9 Qualities of Successful Insurance Agents

9 Qualities of Successful Insurance Agents

9 Qualities of Successful Insurance Agents
Tara Seboldt
Mar 24, 2022
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How do you measure success in your insurance business? Do you look at quarterly and annual earnings? 

Perhaps, you measure success by how many policies you’ve written or the number of new clients. No matter how you measure your accomplishments, there are certain qualities successful insurance agents share.

To be a successful agent, you need to have a combination of sales talent and customer service skills. This expertise bridges the gap between making a sale and keeping your customers happy. Let’s learn about the top nine qualities of successful insurance agents.

Skills of Successful Insurance Agents

To be successful in the insurance industry, you must match great service with great products. Level up your business and improve your client's satisfaction with these nine traits.

1. Communication

The average business owner doesn’t know a lot about insurance. As an agent, you need to explain complex insurance ideas to clients in a simple way. Good communication skills help potential customers understand their insurance needs and coverage options.

Being a good communicator also means taking the initiative to start conversations with prospects. You’ll need to have both verbal and nonverbal communication skills to move a prospect through the sales funnel.

Nonverbal communication includes your posture, gestures, and even the pace of your speech. Good nonverbal communication helps you appear confident when talking to clients.

Finally, good communication includes listening skills. You should listen to your client's concerns to understand their needs. That way, you can give them honest answers.

2. Customer Service

Your work isn’t done after a prospect becomes a client. You still must provide a great customer experience. Clients should feel happy and satisfied with your service.

How can you make sure the client experience is a good one? Start by investing in your customer service skills. Good customer service means being available when your clients need you and promptly meeting those needs. For example, you might answer a client’s question or help them make critical changes to their policy.

Customer service isn’t always hands-on. You can use insurance automation to set up a client self-service portal. Your clients can easily log into accounts and make changes, such as updating an address or paying their premiums. Clients love the convenience of self-service portals.

3. Persistence

As an insurance agent, you know things don’t always go smoothly. You may face rejection from a prospect or difficulty getting a client to commit to a policy. However, being a successful agent doesn’t come from getting lucky. More often than not, you’ll have to be persistent to make a sale.

Let’s say you contact a carpenter. At first, they’re unsure if they need insurance but are open to learning more. You follow up several times to help address their concerns and eventually they buy a policy. You need persistence to nurture leads.

Persistence doesn’t mean being overly pushy or demanding. Reaching out too often with a sales pitch can drive prospects away. The key to being persistent is learning about each prospect and coming back with an approach that will help turn a “no” into a “yes.”

4. Product Knowledge

Successful agents know their products. You can answer multiple questions from your clients. And if you don’t have an answer at a specific moment, you can get the answer and follow up with the client later.

Product knowledge also gives you the ability to recommend the right products. For instance, you have a janitorial client who needs general liability coverage. You know that they rely heavily on a mobile app to collect customer information and payments — and that the policy they want to buy doesn’t include cyber coverage. You explain that a policy that includes this coverage would offer better protection for their business.

Extensive knowledge of insurance products is especially helpful when writing non-traditional policies. While your clients may have some basic insurance knowledge, it’s unlikely that they understand the complexities of E&S insurance policies. Your product knowledge helps you be a trusted resource for your clients.

5. Sales

A big part of an agent’s success is tied to their sales skills. Honing your sales techniques helps you close more sales. 

Consider your recent successful sales. What did you do that helped make the sale easier? Were you quick to follow up with a lead? Did you nail a perfect cold call pitch? Looking at your past successes — and failures — can help you improve.

Say you have a meeting with a prospect who you know is shopping between agents. Getting a quote fast will be important for this client. You can use software like Pathpoint to help get a quote in minutes.

6. Delegation

Insurance agents wear a lot of different hats. It can be tempting to try to do all of the work. However, overloading yourself leads to mistakes.

You’ll want to rely on your team and partner agents to be successful. Delegating tasks to your team helps lower your burden. It also gives your team members a chance to grow their skills. As your team takes on more tasks, you can focus on bringing in more business.

Delegating also helps raise morale at your office. By letting your employees handle things on their own, they’ll feel more valuable to the insurance agency. This opportunity can improve overall productivity and make for a happier workplace.

7. Goal-Oriented

Setting and meeting goals will help you succeed as an insurance agent. Having a specific goal, such as a quarterly sales number, helps you stay on task. Goal deadlines can improve your motivation and, in turn, make your business more successful. 

Without a set of goals, you’re less likely to be driven to succeed. Your business may suffer as a result. For example, you might not seek out as many prospects. At the end of the quarter, you end up making significantly fewer sales.

8. Relationship Building

The job of an insurance agent is more than selling policies. When you bring on a client, you agree to be their go-to resource for insurance questions. A good agent puts in the work to understand their client's goals and needs.

Relationship building includes getting to know your prospects. Showing a prospect that you’re more than a salesperson helps them feel comfortable with you. They’re more likely to ask questions or share concerns.

Strong client-agent relationships also often help your business grow. Satisfied clients are more likely to provide referrals when you ask for them. 

9. Flexibility

Every day brings a new challenge as an insurance agent. Some days you might be making sales calls, while other days you’re helping a client through the claims process. That’s why being flexible is one of the most important traits of successful insurance agents. You need to pivot your skills to match specific tasks.

Let’s say you planned to spend a day reaching out to prospects. You’re in a sales mindset and ready to make a great pitch. You get a phone call from an accounting firm. They need to file a cyber insurance claim after an employee accidentally clicked on a phishing email, and now the business is worried about being sued for a data breach. Flexibility will help you switch from your sales hat to a customer service hat.

Are You a Successful Insurance Agent?

Every agent can benefit from improving their skills. Use this list of successful qualities to analyze your performance.

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