Hello fellow agents and prospective insurance agents! I would like to talk about a topic that puzzled me for some time in my early years of hiring and training new hires to become successful insurance agents.
We were always taught that no matter what training techniques you used the success ratio would only get as high as 20%. Meaning, you could count on 2 out of 10 succeeding long term. The same 80/20 ratio seems to hold true when you analyze where most of the sales are coming from in most sales organizations. I’m sure you have heard this phrase before “20% of the agents do 80% of the sales”. Well after 20 years of meeting and talking with principals of top MGA Insurance Agencies around the country that ratio still seems to ring true. So, why is it that our Industry experts cannot seem to nail down a training system that improves the success ratio of new hires coming into our industry?
And, why can’t we as an industry get more sales from a bigger percentage of the insurance agents? Well, I am going to attempt to answer those two questions based on my experience of training and studying the work habits of many successful agents as well as agents that have failed over the years.
What I discovered early on was that there wasn’t enough emphasis or training put on prospecting and marketing. Many organizations have good sales training. But most however, offer little to no prospecting and marketing training. To survive in our business you must master the prospecting game and learn how to market yourself. Get others coming to you for your products. I believe the business is 70-80% prospecting and marketing and 20-30% selling. Most agents leave the business because they do not have enough people to sell their products to, not because they can’t make sales.
The most successful insurance agents have multiple prospecting methods they use consistently. Several examples would be putting out “Take Ones” at different business locations, dropping off Flyers to business owners, asking for referrals, using “No Cost Offer” Giveaways, using a technique we use to call “Clover Leafing” from business to business.
Several Marketing examples might include running a yellow page add, newspaper inserts, posting signs on intersection telephone polls (were the county ordinances allow it), post card mailings, pre-approach letters, purchasing telemarketing or internet leads, although I believe lead purchasing is overrated and to many agents fall into the lead dependent trap.
Over the years we have tried many different methods for increasing agent success ratios. If your not where you want to be in sales or you are just getting started, you must find an Agency that will be willing and able to train you on Prospecting and Marketing as well as offer Insurance Sales and Product training. What we have found to be critical is that you develop a minimum of four or five prospecting techniques that fit their unique style and personality. Find techniques that you enjoy doing. You are more likely to be consistent with your activity if you enjoy what you’re doing. Then when the prospecting methods start producing results you must set aside a percentage of your commission to reinvest in your marketing programs.
Remember the old adage “It takes money to make money” Be cautious of the Agencies that advertise free leads. Remember, nothing is free, your making a sacrifice somewhere for them to cover their lead costs.