An Insurance Agent’s Guide to Working a Room
In the previous blog post I discussed the importance of networking. This month’s Agent’s Sales Journal features an article that helps me reinforce that point.
In the article “An Insurance Agent’s Guide to Working a Room”, writer Lin Grensing-Pophal offers four tips we all need to remember during our next networking event.
1) Start with the end in mind. There’s typically a business reason we attend conferences, seminars and other networking events. We don’t go just to socialize or enjoy the tasty hors d’oeuvres, but to make connections and hopefully create a few mutually beneficial relationships. With that said, before heading off to your next networking mixer, think about what you want to accomplish from the event. By setting a few goals and knowing what you want out of the event, you will be able to determine whether or not that event or group of people add value to what you’re trying to accomplish.
2) Listening well. If you’re a good listener, people will typically be more inclined to listen to what you have to say. Just remember to make eye contact and really listen to what the person is saying. Don’t continually look past the person as she or he is speaking. This can come across as rude and make it seem as if you’re looking for the next person to speak with. Good questions to ask? “What brings you to this event?”, “What do you do?”, “Where are you from?”, “What company do you work with?”, “Who is your company’s primary audience? etc.
3) Making connections. Are you a connector? As you’re speaking with someone, you may realize that you cannot think of a specific situation where this relationship will help you move forward with your goals, but the relationship itself is still valuable. Chances are you might be able to to connect this person with someone else in your network. It’s always nice to help those in your network. Good fortune comes to those who help others without expecting something in return. Remember the movie “Pay It Forward“? Great concept to put into regular practice.
4) Follow up. Successful insurance agents follow up and regularly reconnect with the contacts they make. It’s important to stay in front of prospects and potential business partners. Remember that relationships with your contacts may not turn into something beneficial immediately or even a few months down the road, but it’s still important to nurture that relationship.
Lastly, remember this acronym – S.H.E.E.: smile, handshake, eye contact and enthusiasm!
To read the full article and see more of Lin’s tips, click here.