Becoming a better insurance agent is a never-ending process. Our industry is well represented by the aphorism “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” Your practice can only adapt and grow as long as you are doing the same. That’s even more true with digitization firmly taking hold of the insurance industry, creating new opportunities and challenges for agents.
If you’re looking to become a better insurance agent, here are three key goals, or Rocks, you can set to up your game in 2020.
Rock 1: Stay educated on the industry
When you hear “Stay educated,” it may conjure up images of three-day conferences or late-night courses. But continuing your education doesn’t always have to mean big actions. Simply staying up to date by reading industry news sources during your morning coffee or lunch break can make a big difference.
Two critical topics to stay educated on are…
- Industry regulations. New regulations and laws are rolling out to ensure the privacy and security of clients’ information in the digital era. Regulations like the Insurance Data Security Model Law from the NAIC are being widely implemented and can have a significant impact on how you do business. It’s important to keep up with regulations, both in your state and nationally, so that you can proactively plan for changes rather than reacting to them.
- New concepts & trends. The insurance field is being flooded with tons of new product concepts, many introduced from tech companies and insurtech startups. Understanding what new ideas and products are out there will help you better understand what you’re competing against or even spark you to adopt fresh ideas or tools that will boost your business.
Rock 2: Incorporate the right tech into your practice
Now is also an excellent time to review what technology you’re using, what’s currently on the market, and what tools or combination of tools will work best for your business. There are digital platforms to assist with practically every facet of an insurance agent’s job, including tools for CRM, client communication and policy management.
Many insurance agents have already incorporated sales management tools into their practice, but new digital platforms are expanding the wealth and quality of service that agents can provide to clients while also streamlining processes on the backend. Platforms like Link by LegacyShield, for instance, are designed to empower insurance advisors through multiple functionalities. The platform acts as a secure file sharing and storage platform for policy documents and financial information, a digital workspace for agents to connect and collaborate with their clients, and a lead-generation source that can grow sales.
Remember to take a bird’s-eye view of your business when considering technology. Companies often adopt tech in a piecemeal fashion. They adopt a new tool as the need arises, and, after a while, they may have a variety of disparate tools that don’t play well together. Look for a comprehensive and cohesive tech strategy to better your practice in 2020 and beyond.
Rock 3: Brush up your skills & knowledge
While looking to the future is always important, it never hurts to refresh the classic skills and knowhow you need to successfully sell policies as an insurance agent. That includes your field underwriting skills as well as your knowledge of which risks are best for which carriers.
Meeting with a knowledgeable general agent is a great way to accomplish this. Or you can simply do your own research on each carrier’s underwriting guides. For instance, some carriers allow positive nicotine with anything other than cigarettes as a non-smoker, and auto insurers differ on how forgiving they are on driving records. These details can help you easily find the best solutions for your clients.
In the insurance industry, how we sell may be changing, but the core skills remain the same. Delivering the right solution to your client, and doing so with high-quality customer service, will always be the key to being a great insurance agent.
To learn more about what you can do to better yourself as an insurance agent, check out our blog, “Unlocking Success for Insurance Agents.”