4 People Skills You Need In An Introverted World
The word “social” used to mean that you went cruising through town with your friends. You met in the parking lot of the grocery store after hours until the police ran you off. You went out on dates and looked at each other instead of your phones. These days, “social,” it seems, means anything but! And while you don’t have to like it, you do need to know how you can survive and even thrive in this type of environment. Strangely enough, as an insurance agent, that means having the same tried-and-true people skills, but being able to translate them into an introverted world that isn’t always so welcoming. Today, we’re going to look at a few of these skills that you need to have even if it no longer seems like it. Let’s get started!
Skill 1: The gift of outreach
Even if you can’t seem to meet actual people in the real world and you feel like you’re spending half your time online, you still need the ability to reach out and break the ice in a meaningful way. Think about this as you secure your next leads. How can you contact your prospect in a way that stands out from how everyone else is doing it? How can you do so in a way that puts the person at ease, earns their trust, establishes your expertise, or gives them some incentive to hear what you have to say? What works for someone else may not work for you, but you do need to be thinking about what your answers are to these questions and doing your best to create an approach that tackles each category. Also, context will factor in significantly here. If you’re getting a random lead from the Internet that hasn’t been vetted as well as it should be, then you could be approaching a disinterested party. If you opt for a service like HQ that does vet its leads, then you can have a lot more confidence in your approach.
Skill 2: Strong written and verbal communication
You may not see much of your prospect in-person, so it’s important that you have strong written communication skills, especially if they prefer doing the initial business through email or other similar means. Verbal communication will definitely factor in as you move closer to closing a lead, but it’s also important throughout because your written communications should have a conversational approach. This is especially true of millennials, who are quite adept at finding the cheapest price, but not so much when it comes to recognizing value of a long-term agent-client relationship.
Skill 3: A balance between being relaxed and creating urgency
To move anything forward with a prospect, you do need to have the ability to create a sense of urgency, but at the same time, you can no longer go in for the hard sell. Customers are too wise to it, and they’re not big fans. That means when you are creating a sense of urgency, you should make it about the customer’s needs and not your own. Don’t seem like you desperately need them to close with you. Instead educate them on the benefits of this policy or that policy. (That’s BENEFITS, not FEATURES.) If you can help your prospect see how buying coverage is actually improving his life, then you’ll never have to “sell” another day of your life.
Skill 4: The ability to read between the lines
This is a highly important skill because your insurance leads and customers won’t always tell you what they need. If they’re looking for auto insurance, they may not see the “need” for renters insurance or upping coverage limits on the interior contents of their home. But if they mention watching the big game on that new 70-inch television they purchased, they are telling you something they need even if they don’t realize it, and that’s more coverage. As an agent, you have to be nimble in the conversations you have with people online. You also have to be able to read between the lines in the things that your customers inadvertently reveal to you. For instance, if you’re friends with them on Facebook and notice they posted a picture of some valuable family memento that their grandmother left them in the will, there’s no harm in liking that post and mentioning it the next time you do a policy review.
While you may think that we’re more disconnected than we’ve ever been as a society, don’t be fooled. You need people skills more now than ever! By focusing on the four areas listed above, you’ll be able to capitalize on opportunities as they come, and find new ones you didn’t even realize were there!