8 Productivity Hacks for Insurance Agents
Insurance agents don’t work “normal” jobs. This is a fact that has both its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, most do not operate to the whims of a 9-to-5 clock with a boss constantly standing over their shoulders. On the other, they live and die based on performance, and it takes a lot of focus and can-do spirit to deliver.
If you are considering going into the profession or you’re in it but feel overwhelmed, here are 8 productivity hacks that promise to set you on the right path.
1. Give yourself 80 minutes to start the day
Different analysts may vary in the exact number, but most agree that to have a truly productive day you need time to plan and get your brain to a place where it will be at its most efficient.
By-and-large, most independent professionals need around 80 minutes to cover this ground. For Tim Ferriss, author of the bestseller The 4-Hour Workweek, it’s “80 to 90 minutes,” and it’s best served by having that part of the day “vary as little as possible,” he said in comments reported by The Week.
What you do with that time is entirely up to you. Some prefer to stock their first 80 minutes with coffee, journaling, meditation, reading, or catching up on the news. As a general rule, find what takes you to that special place where you feel prepared for the tasks and challenges ahead and reserve that 80-minute time period for those activities.
2. Stay away from your devices
While using your iPhone or tablet or computer may be necessary for your job, try not to rely too heavily on these things when it comes to the planning and execution of your to-do list. Why’s that, you ask? A new study called The brain in your pocket: evidence that smartphones are used to supplant thinking — reported here by The New Daily — shows “the device that we love so much is making our brains lazy, while a second survey says we are more intimate with our mobiles than our closest relatives.”
It stands to reason that if mobile devices really are causing us to be “dumber,” then we probably shouldn’t be using them during the planning and creative stages of our workday. When thinking about the things you have to do and strategizing, consider breaking away from your devices and using a little good old-fashioned pen and paper.
3. Set income milestones
Money may not make the world go round, but it certainly keeps your life on track. As an insurance agent — or really as any non-traditional professional — you can’t afford to put this on the back burner.
One thing that’s helpful for jolting your productivity is to set income milestones. Know how much money it takes to sustain your lifestyle. Figure out what it will take to make that amount of money each month, week, and day. Anything north of that figure can be earmarked for retirement, savings, or fun.
Get those milestones down on paper and memorize them. They will be important for the next hack.
4. Know your percentages
How many leads does it take to develop a highly qualified prospect? How many of those prospects are converted to customers? What are your lead-to-customer and lead-to-prospect conversion rates? The more you know about your data, the easier it becomes to pack your day with meaningful work and the easier it becomes to feel motivated about each contact.
5. Play to your strengths
Are you better at face-to-face meetings or phone powwows? Do you know how to market yourself online? What is it your existing customers like or respect about you? What won them over?
You should always be honing your skills and building a firm foundation on each of the tactics that you employ, but try to strike while your irons are hot. Determine what it is that you do really well, and guide your business down that path whenever necessary.
6. Don’t overpack your day
Successful insurance agents never want for work. There is always plenty to do, whether that means generating new leads, meeting with prospects, signing new business, or helping your existing clients stay ahead of their insurance needs.
That said, the worst thing you can do for your productivity is load up the to-do list with 10 or 15 different things there isn’t a snowball’s chance of completing. Generally, you should think about focusing on one big item each day. Get that done and see what time you have left for the odds and ends.
7. Network with others
Insurance agents thrive on relationship marketing. With so many industries still localized, it is advisable to get out there and meet the people with whom you share your community.
Get to know business owners and the people, who work for them. Learn what is important to these people as individuals and as members of the community. Be community-minded in how you present your business. Sponsor school events or publicly acknowledge clients’ accomplishments. Building goodwill gives you the opportunity to establish a strong network from which to draw referrals.
8. Pour time and resources into automation
There are a variety of tasks that you’re just not going to have time for as you get further into your career as an insurance agent. Building a website, maintaining a mailing list, data entry, content creation — none of these items have an immediate revenue generating effect, and because of that, they can be delayed and delayed and delayed until you’re manually working yourself to death.
Take time to outsource the things that you can. If budget is an issue, start with one piece and make sure it’s fully implemented and affordable before moving onto another. When it comes to the life of an insurance agent, every little bit helps when it comes to freeing up your time for the tasks that matter most.
Since you have chosen the insurance agent profession, we hope that you have little trouble self-motivating. But if you need the extra help, make sure that you put these productivity hacks to use as soon as possible. Best of luck!