Entering the world of insurance for the first time comes with a learning curve. From getting licensed to choosing which company(s) you want to represent to getting your desk and computer set up, it takes work to get to the point of selling your first policy. All that work can sometimes feel overwhelming.
One of the difficulties new insurance agents face is deciding which tasks are most important to prioritize each day. Many people think that everything is important in the early stages of their insurance career, which leads them to feel pulled in many directions all at once.
To help you avoid distractions and get more results for your efforts, we’ve created a list of our top tips for new insurance agents.
This is the absolute foundation of sales. Begin your journey by speaking with people whom you already know and love, and who can give you honest feedback. Everyone needs insurance. It's just a question of where they choose to buy it.
It’s easier to make mistakes with people you know and learn from the experiences. It’s generally easier to make sales with them, as well.
Insurance is a relationship business. The relationships you have with people in your community give you a form of “social currency.” Social currency translates to the effort others are willing to give to promoting you and your business to their social circles, even when you aren’t around. The bottom line? Build strong relationships in your community, and those people will help you get further in your insurance career.
Take people to coffee or lunch or take their office a box of cookies. You’ll eventually build a network you can reach out to for referrals, mentorship, contacts for new industries, and almost any sort of help you could imagine.
Speaking of referrals, ask for them at every chance you get. Asking for referrals is a task that’s easy to do and, unfortunately, easy not to do. There are many methods you can use to ask for referrals, such as:
But the most important thing is that you do ask for referrals at some point during your sales conversations. Referrals who turn into clients have a 37% higher retention rate and 16% higher profit rate than other clients.
As a new insurance agent, you need to constantly get your name into the community. Without prospecting, agents don’t grow their book of business.
You can prospect in person, over the phone, via email, through social media, newspaper ads, radio, or any other method that strikes you as a potential way to get in new clients. Just remember that in-person meetings, dropping by peoples’ offices, and phone calls are all not only more personal, but they’re also very direct, allow you immediate feedback, and give you the chance to sell on the spot. Or, at the very least, they give you the chance to build a relationship.
There’s nothing wrong with paying for ads or leads, and those can help you build momentum while you’re getting to know influencers in your community. But at the end of the day, relationships are what count, and prospecting via personal connection is what really builds those relationships.
Another great way to build relationships, prospect, and even ask for referrals, is to get involved in community projects. Of course, you probably shouldn’t do something in your community just to make sales. But there’s nothing wrong with helping where help is needed in order to build new connections.
Consider giving to causes that ask for monetary support, setting up tents at local car shows, or participating in food drives. Giving has the added benefit of making you feel good about your own life and the way you spend your time, which will make you more at ease when you connect with people about insurance throughout your day.
Be confident about what you offer, both as an insurance agent and as a person. Go into your insurance conversations with an attitude that you have something valuable and important to provide.
When you’re sharing your offer, speak clearly. It can be tempting to get excited about the prospect of a new sale and begin speaking more quickly or more animatedly. Convey your enthusiasm but keep calm. Let your prospect know you’re excited to work with them but hold a confident demeanor so that your prospect feels assured about doing business with you.
The way you dress as an insurance agent matters. It does affect how people view you, especially since insurance services are a form of financial service. Make sure that the way you dress conveys to people that you know what you are doing.
For example, young agents might find themselves sometimes struggling to connect with older generations. If you inherit a book of business from a retiring agent who has many clients older than you, or you begin your insurance agency in an area with an older demographic, your dress may determine how much your prospects trust you when it comes to money.
Also, if you live in an area of the country where business-casual dress still involves slacks and a tie, you need to make sure that you don’t stand out in a bad way.
Put effort into dressing professionally, and the way you dress will help you acquire new business.
Pay attention when people say they want to be followed up within two to three months (or whatever time frame they give you). You’ll have many conversations where the prospect is interested in doing business with you, but the timing isn’t right. It’s easy to let prospects fall through the cracks when they ask you to follow up down the road if you don’t have a good system in place.
Use your calendar to your advantage. Make notes on your prospect list next to every prospect with whom you speak, and then make a note on your calendar to follow up when appropriate. Only 2% of sales happen on the first contact. That means that even a simple follow-up system can help you avoid lost sales. Many customer relationship management (CRM) systems have built-in follow-up reminders to make this even easier for you.
There are many time-management and prioritization techniques that can drastically increase your effectiveness during the workday. One of the best (and easiest to remember) is the simple phrase, and also book, titled: “Eat That Frog!”
Written by Brian Tracy — one of the fathers of modern sales, time management, and success principles — “Eat That Frog” is a book and time-management technique based on one simple principle: find the biggest, most important task for your day (the biggest "frog" on your plate), and eat that frog at the first part of your workday before you do anything else. Once your biggest frog is out of the way, the rest of the day should be smooth sailing.
It’s not always easy to hear the word “no” continually. As a salesperson, that word can feel draining. To keep your insurance business doing well, make sure that you’re doing well, too. In other words, take care of yourself. Don't forget to:
Finally, you can make life easier for yourself by investing in insurance leads. While you’re prospecting, getting out and into your community, asking for referrals, and occasionally getting rejected, it can be refreshing to have insurance leads come to you. That’s what you're after in the long run, after all — people who reach out to you for their insurance needs.
Nectar can help you validate your contract by reaching your sales numbers. Premium insurance leads are never more valuable than in your first years of beginning your insurance career. We’re excited to help you succeed.
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.