10 Traits of a Great Insurance Agent
The lesson that all work has dignity has really been driven home in the last month. The grocery clerks stocking shelves overnight, delivery drivers bringing crucial supplies to our homes and hospital janitors sterilizing rooms to keep patients safe have all proven that every job has value, especially when done to a high standard—as it must be done now.
Achieving a high standard in insurance sales doesn’t usually just happen on its own. To move from being a good insurance agent to a great one, you can actively work to cultivate qualities that will help you become better and more successful at your job.
At Hometown Quotes, we’ve worked with a lot of great insurance agents over the years. Here are 10 traits we’ve identified in some of the best:
Sure, you need to be friendly when you answer your work phone. But employing friendliness in all of your life encounters can also lead to increased sales. You never know when that coffee shop owner or neighbor two doors down will need insurance.
Sometimes being honest means admitting you don’t know something or advising a client to stay away from a policy add-on that isn’t worth the extra cost. On its face, this might seem like it could hurt your business. In reality, though, honesty helps to build trust, which is another key trait in insurance sales.
Do you follow up when you say you will? Have you learned as much as you should to be able to speak with authority? Are your recommendations in the best interests of your customers? Your clients trust you to protect the most important parts of their lives—homes, cars, precious belongings and even their lives. Be worthy of that trust.
Unless you just started selling insurance, things have changed since you first began. To be a truly great agent, you need to allot time to learning. Read blogs and journals, participate in insurance groups online and follow changes to insurance regulations in your state. Stay abreast of trends, learn new technology and keep flexing your curiosity.
Being knowledgeable is one facet of competence; two others are being capable and efficient. A high level of competence is a sign that you have become more well-rounded as an insurance agent.
Expressing caring is one of the hardest traits to fake, and it may come more easily with some of your clients than others. For those with whom it doesn’t come naturally, try to imagine that person as your mother or uncle or best friend. This may help you see them in a new light, even if they are a difficult personality to deal with.
In addition to responding to phone and email queries completely, being communicative also means letting your clients know what you can do for them. Stay in touch regularly.
Look for the patterns that naturally occur in insurance sales and put systems in place to help keep you organized. This can include things like phone scripts for initial sales calls, onboarding checklists and prescheduled emails throughout the year.
Learning to read people and their emotional states is an advanced skill that often comes over time. Paying attention to what people aren’t saying can be a good place to start. For example, if someone is angry, are they actually sad? Worried? Afraid? Learning to be sensitive to others’ feelings helps you know what to say in any given moment to maintain rapport. (“I’m so sorry your mother’s scrapbooks were lost in the fire” versus “I know you’re worried about rebuilding, and I’m glad to say your policy will cover the full cost.”)
Another advanced skill is knowing when and how to be creative to meet your customer’s needs. Would an umbrella policy offer an important advantage that isn’t offered by a particular line of coverage? Does it make sense to cover a client’s home with one insurer while keeping their auto policy at another? Challenge yourself to think outside the box regularly, and it will soon become a habit.
When you sign up to receive leads from Hometown Quotes, you’ll be assigned to one of our Regional Directors. Give us a call at 800.820.8921, and your Regional Director will be happy to share more ideas and expertise.