Whatever we do in our lives, there are always certain people we feel we can depend on for support. Doing a walk for charity? Sure, a good chunk of your friends list on Facebook will probably donate. Your kid's having a school fundraiser? Yea, your parents, brothers and sisters are going to help him sell out of wrapping paper or raw cookie dough. Whatever you need. But, if you've noticed that biggest supporters of your insurance agency ARE NOT your friends or your family, don't worry. You're not alone.
Below, one of our fearless leaders in The Soup shares a story about just WHY strangers are probably going to support you in your business endeavors more than the people closest to you. It's more common than you might think. Check it out!
"I figured I would share this thought in here since the story is getting laughs elsewhere on the interwebs right now.
Why won't some of your friends and family do business with you? It's because they know you.
And sometimes, that doesn't serve you well.
In 7th grade I met up with some friends at Brady Park in Massapequa to play some basketball and manhunt. Was a usual afterschool deal a couple times a week back then. We all rode our bikes to the park and would lock our bikes up while we played ball. While there, my friend Andrew was showing off a brand new lock he got for his bicycle.
Andrew's new bike lock was NOT all that impressive to my friend Tom.
Tom was an honor student and went on to become a surgeon in the Navy. He worked on victims of the Boston Marathon, did 2 stints in Afghanistan, and has been based in Tokyo and other areas over the years. We were even in a Magnet program for the gifted and talented together from 4th grade to 6 grade. Very bright guy.
Tom, in an effort to show Andrew how stupid his bike lock was, LOCKED HIS OWN HEAD TO THE BIKE RACK to show us how easy it was to get out of.
And he couldn't get out.
The 10-12 of us that were there then took turns the next 3 hours kicking him in the ass while leaving his stupid head locked to the bike rack.
And because of this, I will never allow him to operate on me.
You have friends and family that know these stories about you. You're the dum dum that they have that dum dum story about. You think they're going to trust you with their most important assets?
Don't take it personal when family and friends pass you up for insurance. For starters, they're helping you dodge a bullet in many cases. But also, their knowledge of you runs too deep to take you seriously as a professional.
They've seen you fart and burp at the same time right before puking in a waste paper basket in your underwear.
They know how much you drink.
They know that maybe you werent the most loyal guy or gal in your relationships at some point.
And you expect them to want to do business with you?
Leave business to the people who dont know you. They're going to like and trust you more in MANY cases."
This post originally ran on NowBlitz.com.
For any company vying to sell a product, the sales team acts as a multiplier to revenue. No matter how amazing the marketed product, a weak sales team is a sure-fire catalyst of business insolvency. As with any problem, the crucial first step is to identify from where it ultimately stems.
Here’s how to identify and how to motivate a weak sales team:
1. Unmotivated Personnel
Unmotivated personnel is usually the consequence of several outstanding issues. Perhaps employees feel underpaid, overworked, or otherwise without incentive to complete their job to their full capabilities. As with any underperforming employees, the solution varies with circumstance:
Perhaps you’re wondering how to motivate a weak sales team that feels underpaid. The solution is simple. Workers that are genuinely underpaid should receive more money in some form or another. A commission rate for products they manage to sell is usually in order as it provides monetary incentive to sell more products.
Overworked employees should have their hours reduced to induce rest and relaxation. More workers can be brought on to compensate for the reduced hours of overworked employees.
Paying higher commission and reducing hours only works to a point, however, as competent salespeople are few and far between, and a certain amount of overwork is acceptable in this market of scarcity. That a balance exists is a given; financial analysis with real data should be done to determine working hours and number of workers.
2. Unknowledgeable Salespeople
Even world-class salespeople are less effective when given improper information about their marketed product. Although Research & Development and Sales/Marketing are generally compartmentalized into different departments, there still must exist a modicum of communication between the two.
All too often, salespeople are misinformed about the capabilities of the product they are trying to sell. A product, underperforming compared to expectations, harms the reputation of the company and results in falling sales long-term.
3. Ill-Informed Potential Customers
On the flip side, consumers not being fully informed of the full capabilities of products leads to an immediate drop in sales. In both of these situations, the misinformation of salespeople and consumers cause a weak sales department.
It is imperative that management bridges the gap between those who design the product and those who must sell it. Depending on the size of the company, this can be done through a formal presentation, from the R&D department to the marketing department. In a smaller enterprise, a simple conversation between members of the two groups should suffice.
4. You Haven’t Set Deadlines
People are naturally predisposed to work more efficiently if given deadlines. While there is an argument against the imposition of sale quotas, citing worker stress and their resorting to unethical sales practices, deadlines are still beneficial to an extent.
When given a deadline, workers perform more efficiently, motivated by the rewards and punishments packaged with the deadline. For example, rewards could include monetary incentives for surpassing the quota in each pay period. In contrast, punishments might include being let go for failing to meet the quota an excessive amount of times.
Of course, there are ethical and financial considerations: labor laws and regulations must be followed. Rewards and penalties must also not be applied to too extreme an extent.
5. You Should Consider Your Workers’ Happiness
Of course, sales quotas are not the only reward and punishment system available to employers, and there are studies that show that reward and punishment systems are not effective in every case. Contemporary politics places more importance on as a factor to their productivity, the conventional wisdom being “a happy worker is a productive worker.”
It goes without saying that an unhappy sales team is an unproductive sales team. Workers dissatisfied with their job are naturally inclined to slack off. That’s because they’re less concerned with job security when they have no love for their job. The forgone conclusion is that an improved work environment is crucial to the motivation of a weak sales team.
The improvement of the work environment is not entirely an objective process. Even something as simple as being nicer or less curt towards your employees can brighten their day enough to improve their productivity.
In a large company where multiple levels of management exist, the upper echelons must be careful so as to not prioritize meeting quotas over compassion for their workers. An effective manager who is disliked by his or her subordinates will suffer their lack of initiative as a dire consequence. Meanwhile, a less competent but compassionate manager can have his or her faults compensated for with subordinates that take initiative because they’re happy at work.
Those are several ways to motivate a weak sales team. A well-planned combination of these suggestions can heavily influence, for the better, the salespeople under anyone’s command. By extension, the success of the company has its basis in the strength of its salespeople; the company as a whole will get stronger with its personnel.
If you've been paying attention, and we're sure you have been, you've noticed the "HELP WANTED" signs on office doors all over the country. From the family-owned diner on the corner to fast food chains to doctor's offices and beyond, no one wants to work. And while you may have open positions in your agency that you're trying to fill, there's no guarantee that you're going to even be able to attract an employee who REALLY WANTS TO WORK.
Below, Mike shares his thoughts on one very simple thing you can be doing in your agency to help out your understaffed and overworked agency at this very moment, without risking a hefty salary on someone who may not even show up when you need them. Check it out!
"Right now you have an over the top abundance of people who NEED - past WANT - to save some money on their insurance.
Right now many of you are struggling to find the MANPOWER necessary to drive the numbers you are trying to hit.
And yet, with automation, you could have each and every person in your office so flush with opportunity they would not even have to pick up the phone to make an outbound dial to get a quote. But for some reason that's not a conversation many of you are willing to have.
Sitting in your office, day after day, smiling and dialing, some days making 100 dials with 10 people picking up and 2 or 3 allowing you to quote.
Some days with the best of intentions on making the hundred dials but only getting around to 30 with no quotes, because office stuff.
Yet, you could have a program dropping hundreds if not THOUSANDS of enticing messages, timed out throughout the day. 25 messages going out every 15 minutes for 8 hours. 800 messages going out. Bump it to 50 / 1600 if you're a bigger office. Bump it to 100 / 3200 if you're huge and simply have your phone ringing... or your calendar registering with person.... after person.... after person saying "I just got a message from you about my insurance.... let's talk."
But instead the conversation is about how we're struggling to bring on new people. How about getting your EXISTING people working for the full 8-10 hours they're there? MOST of us have people sitting around twiddling their thumbs or forcing themselves to use ineffective and exhausting prospecting methods when they COULD be QUOTING AND SELLING ALLLLLL DAYYYYY ERRRRRYYYY DAYYY.
But instead you're trying to figure out how you can put some fancy job offer and compensation/benefit package for people who are going to ghost your interviews and potentially not show up for their first day.
You're looking to OVERPAY a PERSON to do the exact same thing as the other people in your office right now. Smile and Dial 5-6 hours out of the 8 and hopefully pick up an hour or two of productive activity as the result.
You COULD have those people wasting those 5-6 hours dialing every day just quoting, selling, and binding. Can I ask you why you're doing this?
We are a year and a half into this pandemic. We are not seeing signs of improvement, in fact, many would argue that this employment situation is going to continue to get worse.
There are over 10 million open jobs right now in our country. 10 million.
They ain't coming to work for you unless you get super creative and overpay, and at that point it's a crap shoot if you're even getting anyone worth the pay.
OR, you could have a machine get those calls and messages done for you for LESS than the price of a VA and have the opportunity land in the lap of the people in your office that you already employ and know can close the business.
Unless your people suck. I've got no solution for you if your team sucks.
You're stuck with suck right now, but at least you can give the suck more at bats..
A broken clock is right two times a day and more at bats will help a weak team close more business too."
Lots of agents underestimate the importance of processes as a rule in their insurance agencies. And yes, it's likely because processes in the insurance industry get a bad rap. They're usually rigid, time-consuming, and tiring. The automation of insurance workflows helps insurance companies streamline processes and improve outcomes but there will alway be the daily grind of lead gen, cold-calling, following up and trying to get as many referrals as possible.
The more business an agency has, the more difficult it becomes to manage agents, commissions, clients, EVERYTHING, and this means it's more likely that things are to fall through the cracks, which is why your processes become so important on a daily basis.
Below is a quick story Mike shared recently in Insurance Soup on Facebook. As an agent starting out, he thought these 2 simple suggestions from his higher ups we outdated pieces of advice, until he made it a process and started to see results.
"You guys know by now that I am not a huge subscriber to many corporate messages about marketing. I find them to be more branding for them than advertising for you and extremely bland in their approach in trying to garner interest from prospects.
However, there is one thing that I personally DID NOT SUBSCRIBE ENOUGH TO in the beginning that changed things quite a bit for me when I finally did.
It was the idea of asking every person for referrals and having the conversation about life insurance with everyone.
Originally I rolled my eyes at the notion, not having enough of my own experience to really have a true and educated opinion. I based my opinion on my gut instinct that "it wont work" and the collective grumbles of other agents at rah rah sessions when we would hear those wise words.
I have to say at this point in my career that I agree.
Every person. Every time.
It's the age old "Miss all the shots you don't take" ideology - which has a ton of truth in it. When I started asking every person every time (un)ironically my production and referrals started going up.
I uncovered a life case asking an 18-year-old who then introduced me to his parents who still had younger kids.
I asked a 20-year-old renter who unbeknownst to me from our auto insurance conversation, had a 8-month-old at home - someone I would have assumed didn't need it prior to asking everyone.
Referrals - same thing - every person every time.
It became part of what we did.
Good service? Got anyone we can talk to?
Saved money? Got anyone we can talk to?
Good claim resolution? Got anyone we can talk to?
Email signature - Got anyone we can talk to?
Automated text/email to book 3x a year thanking them for business and.... got anyone we can talk to?
And sonovagun the referrals began to pour in.
When you make the commitment to do something as part of your process it is nearly impossible for you to not see a lift in that area of your business.
Do not try to improve in an area. Commit to it and see it grow."
This post originally ran on Ritter Insurance Marketing.com.
There are two types of insurance agents: the memorable ones who get calls from prospects looking for assistance and the easily forgotten who prospects never call back. If you’re wondering how you can catch the attention of more prospects, we’ve got five marketing tips to help you set yourself apart from other agents in an unforgettable way!
1. Give Your Business Card Some Flair
Every insurance agent should have a business card, but your business card shouldn’t look like every other agent’s! It should definitely communicate the basics about you and your business — your name, title, cell phone number, email address, website, and office address (if applicable) — just as your competitors’ card will do for them. However, there’s more to business cards than that. You can make yours catch more clients’ attention by changing certain design elements to make them more memorable or stick out!
Consider all of your options:
Be sure not to go overboard… you still want your card to look professional and be easily readable. You just don’t want it to get tossed to the wayside on someone’s table, or worse, in their trash can. If you can swing it, work with a professional graphic designer for assistance. Insurance is your specialty; designing eye-catching materials is theirs!
2. Expand Your Credentials
Anyone can call themselves an insurance agent if they’re licensed to sell insurance plans; but, only certain agents can call themselves Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC) or Certified Financial Planners (CFP). Adding special designations behind your name will only help build your credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of clients!
Possible health insurance designations for agents:
You can usually find or take the courses needed to get designations like these, or others, through professional organizations like the National Association of Health Underwriters(NAHU), the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), or America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). In fact, these organizations offer many learning tools and events to help agents expand their knowledge and grow professionally! If you’d like, you can also get full access to Knight School, Ritter Insurance Marketing’s proprietary multi-media training experience for insurance agents, for free just by registering with our website.
3. Learn a New Language
Not only is learning a new language great for your mind, but also your career! In the U.S., 67.3 million people speak a language other than English at home. To put it into perspective, that number has more than doubled over the last 30 years. You can expect around one in five of your fellow Americans to speak a different language!
If you’d really like to stand out from the crowd, take some lessons on how to speak foreign languages like Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Arabic, French, or Korean, depending on your local market. Anyone who provides customer service knows language barriers exist and can cause hurt and confusion to both sides. In insurance, they can be detrimental to understanding prospects’ true wants and needs and successful enrollments. Work to break these barriers down, and you’ll corner underserved markets and gain trust and business over your non-bilingual peers for sure!
4. Improve Your Writing & Grammar
Speaking of communication skills, how’s your writing and grammar? If you write like a five-year-old or tween texter, then you may be memorable, but for the wrong reasons! Spelling and grammar errors lack professionalism, and nobody wants to communicate with a poor communicator. That said, you don’t have to be a copywriter or editor to write well enough to get the job done. You just have to be able to say what you want and need to say in a professional manner.
If writing and grammar aren’t your strong suit, don’t worry! There are several blogs and online tools out there that can help. A few of our favorites are Grammarly and their blog, English Language & Usage, plain old Google, and spell checkers already built into email platforms and Microsoft Word. Plus, we have a dedicated post covering best practices for writing emails to insurance clients that can help any agent improve their writing!
5. Get Involved in Your Community
If you want community members to come to you for help, then you need to make yourself visible as a resource to your community! The best way to do that is to serve your community in multiple ways, not just with insurance.
Do you go to a church? There are likely many community service opportunities you could partake in through your worship center. Alternatively, you could sponsor local events or sports leagues or volunteer at the community garden, library, thrift shop, etc. However, you can expand your roots and meet new people, go for it! Community involvement is an excellent way for agents to build their brand without spending tons on marketing materials. It just takes time and a willing spirit.
Everyone receives a lot of emails, direct mailers, and advertisements in a day — not to mention in a week, month, or more! The trick is to find a way to rise above the noise and connect with your prospects on a deeper level — to give them a good reason you’re worth remembering! Do that, and you’ll be the type of agent who stands out and gets the calls.
The urge to give advice to a colleague usually comes with the best of intentions. But it's important to remember that you shouldn't give life-changing career advice to someone without considering the full scope of that person's situation. You'd never want to steer someone into a major business and life decision without knowing if they're actually capable of handling everything that that change will bring with it.
A while back, Mike McCormick took to our Insurance Soup Facebook group with some solid advice on agents who offer potentially hazardous advice to other agents before really thinking it through. Check out his thoughts below:
"I have seen people give the advice "Go become an Agent and stop making someone else money" a TON of times in Insurance Soup.
Hell, I have given the advice myself from time to time.
Unless you know the person it's frivolous advice to give.
There is a LOT that goes into being an agent and some people just dont have it in them. That does not make the person a bad person, or a failure, or anything. We all have our skill sets and sometimes business ownership is not one of them.
Giving the advice to a stranger to abandon a situation they may be having success with (and often times perhaps even the most success or happiest they have been in their career) is dangerous.
So much goes into being an Agent. You're no longer working 40-50 hour weeks. Often in the beginning you're working 70-80+ hours. Can you stomach that?
Do you have the financial fortitude to weather the storm? And yes it is a storm. A violent and often times completely unpredictable storm.
You are taking on a whole slew of new expenses in many cases. E&O Insurance, business insurance, an accountant, an attorney, start up expenses, marketing expenses, a rater, a CRM, and more.
You have WAY more responsibility than to simply come in, sell, and go home. It is an undertaking that leaves many in shell shock.
I have been fortunate to experience success pretty much in anything I have done in my career and I was totally blown away by the amount of work and responsibility that went into opening up my own shop.
I am all for the person who wants more for themselves.
I am in total support for the ambitious entrepreneur-minded individual who is financially, emotionally, mentally, and physically capable of making the leap.
For the most part we're all virtual strangers in Insurance Soup. Some of us know each other, but with 39,000 of us stretching from coast to coast and from Texas to the Northern most parts of Canada we are virtual acquaintances at best.
Not every solider makes a great general. More do not than do.
If someone is asking questions and showing interest, educate and inform.
Please, please, please do not steer or direct a stranger into making career decisions that you have no idea if they are capable of handling or not.
This group was founded on the idea of support, education, and camaraderie and while intent is good we should all be mindful that we are doing no potential harm with misguided advice.
I say this to all of you out of love.
I know all of your hearts are in the right place."
"Underwriters. I know that word strikes a nerve for many of you.
When I first got into insurance, I thought the same thing. They were the devil of success and their sole purpose was to make my life hell.
What I quickly realized is that they are the miracle workers and the final step between that big case being put through or being thrown out.
It can be hard to not let emotions be portrayed in a response to something being declined or turned away when you feel like there's still a way.
I can assure you though, a healthy and good relationship with your underwriters can make a huge difference. They are honestly the ones you should be kissing up to and making feel special.
If your name comes across that caller ID and they cringe, they do not and will not go out of their way to help. If your name comes across that caller ID and they see that it's their friend, someone who is always nice, and that they have a relationship with, guess what? They will bend over backwards and do everything in their power to help you.
Stop viewing them as an enemy and start viewing them as a crucial part of your team.
Thank me later."
Those words above from Insurance Soup and CIA co-founder Taylor Dobbie, the words about how underwriters are usually the bane of an insurance agent's existence, are likely words that echo your own thoughts. You've probably had experiences that add weight to the reason why underwriters get a bad rap, but like every agent knows, your career is built on good relationships. That goes for your underwriters too.
We know that's probably a tough pill to swallow, but you have to admit that Taylor makes a valid point. You get more flies with honey. Always. So, in an effort to help agents everywhere take a shot at improving the way they work with underwriters, we found these 3 quick tips to help you do just that. Check them out!
1. PROVIDE THEM WITH LESS RISKY POLICIES
We know, we know. The riskier policies are easier to sell. But if you're an agent who's been around for a while, you know that underwriters get a ton of flack from their carriers when they try to get riskier policies approved. Their carriers aren't dumb. They're very good at assessing the difference between "good risk" and "bad risk". If you do your underwriter a favor by submitting policies that are higher in good risk than they are in bad risk, you're probably going to get less push back because they'll get less push back from the carrier. If your underwriter knows that you're not just lobbing garbage at them non-stop, they'll be more likely to step up to the plate for you.
2. MAKE LESS WORK FOR THEM, INSTEAD OF MORE
You know what it's like when you see an email or a phone call coming through from a client or co-worker who always seems to have a million pointless questions that could have all been answered by visiting your website or by doing a quick Google search. You dread working with them because of the inevitable waste of time that comes with them. The same goes for your underwriters. If they see you as an agent who is consistently bringing the same issue to them over and over again, your needs might get pushed to the bottom of the pile. And can you blame them? If you're creating needless amounts of work for them you're probably not going to be a favorite of theirs either.
3. FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH WHAT THE CARRIERS WILL ACTUALLY APPROVE
"Well, they should just approve what my client needs them to" might be what you're thinking, but we all know that's not how the big wheel spins. This means it's your job as the agent to know the difference between a standard policy ask or an outlandish one that will never get approved. Spend some time with your underwriter and find out how, why, and what's realistic from the carrier's side, as well as the underwriter's side. You'll be saving everyone, including yourself, a lot of time and trouble by being proactive on this one. Just saying.
Listen, we're not saying you should invite your underwriters over for Christmas dinner or take them on an all expense vacation with your family, but in Taylor's experience, giving a little in this area will get you a lot back. Treat your underwriters the way you treat your clients and you'll probably be glad you did.
This post originally ran on Fast Company.com.
By 2030, the private car, once a proxy for American culture itself, may be dead. Millennials are either none too thrilled at the prospect of purchasing a car, or just can’t afford one. Either way, between 2007 and 2011, the number of people between the ages of 18 and 34 who did so declined by 30%. Economists have estimated that private car ownership on the whole will decline in the U.S. by 80% in the next decade or so.
The implications for this shift are enormous. Car manufacturers will scramble to stay relevant, and perhaps, the end of America’s love affair with the car could usher in more investment in public transit and safe, walkable, low-carbon streets. But it will also give rise to another quandary: What will happen to insurance?
As it currently stands, the auto insurance industry is built around a model of private car ownership. Currently, insurance premiums attach to the car, not the driver. So if you lend your car to someone else, who crashes it, you, as the owner of the car and the holder of the insurance, would be liable to pay damages, not your friend. It’s easy to see how this model fails to translate across shifts in car usage. What if, as is becoming an increasingly popular idea, you decide to subscribe to a program like BOOK by Cadillac, which lets you rent different cars throughout the year for a flat monthly fee? Or if you swap out your car for a Car2Go or Zipcar membership, or just rely on Lyft and Uber? Or decide to use an app like Turo to rent out someone else’s car for a trip?
In giving up private cars to the sharing economy, perhaps the thing we should be keeping for ourselves is insurance. A new startup called Arity–a subsidiary of the insurance giant Allstate, tellingly—is doubling down on helping insurers build out a new model based on driver behavior, not car ownership or traditional demographic factors like gender, zip code, or vehicle model. Arity is using sensor data from smartphones and telematics connections inside cars–combined with traditional metrics like insurance claims history–to create personalized “driving scores” for customers. An algorithm processes behaviors like hard braking, speeding, running lights, and frequency of car usage to build the score, which then influences how much drivers pay for their plan. And crucially, hope is to cover drivers regardless of what car they get into.
This sort of “usage-based insurance” model is not new–companies like Progressive and State Farm have used driver behavior data to influence individual insurance plans. Arity launched in 2016, in fact, out of a previous Allstate program, called Drivewise, which launched in 2010 to use sensor technology in cars to map driver behavior and adjust premiums accordingly. But Arity, according to the company, has developed more sophisticated tech to more accurately capture and analyze driver behavior. And by creating a product around this model that it can sell, it hopes to make usage-based insurance go mainstream.
The startup offers devices that connect to the car’s diagnostic port and a software development kit to track everything from how fast the car is moving, how suddenly a driver brakes, how sharply they turn, and how many miles they accumulate. It also developed an app that tracks location and other data; in February, it rolled out a new version that incorporates data on distracted driving and phone use. Arity sells the software to other insurance companies like Esurance aiming to build out more driver-based plans. It’s also eyeing partnerships with mobility companies like Uber, which could use the data to create more behavior-based driver scores. As Arity president Gary Hallgren likes to say: “I would want to know that my Uber driver has a good rating because he is, in fact, a good driver, rather because his car smells good and he had a good radio station on.”
Scaling up data around driver behavior also has broader implications for cities, Hallgren says. For instance, Arity is partnering with the city of Chicago, where it’s based, to share data on where spikes in poor driver behavior occur. The partnership is helping the city identify speeding-prone stretches of road, intersections where drivers don’t stop, or corners where they turn especially sharply. This data will help Chicago advance its Vision Zero Action Plan–part of a global effort to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities through better street design and policies–by targeting infrastructure improvements and adjusting enforcement.
These are appealing applications, but Arity will still face an uphill battle in individual customer adoption. Even though usage-based insurance programs tend to reduce costs for customers–Allstate’s Drivewise program shaved up to 15% off a user’s premium–people still tend to balk at the invasion of privacy inherent in having their every move in a car tracked and analyzed. Only around 10% of insurance customers opt into data-based plans. But Hallgren thinks that the potential cost savings of having safe driving rewarded with discounts could nudge people both toward usage-based insurance plans, and hopefully, better driver behavior.
A while back, one of the Soup co-founders took to the group with a vulnerable post about something he struggles with on a daily basis known as imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome, which can be considered an underlying symptom of low-self-esteem, is a condition that causes successful people to doubt their abilities and question the validity of their success and their work. It's common in extremely driven people who've attained or are attaining a high level of achievement and it causes feelings of inadequacy in their field regardless of their proven track record.
While we all have doubts from time to time, someone with imposter syndrome may find it affecting their work as well as their mindset. Many sources recommend precisely what our co-founder recommends below and that is to get out of your head and be mindful of the evidence of your success. Check out his post below!
"Let's talk about leaning into fear. It's something we all must do at various points to make progress in our lives and our careers.
I do not talk about it much but I deal with imposter syndrome.
Between all the stone throwers we get screenshots of from outside of Soup, to the owners of other educations trying to make ours sound like it's not the gold standard of the industry, it is tough to not question yourself a bit.
I know my stuff is good and I know my intent with Agents is always in the right place, but when you read what others say about you often enough there are moments you ask yourself if maybe they're right.
So, now that the table is set. I've had a mini-course in my head that I have wanted to put together for ya'll. It's a topic you could say I know a little bit about. Growing profitable groups on social media that you can monetize for your Agency.
So I put the outline of the course together - put the slides together - prettied the slides up - and it's all ready to go.
I havent started recording it yet.
Because I have that stupid voice in the back of my head right now telling me I have no right making it.
But Mike - you and Taylor own the largest group on Facebook for Agents.
But Mike - the groups you ran when you were in Agency were responsible for 40% of revenue.
But Mike - you have given speeches and workshops on the topic and have gotten standing ovations.
Yeah I know. But that's not how imposter syndrome works.
That's not how fear works.
So, here I am with a badass education for y'all that I have not been able to get started because I am in my own head.
You know how I will get out of my own head?
When I am done with this post I am starting to record.
You have to lean into your fears. You have to lean into your insecurities. You have to tune out self doubt and the haters even more.
Just lean in.
And get started."
The insurance industry is not one for the shy or faint of heart. It's a business that one gets into knowing that there are going to be many social aspects to the job. Yes, an insurance agency is primarily responsible for the filing and handling of claims, collecting premiums and other more "all work and no play" type duties, but a huge side of insurance is selling, and selling always means social. Always. If you're getting into the insurance business, you need to be ready to bring your A game socially so you can have a shot at successful selling.
STEP 1 - HAVE A HEART
Part of being an insurance agent is having tough conversations with clients about potentially catastrophic events that have happened or could happen to greatly influence that client's life. Clients don't want to have to think about losing their home, or they're families being injured in an automobile accident, but these are the tough topics that agents have to cover with clients. Make sure that you're able to have these types of tough conversations with prospects in a way that makes them feel at ease and comforted right off the bat. You're not trying to scare them, you're just trying to navigate a tough topic sympathetically in order to build trust.
STEP 2 - BE A CUSTOMER SERVICE DREAM
You're going to have to prove to your clients that you're a salesperson who cares about them, and then, once the sales are made, the proof had better be in the pudding. Agents who go the extra mile to make sure their clients are tended to regularly, efficiently and properly are going to have long-lasting business relationships with their clients. If you're an agent who routinely drops the ball, doesn't connect with your clients beyond the sale and/or renewal time, or if you're an agent who doesn't show up to meetings or makes clients wait, you won't be around in this industry for long.
STEP 3 - IT'S A SOCIAL WORLD WE LIVE IN
These days, thanks to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, you can't hide from your clients behind your office door anymore. If you want to win clients and keep clients happy, you're going to be expected to engage with them on social media. Not only does having an active presence on social media make it easier for you and your agency to connect with people you wouldn't have been able to otherwise, but you're going to be creating stronger relationships with the clients you already have by interacting with them online.
Step 4 - YOU'RE GOING TO FIGHT FOR BUSINESS
There's an enormous amount of competition in the insurance industry, as every agent knows. Other agencies are striving to produce, just like yours is. This means it's not going to come easy. You've got to be sure you're ahead of the game at every angle. Is your website and social media doing what it needs to do and reaching the right people? Are your targeted ads working? Are you actively showing clients what you're doing better than the other guys? This is an important aspect of any business, but as an insurance agent, you're going to have to come prepared on all fronts if you want to succeed.
STEP 5 - NURTURE EXISTING RELATIONSHIPS FOR THE WIN
Insurance 101 says that it's easier to keep a client than it is to get a new one and this is likely one of the key social strategies that can lead to an agent's success (or demise). Taking care of the clients you have usually means that not only will they renew in order to stay with you for their insurance needs, but they're more likely to tell friends and family about you which leads to informed referrals. This is a powerful strategy that a lot of agents forget about when they're not calling clients back or when they're only interested in that primary sale. A happy customer is a long-term customer and that's what your agency needs to thrive.
It's not always easy for people, but if you're selling in the insurance industry you've got to be prepared to get out there and show your face, and then you've got to continually show up for your clients. If you follow these 5 basic steps to social success, we're sure you're going to have plenty of happy customers.