I find myself spending a lot of time building training modules for my team. There is an art to taking mounds of complex information and breaking it down into simplified training modules. Being in the life insurance industry for over two decades has taught me insurance companies are not that great at simplifying their products to agents and certainly not their unsophisticated but vitally important customers. Common insurance words like “premium”, “wavier”, “elimination”, “tertiary” and “endowment”, while commonly used by insurers, are not always used and understood by their customers. It is our job as agency owners, IMOs and FMOs to simplify these definitions into words understood by the masses. Here are some common practices to consider when building How to Do Modules for training.
First, before I am visited by the insurance company’s compliance police, be sure to have each carrier review your work before distributing it to your team. On a scratch page write out a step by step format of what you wish to accomplish. Remember that you understand better than the beginner, so go back in your memory banks and recall what your first sale with this product was like. Remember, to think of things like, I wish I would have known A, B and C items. I find using a flow chart design helps me to clarify in my mind what I need to say in a good step by step format.
Second create a Work Flow chart. Remember to start with prospecting if training for salespeople. If you don’t teach your team how to find clients, all of the product training you teach is worthless. Even if you provide leads, teach them how to network online and in person. Teach them how to ask for referrals. Don’t just assume they already know how to do that task.
Next when building your How to Do Modules, remember there are three types of learners. Some people are visual, some are auditory and some are kinesthetic. Be sure you use aids to cover all three. We all learn differently. Don’t assume everyone can just read a brochure and go sell the product. I find giving tips on public speaking helps me as much as it does the team. Be sure and cover as much depth on procedures as you do product. Sales is the art of persuasion and transference of emotion. Not just explaining a product on a shelf.
Finally, you must get your team on board with the vision of where your team can go with your product and your company. I am speaking of more than just a mission statement but an entire culture of what is possible. Remember the speed of the team is the same speed of the leader.
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”.–Albert Einstein
Image by David Castillo Dominici 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, author and team leader with over 28 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.