Our youngest child, my daughter, graduated high school this week. As we were sitting in the auditorium of about 5,000 parents, relatives and friends to watch these 439 seniors move on to the next chapter of their lives I couldn’t help but think about the young man that gave a great commencement address. His quotes, one liners and encouragement were just spot on. So much that it inspired me to write a commencement address for my fellow insurance agents, especially the new ones.
My fellow insurance agents, we have seen a huge amount of change in our industry. The way we market has evolved with technology, the products we sell have changed and with the passing of ACA or Obamacare even the way we make our money has changed. But even with the day to day task at hand the core of what we do and why we do it remains the same. Here are six (6) thoughts to keep in mind selling insurance to valued clients.
1) Resist the temptation of selling products based on higher commissions if it does not help the client or at least in their best interest. If you always do what is right for the client it will make you more money through referrals in the long run. Be patient and build your business.
2) Resist the temptation of a quick buck. There will always be bad companies and bad products with lots of gimmicks. Do your homework before signing a contract you may regret later. Remember the client knows your face and your name. You will shoulder the blame more than the insurance company. Take your time learning. This business is a marathon not a sprint.
3) Learn how to market your business. Learn the skills of networking, social media and building referrals. Buying leads is OK to start but you will not build a successful business relying on outside leads or cold calling. There is no customer loyalty built there.
4) Get organized. There is no one right or wrong way to stay on top of your clients and market. You can use Google Calendar, Outlook, your smart phone or a high dollar CRM system. Regardless it is YOUR responsibility to stay on top of YOUR business.
5) Your loyalty should be to your client not the insurance company or an agency. Why it is true a lot of agencies, IMOs, MGAs, GAs, FMOs, EIEIOs do a great job of helping agents with marketing, back office, case management, their loyalty is to themselves. Take it from my experience, when companies are bought and sold there is no consideration to the agents, we are a dime a dozen.
6) Last, run your business as it is your business. Where ever you hang your hat in this industry just be sure your clients go with you. Many captive agencies keep your book of business if you leave. No service is worth that. Avoid base salaries and advances, those are known as “golden handcuffs” to keep you from leaving for a better opportunity. It may be lean in the beginning financially but it is how wealth is built in the insurance industry.
Some quotes I have learned to live by after decades of selling insurance and recruiting and training agents are as follows:
Henry Ford “change is inevitable, growth is optional”. Albert Einstein “insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different results” Zig Ziglar “you can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want” Napleon Hill “one of the most common causes of failure is quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat” Jim Rohn “motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going”
Here’s to the first day of the rest of your career in insurance!
Image by hywards at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger and team leader with over 27 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.