life experience about sales, communication marketing, career advancements, agency dynamics and more. Above all, a mentor stands as someone who the new employee can trust, count on and collaborate with. When assigning someone a mentor, look at the strengths and weaknesses of both parties and their communication styles. These relationships are two-way streets, so if it doesn’t seem to be working out after a couple of months, you might consider exploring new mentor options. 

Discuss Ethics

We’ve touched on the importance of trust and transparency in the industry. Part of this involves ethical practices. In the insurance industry ethical practices are a must. There are two parts of ethics when it comes to insurance. The first is being upfront about details with clients. This could be price points, policy details, restrictions or anything else. Tell trainees that when in doubt, they should always be as straightforward as possible. The second part is instilling the importance of compliance in the minds of your trainees. Being compliant with industry regulations at all times will help new agents avoid legal problems, and will please clients. The insurance industry is competitive and as an agent all you have is your name. By urging trainees to approach every interaction from an ethical standpoint, they will earn a good reputation in the field. 

Use Role-Playing Exercises

There’s nothing like real-life practice. While you can’t throw brand new agents on the phone immediately, you can prepare them with role-playing scenarios. Sit down with trainees and play the role of an interested consumer. The whole point of the exercise is for the new agent to practice problem-solving and critical thinking. With that said, ask questions about prices, various products, different policy structures, and claims. Also, provide a fair amount of pushback and objection to their responses. While this may make trainees uncomfortable at first, learning to deal with buyer hesitation is vital to the success of an agent. 


During the interaction, take notes of their responses, marking what they do well and where they can improve. Then of course provide them with the feedback and some personal tips. If they are discouraged, explain that this is a learning process and that the only way to get better is through practice. It’s also important to provide praise to them when handling a scenario in an effective manner. Once they’ve become comfortable with role-playing, try to challenge them by delving into more niche conversations. For example, if you work with life insurance, you could play the role of a client with various questions specifically about burial insurance. 

Introduce Continuous Learning 

As the training agent, your goal is to set agents up for success with all the essential information they need. With that said, throughout training sessions, talk about the importance of continued education. Especially in the insurance sector, things are always changing and moving. Whether it be market trends, compliance changes or anything else, it’s each agent’s job to stay ahead of the curve. 


To help in this effort, come up with a list of the best industry resources for your trainee. This includes, industry organizations, literature, websites, articles, and blog posts. Also try suggesting relevant seminars, webinars and conferences. In-person events are extremely valuable as they provide industry insight, and allow agents to make meaningful connections. Additionally, encourage them to pursue additional education and earn new certifications. New certifications teach new skills and can aid an individual’s credibility. In the modern era, there’s more resources and information available than ever before. By taking advantage of it, new agents can get a jumpstart on their competition. 

Set Realistic Goals 

Goals help guide new agents on their path to success. What is most vital about goal setting is that the goals are both clearly defined and realistic. Take time to sit down with trainees to come up with some goals. It’s important to come up with some short term goals and some long-term goals. To do this, provide your own insight and also encourage the trainee to explain what they hope to get out of their job. While you’ve probably heard it one hundred times, using SMART goals is an effective goal setting method. SMART which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound is a system that ensures goals to be clearly expressed. It also ensures that there is some way to actually measure progress of the goal. Additionally, the “time-bound” aspect creates deadlines and provides a sense of urgency. 


Once time has passed, participate in performance reviews with the new hire. During these meetings you’ll provide them with constructive feedback and highlight areas for improvement. Additionally, identify areas where they’ve shined. We also encourage training agents to reward trainees for their accomplishments. While rewards are something you should only give from time to time, they show how excellence can pay off. At the end of the meeting, help the trainee adjust the goals as needed. Depending on personal development, changes in the company, or new career opportunities, goals should be shifted accordingly.

In Essence

Training new insurance agents is no easy task. It requires dedication from both sides and a commitment to success. It also involves a multifaceted approach and a willingness to adjust strategies when necessary. At the end of the day, every teacher has their own style, but even so, there are certain areas of importance that everyone should be teaching early on. By combining in-depth training, with ongoing support, agents will be provided with the foundations necessary to succeed. Individuals are generally most impressionable during the early phases of a career. With that said, your role in molding their minds is extremely crucial in their journey as a licensed insurance agent. 


Whether you’re an industry vet or brand new to the game, something that helps every agent is having a sufficient number of leads. Unfortunately, even with the best advertising in place, many agents still fall short. Don’t worry though because we have the answer. At Benepath we provide insurance agents with quality leads that are both exclusive and produced in real-time. With data leads and inbound phone calls, there’s truly something for everyone. We offer leads in a variety of verticals including individual health, group health, Medicare, life and commercial insurance. If you want to get a leg up on the competition, just fill out a form or give us a call at 888-684-3121.

About The Author: Kyle Mehlman

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