This post is part of a series on how to cultivate three traits that will help any insurance agent be more successful: being persistent, productive, and personable. Click on each link to read them all. Part 1, Part 2.
Learning to be Personable
What makes someone personable? How do some people seem to have such an easy time connecting with others? Individuals as diverse as Dolly Parton, Barack Obama, Alex Rodriguez and Beyoncé all come across as very personable, so it’s clearly not about looking a certain way or coming from a particular background.
While we don’t all have celebrity levels of charisma, the good news for everyone is that there are many ways to achieve personability. And it’s worth trying to do that as an insurance agent, because how personable you are can make all the difference when it comes to closing sales.
Eye contact is an essential way that humans connect, especially during a time of facial masking. Masks take away our abilities to read each other’s faces, which is part of how humans establish trust. Especially now, keep your eyes on your client when they are talking and make sure that anytime you smile, it reaches your eyes. A little bit of eye-crinkling warmth can do wonders to offset the sterility of a mask.
Online Eye Contact
In a Zoom environment, make a concerted effort to look at the camera on your computer. That’s the only way that you will come across as making eye contact during an online meeting. And make sure you aren’t backlit (meaning the primary lighting source is behind you). Instead, you should be facing a lamp or window to make sure your face is well-lit and completely visible whenever you’re meeting with someone virtually.
You don’t have to have the looks of a model to present yourself well. Smile readily and often. Practice good hygiene. Trim your hair and any facial hair regularly. Invest in a tailor so that you always have a few outfits that fit your body properly.
The same goes for your desk, car, briefcase, phone case and anything else that a client might see during the course of doing business. Keeping your belongings tidy and clean conveys maturity and attention to detail.
Evaluate how you carry yourself. Keep your shoulders back and head up. If you tend to fidget, learn to keep your movements contained. If you are physically on the smaller side, stand or sit up tall and take up as much space as you can. If you are physically imposing, you may need to rely more on your appearance and voice to soften your impact. Think about what your body language is saying to other people.
Vocal volume, cadence, speed and how often you interrupt others can all affect how they perceive us. Try taping yourself on a few sales calls to evaluate if the way you use your voice needs work. If you notice a problem like mumbled words or a strong accent, consider whether you need to work with a voice coach to modify your speaking style. Unless you’re speaking with someone else who has the same accent, that is. In that case, it can be a great form of bonding.
Sense of Humor
Humor is an excellent bonding tool, though it should be used in moderation. Being properly insured is serious business, and you want your tone to fit what you are selling. Still, a well-timed joke or bit of self-deprecation can be charming. If you’re not naturally funny, consider taking a public-speaking course or an improv class to help you grow this skill.
If you really want to win people over, be good at what you do. Competence can be really, really attractive, especially when it’s used to help someone protect their family and belongings. When you combine competence with sincere caring about someone else’s well-being, that’s a winning formula.
While personability comes more easily to some than others, it’s a trait that everyone can learn. You can start by offering a ready smile to everyone you meet. Even with a mask on, that small amount of connection will begin to connect you to others. From there you can start building relationships and more opportunities to sell insurance.
Hometown Quotes is pleased to provide insurance agencies with high-quality leads filtered by policy type, geographic location and more. Call us at 800.820.8921 to find out how we can help you achieve your sales goals.