The average insurance agent does not last in the industry. Its a painful but factually accurate statement. But, why?
Well there are a ton of factors that play into success and failure and every single marketplace, company, culture, and experience is different, but there are three reasons that run consistent regardless.
Lets talk about them.
LACK OF QUALITY TRAINING / EDUCATION
It seems like nowadays anyone with a little bit of “entrepreneurial spirit” can be given a shot to be an Insurance Agent.
Very few carriers put up a difficult barrier of entry for the enthusiastic professional looking to make a go of it in the Insurance world. Realistically, why would they? The risk they take on a new agent is so ridiculously low.. teetering on none.
I have spoken to more then a small handful of middle managers in the biz.. call them District Managers.. Territory Managers.. whatever title their parent company slaps on them… and I have been told the same thing by many of them.
To be successful in their role they need to either find serious talent… or attract large quantities of people to give insurance a try. What do you think is easier? Cultivating the right talent or throwing as much against the wall and seeing what sticks? As Agents we all know building the right type of business is harder then just writing policies.. and the recruiting and training game is no different.
All that being said, management expects a large amount of fallout and counts on the fact that before you fail that you will write your friends, family, and whoever else you can get your hands on before you financially tap out.
Sure you get invited to a few rah-rah sessions, and maybe a “training” event once every 6-10 weeks that are dominated by successful Agent gorillas thumping their chests and Old Agent dinosaurs complaining about how the industry or their company isnt as good as it was as when they were kids.. but the reality is the majority of Agents are not taking away anything of substance to put into action in their Agency.
Young Agents need mentors and coaches and the sad reality is most wont find one in their company leadership ladder… and most Agents local to one another don’t want to share their secret sauces. Luckily, social media has made finding a mentor or coach of program that can help get you organized and focused easier than ever. If you are deficient or straight up failing in any area of your Agency, get help.
You can join a community of almost 1800 very active and helpful Agents for free here >> INSURANCE SOUP
Insurance Agents Expect TOO MUCH of the Agency TOO SOON!
Many new Agents do not understand the amount of time, energy, effort, blood, sweat, tears, sleepless nights, empty bank accounts, and hungry days they will have to endure to reach a decent level of success.
Insurance companies recruit agents from all walks of life and tempt them and entice them with the allure of residual income. Just imagine what your life will be like when you have clients paying you every time their policy renews while you just sit back and collect! Its a dream that is sold to all of us.
So people leave their glamorous 6 figure jobs in other industries where they work 9-5 Monday – Friday and find themselves having to work more then ever before for less then ever before. (Early Agency days are lonely and broke) Others jump into the industry with literally no safety net or financial cushion not ready for the financial storm they are about to fly head on into.
You won’t be on the golf course 100 days of the year for a WHILE. You wont be home on time for dinner often for a WHILE. You’re going to disappoint family from time to time. You may lose a few friends. If you have convinced yourself as a new agent that a 40 hour work week is feasible you may as well start putting your resume together now.
If you are not willing to put in the hours and the work and the money you will never own a boat named “Premiums” like Bernie Lomax from Weekend at Bernie… but you can bet your last dollar that you will wind up just like him.
Too often Agents focus on MONEY more than PEOPLE!
Its no mystery that our business is a relationship business. Then why do so many Agents focus on the money?
Well in the early stages when you are bleeding out green so heavily it can be easy to focus on the wrong aspects of your business. Your focus should always be on the people and not on your wallet. When you are focused on helping people and doing right by people the business comes naturally. When you make decisions solely on how they affect your wallet you are setting yourself up for failure.
I am not simply talking about your clients either. Always do right by your clients. That is a given. But when you have found a good team member or employee make sure that you do not lose them over something silly. Find out what motivates them and excited them and invest into providing that experience for them. Most employees leave a company because they are unhappy with their boss. Identify how to make your good workers happy and keep them as long as you can because there is nothing more expensive then a revolving door of mediocre employees.
Be a people-pleaser and your business will make your bank account very happy. In that order.
If you or any Agent you know needs any help in your business Career Agent Concepts is here to help.