Insurance leaders do more than merely close deals. They use their knowledge to help clients.Being a great insurance agent takes more than just making sales. To become a respected insurance expert, you must also position yourself as a leader in the field, a knowledgeable authority on the industry who can clearly convey your expertise to their clients and prospects. Once you’ve demonstrated your prowess, the deals will naturally flow to you.
Show Extensive Industry Knowledge
Insurance is a complex business, but insurance leaders continually keep up with changes and developments in the industry. Then, they use that knowledge to help clients and prospects solve their insurance issues.
Even before meeting with a business client, for example, an insurance leader comes armed with extensive research on the business and any potential risks it may face. During the meeting, the agent learns more about the client’s operations and requests copies of current policies. By uncovering any gaps in the client’s current coverages, the agent recommends measures to mitigate those risks, such as instituting a loss control program, as well as reducing insurance costs.
By taking the time to understand the client’s business and imparting detailed advice, an insurance leader establishes his or her credibility. The client sees the agent isn’t there to merely make a sale, but to find solutions to their risk exposures. In addition, an insurance leader also ensures that the policy fits the client’s financial situation, taking into account tax and legal implications.
As Chad Bitterlich, Vice President of Navion Insurance Associates, told Insurance.com, insurance agents with knowledge of something other than sales will be more successful in the long run. “Agents who have additional experience in the insurance industry outside of sales — in underwriting or claims, for example — have unique insight into the insurance industry,” he said.
Always Act Ethically
Insurance leaders serve their client’s needs, not their own. They sell policies that truly provide the client with the proper insurance coverage. They’re honest upfront, which establishes trust and respect between client and agent. Nothing breaks that trust more than if the client later learns that the coverage terms changed after the sale or the rates unexpectedly increase. An insurance leader is always truthful and acts ethically when dealing with clients.
When clients see that an agent is working on their behalf, they’ll continue to work with the agent and refer him or her to their friends or business partners. Moreover, price becomes less of an issue when clients realize the value they’re receiving for the money.
Keep in Touch
After a deal is completed, insurance agents typically hand off the contract to an account manager. While this is standard practice, the client may be a bit confused by having to communicate with a new person after establishing a bond with an agent.
An insurance leader prepares the client for the transition by explaining the process beforehand. And a leader always stays involved with the client. If a problem arises, the account manager alerts the agent so he or she can intervene and solve the issue.
Conducting regular insurance reviews is another strategy insurance leaders use to prove their continued interest in the clients. Insurance requirements may shift over time, and clients depend on their agents to inform them of developments that could impact their coverages. “Many people don't realize that their insurance needs may change from year to year, and it is important for [an] agent to communicate the potential for these changes," Bitterlich said.
Becoming an insurance leader takes lifelong learning, strong ethical behavior, and a continued focus on clients. Yet once an agent masters these skills, sales will become easier.