21 Insurance Agent Resolutions for the New Year
The New Year is here! It may have taken a little time, but we’ve done what every insurance agent should be doing (or should have already done by now) and developed a set of professional resolutions to make 2016 better than anything that has come before it.
In some cases, these insurance agent resolutions are nothing new. You’ve heard them before probably, but you’ll be hearing them again because they are so very important to your ongoing success. In other cases, you’ll be looking at completely new advice.
It’s your job to prioritize, customize, and keep up with your progress as we go further into the year. Let’s get started!
1. Build a better website
By now, you should know how important it is to have an active website, and hopefully you’re well on your way. Unfortunately, a 2014 Inc piece reveals the startling reality that more than half of small businesses were doing without! As an insurance agent, you have to treat your operation like a small business, so get online if you haven’t already!
2. Listen to yourself
You will win some and lose some as an insurance agent. Not every prospect will become a highly qualified lead, and not every highly qualified lead will become a customer. That said, it’s important to know how you’re doing — the good, the bad, and the ugly — and there is no better way than to actually listen to yourself. Record your sales presentations and other interactions with customers. Practice in front of a mirror. Get a sense for how they see you, and you’ll be able to put your best foot forward.
3. Study data
If you’re not using big data to enhance your business, what are you waiting for? Your customers tell you things about themselves whether filling out a form/questionnaire or sitting in a chair across from you. Study the data you have on them to tailor your services more to fit their needs; and if you don’t have the data to study, then start getting it now.
4. Let go
Constant growth should be a priority for your business, and to achieve it, you’re going to need help from others. When you feel like you’re just getting your footing, it can seem scary to bring others on board. While you shouldn’t rush into anything, you should also know that some tasks will take away from your core sales efforts. When this happens, it’s time to let go of some responsibilities and entrust others with them, no matter how small.
5. Get a creative outlet
The AHealthierMichigan website attests that every single person needs a creative outlet, and insurance agents are no exception. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your job is to take a step away from it and do something that feeds your soul. There are certainly benefits to this as the website points out. Among those perks? “A break from anxiety and stress … A healthier body and mind … [and] A chance to meet new people.” We’re betting you can see how such benefits would be great for an insurance salesperson.
6. Develop positive morning routines
The first 80-or-so minutes of your day are vital to successfully finishing the rest of it. Think of it like driving your car on a cold day. If you step outside, get behind the wheel, and start driving immediately, you’re going to be miserable.
In addition to freezing, you’re going to have trouble seeing through the windshield frost. The car isn’t going to run as smoothly either until the engine warms up. But if you go outside, turn on the car and the defroster and give it 10 minutes to heat up while waiting inside with a cup of Joe, you’ll be able to get behind the wheel and go for a much smoother experience.
Your first 80 minutes are your chance to warm up the engine and melt the frost from your brain. The way you do that, is to organize and plan your day, then prime the pump with some coffee or breakfast or whatever it takes you to prime the pump.
A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. You’ll need both for this job, and it’s not as difficult as you think to find time for it. For starters, you’re no longer training for a Friday night football or basketball game like you may have been in high school.
You don’t need to be a power lifter or a marathon runner — or more importantly, train like one — to be in good shape.
Start counting your calories and burning what you can through walking. If you can fit in a more intensive exercise, even better! With tracking and discipline, you can lose weight quicker than you think, and that will lead to feeling better about a lot of things.
8. Eliminate excuses
Excuses do nothing but force you to dwell on the things you can’t change. Look forward instead of back. Let failures stay where they are. Don’t think about what might have been. Think about where you can go from here.
9. Don’t let stumbles trip you up
Continuing with the No. 8 thought, be as quick as you can at recognizing failures. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be able to do something about them!
10. Make plans for the short, mid, and long terms
Whenever you start the year, you should have a sense of how much money you would like to make, what that will entail per month, week, and day. How much revenue will you need to generate? What is your prospect-to-customer conversion ratio? How many meetings will you need to take/policies will you need to sell to achieve your goals? When you know these details, it’s easier to have monthly, weekly, and daily action plans that produce results.
- 11. Study the industry
Much of the legalities that most affect an insurance agent happen at the state level, though there are some directives from the federal level that you should pay attention to as well.
An insurance agent, who isn’t paying attention to the trends in his industry, is like a man driving with a blindfold on. Don’t be that person.
12. Show up
CNBC’s Jim Cramer has experienced his share of failures, including a brutal interview with Jon Stewart in which the former host of The Daily Show skewered him for his reporting and a Bear Sterns recommendation.
Cramer, in a recent interview on the Business Insider website, acknowledges that he “got a beatdown” from Stewart, but had some advice that has kept him going for close to 7 years afterward — show up.
“How do you beat people who want to take you down? You show up, and you do your d*** job. Every. Single. Day.”
Love Cramer or hate him, he’s got a point. Some days it’s going to be hard to win. But you have to show up and fight through those losses if you ever expect to win again.
13. Cultivate multiple lead generation tools
At HometownQuotes, we understand what insurance agents go through and what they’re looking for in online leads. That’s why we work very hard to ensure the types of leads that will give you the best chance at positive results.
However, we also encourage you to pursue multiple lead generation tools, namely being a part of your community, getting referrals, and having a viable online marketing strategy. Multiple lead generation tools will lead to multiple revenue streams, and that’s a good thing.
14. Actively listen
Active listening is an advanced strategy in which you take what your customer is telling you and ask questions or make connections that might help you learn more about what they need — even what they may not be telling you at the time.
Listen to what your customers have to say and try to reconcile what they want with what they need. If you can give them what they need before they think to ask for it, you have a customer for life.
15. Engage clients more
Admit it. Many of your clients get away from you when it comes to setting up those annual policy reviews. Insurance customers often want to buy their policies and forget about them. That’s why it is so difficult to get follow-ups.
However, follow-ups are where you can really grow your revenue while offering them the protection needed to fill the gaps in their outdated coverages.
Life changes from year-to-year, and your customers need to stay engaged if they hope to remain protected. Resolve to get more of them in your office or on the phone for policy reviews in 2016. You won’t be sorry, and neither will they.
16. Embrace social media
Social media may not be a direct revenue generating tool, but it’s a great way to stay in touch with your existing customers while connecting with prospects and learning more about their lives. It’s also a cheap and easy way to grow your online brand.
17. Get mobile
Many insurance agents, who are just starting to build a brand online, need to be thinking about how their sites appear on mobile devices. That’s where more than half of searches are being conducted, and the number is only going to get bigger in the years to come.
18. Clarify your vision
The vision for your business should be as clear as you can possibly make it. It’s good for you, your company, and your employees, as a study by University of Maryland Professors J. Robert Baum and Edwin Locke indicates.
Their findings show that “companies with vision statements that were communicated to employees had higher revenue growth over a 6-year period than those without vision statements,” ChiefExecutive.net reports.
The site continued.
“Other studies have found that business units with a leader who communicates a vision have higher productivity and lower project costs than units with leader who did not communicate a vision.”
19. Turn that vision into an action plan
Visions are only as good as the reality you make of them. That means turning each one into individual action plans. What specific steps will you need to take to achieve the greater whole? This, too, will help you map your workday in the most productive manner possible.
20. Get involved in the community
Most of an insurance agent’s customers will be living within a few miles of his office. That’s why it is so important to get out into the community. Make your name available to local business reporters. Get on local radio and TV. Sponsor fundraisers. Join your chamber of commerce and meet others.
21. Explore different modes of monetization
Of course, the number one method of making money as an insurance agent will be the policies that you sell. But you might also wish to explore other modes of monetization that can open up by building a brand name, establishing expertise, and staying visible.
Give seminars, write books, get someone to sponsor your blog … every little bit helps. And even if you don’t charge for informational products or sessions with the public, you can harness their power to pick up new highly qualified insurance leads. So rule nothing out.
Are you ready for the New Year? Which of the insurance agent resolutions above would you like to employ, and which ones did we leave off the list? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.