PHP Agency created this document as a resource for individuals who are thinking about careers in insurance but aren’t sure how to get started. You likely have questions, so we enlisted the help of our expert insurance agents who have established their businesses within the industry.
ADVICE FROM INSURANCE PROFESSIONALS
#1: THINK LONG-TERM
Often, new professionals have unrealistic expectations of how long it will take to get their business off the ground. It takes time to solidify your reputation as a trusted insurance professional, and that requires dedication and hard work. The first few months might be difficult for you to break into the industry. You may have to work long hours to accommodate clients, including evenings and weekends.
It’s vital to have a long-term strategic plan. To develop a book of business, you need a plan for prospecting, capturing leads, marketing, and networking. Many veterans told us that new insurance agents and brokers often quit too soon. Develop a good plan. Stick to it, and success will likely follow.
#2: BE CUSTOMER-FOCUSED, NOT SALES-FOCUSED
In order to succeed long-term, you must listen to customers and find the right solution for their needs. A client may come into the office asking for one thing, but actually needing something different based on their financial situation and goals. A successful insurance professional will need to build a long-term relationship in order to truly meet the needs of clients. Doing that requires building trust.
Clients are looking to PHP agents as experts, and they need someone to help them maneuver through complicated language, coverage, claim handling, and financial matters. Being able to understand situations from the client’s point of view and meeting their needs is key. Those who are looking to strictly make money will lose clients in the long run by not looking out for their best interests.
#3: FIND A MENTOR WHO UNDERSTANDS CAREERS IN INSURANCE
Having a mentor can be a game-changer. Find a veteran insurance agent who can show you the ropes, help you develop a long-term strategic plan, and give you advice on marketing and lead generation. A long-term industry professional who has likely seen many insurance agents fail can help you avoid making the same rookie mistakes.
How does one find a mentor? Utilize your connections and find a pro you currently interact with that is well ahead of you in the field. If you don’t know anyone that fits that description, start networking. The best way to get on someone’s radar is to follow their work and be helpful by doing things like sharing their content, referring people to them, or starting discussions on LinkedIn drawing on their posts. Demonstrate your potential and your ability to take feedback from them and put it to good use. Then, talk to them about mentoring. Think beyond in-person, one-on-one mentoring too. There are many podcasts and books available about the life insurance industry and about starting your own business.
#4: KNOW YOUR PRODUCTS
One frequently cited reason new life insurance agents fail is because they recommend inappropriate products to clients. By learning all the ins and outs of your product offerings, you are better able to focus on matching your clients’ needs to the appropriate policy. It’s important to get to know the client and truly understand their needs in order to ensure the product you recommend is the right one. You must research to ensure you find the most appropriate solution to their need. While it can be tempting to recommend products that will generate a higher commission, you will lose the trust of client in the long run.
#5: KEEP UP WITH INDUSTRY CHANGES
Life insurance is an industry where the only constant is change. Regulations, laws, and products are continuously being updated, and it is important for all professionals in the industry to stay on top of them. This can be achieved through your mandatory continuing education requirements, but you will also need to stay up to date on the news and current events related to the careers in insurance.
It’s always best to tell a client if you don’t know something. Tell them you will check and get back to them, rather than guess. Many new insurance professionals are afraid of saying, “I don’t know.” But a client will usually appreciate the honesty and care that you took time to check into the answer and verify that it is correct.