Just like many organizations, the insurance agency needs people who can work effectively and efficiently, to generate leads and eventually, close those leads. What are the traits that are highly required of insurance agents? What are the things that are looked into by agencies when recruiting staff? What does it take to become the best insurance agent? Selecting the best insurance agent to work for you is critical for a starting insurance company.
Don't Discount Young Candidates
This is not having bias against the more senior agents. The top tier, more experienced insurance professions are either already very happy with their current job or are too expensive for smaller agencies.
They may even have their own insurance agencies already. Yes, the young may be a little inexperienced but they are very trainable, very coachable and are more flexible to work with. In addition, the young insurance professionals are relatively less expensive compared to their more experienced counterparts.
People in the local community are usually the first potential clients of an insurance agency. When an agency hires locals, these locals usually know a lot of people in the community.
This becomes a good starting point for the agency to establish its network within the locality. When the agency has locals as agents, it is easier to get referrals from family, from friends, from friends of friends, from acquaintances.
It is easier to get referrals when the agent knows people personally. Further, locals have the ability to work and participate in local community events.
Community events and sponsorships are often used by many insurance agencies as a marketing tool.
The agency has to be known in the community and the goal is to turn the agents into “go to” persons or experts when people have insurance needs. Local seminars, webinars, question and answer sessions, formal and informal consultations, and the like can be best handled by locals themselves.
In sales, it is better to pay a lower base fee and increase the commission component of the sales compensation. That is, the agents’ compensation shall be determined primarily by their output- the level of sales they generate. This scheme will actually encourage sales and will motivate the more hard working agents. Hard working agents will be rewarded more as they will be paid more based on their commissions.
Hire for People Skills
The insurance business requires agents who know how to listen. Agents need to be able to gain an understanding of the insurance needs of their clients because only then can make good decisions as to what insurance products to offer- products that will cater to client needs.
Agents will only be able to do this if they are open, if they are very much willing to listen and empathize with their clients. Agents have to know that it is essential to put clients first.
Beware of Agency Jumpers
Insurance agencies should be on the lookout for people who tend to transfer from one agency to another. Experts say that these people typically have good interview skills and could certainly justify their jump from one agency to another.
However, their vicious cycle just seems to continue. Experts say they tend to do well in their job for the first three to four months.
Then they get bored after. Within five months, they would most likely start looking for new jobs elsewhere.
Finally, by the end of the seventh month, they are already heading off to their next job. Agencies should never waste their time and resources on these types of agents.
Other Traits to Look For
The other traits that insurance agencies look for in agents are as follows:
- Being conscientious. Conscientious agents are indeed assets of an agency. According to the Harvard Business School Review, being conscientious is having a strong sense of duty and it entails being responsible and therefore, reliable.
- High energy level.
- These two traits are certainly necessary for people in sales. Generating and closing insurance leads are quite challenging tasks. Those require a certain level of energy and creativity.
- Having the technical knowledge. Technical knowledge on tax and legal aspects of insurance products can be very helpful to clients. Clients will be able to appreciate it more when agents are able to thoroughly explain and clarify these things with clients.
If you're looking to grow your insurance business, reach out to ASNOA. We can show you the ropes and help you turn your company into a highly efficient and profitable one.