Whether your new job as an insurance agent is the fourth career you’ve had or the first, feeling initially overwhelmed is certainly understandable. Here are 10 tips to help you navigate your new career.
1. Proofread all written communications.
We all become grammar trolls when reading an email or letter with spelling or grammatical errors. You can’t help but think, “You should have used spell check.” This is because these second-rate communications look unprofessional, and in many cases, ignorant. The writer loses his or her credibility. When you’re working hard to build trust with your clients and prospective clients, you certainly don’t want anything that will take away from your message. Double-check everything – email, letters, promotional materials and anything else that will find its way into the hands of your clients.
2. Dress appropriately.
While it’s not something most people like to admit, appearance is very important to our initial perceptions. As a new insurance agent, you want to portray your professionalism and trustworthiness through your appearance.
3. Develop top-notch customer service skills.
Your ability to provide exceptional customer service can be what sets you apart from your competition. This is especially true in cases where your insurance quotes may not be as low as another agent’s. You must be able to make your customers feel important and valued. If you struggle with customer service, there are several online articles like this one that can help you learn more about the basics.
4. Remember you are a salesperson first.
When your clients get in touch, it is because they are looking for the best product to meet their needs. As an insurance agent, you are a salesperson first and foremost. You will need to determine your own selling style. You can do this by watching other agents. Take into consideration how they look, listen to what they say and watch how they interact with their clients.
5. Find a way to relate to your client.
While being a salesperson is an integral part of being an insurance agent, you also must know how to relate to your clients. Carrying on a conversation is an art and those who are able to freely and comfortably converse with their clients will do much better than those who believe having a conversation is answering yes or no to their clients’ questions. Ask questions about your client’s family, work and interests, and be sure to listen attentively when he or she answers. Also, remember to share a bit of yourself as well, as this helps you come across as someone truly interested in helping your client.
6. Allow transparency.
In order for you to build trust with your clients, transparency is vitally important. Most clients today will look at reviews on just about anything of importance that they purchase, but they also want background information on the people they do business with. Let your clients have access to a copy of your background check and other similar products to show you have no criminal history or civil lawsuits.
7. Market yourself.
Marketing is an essential part of any business today. It doesn’t have to be in the form of printed materials, such as business cards and letterhead, though. Online marketing is also a must today. You should also think of alternative marketing solutions too, such as a newspaper article about yourself, sponsoring a youth sports team or a billboard. You may be surprised at how quickly you can grow your client list.
8. Persistence is key.
You must be persistent when it comes to getting more clients too. Don’t simply provide a quote and let that be your last contact with a potential customer. Follow-up phone calls, emails or mailed letters should also be completed with every potential client.
9. Manage your expectations.
It’s easy to expect success overnight. It takes hard work, dedication and time. Don’t put your expectations so high that you can’t reach them. Instead, make smaller goals that you can accomplish and will provide you with a boost when you reach them.
10. Get a support team in place.
If you are an independent agent, you don’t need to box yourself up in your office. There are many insurance agent associations that can provide support, such as the National Association of Insurance Agents.
Putting these tips to use can help you as you embark on your new career as an insurance agent. This is a career that requires a great deal of one-on-one time with potential clients, so it’s important to become as comfortable as you can at making potential clients feel comfortable.