This post originally ran on SmartFInancial.
Did you ever wonder what really successful agents do that other people don’t? Do you want to establish a set of new habits, especially as the new year approaches? We’ve rounded up the 12 habits that top insurance agents utilize to sell more policies and retain a loyal base of clients. We hope these tips will rub off on you, too!
Creating Daily Routine
The best insurance agents don’t wing it. They have a set schedule and they stick to it. You can’t just take calls in the middle of playing golf. You need to be writing emails and texts, making follow up calls, buying leads and forging new relationships while nurturing existing ones. That means setting some regular hours to work-related tasks. You can’t watch television hoping that the lead you called last week will call you back. Get back to your desk and make the call. Keeping regular office hours will keep you organized and busy.
Setting Self Assessment Meetings
Whether you do this weekly, biweekly or monthly, it has to be done. Check in with yourself to see how you’re doing in comparison with last month, last quarter and last year. The more metrics you use the better, because you’ll see more of the big picture. Measure everything, from your closing rate and website traffic to your ROI on the leads you bought from SmartFinancial. Aim for progress by replicating your successes. But also look at your failures. Can you reflect on why certain deals didn’t work out? Can you learn from your mistakes to improve sales next week and next month? The best insurance agents learn from failures and tweak their approach along the way.
The insurance industry is always shifting and changing. Good insurance agents follow the trends in order to succeed. Future trends inform agents about changes they should make agency-wide based on shifts in the market. But insurance isn’t the only thing the best insurance agents are learning about. The finance sector is something else to follow. Some agents even go on to become financial planners. The more you know about finance and insurance, the better you’ll be able to manage your clients’ policies.
Surrounding Yourself with Other Successful People
Success is truly contagious. They say that if you surround yourself with successful people, you’ll probably end up achieving more success yourself. If you surround yourself with couch potatoes, you probably won’t be as driven. It’s natural that we compete with those around us, even if our successful friends have vastly different careers. We try to keep up, and that is a good thing. It only makes sense that motivation is something we glean from those close to us, so make successful friends.
Giving Everything Your All
If you’re a people pleaser, you’ll do well in insurance sales. If you have a habit of trying to help people, you’ll gain the trust of prospects. A genuine desire to fix situations and prevent disasters will give you an edge on the competition because many agents are only out to make a commission. Prospects will sense your earnestness and gravitate towards you. The more thorough you are, the more likely you will retain your well-protected clients too.
Are you the agent who never answers the phone or do you pick up, even when you’re on another call? If you’re the latter, you’ll do a great job in making as much contact as possible and making every client feel like they matter. No one wants to be in business with someone whose gatekeepers keep them at an arm’s length at all times. You should be accessible to your clients and available to chat, even if it’s to set a later appointment. Answer all emails within 24 hours or much sooner when possible. If a client doesn’t feel like a priority, they will be more tempted to switch for a better price.
If you’re not in the habit of justifying the prices your carrier(s) charge for the insurance products you’re selling, you’ll have a hard time. The most successful agents touch upon value in their elevator pitch and set aside time later to express why their product is superior to cheaper ones out there. Explaining the claims process, albeit briefly, and explaining why it is important to go with a trusted carrier is essential.
Willingness to Fail
Do you put yourself out there even when the chances of succeeding seem slim? Then you’ll be great at talking to people who weren’t necessarily looking to switch or buy insurance. You have to be willing to risk failing by approaching people who are hesitant or don’t want to be bothered. You have to keep calling even when it’s not clear that you will have a sale with the prospect. You have to keep trying, be willing to fail and to get up and try again when you do. A failed sale may be a success as an ex-date at renewal! Build bridges, even when you don’t get exactly what you want.
Successful insurance agents are wizards at multitasking and juggling many clients at once. Your job is to form relationships, deep and lasting ones, if you want to retain customers. This means putting in the time. Just as you do with friends, you have to be there when things go wrong or if there are changes in a client’s circumstances. If your schedule doesn’t seem double-booked you’re not engaging your clients actively enough.
Mentorship and Delegation
The best agents have a knack at taking raw talent and polishing producers into great sales people. If you like to train young people on how to sell insurance, you can do so by buying shared leads in bulk. Delegating work is a must, especially if you hope to grow. You’ll want your business to be busting at the seams, and you’ll need help servicing all the policies you sell. The best insurance agents and business people know how to delegate responsibilities and mentor the right people into managerial positions.
The best trait in an insurance agent is persistence, the best habit is incessantly trying. A no really means not right now. Try again at renewal time. If you’re really persistent, you may even want to consider convincing the prospects that it’s not too late to change their minds. Keep pushing, even when people are not responsive. It often takes a while to get a lead to let his or her guard down. The more persistent you, the more likely you are to forge a relationship with this person, and that’s the first step towards success.
We’ve already covered how you need to constantly be checking in on existing clients, looking into discounts, writing emails all while nurturing leads. You’ll be making calls and having Zoom meetings, so you’ll be very busy and time management will be most important. There’s nothing worse than not calling when you say you will or not being at the Zoom meeting you set up! Of course, having a CRM that alerts you to when it’s time to follow up can be helpful. And that brings us to our final habit, using technology to your advantage. See below.
If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that spending one’s entire marketing budget on leads is not such a bad idea. Some agents have even found buying SmartFinancial leads to be more successful than past marketing campaigns of their own. Unless you’re capable of running digital marketing campaigns that will generate leads, you’ll have a hard time binding new business when people are not going out unless they have to. Their reliance on convenient methods of buying insurance, and just about anything, will carry over even when the pandemic is long gone. Using the right tools, having the right CRM to stay organized