You know that saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” Well, that’s 100 percent false. Not only can seasoned insurance agents learn new things, but they should. For one thing, that allows them to continue playing a key role in an insurance agency’s success. For another, it lets them enhance their teaching and mentoring skills.
There’s another phrase that pretty much sums it up: “Do you have 20 years of insurance experience or one year of insurance experience 20 times?” Think about that for a second. Sure, you might have two decades working as an agent. However, if you’re unwilling to learn something new, an agent with just one year of experience, yet who’s motivated to gain as much knowledge as possible, would add more value.
Take Advantage of Technology
Without question, the insurance industry is highly competitive. That means as an agent, you have to work to secure and then retain new clients. Fortunately, you have multiple ways to do that without expending too much time and effort.
For starters, invest in an insurance agency management system. The right software will simplify tasks but also help you keep better records. As a result, you’ll work more efficiently and effectively.
Just about every client will have a good handle on computers. So, as part of your sales pitch, you can advise them that you use a state-of-the-art program specifically for the insurance industry. If you want to make a good impression, this is one way to do it.
At the same time, working with the right software will make your life as an insurance agent easier. You can create and safely store client information in the cloud, listen to podcasts that further benefit your career, and much more.
Fine Tune Your Sales and Communication Skills
Regardless of the number of years you’ve worked as an insurance agent, you should hone your sales skills periodically. Remember that a lot of today’s clients are significantly different from those 20 years ago. They’re more savvy and now have far more options for insurance protection. This is another area in which a good agency management system can help.
With years in the industry, you’ve probably developed a specific way to communicate with both potential and current clients. However, times have changed and you need to change along with them. Years ago, agents spoke in a more professional manner, using a lot of insurance jargon.
Today, most people want to have an easy conversation. They prefer to discuss business matters in a more relaxed way. Simply put, prospects don’t like complicated conversations. That means you need to avoid “insurance language.” Believe it or not, learning to communicate differently takes some practice, but ultimately, it’ll pay off.
Improve Time Management
Currently, it’s common for both parents to work. Considering that, combined with the daily responsibilities of raising kids, the average parent has little spare time. To show that you respect your clients’ tight schedules, work on your time management.
When you first started working as an insurance agent, people might’ve been a little more laid-back when it came to setting up meetings. Now, even showing up a minute late to meet with a prospect could cost you the account. There’s a definite art to this, but with the right tools and perseverance, you’ll nail it.
Become a Better Problem-Solver
It never hurts to learn how to solve problems yourself. That way, you can reach resolutions quickly and prevent an issue from spiraling out of control. For that reason, you can expect to achieve a higher level of client satisfaction. Also, there’s a sense of pride in solving problems yourself.
Depending on when you started your career, the internet might not have even existed at the time. Now, you have access to thousands upon thousands of websites with valuable information specific to insurance. Use reputable sources to learn better problem-solving for billing, policies, client retention, marketing, networking, and the list goes on.
Develop Better Emotional Intelligence
Some people may have to let go of pride to do this, but to become a better insurance agent, it’s important. What this entails is learning how to recognize emotions in other individuals. As you become more and more emotionally intelligent, you’ll gain an understanding of why some prospects won’t do business with you.
That opens the door for you to make some necessary changes on your end. By reading people’s emotions, relating to them, and then responding in the right way, you can turn the tables. It won’t take long for you to see a difference in how potential clients react to your sales pitch.
The Bottom Line
It’s a good idea to learn how to connect with potential and current clients in today’s world as opposed to how you connected years ago. You can still use many of the skills you already possess. However, adding to those or enhancing some of them will help take the success of your insurance agency or career to a new level.