On top of offering bountiful career opportunities and room for growth, the insurance industry is a great opportunity for those eager to make a difference in the lives of others. But while many fresh faces enter the insurance agency each year, eager to fast track their careers, lots of them will fail. It’s important to remember that failures aren’t always bad. Mistakes happen and sometimes teach us the most valuable lessons. But, with a little foresight, you can avoid these common mistakes new insurance agents make and get your career started on the right foot.
Mistake No. 1: Setting unrealistic goals and expectations
Setting goals is beneficial in any industry — and especially in the insurance industry. But setting unrealistic goals? Not so much. Embarking on your new career as an insurance agent is undoubtedly an exciting time in your life, but remembering that successful doesn’t happen overnight is key.
Take a look at the most successful insurance agents you know. They’re the ones who have put in years (or decades) or time, effort and resources. They’re also the ones who have experienced their fair share of failures. As a new insurance agent, you’re going to make mistakes. But rather than beat yourself up over it and throw in the towel, use each experiment to learn and grow. One of the best things you can do as a new insurance agent is look at the big picture, but don’t forget about the small details. Set realistic goals, such as making a list of things you want to accomplish in the next year — rather than what you want to accomplish overall in your career. Start small. Cross each goal off one by one and before you know it, those baby steps will turn into giant leaps.
Mistake No. 2: Lacking the right education, training and mentorship
One of the biggest mistakes a new insurance agent can make is thinking that learning stops after you complete school. No matter how high your GPA was throughout college or how well you performed on your exit exams, all insurance agents need additional and ongoing education, training and mentorship.
Unfortunately, many insurance agents are given a phone, computer and lead sheet and are expected to start their career with minimal direction. Don’t allow yourself to be set up for failure in a similar situation. Do as much as you can to further your education, whether it’s taking additional classes, attending seminars, or simply reading online resources while you drink your morning coffee. Everything you do to better yourself makes it easier for you to help potential clients, which will make you a better insurance agent as a result.
Mistake No. 3: Not managing your time well
As with most industries, a key part of success revolves around mastering time management. Studies show that the average employee wastes 2.1 hours every workday on workplace distractions. As a new agent learning the ins and outs of the industry, underutilizing your time is detrimental to your success. With this in mind, you can take small steps to reduce workplace distractions. Whether it’s disabling social media apps while you’re in the office or using an old-fashioned “Do Not Disturb” sign, these small efforts will help you make the most of your time.
With two extra hours a day, try dedicating that time to getting together with clients face to face. Research shows that the top sales performers spend up to 33 percent more time with their client each week than other agents.
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 more than 40 states. Find out more at AmericanStrategic.com.