Insurance Agent Training: How to Support New Hires

Insurance Agent Training: How to Support New Hires

Insurance Agent Training: How to Support New Hires
By 
Nick Gallo
Aug 18, 2022
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Insurance agents need a wide range of skills to effectively perform their duties. While most naturally refine their abilities on the job, insurance agent training can develop their core competencies more rapidly.

The return on investment from insurance agent training is especially significant with new hires, where the additional support helps get them up to speed sooner and minimize turnover.

Let’s further explore the benefits of insurance agent training along with the elements of successful programs.

Why is Insurance Agent Training Important?

Insurance agent training equips trainees with skills that boost their overall sales performance. It primarily involves teaching them to secure clients, match clients with insurance products that meet their needs, and sell policies.

Helping new hires master that fundamental framework is critical for transforming them into productive team members. The more effective your insurance agent training is at imparting those skillsets, the more your agency stands to gain.

In addition to boosting agency sales, insurance agent training helps new hires adapt to their roles. For example, they might find it nerve-racking to communicate with clients under pressure, but training can make them feel more confident.

How Insurance Agent Training Improves Sales

Developing sales skills is one of the most important functions of insurance agent training. It helps agents hone their ability to generate leads, build rapport, and close deals.

Because insurance agents are such an integral part of the sales process, improving their skills in any of those areas can directly increase revenue. Even marginal improvements boost sales significantly when they occur at scale.

For example, an insurance agency employs 100 agents, each averaging $10,000 in monthly sales. The agency implements a training program on email marketing for insurance agents and virtual sales negotiation.

Subsequently, each agent generates more leads per month and closes a higher percentage of them, raising monthly sales by 3%. That translates to a $360,000 increase in annual revenue.

Elements of a Successful Insurance Agent Training

Successful insurance agent training involves meaningful skills that empower trainees and increase their overall sales performance. However, training done poorly wastes the agency’s capital and their agents’ time.

Here are some elements of successful insurance agent training (or education requirements) to help you implement an effective program.

Carrier Training

Developing sales skills is an essential part of insurance agent training, but it’s not sufficient to turn new hires into high-producing members of your team. Agents must also be well-versed in the carriers they work with and their products.

Successful carrier training helps agents answer client questions confidently and match them with appropriate policies. For example, they should be able to recite coverage limits, typical insurance policy premiums, and recent successful placements.

Mentorship

Partnering new hires with experienced agents is one of the most effective training techniques. It gives new hires access to invaluable one-on-one coaching sessions that facilitate more in-depth learning than generic content can provide.

In addition, structured mentorship helps foster better relationships within the agency, improving retention rates, encouraging cooperation, and increasing job satisfaction for mentees and mentors.

On-Demand Learning

On-demand learning programs let agents access additional training content wherever and whenever they prefer. Not only does that let them set their own pace, but it allows them to look up answers to their questions in real-time. For example, a new hire needs to cold call a client lead and refer to a script in their online training materials

7 Tips for Training Insurance Agents

Agents use different skills in their day-to-day responsibilities within the insurance industry. Here are seven tips to help you focus your training. Consider these tips as your minimum training requirements.

1. Provide Specific Scripts

New hires tend to benefit much more from structure than experienced agents. Providing scripts for specific situations gives them a starting point for navigating various client interactions.

In addition to having agents practice delivering those scripts, have them analyze its construction and messaging. This practice helps them internalize the intent of the words rather than simply memorizing them.

2. Practice Selling

Theoretical study can only improve insurance salespeople’s negotiation abilities so far. It takes extensive practice under live conditions to develop the sales skills necessary to become a top-producing insurance agent.

Effective training programs should dedicate time to performing sales exercises. For example, have new hires “cold call” their more experienced mentors, then let the mentors give them feedback.

3. Demonstrate Relationship Building

Insurance is ultimately a relationship-based business. The highest-producing agents know how to build and maintain rapport to close sales, retain long-term clients, and generate referrals.

Insurance agent training should demonstrate and analyze these skills, then give trainees opportunities to practice them. While insurance education processes may evolve, relationships will continue to be valuable to agents.

4. Explore Goal Setting

Goal setting is one of the secret keys to success for insurance agents. For example, giving new hires achievable sales targets helps them avoid feeling disappointed when they fail to meet unrealistic expectations.

Insurance agent training should teach agents to set effective goals for themselves and provide them with specific objectives that facilitate the agency’s higher-level plans.

5. Teach Time Management

Effective time management is one of the soft skills amongst high-producing agents. Those who use their time efficiently accomplish their goals more quickly, reducing stress and the need to rush because of deadlines.

Include time management techniques in your insurance agent training, especially for new hires who may already have elevated stress levels and don’t have experience juggling their responsibilities.

6. Share Marketing Strategies

Practicing face-to-face and virtual selling skills can help agents close more deals, but learning to generate high-quality leads is just as important for increasing overall sales performance.

Training programs should explore insurance industry marketing strategies, such as Facebook ads, referral marketing, and guest podcasting.

7. Offer Technology Training

Insurance agents who learn to leverage technology effectively can multiply their efficiency. Software can help with everything from automating email marketing to streamlining the generation of bindable quotes. The best insurance professional development programs include an in-depth exploration of specific tools.

Invest in Insurance Agent Training

Training new hires effectively accelerates their transformation into contributing agents, promotes job satisfaction, and reduces turnover. Invest in your insurance agent training for new hires.

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