Recruiting insurance agents is easier said than done. You don’t want to hire just any agent. You want to hire the best of the best.
With the right agents on your team, there’s a greater chance of taking your agency to the next level. This means more customers, more revenue, and more profit for everyone involved. Isn’t that what you want?
Let’s look at what makes a good insurance agent and why it’s important to recruit the best agents for your team.
Why recruiting good insurance agents is important
It should go without saying, but your agency will only be as good as your team, meaning you should pay extra attention to the type of people you recruit. There’s no shortage of reasons why hiring good insurance agents is important.
Consider the following.
They’re the face of your agency
Your agents are the face of your agency. You don’t want just anyone representing your company. It only takes one mistake to kill the brand you put so much effort into building.
Good agents sell more policies
This is an easy one. The best agents sell more policies, and that benefits everyone.
Don’t recruit agents that you have to micromanage. Recruit trustworthy, self-starters who will take the initiative and always “play by the rules.” This will give you peace of mind.
Now, do you see what could go wrong if you recruit the wrong type of agents for your agency?
When to recruit insurance agents
There are times to recruit insurance agents and times to stand pat. Here are three instances to consider ramping up the recruiting process.
If you’re starting a new agency
You can’t sell policies unless you have agents on your team. So, this is one of the first steps to consider when starting your agency.
If you’re expanding
Maybe you’re ready to move into a new market. Or perhaps you’re adding additional product lines to your offerings. Expansion generally calls for new agents.
If you need to replace an agent
Even if you do your best to retain all your agents, there will be times when people move on. Don’t waste time when you need to fill an opening. Start the recruiting process immediately.
What to look for when recruiting insurance agents
As you begin to recruit new insurance agents, you’re likely to find many options.
This is both a good thing and a bad thing. On the plus side, more options improve the likelihood of hiring the perfect agent. Conversely, it takes more time to compare candidates.
Knowing what to look for when recruiting agents can help you streamline the process. The following are five points to consider.
1. People skills
There’s no way around it. Insurance agents must have top-of-the-line people skills. They must be able to connect with their audience, form relationships, and make people feel comfortable with them.
You’ll learn everything you need to know about a person’s people skills during the interview process. When possible, interview candidates in person so you can see how they interact both verbally and non-verbally.
2. Customer service skills
Yes, you want to hire agents who can make sales. That’s job number one. However, customer service skills are also important. In many ways, an insurance agent is more of a customer service professional than a sales professional. They’ll do things such as:
- Help customers file claims: When a customer needs to file a claim, you may be the first person they contact.
- Answer questions: You can expect customers to have questions about their policy.
- Address concerns: For example, an auto insurance customer may be concerned about rising premiums.
The best agents are those who have the right combination of sales skills and customer service skills.
3. High energy
There’s nothing easy about selling insurance.
Ask any agent and they’ll tell you that there are days when they question their career choice. Of course, these questions fly out the window the next time they connect with an interested lead.
High energy is needed to overcome challenges and win over prospects. A candidate with low energy is a candidate who will quickly fizzle out as an insurance agent.
The most successful agents will do whatever it takes to win over prospects. They use their high energy to their advantage.
4. Knowledge of the insurance industry
Yes, you can teach agents some of the things they need to succeed.
However, there’s no replacement for knowledge of the insurance industry. With this, a new agent has the foundation necessary to hit the ground running.
There are two simple ways to check a candidate’s knowledge:
- Review their resume
- Ask the right questions during the interview process
Don’t be shy about conducting an online search of the candidates on your shortlist. You may find that one or more of them has a high level of social proof, which gives you more confidence when hiring them.
You can’t teach resiliency—an agent either has it or they don’t.
The most productive agents are resilient. They can overcome anything that stands in their way; even the biggest challenges. Take cold calling, for example.
Here’s an excerpt from Zippia that will open your eyes:
88% of buyers mostly have nothing to do with cold callers, and 58% of prospects say they currently find cold calls useless. This is perhaps why it takes sales reps an average of 1.5 hours of cold calling every day for five days to win one appointment or referral.
With statistics like that, it’s easy to see why the best insurance agents are resilient.
Aged leads for your new agents
With these five tips, you’re in a better position to recruit high-performing insurance agents for your agency.
Once you have a solid team in place, look into how you can generate more leads.
This gives them the kickstart they need to settle in, gain their confidence, and feel comfortable in their new position.
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