How to Ditch Your Inner Perfectionist (and Why You Should)

Perfectionism, or calling yourself a “perfectionist” sounds noble except that it’s about the worst quality that you can have as an insurance agent (and arguably any other business for that matter). Unless you’re building airplanes, you should probably let go of this idea that someway, somehow, you’re going to get through your workday without making a single mistake. The facts of the matter: prospects are going to sign with other companies; your quotes are going to come in inexplicably higher; customers are going to feel like they were wronged when a claim doesn’t go their way. You cannot work every situation to its ideal outcome. By trying to do so, you’re actually setting yourself up for failure. Why? Because you end up making promises you can’t fulfill — to your customers, your employees, and yourself. With that said, it’s time to kill your inner perfectionist once and for all. Here’s how to make that happen.


Put customer systems in place, even if theyre unpolished

Find a way to systemize the procurement of information about your customer. Write down as many details as you can about a customer or insurance lead that might later be of some value. What you don’t know from initial contact, find out in subsequent conversations. Train your employees to do the same. Keep a database of customer information that might be useful in future marketing endeavors. Are you going to miss important details here, and collect useless data there? Yes. But you’ll get nothing of value if you just go through the motions and make no genuine effort at getting to know your customers.


Try new marketing tactics

Marketing has changed a great deal with the rise of technology, and it’s okay if you’re still not comfortable with the new outreach methods. It’s okay to still do what works for you, but don’t let that hold you back from trying (and failing) at things like email marketing, vetted lead purchasing, blogging, free seminars, and PPC advertising. Will some of these things yield poor results initially? Yes. But they will also give you a starting point and help you to better learn where future marketing is going. More importantly, they will help you improve your efforts the longer you stay at them and seek the guidance of a team that understands it.


Go on meetings with prospects even if youre not ready

This is especially true for newer agents, though it could also be the case for many of you veterans. Some days you’re just not going to be yourself. You’re going to feel mentally sluggish and unable to answer all the questions that a prospect fires your way. It’s okay. Go anyway. Then go on another meeting and another. The more that you feel the pressure, the better you will get at responding to it, even if that means falling on your face a time or two.


Learn from the failures of others

It is so important to have a community of fellow agents, who know exactly the types of things that you deal with on a daily basis. That’s why we recommend connecting with one another online in forums and on websites. Talk shop and share the good and the bad about your journey as an insurance agent. What you will find is that you’re hardly alone when it comes to missing the mark. You’re also likely to find new ways of successfully dealing with those failures when they do occur.


In Summary

Being a perfectionist may allow you to build a safer airplane, but for you and the vast majority of insurance agents and other business professionals, it’s not going to yield the results that you think it will. Don’t be a prisoner to unrealistic expectations. Try new things. Develop plans in your customer interactions, employee management, and marketing. Lastly, connect with a like-minded community that knows what you’re going through. With this plan in place, you can kill your inner perfectionist for good.

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