The Importance of a MentorDid you know the average age of an insurance professional is between 55 and 60?

Experts predict over the next several years, thousands upon thousands of these industry veterans will cut back their workloads, or retire altogether. This will create vacancies that sales managers will look to fill with younger agents.

AmeriLife University resources, including our four-day orientation and online training modules and the new agent Fast Start Program, provide early-career producers with a framework to build their client base.

While this is helpful, new agents benefit greatly from a guiding hand. That is the role of a mentor.

Mentors are critical to the onboarding, development and success of new agents.

What is a mentor?

If you are new to the concept, a mentor is a trusted adviser and guide.

At AmeriLife, once an agent reports to his or her location, their general manager will pair them with a branch sales leader or experienced agent.

Ideally, this mentor will be:

  • Willing to share their knowledge with you
  • Invested in the success of your office
  • Able to tutor you and provide constructive feedback
  • Interested in your life outside of work

Mentee etiquette

Make the best use of a mentor’s time by preparing for your discussions and meetings. Find out what makes this person a top performer. Take notes. Ask questions.

Your ambition, motivation and drive will get your foot in the door at AmeriLife. Show everyone you are eager to learn. When they talk, listen.

While it is not your mentor’s job to tell you what to do, if he or she does suggest a particular course of action, it is usually a good idea to pursue it.

A two-way relationship

Just as your mentor has knowledge and experience to share, you likely have something to offer, as well.

Find some common ground.

Your contributions may be as simple as providing a newcomer’s perspective on how your office operates or the industry in general works; or if you have a four-year degree, having a chat with your mentor’s high school senior about the general experiences he can look forward to when he goes to college.

Appreciate your mentor

In closing, your boss has paired you with a mentor to help you gain confidence, build your sales ability and develop a personal identity appealing to prospects and clients.

These hard and soft skills are critical to your success as an insurance agent.

Your mentor likely has a sizable book of business to manage.

By volunteering to coach you, they have taken on a big responsibility on top of their day-to-day duties.

Be worthy of their time and attention.