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young insurance agents

A Young Insurance Agents Guide to Success

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 as a young insurance agent 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.

Acknowledge the (young) Elephant in the Room


elephant in the roomWhen 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.

Focus on Your Education


focus on educationEnthusiasm 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.

Present yourself Professionally


present yourself professionallyBecause you’re young(ish) you may have some prospects who question your experience and capabilities.

There are ways to overcome this, and one big way is by simply presenting yourself professionally.

To be sure you are making a professional impression, keep these things in mind:

Dress to gain the respect of your prospect

This will differ depending on your client base, but considering the senior insurance market as an example, you would likely want to dress on the conservative side.

Dress standards have relaxed over the years but you should still consider what your clients might think when they meet you for the first time.

Remember, you may have to overcompensate for a misconception your prospects have about your seeming lack of experience.

You will need to try a little harder at first to present yourself as professional because of this.

If you have 20 years’ experience and know the market like the back of your hand you can dress casual and still impress with your knowledge.

Until you have the leverage of decades of experience to prove your value in your customers eye, you need to look the part.

We will include being well groomed in this section as well. You can be yourself, but also consider how you would be received by your prospects.

Understand that your choices may affect your ability to do business.

This may sound rather old fashioned or even judgmental, and maybe you’re correct. Nevertheless, if you want to serve a population while establishing your credibility, you will need to play in their world.

Don’t let something simple like your wardrobe prevent you from getting customers and building your base successfully.

Be well prepared and organized

Nothing says unprofessional like being disorganized or unprepared.

It is important to do your homework before meeting with a prospect. You may not have a lot to go on, but use every piece of information you have on your prospect to prepare for your call or meeting.

Do your best to anticipate questions and create your own questions and needs assessment before meeting with them.

Take notes and keep them neatly organized. You don’t want to be fumbling around looking for information when you need it.

Much like the way you dress, you need to overcome the perception of being inexperienced by being the most prepared and organized person they’ve ever worked with.

Behave professionally

It goes without saying but still bears repeating. Your interaction with your prospect should represent you as the professional you are.

Even if your prospect is laid back and talking about the great time he and his wife had recently at South by Southwest, it’s not the time or place to tell them about how you were there in a Viking cosplay outfit drinking out of a skull mug for 2 days.

Keep your stories simple, appropriate and professional. You can be real while being selective about what you talk about and how you say it.

Although you want to greet your prospect with respect, you should see yourself as an equal, regardless of the age difference.

Stay in the mindset that you are just 2 adults having a conversation.

Of course, you will always need to be on time for every meeting and meet the deadline of every promise you make.

Follow through is incredibly important. Tell your prospect what they can expect from you and follow through on all your promises without fail.

Embrace the Power of Social Media

embrace the power of social mediaIf 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.

Simply record yourself giving some instruction or educating your audience about what they need to know about their coverage on a regular basis.

Keep it simple, many people over complicate this and never get started. Your videos can be a minute to a few minutes long and simply give helpful information that your audience can use.

Sit outside and record yourself sharing some useful piece of information. You won’t need a fancy setup or additional lighting if you’re outdoors. Use your iPhone to get started, but just get started.

You’ll be surprised how many people will begin to appreciate your information once you start sharing.

In this way you can set yourself apart as an expert in your field. This can help you not only overcome the stereotype of being inexperienced, but bring you a larger audience that will continue to grow as long as you continue to serve them great information.

Ask About Your Prospects Kids or Grand kids

ask about your prospects kidsIf 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.

Learn to be a Good Listener

learn to be a good listenerBeing 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.

The best listeners:

  • Make the interaction a two-way conversation and try to make it an enjoyable experience for the other party.

  • Remove all distractions from the conversation, like phones or other devices, and focus on the other person.

  • Seek to understand deeply what the other person is trying to convey, and what problem needs to be solved.

  • Acknowledge and empathize with the emotions and feelings of the other person.

  • Honestly care about the person they are with and the problem they are trying to solve.

  • Ask clarifying questions to help bring insight to the issue being discussed.

  • Wait until the other person is completely done sharing their information before attempting to offer a solution.

  • It’s important to be able to zero in on what the other person is getting at without wandering or changing the subject. The more you talk about what isn’t important, the more they know how little you’re listening.

  • Remember, the right question at the right time will build trust and further the conversation.

  • By asking the right questions and listening intently you will not only understand your prospects better, but establish your expertise, and consequently - make more sales.

Choosing the Right Plans to Sell

choose the right products to sellThis 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.

Network with the Population You Serve

network with the population you serveBeing 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.

You're Building a Business, Think Long Term

think long termWhen 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.

Career Outlook

career outlookFor 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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