5 KEY STARTING POINTS FOR NEW AGENTS TO REMEMBER
By Michael Wayne
While you may be new to the industry, the industry is not new. Many have come before you, and they either did or tried to do what you are hoping to accomplish as an independent agent: namely, to succeed. For an agent who’s just starting out, or for an agent who needs a bit of a refresher, here are five key points that will help you develop and maintain focus.
Starting Point 1: You are in sales.
If you want to be successful, you’ll need to develop and refine effective selling skills. This shouldn’t be a rude awakening. Embrace this truth above all else immediately if you have not done so already. As an insurance salesperson, your purpose is to forge relationships that help others. Your job is to advise, educate, and create a sense of understanding on the part of your clients.
Selling is a demanding skill. Make it your mission to study what the best salespeople do and then modify or adapt those traits to fit your style.
Starting Point 2: You are a CEO—Continuing Employment Officer.
Whether you are an independent agent who works alone or one who is part of a larger agency, consider yourself self-employed. As Continuing Employment Officer (CEO) you are responsible for the job security of your most important employee—you. Simply put, you need to remain in business, and that will happen only if you are profitable.
At the most basic level, you need to do to focus on three tasks to sustain profitability: prospect, close, and service clients. This is where your focus needs to be during normal business hours. Any activity that’s not client-facing should be done after hours or delegated to someone else.
Starting Point 3: You need a plan.
Like most independent business people, you don’t have the luxury of just letting the day unfold and seeing what happens. From what clients and prospects you are going to call to what you are going to discuss with them, you must develop a plan for each day.
In preparing for these conversations, you may find it helpful to follow a script, so you can express yourself clearly and succinctly. So that you won’t come off as scripted, work at sounding natural. Read through the scripts you create often and continue to refine and enhance them with information you learn about your clients and prospects.
Starting Point 4: You need to work intelligently and efficiently.
As we all know, success doesn’t just happen. In addition to improving on your previous efforts, you must compete with others who want the same thing you do—and top them. Luck, it is said, is where perseverance meets hard work.
The harder and smarter you work and the longer you persevere, the more wins you will have. Insurance is an unforgiving industry. Rejection is tough, and you’re going to hear “no” a lot. Just remember: Each “no” is one step closer to a “yes.”
Starting Point 5: You are the cause of your results.
In the movie Good Will Hunting, there is a poignant scene where Robin Williams’ character repeatedly tells Matt Damon’s character, Will, “It’s not your fault.” When it comes to the performance of your business, good or bad, it’s your fault and no one else’s.
Own what you do, who you are, and how your business performs at every turn. You are the driver of your success.