Aging Out in the Insurance World
The insurance world is at a crossroads. The average insurance agent is aging closer and closer to retirement, and many agency owners will be retiring within the next five to ten years. Lots of agents are now looking to the future and what that will mean for their books-of-business. Whether you’re selling your book or passing your business to a relative/child, coworker, or acquaintance, one thing you should seriously consider is who is taking over your book and what that means for your clients. You’ll want to make sure that the transition is as seamless as possible, so your clients are not disrupted.
When you think about retirement, it’s crucial to remember that your book is filled with people; people who depend on you for reassurance and protection. So, when you pass your book along or sell it, you need to seriously consider who will be the one to watch out for their well-being. You’ve spent years serving your clients, and you’ll want someone that has the same ambitions in mind, same drive, and same servant’s heart as you. One way you can ensure that your book will be well taken care of is by passing it onto a mentee, someone you’ve taught and groomed yourself, someone you’ve prepared.
With so many agents nearing retirement, the pool of incoming newbie agents is growing immensely. These agents are fresh faces to the insurance world and need help to understand the industry and their role. They are looking for guidance and education. By mentoring these incoming agents, you can not only create a new wave of highly educated, experienced individuals to be the future of the industry, but you’re also providing better, more trusting for future clients.
You want to reassure your clients that whomever you’re passing your book to will keep their needs top-of-mind and will serve them to the level they deserve. This isn’t something you can promise when you don’t know the new agent’s process. Passing your book onto a mentee can help you reassure yourself and your clients that they are in good hands.
Where do you start?
A succession plan is something you should seriously consider putting into place early on. Not only do you have to worry about the needs of your clients, but think of your family and dependents. If something terrible happens to you, what will happen to them? Find a new agent (family member, acquaintance or coworker) and partner with them. Show them the ropes, give them insider tips, and help them cultivate their own business. But where do you start? Here’s some tips you could consider to start mentoring your protege:
- Create a timeline. Put together a timeline for your mentee. This timeline can include daily schedules and when they should be able to take on more responsibility, as well as when you feel they should have acquired/mastered different skills. You can even include number of clients served or acquired so your mentee always knows the goals they have before them. Make sure these are flexible so you can adjust the schedule to fit the person.
- Show them your process. Once you think they’re ready to start working accounts, bring them on to accounts with you and show them your process. Have them work through problems with you, attend client meetings with you, and take calls on speaker phone with you. This will help ensure that they will understand your process and will be able to carry that on when they take over so you clients never notice a change.
- Cultivate client relationships. Introduce your mentee to your clients and help them build a relationship. Not only will this help your mentee down the road when they take over, but it’ll help build trust in your clients so that they’ll stick with you even after you retire.
- Set aside time. Plan time every week, every other week, or every month (set how you see fit) to set aside time to reconvene with your mentee. This can be a time for them to ask you questions, for you to further explain different matters, and so you two can go over how you’re both feeling about the process. From this time, you’ll be able to create a stronger bond with your mentee and tailor the mentoring process to them as best fits their person.
- Take detailed notes. You may know your clients inside and out, but your mentee won’t. Take notes on your clients that your mentee will be able to read and learn from so they can best serve your clients once you retire. You can keep these notes safe, organized and easily accessible with AgencyBloc’s note section on each individual, group, policy, etc.
Start planning for the future soon; you never know what will come to pass and it’s better to be prepared than left out in the wind.
Learn how to make your book more valuable for when you retire
Find out what makes a book-of-business valuable and how to prepare your book for selling or transferring.