Go ahead and ask any experienced agent.
They will all tell you the same thing:
Even the most ambitious newcomer does not, cannot, acquire a roster of clients overnight.
Becoming a top producer takes time and dedication.
Expect to spend at least an hour of your day on the phone setting appointments.
Prepare to stay up to date on insurance offerings, brush off rejection, and maintain a positive attitude, no matter what kind of day you have.
Still interested? We want you to avoid some of the pitfalls experienced by other rookies.
Here’s why: the average insurance agent is between 55 and 60 years old, and experts predict thousands of these veterans will retire over the next several years.
Our industry could really use some new, younger sales professionals.
You need to have an outgoing, warm and persuasive personality, a strong drive to succeed, and the discipline to set your schedule and work your own hours. These traits are critical to surviving in a commission-only environment.
Here are three tips that will help the truly motivated new agent (you) get your fledgling insurance practice off the ground and thriving.
1. Find a Mentor
Here, we offer AmeriLife University resources such as our four-day agent orientation and online training modules to give future sales professionals a foundation on which to build their sales skills.
However, you are unlikely to achieve your true potential without coaching and encouragement. That’s where a mentor comes in.
If you are new to the concept, a mentor is, at heart, a guide.
He or she is someone who has been where you are; thinks enough of you to share their know-how; and is willing to give you relevant feedback.
They care about you as a person, not just as a potential generator of revenue for the company.
Do not hesitate to approach a senior agent or sales manager in your office to be your mentor. Chances are, they will.
And if they do, be worthy of this person’s time and attention.
2. Know Your Products
Experienced agents agree being well versed in the products you offer can make the difference between closing a sale and losing it.
When you are familiar with an insurance policy, you’re more confident when suggesting it to a prospect or existing client.
For example, a 65-year-old Medicare client without a long-term care policy may worry that if they are badly injured or become seriously ill, they won’t be able to pay their medical bills.
Or perhaps they do not have a whole life insurance policy that would help their spouse make ends meet if something were to happen to them.
When done right, cross-selling products can boost your business and your credibility among people in your community.
3. Care About Others
Which brings us to our final tip:
You should get to know your clients well enough that you only present to them solutions that will meet a genuine need they have, or solve a vexing problem.
Clients who find you knowledgeable, will take the time to listen to your pitch. That’s an important first step.in the sales process.
Whether it’s on the phone or in person, chat with your prospect. Show a genuine interest in their life. Find some common ground.
It is after they come to trust you that they will buy from you.
To summarize, you have something very valuable to offer people. Insurance policies and retirement vehicles like annuities provide more than income for those who purchase them. These products have the power to ease their worries.
AmeriLife agents will tell you it’s satisfying to provide clients with insurance and retirement solutions to protect themselves and their loved ones.
If you would like to learn more about becoming an AmeriLife agent, click here.
AmeriLife’s 3 Steps to Building a Book of Business
Whether you’re a greenhorn in the insurance industry or just starting to consider a career change, it can be intimidating to navigate the waters on your journey to the top. Thankfully, there are many tried and true practices to creating a foundation upon which you can build.
These fundamentals have been used by the most successful agents to build a viable business with a solid book of loyal clients. Check out the 3 most important steps that you can take towards crafting a bright and sustainable future in the insurance world.
1. Get a Mentor
If you’re doing something for the first time, don’t try to go at it alone. You need someone who can guide you, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and transform you into a skillful insurance adviser who can leave consumers with the knowledge that they need to feel confident in their decision making process. Find someone who has been successful and learn all that you can from them. Get feedback, tips, tricks, and develop the skill set that will enable you move forward in your career path. Don’t just learn about the products you’ll be offering, but the products competitors are pushing too. Having a mentor is valuable in the development of your sales associate skills when you’re beginning as an insurance agent. The more knowledgeable you are, the more valuable your advice will be to your clients.
2. Find a Buddy
Building an insurance practice isn’t easy. The activities in building your own book of business requires a lot of discipline and hard work before you start seeing results. In fact, it’s a lot like those New-Year’s-Resolutioners that pack the gym every January – many commit, but fail to follow through for the rest of the year. So take a page out of the books of those who were successful. Find someone who motivates you, compliments your weaknesses, and sparks your competitive side to keep the fun in mastering your future. Hit the phones together and see who can set the most appointments, or hit a business center with each starting at opposite ends. Being able to work in tandem with your peers while also fostering healthy competition is an especially valuable quality to include on your sales associate resume. You’d be amazed how many complexes you can cover together meeting a variety of business owners who value your knowledge!
3. Build Relationships, Not Customers
This is the most important step in building a successful book of business. Focusing on establishing a valuable professional relationship with people instead of just making a sale will increase loyalty with the people you help. We’ve all experienced dropping off the car for a tune-up only to get a call from the mechanic with a list of expensive repairs needed to get back to running “just like new.” Credibility matters most when you’re advising someone who lacks the knowledge your providing. Having a commitment to providing value to your relationships that can positively impact the lives of your clients can also impact what career connections you can forge, an important idea to keep in mind as you navigate the insurance world.
Implementing these steps into growing your business will provide the fundamentals in establishing a valuable book of business for a successful insurance practice. Starting a business may not be easy, but by focusing on these essential steps and nurturing your relationships with those you’re both learning from and educating, you’ll be able to take your leadership to the next level.
Interested in learning more about a position with us?