Finding Success as a Commercial Insurance Agent

Woman at Desk

Many of us have horror stories when it comes to our experiences with insurance. And if we personally do not, all we need to do is ask the person sitting next to us, and I am sure they have one. These experiences could be from claims, unjustified premiums, a particular agent, or possibly an entire agency all together.  No matter how you cut it, the industry is plagued with negative viewpoints from the public. Those of us within the industry battle those viewpoints daily while at the same time, try to make a living for ourselves and our families. It can be a heavy feeling and one of the main reasons over 90% of people who get into insurance leave and never return. So, why on earth would anyone want to jump into this industry…?

I can think of plenty of reasons why one shouldn’t. However, being a great insurance agent provides you with the ability to control your income without needing to ask your boss for a raise. Being able to provide a great life for yourself or your family outweighs any negatives that may push someone away. Keep that buried inside while you wade through the swampy waters this industry may have you swim through. In a way, you are somewhat of a hungry entrepreneur. You may not have a shop on the corner with a unique product that attracts customers, but you do need to build your book just like an entrepreneur builds a business. The difference is the business may be selling products that a person WANTS to purchase. It is common for a business to purchase insurance and then put it aside while the policy renews. Now let’s get into what you can do to become successful.

First things first; find a good agency! Once you are licensed, you need a home. Most insurance agencies struggle to find good agents, and it’s even more difficult for good agents to find good agencies. Agencies can easily become complacent and not think about how to grow or find talented agents. If an agency hires a new agent, it is their obligation to provide them with the resources needed to be successful. Agencies should provide marketing materials and help fund memberships to local associations. As a new agent, you should be as involved in your local communities as you possibly can. One of the most distrusted occupations on earth is an insurance agent. It is your job to show up in your communities and become someone that local companies can trust. This doesn’t happen overnight so, be patient.

Let’s circle back to the marketing materials. These materials can be anything that highlight the agency or yourself as an agent. Business cards are great, but if they need insurance six months later and all you hand them is your card while other agencies left materials providing more information about the agency, your card may be thrown away while the business owner picks up the other’s materials. The same can be said about your email marketing. Sending an email to a prospect you have no connection with is nothing more than a cold call. In fact, it’s even easier for the business owner to delete your email than it is to answer the phone and hang up. Unless the email contains something substantial, your email will be deleted. It is always a great idea to attach a digital marketing document to your email or paste it inside.  The document should be like what you deliver in person. Leave the emails short and let the marketing piece talk for you. The business owner is busy, and you shouldn’t expect them to put everything aside to read your lengthy message. If they like what they read/see, they will save your info for the moment they need to reach out. Do not spend too much time sending emails. Email campaigns are a great way to spend time when you need a breather from the marketing you do outside of the office. I think of email campaigns as a filler. They do generate business, but like cold calling, you must burn through a significant amount of these to generate interest. Do not think that you shouldn’t do this though. I always put time aside each week for calling or sending emails. Just don’t make this the only thing you do eight hours a day, as it gets old quick.

When it comes to finding new talent, the insurance industry has done a very poor job promoting itself. And that is putting it lightly. The industry has pushed away more people than it has brought in. For the entire industry, it may be a sad fact. For you though, it’s an opportunity. Most established agents do not go out and market. They built books and are taking care of existing clients. Younger agents don’t go out and market because they are afraid of the word “no.” This means there is plenty of room for you to market in person. I say, take advantage and shake hands as often as you can.

Let’s face it, every business owner needs insurance. In fact, one cannot legally operate without it. If someone is required to have it, why not be a trusted resource for them? That’s the job, right? Like I said earlier, trust takes time. You will need to build that while chasing leads. However, building a book of business may take longer. That’s why I say do not shy away from calling and emails. Those leads are a great filler while you wait for the ROI from your community involvement. It should be your goal to have multiple sources for generating leads. At the end of the day, it’s a numbers game. The more you have going on, the better you will feel in a short amount of time.

Have respect and appreciation for your account managers. Let them see the hard work you are doing and remember to keep putting that work in when it comes to leads and closing business. I promise, that if you can do this, you will find success as a commercial insurance agent.

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