Do you have a minute? If you’re like most insurance agents, the answer is a swift, “No,” uttered out of ear range. But in reality, you do have a minute — 1,440 of them every day, in fact. The question isn’t whether you have time but how you use it. As an insurance agent, you have to balance a high stack of hats, and each task, mental or physical, sucks away time. But these tips can help you tweak your time management skills.
The first tip, understanding how to differentiate between being busy and actually succeeding, involves a significant mental shift. While many successful people are — or seem to be — very busy, the correlation between the two is often overstated. Being busy means you've given yourself a lot to do. Being successful means you’ve given yourself the right things to do.
For example, you can spend 15 minutes debating customer service philosophies with a co-worker, another 15 minutes trying to figure out how to forward multiple emails at once, and half an hour responding to social media requests. But that hour may not have gotten you any closer to succeeding at your job.
On the other hand, if you shelve those tasks for later in the day — or another day altogether — you can address action items that help drive short- or long-term success.
A calendar often feels like an excellent time management tool. However, unless you use it the right way, it can be more of a distraction than anything else. Here are some tips to get the most out of your digital calendar management:
As an insurance agent, your personal marketing funnel will be more likely to generate high-quality leads if you increase the number of new clients you engage. While it can be tempting to focus on servicing your existing clientele, devoting time to harvesting new interest can yield a rich crop of numbers-boosting leads.
For instance, you may set aside half an hour a day to search for new clients. It’s best to do this at a time when they may be more likely to respond to your efforts, so avoid the early morning hours or late at night.
For insurance agents, there are always “a thousand things to do." Many of these are administrative tasks, such as checking emails, filling out paperwork, or setting up your meeting schedule for the next day or week. But when you put your administrative tasks in a time “cage,” you can hyper-focus on them for a little while and then get back to revenue-boosting endeavors.
For instance, you may want to devote 45 minutes a day, as the day ends, to administrative tasks. This way, you prevent them from oozing into other time blocks and inhibiting your productivity.
It's tough to be disciplined when it comes to prioritizing tasks because nothing seems unimportant in the daily duties of an insurance agent. While this is often true, some tasks deserve your attention more — and sooner — than others. You may want to consider prioritizing tasks such as:
By bolstering the future of your operational systems or business prospects, you give your income stream a little extra “insurance.”
Doing something easy is a great way to jumpstart your productivity. For some agents, it may be best to schedule easier tasks for early in the morning because they give you a chance to get your mental juices flowing before tackling more challenging endeavors. Some of the easier tasks on your plate may include checking and responding to emails, answering basic questions by new clients, and doing paperwork for new policies.
Working with a team is about more than merely helping others out. They’re there to lend you a hand, too. Even though you may be used to assuming sole ownership of everything on your plate, there may be several things others can help you out with. This includes both other agents and administrative support staff. For example, you may be able to get a little assistance with:
Sometimes, you may be able to reach out to a teammate and ask them to handle something for you. Other times, they may have the right answer — and quickly — saving you time-devouring research.
Getting random stuff off your desk does more than tidy things up, it also eliminates time-eating distractions. But your workspace goes far beyond where you sit and rest your elbows. It includes the digital tools you use every day to help you stay productive, such as your smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, and cloud-based tools.
Simplifying these work environments may take far more discipline than cleaning your desk every few days. For instance, you should close unnecessary tabs in your internet browser, get rid of annoying calendar alerts, eliminate unhelpful pop-ups on your computer, and commit to just one antivirus solution (and delete any that keep telling you your protection is out of date).
Even the act of trying to ignore these and other digital distractions can consume valuable time and mental bandwidth. Purging them only takes a few minutes.
Automating your day-to-day tasks can involve relatively simple steps such as finding ways to automatically generate good leads or using a customer relationship management (CRM) system to automatically surface people you need to follow up with.
To maximize your time management, resist the temptation to keep putting automation off until you “have the time” to investigate an effective solution. Proactive, efficient insurance agents see automation as an investment in freeing up more time in the future. For instance, if you spend an hour digging into the details of an automation solution, what you learn may be able to save you 10 hours the following month. That’s a 1,000% ROI. Not too shabby. So feel free to dedicate time now to save it later with automation.
With so many steps and stages in the acquisition, servicing, and retention of policyholders, it can be easy to try to save a few minutes here and there by cutting a few corners. But this may result in less time down the road — or even less money.
For example, if you think you know the best insurance package for a restaurant owner because you’ve dealt with that sector multiple times, you may be inclined to give a new client a cookie-cutter response to a question. It’s far better to take the extra few minutes you’d need to research what’s needed for that particular owner given their specific business model, size, number of employees, location, and other factors. This can help solidify their business and save you time later on trying to dig up answers.
These 10 tips can help you prioritize what's important while eliminating time-chewing, extraneous distractions. In the long run, you can position yourself to be more productive and earn more revenue. In the short term, you can get quick results with carefully vetted leads from Nectar. There's no need to waste time chasing and finding quality leads. You choose the kinds of leads you want, and Nectar sends them straight to you. Learn more by connecting with Nectar today!
This article reflects the features of Nectar as of the date of publication. Features are subject to change at any time. This article is meant for informational purposes only, it is not a guarantee that using Nectar will help you achieve specific business or financial results and is not intended to serve as the sole recommendation for any business financial decisions.