10 skills insurance agent should develop before it’s too late

Very fact that you get on this article means you are probably an open-minded person who wants to do things right, learn the right skills insurance agent must have and grow your insurance business. The difference between an average insurance agent in the most successful ones can be traced back to the kind of activities that they do when it comes to their insurance agency business.

It’s not with how many contacts you enter the Industry that matters but how open that you are too learning, adopting when navigating through an insurance sales career. Some insurance agents only focus on the next cheque and develop short-term view while others spend a lot of time developing the skills that will help them in the insurance industry and also help them scale their business.

On one hand is very important to have a thorough understanding of policy details and other technical insurance knowledge and on the other it is very important to have some knowledge around marketing, social media marketing, sales etc

The following are 10 skills insurance agent should learn and make it a habit before it's too late

Skills and passion association with personal brand

1 Develop necessary sales skills

Sales is a learnt skill and can be developed and improved through careful planning and proper effort. For an insurance agent, the ability to sell is one of the most valuable and a must-have skill.

As a salesperson for your career to take off you should develop your ability to build relationships and systematic return those relationships into sales. ONe of the best ways to learn is by observing the best sales guy in your team and the second best is to read great books around sales and sales strategies. Once you read them you should actually put some of those tips into practice and through trial and error fine tune those skills. Some of the good sales guys I know always tell me that finding a great mentor also helps a great deal.

Communication on the phone

2 Communicating on the phone

Most of the business in insurance get still gets done over the phone, hence it's very important that you have to be an effective communicator on phone. In an email, you have the flexibility to craft perfect response for tough questions and you can take your own time to come up with excellent answers. However in a phone call, it has to be on the go, your prospectus is listening to every word that you say and is judging you whether he/she should work with you or whether they should buy from you. Since your every word is being judged over the call; phone calls are much more difficult than emails or text messaging the other avenues available for communication.

Again my suggestion is have a basic read around phone etiquettes and plan out every phone call before you make. This will give you a good idea of what you planned for and how the phone call went. Over time I'm sure you pick up this skill very well

Use of social media

3 Use of social media

In the last 15 years, sales and marketing have undergone a lot of change. Unfortunately, insurance agents have not adopted all the new channels when it comes to marketing and sales. Even today most of the insurance agents rely on outbound effort and reach out to their contacts to try and convince them for insurance.

By leveraging social media you can engage all your family, friends and followers at one go instead of just engaging 7 to 9 people every week by outbound efforts like phone calls, emails etc. By being active on social media and sharing finance and insurance related content you can establish mindshare with your followers as a thought leader in the space. And most of the times they will reach out to you for your opinion when they are going to take a financial loan insurance decisions, that could be your window of opportunity to convert into scenes.

 

4 Emotional intelligence

One of the most important things to remember in sales is people buy from people whom they like, not who they think is smart.

When it comes to selling insurance your emotional quotient is far more important than a level of Intelligence i.e EQ > IQ

Ability to read, relate and respond to human beings will win new businesses than any other skills. Unfortunately, this is a skill that is rarely taught to young sales guys or insurance agents. Emotional intelligence is the key to understand why a prospectus saying oh no. If you able to understand this well you will be able to convince a prospect much better.

customer experience for insurance agents

5 Focus on customer experience

If you still focus only on customer service then you are a commodity. Your focus should be on customer experience; every interaction that your clients have with you and your agency is a part of the customer experience.

Some other things that come under customer experience are

  • The way you dress
  • The way you speak
  • Your business card
  • The way you answer the phone
  • How fast you revert
  • The quality of your response
  • Even your the look of the Agencies office matters
  • And the list goes on

Don't take anything for granted and aim at providing the best customer experience for your prospects right from the word “Hello”

 ask right questions insurance agents

6 How and when to ask the right questions

Insurance agents are problem solvers and to solve the problems you have to ask questions. Knowing and asking the right questions will save you a lot of time and drastically improve your engagement with your potential client. Remember the right question at the right time establishes credibility and build trust with your prospects.

You can talk to senior agents in your agency and find out from them the common questions in the industry and how they handle it. Design your questions in such a way that the customer looks up to you as an expert in understanding and foreseeing challenges. Ask leading questions to showcase this expertise and your prospects would love to work with you .

 time management by insurance agents

7 Time management

In Insurance, it is very important that you reach out to the customers on regular basis and also reach out to ones you have sold earlier for proper servicing.

Since both these tasks are very important you should ensure that you block your time for these task on regular basis. In your daily work routine, I'm sure you'll be dragged into a lot of other operational activities that are time-consuming and will take your attention of these two important tasks. Blocking time can be one of the ways to ensure that you don't miss out on these important tasks.

You can use an outlook or google calendar to schedule a time. Download couple of apps which help you which will help you manage your time better. Some people spend years together to nail the time management aspect but for insurance agents, it's very important to develop time management very early in their career. Frankly, there is no one solution that fits all, you have to plan out and develop a strategy that really works for you.

 

8 Prioritization

As mentioned earlier you will be pulled into lot of operational activities on daily basis. Hence it becomes very important for you to prioritize your activities and balance out sales reach out and customer service aspects as well. Prioritization is really about focus balancing the short term and long term returns. Learning to set priorities early in your career can make lot of difference.

reading and learning insurance agents

9 Keep reading and learning

Remember a book contains 15 years of a personal experience in 200 sheets of paper. In less than 5 to 6 hours you can learn what that person has learnt in the last 10-15 years, hence it's very important for you to read good books. You should develop knowledge around marketing, sales, insurance, operational, productivity knowledge etc

Surround yourself with quality professional both inside and outside the insurance industry. This will help as you can learn from the real experiences and parallel experiences from other industries. Always remember you should learn from your mistakes, they are costly learning lessons though.

Resilience insurance agents

10 Resilience

As an insurance agent you are going to get a lot of ‘NO’. This can be very discouraging at first and frankly, some people can't handle it. Remember a ‘NO’ is not frankly that no I will not buy; it could be a

  • ‘No’ that this is not the right time
  • ‘No’ that I don't have a reason right now

Like I mentioned earlier it was very important to navigate through this and just move on to the next prospect. Your insurance career and your sales career depends on how you are good at handling No

These are some of the skills an insurance agent needs to have.