As with any job, being an insurance agent will have both advantages and disadvantages. There are plenty of reasons to love an insurance agent career, from benefits and pay to helping others in your community buy the products they truly need. However, there are also challenges any agent may face on a day-to-day basis.
Whether you are just diving into the insurance industry or are an experienced producer for your agency, it’s important to know the potential issues you may face so that you can learn how to overcome them. Below is a list of five common challenges for insurance agents and some tips on how to conquer them.
The Difficulty of Lead Generation
Although some larger agencies depend on marketing departments to generate leads and boost incoming phone calls, many others rely on agents to improve lead generation. This can be intimidating for new agents and tiresome for insurance vets who have been in the position for several years. After all, the methods of marketing and the audiences available nowadays can seem endless. How do you go about choosing the ones that will find quality sales leads?
First, take a look at your options for boosting insurance sales leads. Some ways, such as networking and building partnerships in your community, are more personal and involve getting face to face with new people on a regular basis. You can also explore tools and techniques on the web — and if you haven’t already, then it may be in your best interest to start here. From advertising on social media to email newsletters and podcasts, explore the options that may work best for your agency and clientele, then work on perfecting your skills at them rather than being below average at every marketing method.
Stress and Pressure to Sell
No matter what type of agency you work for, chances are there’s a level of stress or pressure to sell that comes with being a producer. Without producing sales or bringing in new business, you’ll likely make less money for yourself and hinder the growth opportunities for your agency. You’re also likely in this position, however, because a part of you thrives on competition and enjoys closing sales in a way that keeps customers coming back to you for questions and advice — a great skill to have in this industry.
So, what can you do to continue excelling while minimizing your stress? The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has several ideas for you to test out. Some people find it helpful to take breaks and practice yoga or meditation, while others enjoy working on a healthy lifestyle, such as eating right, limiting alcohol consumption, and exercising.
Networking and Marketing is Time Consuming
Even more so than other careers, being a successful insurance agent can greatly depend on how well you network with others in your community and how well you market yourself and your agency. Think about it: what is the best way to generate leads and spread awareness about your company? There’s quite possibly no better way than through networking and marketing.
But if you’re working a normal 40-hour work week and spending nearly all of your time closing sales and answering questions for your customers, chances are you don’t have enough time (nor the energy) to attend networking events or create quality advertising. So what do you do about it? There are a few different solutions to this challenge.
First, you can adjust your schedule and manage your time in a way that sets aside a few hours each week for you to spend networking and marketing. After all, if you don’t dedicate the time at all, how will you continue to generate leads in the first place? To help you get started, take a look at a few social media management platforms such as Buffer or Hootsuite, which allow you to schedule posts in advance. You can even download a free template for a social media calendar from Hubspot. Some other methods may involve hiring others to do it for you, whether contracted to a freelance marketer or hiring another full-time employee at your agency to assist with all of your marketing needs.
Many industries are required to follow state and federal regulations, and the insurance industry is no different. As an insurance agent, it is in your best interest to stay on top of updates affecting your area and understand how this may affect your customers’ policies. One of the challenging parts of following regulations isn’t just learning about each law, but also helping your customers to understand the reasoning behind some of the regulations that may affect them. Be sure you know the laws well enough yourself before trying to answer questions your customers ask you.
Consumers Don’t Fully Understand Insurance
Insurance is an understandably complex field at times, so it’s no surprise that many consumers have misconceptions or questions regarding their insurance policies and coverage options. Although this may make your job challenging, it also presents the opportunity to teach them and in return, gain loyal customers. Over time, you may learn which parts are more often confusing for your policyholders. Let these situations be a chance to practice your approach to providing helpful information in a way that allows customers to see you as an educational resource and someone they can trust.
Learn More About ASI
ASI is one of the largest homeowners insurance carriers in the United States. Through a network of independent agents, the company offers home, condo, renters, dwelling fire and flood insurance in over half the country, with plans to cover the rest by 2017. Find out more at americanstrategic.com.