No matter the amount of training we've had before starting out in the insurance industry, things don't always go as planned for every agent. Sometimes the pieces of the puzzle just aren't going to fit together and other times, pieces will be missing altogether. You can watch all the webinars and take all the courses but at some point, you're going to drop the ball. There's no way to really know until you've taken the field and given it your own personal best shot.
With that said, knowing that there will be times when you're going to fail as an agent, the best remedy is to stay aware of the most common pitfalls so that you can avoid them. Many times agents believe they're doing everything they can, and they're doing it the right way, but there can be other things at play for an agent that can begin to steer them off track. Check out a few of the most common below.
ALL BUSINESS AND NO HEART
Agents are in sales. The job is to sell policies. It would seem that an agent charging hard to meet their monthly goals, focused only on the bottom line, is on the right track. That's the end game after all, right? Well, yes. But also, not exactly. If an agent is focused solely on their commission, then the way that they serve their client will suffer.
If you get into a cab in Manhattan with a taxi driver who doesn't speak to you, doesn't answer any of your questions and swerves all over the road, making wrong turns and gets you to your destination late, but then holds out his hand for his tip, are you really going to tip him? It's the same with your clients. If you write a policy for them and are then careless with the way you serve them over the life of that policy, you'll lose that client and any hope for renewal.
For an agent to have long-term success, the focus on serving their clients the best way possible needs to be as important, IF NOT MORE IMPORTANT, than the commissions that will be coming in.
PUTTING AN "I" IN TEAM
The best and most successful people in business, agents especially, are self-starters. You're going to get the most done when you take the reins and steer your agency the way you see the most fit. However, this can sometimes be to an agent's detriment if not properly balanced out with the right staff.
Choosing who will be running your agency alongside you is a massively important piece of the puzzle that many agents overlook because they're not properly focused on getting the right kind of support from other team members and mentors. Successful agents need solid, well directed staff, but new agents need these things from the jump. Having the right team to fall back on as well as the right mentors to look up to will make all the difference.
EXPECTATIONS TOO GREAT
This is a tough one since lots of agents choose insurance because they've seen others achieve a certain level of success that they expect to attain right off the bat. As a new insurance agent, you're basically a startup business and all startups take time to see profits. For some agents, the waiting is too hard and they quit during the uphill climb before things really get rolling. Some of the things that make being an agent so attractive can also lead to an agent's downfall. Making their own hours, and taking too much time out of the office when there's admin and customer service work that needs to be done can be enticing and can derail an agent at the same time.
Being a successful agent, especially starting out, is all about the slow and steady pace it takes to figure out the best ways to run your agency while keeping clients happy. If agents don't take the time to get things done right, there won't be much of a career in the insurance industry for them in the long run.