Why are you struggling at your insurance agent’s career? Do you still think the internet is just a fad? Are you still afraid of technology? Are you chasing leads that once said they were going to buy and now won’t return your call? Are you still buying leads and making 100 calls per day to find a couple of people to answer the phone? Are you still trying to sell health insurance hoping the commissions go up? Is your idea of networking bugging neighbors at a block party? If you answered yes to more than one question, you must change with the times. Here’s how to get back on top of your game. Stop being a struggling insurance agent.
First off, the ways of selling insurance have drastically changed and evolved. You can’t use the same techniques you used in the 1980s, 1990s or 2000s. The internet is not a fad, it is here to stay. You must embrace it and become self reliant on social media. Don’t hire some college kid to post things they do not understand and expect results. You are the expert and need to let your network know that. Just because someone understands social media doesn’t mean they understand insurance, especially your niche market. Go out and learn what to do and how to do it. Don’t just post how great you or your products are, no one cares. Be helpful to people with useful insightful information. They will be attracted to you.
Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? Be sure your LinkedIn profile has these 3 things today. Prospects do search for you. According to a recent Google survey, 84% of prospects search you, your product and your company before they do business with you. The old days of a sales pitch and close are over. This is the information age, you must participate. Get your LinkedIn profile up to “All Star” and search friendly for the product or service you want to be found.
Next you must build a referral network. If hearing the word network makes your stomach hurt, you must get past that fear. If you do network, which networker are you? Do you slather and gather business cards or do you spray your business cards and then pray someone calls you back. Neither of these methods is effective networking. You must educate yourself about how to network properly. Both in person and online is critical in today’s insurance market place. It is a fact that people looking for health or life insurance want to do business with people they know and trust or referred by someone they know and trust. The successful insurance agent finds a good referral source or goose to lay golden eggs, if you will, to grow their practice and keep a steady stream of referrals flowing to them. Stop wasting time chasing clients and spend your time searching for good referral sources. Be sure to give back and take care of your referral sources. Use a “givers gain” mentality when building your referral network. Give more than they expect and ask nothing in return. Soon you will have a constant flow of business calling you instead of you chasing prospects every day.
It is just time to redie the tools and enjoy the same success you are accustomed to back a few years ago. You can learn anything if you just focus on it for a while. Here’s to your success again!
“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”—Viktor E. Frankl
Image by Stuart Miles 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 26 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.
23 Responses to Why Are You a Struggling Insurance Agent?
Do not get discouraged. One of the biggest mistakes an insurance agent can make is getting frustrated or upset when struggling. If you get like this you will begin to second guess every move that you make. Instead, do your best to keep an even temper while working towards your goals.
Excellent advice Lynn. It can be overwhelming to make these many changes. As in any goal setting its like eating an elephant, just a bite at a time.
Personal accountability is a must, and we really have no one to blame but ourselves if we stay in the dark on internet marketing.
Totally agree Tim.
Thanks Tim – I couldn’t agree more! Many Agent/Brokers who are struggling – and there are a number whether they admit it or not – aren’t necessarily afraid to make changes. The problem is that they don’t know what changes to make. In the past years minor changes here and there were adequate of at least maintaining their client base and income levels.
The current disruptive changes to the Insurance and Benefits marketplace do not permit such sluggish action! Agents/Brokers must review there entire business plan and make significant – often not expensive changes. Among other considerations and changes — (1) The Plans and Services they offer (including Voluntary/Worksite Plans, Ancillary Benefits, and Tax-advantaged Programs; (2) The viability of shifting to a Fee Based Model; (3) How they are marketing (including a shift to Inbound Marketing); (4)The technology they are utilizing to make their offices more efficient; (5) How they are going to deal with and possibly of offering access to a Private Exchange; and (5) The strategic alliances they can structure to better compete!
In our recent Blog – http://benefitplace.blogspot.com/2014/02/where-do-brokers-fit-into-new-world-of.html – we began a discussion on these topics! We invite everyone to join into this important topic!
Phil, as always I can count on your insightful feedback to be spot on. I really appreciate your sharing with us.
You are so right Tim. As we get older we must keep up with the technologies that are improving everyday. They way we went to market 10 years ago is not the way to go to market today. It is very important in the insurance business.
Marty that is very true. Thank you for sharing.
I noticed when I send on advertisement for new plans on the market I really don’t get a feed back or I guess persons just delete it bcause they think it’s a spam
Tamara, I don’t even know what you are sending out. But the fact that you call it advertising is the reason they delete it. Think of it this way. If you just bought new tires for your car, would you read an emailed tire ad or quickly delete it? But if you received an article of how to get the most miles out of your tires, you may actually read it, because it would be helpful to you. Stop sending out advertising and send helpful articles to your clients and prospects. I believe you will see a big increase in your opens and clicks. I wish you the best of luck!
I would have to say that the struggle is due to people trying to change with the times. Technology may be changing but what motivates people at the core hasn’t. We are still emotional being with similar desires but advertising is attempting to pander to the whims of youthful folly. Where you find your target market may have changed but the way you advertise to them shouldn’t. We have become too obsessed with funny entertainment that we have stopped giving people the intrinsic value to the purchase of our products. It’s Valentines Day and many men will buy flowers for their significant others and if you ask they why they are buying flowers they will say to make her happy. That is a lie. He will buy flowers in hopes she will make him happy. That basic understanding is gone in marketing so you may make someone laugh but that doesn’t show you understand them or their needs so why should I buy from you when my friend sells the same thing and I trust him while you only made me laugh. There is a lot more to say on the subject but this should get the point across.
Scott, I have to respectfully disagree with you. Traditional advertising must change. For example, the traditional avenues are print, TV, radio and maybe “pop ups”. Here is the issue, I believe most folks are like me. I DVR all my TV shows so I can fast forward through the commercials, I change the station in the car when a commercial comes on, I have a “pop up” blocker and a spam filter on my email. I believe networking, both social media and live is the future of how we entrepreneurs will do business now and in the future. I work with a lot of older insurance agents that fight this trend to the death and they struggle. I do agree with the commercialization of our society, however, that goes back for decades, the delivery is what must change. Thank you for sharing your view point.
You misunderstood me Tim. I agree with you regarding the media, what I am referring to is marketing to the person’s psychological makeup. There are reasons each of us buy and they can vary dramatically depending on the individual. My contention is with the approach of marketing campaigns these days. It seems people are trying to be creative and win awards more than sell product. Marketing psychology is almost gone in all advertising. Everyone seems hell bent on entertaining rather than reaching in to the individual and touching them in an emotional way that will spur them to action. It is rarely the tangible and almost always the intangible that people buy, but nobody advertises it or even knows what that may be because we have become shallow in society as a whole.
Scott, sorry for the misunderstanding. I definitely agree with the entertaining to keep our society’s short ADHD attention span. I think the buzz word is “edutainment”. I do agree marketing approach has been close the sale online versus peak interest, build the rapport or relationship and close. The good news in all of this, sales professionals will not be replaced by machines anytime soon. Thanks again for sharing!
Thanks so much for that bit of information Tim
I agree with you Tim, but I think the problem is that people just check in once and awhile with social media or other technological forums. It really is an investment that requires time to cultivate.
Joseph, that is very true. But no more time than “smilin’ and dialin'” or “walkin’ and talkin'”. Marketing and prospecting always takes more time than selling. Thank you for sharing.
I believe that if you go to the door instead of calling, even if it is a lead, you will close 70% more times face to face. Even when you’re talking about setting appointments. Yeah it’s hard work. But it’s a career. You chose to do. It comes with the territory.
Andrew, I admire the “old School” guys, still tough as nails. Keep evolving, there are easier ways. Thanks for sharing.
If your not working on your network, you can’t run with the big dogs. You will have to stay on the porch
It’s funny that you say “old school guys”. Lol. Seeing as I’m 21 years old. Lol. I agree there are easier ways. But if you want consistency, and confidence that the money will be there at the end of the week that’s the way to go.
WOW! I stand corrected at 21 yrs old, but you do have an old soul. I really admire a 21 yr old agent still knocking doors, you are a gem. You just keep up the good work. I never meet a hard working agent that struggled. Much continued success my friend!