7 Productive Behaviors for Insurance Agents
Staying productive can be a key difference maker for success stories when the going gets tough. Nowhere is this truer than in the world of selling insurance. There are going to be some days when the insurance leads are slow, the prospects aren’t buying, and your customers complain.
When things aren’t going smoothly, staying focused and active can help you weather the storm until calmer waters prevail. But just what form should your productivity take, and how can you make it worthwhile instead of busywork? Here are seven tips that should help.
1. Plan your day the night before
The best time to think about and plan your busy day to come isn’t the morning of or even at the end. It’s the night before after you’ve had some time to decompress from the pressures of your workday, but before pressures of a new day have the chance to take root. Each night before bed, think about breaking out a pad and paper or your favorite productivity app. Then begin itemizing everything that you need to get done for the day to come.
2. Set both short-term and long-term goals
Every insurance agent needs to be working with a big picture in mind. But getting to that big picture can’t usually be done with a single step. It requires a series of steps and tasks — pieces of a puzzle that help the whole image to take shape. Make sure you have both short- and long-term goals and that you know how the two coordinate together.
3. Have a daily quota of tasks
Many agents know exactly how many tasks they’re capable of getting done in a single day. They also know the importance of each one, and they’ve expertly weighted them, so expectations are realistic without becoming overwhelming.
Typically your quota of tasks will be made up of the things you have to do to complete short-term goals that each, in turn, build toward your long-term goal(s). Let’s say you have a long-term goal of making $5,000 a month from auto insurance alone within one year of today.
If you know each customer is worth an average of $50 in your pocket, then you know you’ll need to sign up 100 auto insurance customers to get the job done (another long-term goal).
If you have a prospect-to-customer conversion rate of 10%, then you would need to meet with 1,000 prospects in a year (around 83 per month, or less than 4 per workday, Monday through Friday) to arrive at your destination.
That 83 number becomes your short-term (monthly) goal. The four-per-workday number becomes four on your daily quota of tasks. Of course, these are just example numbers, and would change depending on your personal results, but you see the point of how long-term goals can be unpacked into short-term goals, which in turn can be converted into tasks and placed on a workload calendar.
4. Use time blocking to work through your day
Time blocking is an incredible tool for helping you get more done in less time. Examples: schedule those four prospect meetings together, one after the other, at a time of day when you’re at your best; devote one entire day per week to policy reviews; save administrative tasks for the last two hours of your day. Time blocking is closely related to batch processing. It may not always be possible for you to do this, but the more you can put it to work for you, the more you’ll get accomplished.
5. Take time off
Work-life integration is helpful to achieving success, but you do have to find time to shut it off and recharge your batteries. That’s why we suggest having a 5- or 6-day work routine, punctuated by periods of non-work-related activities at night. Often, time away from your workload can give you the mental energy to tackle problems that could be holding you up.
6. Make ‘easy’ calls first
While the inverted pyramid style of productivity works for many (i.e. tackling the most important tasks of the day first), some agents swear by getting a “running start” at things by making so-called “easy” calls first. The thought process is that an easy call makes you feel successful and gives you the confidence to tackle some of the more serious challenges waiting for you later in the day. This technique would likely vary success-wise depending on the personality type, but it could be worth a try.
7. Record your progress (or lack thereof)
Knowing how you did at the end of a day is the best preparation for whatever lies ahead. When you’re decompressing at night — perhaps while planning your day the night before (see No. 1) — write down some things you got right as well as some things you got wrong throughout the day or week. This can help you double-up as needed and make adjustments where you’re lagging.
Productivity can help you devise a plan that works, and it can be your ticket out of frustration. What are some productivity tips that you have found to be the most beneficial?