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"Activity": The key to success as an independent insurance agent

The thing about being an indie insurance sales agent... Well, the key to being successful as an independent insurance sales professional, let's say "Life agent", has to do with activity, right? #insuranceagent #insurancebroker

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The thing about being an indie insurance sales agent... Well, the key to being successful as an independent insurance sales professional, let's say "Life agent", has to do with activity, right?


How you spend your days. How you spend every hour of your workdays. What one does during those crucial business hours will, most of the time, determine whether you join the pantheon of a small group of folks who have managed to carve out a niche for themselves in this ultra-competitive business of ours, or fall by the wayside.


I have - over the last decade or so - seen this business chew and spit many agents out.


Most of the folks I started with, back when our firm was just a lonely insurance agency, before we got into the software business, publishing, and all the other lines of business we are in now, are no longer in this business.


Some just left the industry altogether. Others just went looking for the illusive guaranteed paycheck at larger firms as what we call "captive agents."


Sales by any other name

But, Even when you go to work for a big firm, let's say Transamerica or Mass Mutual, MetLife, or any of the handful of agencies in your city, and they say "look, we are going to pay you XYZ dollars to do this work" and you figure " this is easy. I'll just sit here and treat this like an office job. I'll come in and move some papers around, make the occasional phone call (or two) to check in with some client who hasn't heard from us in years and these guys will give me a check."


Basically, you are doing customer service at this point. At a job that requires that you go out and sell stuff. And since these guys need you to bring in premium, at some point, they will let you go.


I didn't get the memo

I worked a job once. What now seems like eons ago. We were selling group plans to companies. The premise was that we set up these"self-managed" health plans for organizations and offered free customer support for their employees.


We were there to answer questions about their plans and enroll new employees. The objective was that while we had Mr. New Empoyee on the phone, setting up his health insurance, we would offer a side of life with just a soupçon of dental and/or vision. Thereby earning a few extra dollars for my employer.


Anyway, I'll make this short. I was eventually fired because despite what my boss kept telling me, I was in the sales business. And I just wasn't selling enough Life insurance to cover the cost of keeping me in my seat. I understood their position.


As insurance agents, regardless of what your arrangement with your employer is, or even if you work for yourself, you must keep sales as your number one priority.


I find that boiling down the stuff you do, in a day, to a science helps.


The first part of your journey to plan your daily activity is to know who your target audience is, who among your already existing network fits the profile, and how you plan to consistently add to your list of prospects. Regardless of what the tone or culture at your agency is, if you work for one, your goal is to keep selling new plans based on your own internal system.


Communication is the key to all healthy, mutually-beneficial relationships. I have said this in more spaces than I care to count. My partner and I wrote a whole book about this: " How to be a Successful Insurance Agent, available on Amazon and elsewhere. ahem! shameless plug.


Moving on. Next, we need to establish the types or modes of communication you wish to use to reach folks you already know, to talk to them about how you can help them with their financial planning needs, and how you can start the conversation with folks not already in your social circle.


The latter objective depends heavily on your marketing systems. That is a conversation for another day.


Your offer, in other words, how you feel you can best help those who may have some stuff set up but would be open to other products and those who have no coverage. Then, we want to set up a process to bring those guys in as clients.


Back in the day, my thing was getting coffee. " ok, well, let's get together on Friday. I'll even buy you a cup of coffee." That was always my line to set up in-person appointments. Those are the best since you get to showcase your greatest asset: You.


I met folks at the same coffee shop every single time. That was a big part of my daily activities.


Depending on the size of your prospect list, your geography, and so forth, you will probably have a different style. What matters most is that you establish a set of actions that will. a) place you in front of folks you already know to talk about insurance. b) get in touch with folks you do not know to introduce yourself and the ways in which you can make their lives easier through insurance planning and. c) turn interested parties into paying clients.


And that's it! establishing a set of activities and relentlessly doing them. That is the key to cracking the independent insurance sales code.




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