The Secrets to Success for Insurance Agents

By Allison Babberl on June 28, 2016 in Selling

The Secrets to Success for Insurance Agents

Joining the Sales World

This month we’ve been discussing selling insurance. Today we’re going to discuss some of the secrets to success to keep in mind whether you’re starting your sales career or just looking to grow. 

Secrets to Success

Have the right mindset.

Having the right mindset can mean the difference between success and rejoining the job hunt. Don’t let yourself get stuck on the difficulties and convoluted nature of the industry or the amount of paperwork, keep your mind on the importance of your work—helping and serving others. 

Be open to technology.

We often talk about keeping up with the digital world, and we do so for good reason. Having technology on your side can reduce your workload, decrease your stress, and help your business grow. Having mobile capabilities and a cloud-based system allow you to access your book-of-business from any location and keep you client-focused. One technology you should strongly consider is an agency management system (AMS); it can help you automate your business, remain client-focused, and stay organized. 

Be client-focused.

Sales is a human focused career; this should be an integral part of your brand as you build and grow your business. Technology should enable more positive interactions and outcomes with your clients, not eliminate the most important thing you bring to the table: your humanity.

“This is a people business. This is a relationship business. This is a service business. If  you focus on the people, money will come. If you focus on money, people will go.”
Brent  Kelly, CEO of BizzGrizz

Provide outstanding service.

81% of clients leave due to lack of communication. Don’t let your business fall in the same rut. Pay attention to your clients and their changing circumstances, like a wedding or a new baby, to keep what’s important to them top of mind. Help them update their coverage, utilize cross-selling opportunities and make sure they’re fully covered. Check in regularly and use email marketing to ensure that your clients are getting the attention they deserve. This will help your retention rate stay level and will allow you to grow your business.

Never stop talking to people.

Success is directly related to how many people you talk to. You can lose 14% of your clients every year, so you need to be continuously talking to new people, utilizing referrals and cross-sells, and searching for prospects to overcome that loss. 

It’s not all selling.

Sales isn’t just selling. For every hour you’re with a client there are roughly 2 - 3 hours of administration work that you have to do. 

You won’t make $100,000 your first year.

To build a strong, reliable client-base and retention, it could take 10 - 15 years. Oftentimes, new agents will make between $20,000 and $30,000 a year. 

You’re not paid right away.

One crucial thing to know before you even join the sales world is that you don’t always make money right off the bat. For example, in the health industry you are often paid one of two ways:

  1. As earned. You are paid your commission for your first year in monthly installments. So, for example, if you sell a new policy and make $120 in commission you will be receiving $10 every month for the first year. After that, your commission will drastically go down since it will no longer be a new policy. 
  2. Advance. Advance is when you receive all of your commission for the policy when the policy is effective. However, there are two drawbacks from this setup. One, if your client terminates the policy before the year is up, you have to pay back the difference. Let’s use $120 again. If you advance your commission and receive the money right away but your client terminates at 6 months, you have to pay back that $60 to the carrier. Additionally, it can take up to 6 weeks for a policy to go into effect and can take another month for your commission to be processed which can put you at nearly 3 months without pay when you’re starting out.

Find a good mentor.

This can be the game changer for you. It will make your career substantially easier if you start in an agency under a seasoned career sales agent. You will learn the products and carriers, the ins-and-outs of the industry, the art of closing the deal with clients, how to hone in on what they need vs. what they want, the importance of timing in contact and follow-up, how to bring in prospects, and much more. You’ll have a better chance of success if you learn under a mentor than if you try and go it alone from the get-go. Plus you’ll learn gems like these:

“Every agency and product is different, but the bottom line is that growth comes off of  new sales, but living comes off of retention.”
David Kline, Regional Sales Director for AgencyBloc

Want to learn more about sales?

Check out these related articles to learn more about the sales world to help you on your sales journey.

[Blog] 7 Surprising Sales Statistics & What To Do About Them
[Infographic] How to Become a Better Sales Agent and Grow Your Brand
[eBook] How to Increase Client Loyalty & Sell More Policies Using Email
[Free Guide] The Agent's Guide To Selling, Building, and Growing Your Brand
[Webinar] How Any Insurance Agency Can Cross-Sell, Gain Referrals and Maintain Happy Clients With Ease

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Allison Babberl
Allison Babberl

Allison is the Marketing Content Specialist at AgencyBloc. She creates educational content and designs videos to promote AgencyBloc's resources to help you organize, automate, and grow your insurance agency. Favorite quote: “Conversation is the bedrock of relationships. Without it, our relationships are devoid of substance.” -Maribeth Kuzmeski More articles


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