Being a young insurance agent can be both challenging and intimidating at times. People may question your capabilities because of your age.
It’s important to remember that all the challenges you will face can be made easier by preparing for them ahead of time. Finding a mentor can really help with this process.
The goal is to learn as much as you can in the early years to flatten the learning curve.
Many insurance agents today are advancing in age and are beginning to retire, and the trend will continue.
This leaves a hole to be filled by new insurance agents. This is an opportunity for young independent insurance agents to step up and grab that opportunity.
Being an independent insurance agent can be a meaningful and rewarding profession. Don’t let temporary frustrations slow you down.
The tips in this article can help you deal with some of those challenges and help set you on a path of becoming a true professional.
When you’re talking to a senior about insurance there is no getting away from the fact that you may be far younger than your prospect and nowhere near the age of someone using that coverage.
This might make some young people feel a little uncomfortable, like they aren’t being taken seriously on the subject. This is usually just in your own head and is not the case from the stand point of your prospect.
If you present yourself professionally and are knowledgeable about your subject your prospective client will see you as the expert that you are.
There’s no need to try to ignore your age or pretend you’re older than you actually are. You’re much better off embracing your youth and the energetic enthusiasm that often comes with it.
The reality is, if you know what your talking about and how to guide your prospect through the process of discovering a coverage that fits their needs, then most people will trust you regardless of age.
If a prospect mentions your age you can easily respond by mentioning how your youth is a positive thing.
You can let them know that you are eager and always quick to learn, and as such you can quickly learn all about different types of coverage and understand their benefits fully.
Let your enthusiasm and passion color everything you do. This can help make up for any perceived lack of experience.
Your knowledge on the subject at hand will put your prospect at ease and dispel any myth of being “too young”.
This issue is usually just in the head of the young salesperson and not coming from the prospect.
If you take care of your prospects and do your best to inform and help them solve their problem, they will appreciate and respect you, regardless of your age.
Enthusiasm and Passion can get you started but you need to be educated about the carriers and plans you are selling.
If you want to be at the top of your game in the insurance industry you have to continuously be learning about the different carriers and plans.
When you first get started it will be like drinking from a fire-hose. You will be learning about sales, industry guidelines, insurance product knowledge and more.
You will have to bring a lot of motivation to the table in order to absorb that knowledge in a timely manner.
You can’t expect anyone else to stand over your shoulder and ensure you’re learning what you need to learn, it is completely in your hands.
You will be learning from your peers, industry events, online learning modules, books and any other source you can find that offers the information you need.
Don’t let this discourage you though. It is all worth it once you get a little experience and start building a base of clients.
Put the work in when you’re young, you won’t regret it. Within 5 years you will start to see proof that you are building a business you can be proud of.
Because your starting young, you will have a lot of time moving forward to continue building your book of business.
You will look back after 10 years and be extremely glad that you had the foresight to start putting in the work while you were young.
Because you’re young(ish) you may have some prospects who question your experience and capabilities.
Follow through is incredibly important. Tell your prospect what they can expect from you and follow through on all your promises without fail.
If you are under the age of 40 then technology has been a part of your life as long as you can remember.
This can be a big advantage when it comes to learning about social platforms and advertising on those platforms.
This is where you can separate yourself from your more experienced competitors, who may be a little more tech shy.
Being more comfortable and familiar with technology will allow you to quickly learn and master these tools to employ them for your benefit.
Many small businesses still aren’t using social media effectively. If you are willing to utilize social media to connect with your prospects and continue to provide value, you will find much more success than if you didn’t.
This should be encouraging. Take your time to understand content marketing and Facebook advertising and over time you will see your audience grow consistently.
If you are comfortable making videos then you can really take things to a new level.
Let’s say you are in the senior insurance market. People are turning 65 every day. This means there are always people out there looking for information related to Medicare, Medicare Supplements, and ancillary coverage.
If you’re young and don’t have kids, this may not be the first thing you think of, but don’t forget to ask about your prospects’ children or grandchildren. Understand when people have children it re-prioritizes their entire lives.
Everything they do, in some way, involves their children. It’s important to understand and recognize that if you are going to connect with them.
It seems like a simple thing, but when you don’t have kids you can easily look right past that fact and miss an opportunity.
As a matter of fact, if your dealing with the senior population, you may end up talking to the children of your prospects, as they often have questions or concerns about the coverage their parents need.
Being a good listener is one of those things everyone will say they understand, but a considerable number of sales people just aren’t doing it right.
Being a good listener doesn’t mean staying quiet. To the contrary, those that are considered the best listeners are people who periodically ask the right questions to guide a conversation in a way that promotes discovery and insight.
Good listeners know the subject well enough to be able to ask intelligent questions and then leave the appropriate space for your prospect to fully express themselves.
A poor listener waits to find errors in the other party’s logic so they can correct them and introduce their own idea.
That isn’t good listening. That’s called debating.
That type of salesperson is trying to convince his prospect of something, so the interaction quickly becomes a one-way conversation.
Being a good listener is a big part of learning how to communicate with your prospects.
This is more of a personal choice. What suits your personality? What areas are you most interested in? Do you know anyone successfully selling insurance who could mentor you?
There are a number of things to consider, but you will have to navigate that to find something that fits you.
There are pros and cons to selling different types of insurance, it really comes down to simply choosing one that you can see yourself talking about and helping people with regularly.
With over 10,000 people a day turning 65, we have identified the senior market as a great opportunity now, and for years to come.
At PSM, we have established a strong portfolio of companies and have introduced quoting and sales technology to help our agents get a jump-start to success. If you're having trouble deciding, our marketers are here to answer any questions you may have.
Being face to face with the population you serve is a must. It will not only get you seen and known by the people you meet, and the people they refer to you, it will give you insight into what they think is important and the questions they have.
If you aren’t comfortable being in front of large groups you can start small. Find small groups of your audience to get in front of.
Don’t avoid it because it is uncomfortable. It will get comfortable if you put yourself in that situation, so start while you are young.
If you are selling Medicare Supplements then you may want to give a talk to a group of seniors at a senior community, or offer a webinar online, making use of the email list you’ve generated by writing good content and collecting those leads.
However you do it is your preference, but you cannot easily replace the insight you get by speaking directly with your prospective customers.
Just make sure you’re being genuine when you reach out. If you can’t honestly feel like you want to help the people you’re working with, they will sense that.
It’s not the easiest thing to do well, but if you start while you are young you will become proficient at it and the benefits will become obvious.
It may help to join an organization like NAHU (National Association of Health Underwriters), in order to meet people in the industry and learn from your peers.
You will need to spend time with your audience as well as your peers in the industry in order to learn and grow as a professional.
When you decide to become an insurance agent you are accepting the fact that you are building a business.
You have to be willing to put in the work early to build your book of business, and this means the first 3-5 years may be lean years as far as your paycheck goes.
If you are in that early period and feeling a little frustrated, keep your head up. Think of the first few years as your investment in building your company.
When you do the work and put your head down for a few years, you will begin to see your book of business start to grow and understand the power of the residual income it can provide.
At some point down the road you may even make the decision to add agents to your downline, and build an even larger business.
Remind yourself that this isn’t a 9 to 5 job where you are working to make someone else money.
You are working for yourself and the work you do early in your career will bear fruit later on.
For those young agents in the trenches second guessing themselves, we have some statistics that should help you stay positive about your career.
Compared to many other occupations in the U.S., insurance agents have a growing, stable and financial sound employment outlook.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the position is expected to grow by at least 10.2% by 2029.
Position demand is expected to remain steady because insurance companies will always need a way to search for and obtain new customers.
This is especially true for independent insurance agents, who insurance companies are beginning to adopt more frequently to cut costs.
The average age of an independent insurance agent in 2020 is 59. Over the next 5 -10 years we are going to see a large number of agents retiring, creating a surge in demand for insurance agents.
Couple this with the fact that baby boomers are turning 65 at an explosive rate, and you have the ingredients of a stable and profitable career well into the foreseeable future.
This makes for an attractive and meaningful career with purpose, flexibility, autonomy and plenty of future opportunities.
A young agent doing all they can to learn the industry and embracing tools and technology to gain efficiencies, while utilizing social media to its fullest, will have a promising career outlook.
Along the way you may find yourself searching for an FMO to partner with. When you do, we are here to help you grow.
We’ve worked with many small independent agents that grew into mature and successful business owners, and I’m sure you will soon be on that list as well.
Best of luck in your journey.
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