Insurance agents command their own destiny. The world is their oyster, and they can seize from a sea of opportunities. At least, that is the case for some agents. Few other industries offer the potential for uncapped success as the insurance industry. But, being a successful agent is easy. Only those with the necessary characteristics, ever get a glimpse of success.
Like entrepreneurs, successful insurance agents are not born; they’re made. In other words, anyone can flourish in the insurance industry, provided they put in the effort. As an insurance agent, you must adopt many roles: salesperson; business leader; community liaison, and much more. So, it is important that you possess certain traits. Don’t worry, though. If you don’t already have these characteristics, the good news is that they can be developed.
An Entrepreneurial Spirit
Insurance agents must have the ability to see opportunity, assess risks, and execute on a plan. That requires the development of an entrepreneurial mindset and an instinctive vision of the business landscape. Entrepreneurs are adept at assessing the possibilities. They often have a desire to make an impact on the world by helping others. Those are traits which lend themselves well to the success of a small business.
To be a successful insurance agent, you need to adopt the entrepreneurial spirit. Learn to see opportunities in every interaction, every scenario, and in places that others might have overlooked. It is also necessary to view things in the long-term, as most entrepreneurs do. Developing a meaningful and successful business won’t happen overnight.
Being an insurance agent and running your own business is not easy. In any given day, there is a multitude of challenges and frustrations to overcome; from frequent rejections to financial concerns. Without a strong mental attitude, you can easily become dejected and lose faith in your ability to succeed as an agent.
One of the most common traits among successful agents is the ability to self-motivate. Those that stay the course to success can overcome rejection and other business challenges better than anyone else. They know that there is no smooth path to success.
You will have to stay motivated and keep going despite failures. The more energy and enthusiasm you have for your career, the easier it will be to stay motivated. A big part of developing self-motivation is loving what you do.
Not every business person needs to have people skills, but if you are an insurance agent, this trait is crucial. You need to have a high level of emotional intelligence, good customer service acumen, and the desire to always put the needs of the client first. All of which will mean happier customers, and happier customers are more likely to remain loyal to your agency. Long-term clients are the foundation of a successful insurance agency.
Agents who place commissions as their primary goal seldom last long in the business. Those that take the time to listen to and understand their clients and prospects are much more likely to succeed.
A Strong Personality
As someone in the sales profession, it goes without saying that having a strong personality is important. But, that does not mean becoming overly demanding and pushy towards prospects. That is a quick way to irritate people and cause them to reject your offers.
A strong personality means having high energy levels, persistence, and plenty of integrity. You must always appear eager and excited, to prospects at least. At the same time, you will need a persistent attitude to get past the inevitable rejections – each “no” brings you closer to a “yes.” Be persistent enough to overcome the no, but know when it is time to back off and move on to another prospect.
General Knowledge and Willingness to Learn
Successful insurance agents possess knowledge that goes much deeper than insurance policies. As well as awareness for a wide array of insurance products, they also understand the tax and legal side of things. Having thorough knowledge of the products on offer as well as related aspects, enables you to meet the needs of clients better.
The more knowledgeable you are in your field, the more authority you command. That means consumers are more likely to turn to you when they have a problem that needs solving. Knowledge does not just come from your training; it comes from listening carefully to prospects and other experts, as well as an unceasing willingness to learn.
Determination and Persistence
If there is a running theme throughout all the characteristics of a successful insurance agent, it is an attitude of determination and persistence. This is particularly pertinent in the early stages of your career when the likelihood of being turned down by prospects is highest. At this stage, they do not know, like, or trust you. Expect the rejections to come thick and fast.
But, with determination and persistence, you can survive the rejections and use them to your advantage. Again, that doesn’t mean badgering prospects until they say yes or slam the phone down. It means understanding that not everyone wants what you are selling. Keep going despite the rejections.
Willingness to Win
The competitive landscape in business is stronger than ever before. You have to compete with other agents, companies with better financing, and technological advances. Knowing how to turn all the apparent adversities into advantages is crucial. You can find ways to become the best agent in your area, use the lack of financing to position your agency as the endearing underdog, and leverage technological advances to your benefit.
In short, you need to have the willingness to win. You must find ways to gain the competitive edge over other agents if you are to succeed in today’s contentious market. Winning, however, does not mean alienating yourself from other agents. In fact, remaining friendly and cooperative with other agents will be beneficial to your success.
Winning means being the best at what you do. You could, for example, become known as the agency that provides the most comprehensive after-sale service; or perhaps, you will be the best at finding the most appropriate policies for individual client needs. Whatever the case, the key is to adopt a winner’s mentality that will drive you to become a successful insurance agent.