New Insurance Agent

Submitted by Insurance Maze on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 23:04

If you are relatively new to insurance, what one important factor caused you to make the final decision to enter the insurance career field?

Posted: 20 Feb 2008 01:37 Post Subject:

We have a few new ones here, hope they will come a long and answer your queries. :D :D

Posted: 20 Feb 2008 05:21 Post Subject: Its volume

Hi Insurance Maze,

In my opinion, more & more people are getting associated with the global insurance industry since it is the largest financial industry across the globe. As a result a large volume of services are getting attached to the industry with each passing day. More services, are generating more service levels, more quality parameters are set...& in turn it is demanding more & more people.
Regards,
Fatman

Posted: 20 Feb 2008 05:27 Post Subject:

Ofcrs...the huge buckets of cash which are rolling within the industry absorbed in the form of its numerous branches...what else do you think! :)

Posted: 20 Feb 2008 01:18 Post Subject:

Buckets of cash, I didn't know those were still in existence :)

Posted: 27 Mar 2008 02:13 Post Subject:

Quality of life, the ability to make my own schedule. I spend less time in a cubicle and more time with my wife, 4 year old, and newborn!

Posted: 02 May 2008 10:01 Post Subject:

Fatman, you are right the insurance industry is getting more diverse, which means that a professional insurance agent must spend more time studying new product designs.

Too many agents start selling before they actually understand the product.

As far as the "Buckets of Cash", I haven't seen those yet. I have made a good income in the insurance business, but I've earned every penny.

As I have always said, we earn what we think we're worth. If we let someone else put a "lid" on us, than that's our fault.

Maze

Posted: 03 May 2008 03:32 Post Subject:

It seemed to be the first logical step into the financial sector without a degree. I considered trying to go directly into a stock position, but with all the big brokerages having problems it seemed like bad timing. I hear Merrill Lynch is getting ready to layoff 10,000 which will further flood that market.

JS

Posted: 08 May 2008 09:32 Post Subject:

Don't expect too much here, this one's "on the house".
Seems like mother moderator feels that I have exhausted my limit on posts for today and maybe next week, as well.

This is a very important topic that has been allowed to die on the vine and got sentenced to the archives.

It is very important for people to understand why insurance agents are insurance agents and why some just don't make it.

I hope we can have more discussion on this topic.

Maze

Posted: 08 May 2008 11:06 Post Subject:

Insurance Maze wrote:

It is very important for people to understand why insurance agents are insurance agents and why some just don't make it.


Well, let's be honest regarding, "...why insurance agents are insurance agents..."

There is a one word answer.

Money.

That being said I'm always amused at attorneys, bankers or news media who always love to point out that agent commission is very lucrative.

Yes, indeed. The reason being... that's the rate of pay it takes to attract people to this industry. Of course if you're not willing to pay the price to be successful in this business your paycheck will be $0.00.

...and why some just don't make it.


Initial agent training and/or you're [the "new" agent is] nothing more than warm market prospecting bait for an established agency.

More on this later when I get back to this thread.

Posted: 09 May 2008 11:27 Post Subject:

Okay, where was I?
Oh yeah....why agents fail?

Now this is a no brainer.

They fail because they are NOT making continuous contacts with people who they suspect may need their product or services.

It's that simple.

Or, the new agent wants to reinvent the industry in their image.

It the words of smokin' Joe Gandolfo when he was a struggling brand new agent he came up with a brilliant idea to get himself out of his slump.

What did he do? Simple. He made a commitment that he was going to do exactly EVERYTHING his sales manager told him to do and if he fails it will be the manager's fault, not his.

Click on the link above...the rest is history!

Regarding "prospecting bait." Some agencies don't give a flying fudge sickle whether you personally are successful or not. YOU as the new agent are their prospecting raw meat with your warm market. Once you've exhausted/sold your mother, father, brother, sister, neighbors, best friends... then you're out of the business... and they haven't shown you a damn thing about actual insurance marketing.

But they did show you some marketing didn't they? New recruits are the life blood of the agency system. So if your sales manager is mostly interested in sharing an idea with 100 of your closest relatives, friends and neighbors you are more likely than not just being used as their prospecting tool.

Also, if you are entering the business and the first thing that comes out of the sales managers mouth are pejorative blanket condemnations of the entire financial services industry, "EXCEPT THEM" your are being recruited into one of the various financial services cults that are out there.

By the way, I'm talking about the Life, Health, Annuity, Long Term Care, Disability side of the business as I readily admit I don't even know how to spell P&C.

Posted: 09 May 2008 11:37 Post Subject:

I am a new agent selling P&C with a captive agency. I went from banking to this industry mainly for the money.
I am still in my first year and learning alot. I think it's important to find a company (GA) that is willing to support and train you through the whole process.
I think without that you are bound to fail. There are positives and negatives to working with a captive company:
I don't get to work from home and set my own hours
I do get to access and produce from the current book of business
Anyone else out there captive P&C? if so what are your thoughts?

Posted: 09 May 2008 12:17 Post Subject:

Well, let's be honest regarding, "...why insurance agents are insurance agents..." There is a one word answer. Money.



That goes without question. I would think that anyone seeking any career goal or just applying for a job at the local Career Center would be doing it mainly for the income.

I personally think that it takes a lot more than the desire to make an income to insure the success of a professional insurance agent. Most highly professional insurance agents with whom I have been associated have high ethical standards and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing they have done their very best in helping a business or family adequately prepare for the "known" and the "unknown".

A professional insurance agent must constantly study to stay up to date on the many changes within the insurance industry in order to render the most ethical and professional service to the general public.

A professional insurance agent must be on call 24/7. Many insurance customers who have built a close relationship with their insurance agent will rely on that agent for advice in many different situations that occur in their lives. When death comes at 2:00 a.m., the insurance agent will more than likely get a phone call by 5:00 a.m.

They fail because they are NOT making continuous contacts with people who they suspect may need their product or services.



That would be an obvious choice of why insurance agents fail, but why are they "not making continuous contacts"?

Many people who enter the insurance industry have the mis-guided impression that they can just sit on their can and make a lot of money.

Others have no idea of the intense training that must take place to prepare them to be a professional insurance agent and seem to feel than an insurance license guarantees their success.

Still others have poor time management skills. After all, most of the time we are on our own and can do just what we want to do. This is the one area that I think leads to most insurance agent failure.

This is a very rewarding, but tough business. It is not a business that a person would want to take a "stab" at, because one must be "all in" or "all out".

Maze

Posted: 09 May 2008 10:12 Post Subject:

That would be an obvious choice of why insurance agents fail, but why are they "not making continuous contacts"?



Got me?

If I owned, "Billy Bob Butt Crack's Lawn Mower Blade Sharpening Service" I think I would actively seek out people who cut their own grass with their own lawn mower who probably need my service twice per year.

I don't think I would bother contacting people who live in apartments or condominiums. Now if Billy Bob Butt Crack can figure out how to target market why can't insurance agents?

Could it be, phonephobia?

Posted: 10 May 2008 02:56 Post Subject:

When I started with a captive agency I was just pushed to get as many new policies written as possible without knowing to stay in touch with my clients. My retention rate after 8 months was lousy. I should have known better than that. My previous career in retail management taught me that it is much easier and inexpensive to keep a customer than it is to get a new one.

Now that I have been staying in contact with my clients I keep more and get many more referrals than I once did.

Back to the original post, why did I get started?
I got fed up with working inside the same building with the same people everyday, and even if you worked hard and did a good job there was very little reward. Everyone got one raise a year and maybe a small bonus.
I wanted to do something that if I worked hard and did a good job the reward would be evident.

It did take over a year to make more than I did at my previous job, but now I am doing much better and still growing.

mac

Posted: 11 May 2008 03:35 Post Subject:

I agree with you, I think alot of agents (captive) are pushed to close sales and meet the numbers than worry about retention.
My previous career was in banking management. That career did teach me about keeping the existing client is as important if not more important than meeting the sales goals.
I try to be sure to do both.

Posted: 12 May 2008 03:14 Post Subject:

For me the business retention aspect alone is the whole reason to stay in the insurance business. Building a client base and getting renewal commissions is the payoff for woking hard, hangining in there during the tough times, and doing right by the customer.

Those in the insurance business chasing advances are really only chasing their own tail. :D

Posted: 12 May 2008 08:11 Post Subject:

I agree with you, I think alot of agents (captive) are pushed to close sales and meet the numbers than worry about retention.
My previous career was in banking management. That career did teach me about keeping the existing client is as important if not more important than meeting the sales goals.
I try to be sure to do both.



I think a lot of insurance agents sometimes get frustrated by unrealistic sales goals that are set by a sales manager or an insurance company.

As professional agents, we should be more concerned about meeting our own personal goals. We should start by establishing an annual income goal. So, if our personal goal is to make $100,000 this year and we know the average commission per sale, we have the number of sales we must make to reach our goal.

For me the business retention aspect alone is the whole reason to stay in the insurance business. Building a client base and getting renewal commissions is the payoff for woking hard, hangining in there during the tough times, and doing right by the customer.



I agree 100%, but this job is getting much tougher. I have made a lot of friends, who are policyholders, but let's face it, in today's economy, people are concerned about premium dollars.

Customer loyalty is just not what it used to be.

Maze

Posted: 13 May 2008 12:57 Post Subject:

You are right about customer loyalty, but I will take all of it I can get, and I do my best to earn it. I would rather have a customer know that they call me with a problem than their first option to be calling someone else.

We all know that health insurance premiums are not getting any lower and if a customer signs up for something cheaper they are most likely losing benefits. I think it is important to let them know to call me before changing anything.

I had a customer who was considering changing from a catasrophic ppo to a limited benefit plan to save $40 a month. He had no clue that this plan had no network, no provision for any type of preventative care, or that it only covered up to the first $25000, and would only do that once per lifetime.

All he knew was that the plan had a $1000 deductible and was an 80/20 plan. I had sold them a catastrophic ppo plan with a $2000 deductible and a $5000 stop loss provision that would cover up to $1,000,000 per incident $5,000,000 max lifetime. The policyholder had also developed a health problem since his policy had been issued (this is why the limited benefit plan was not that much cheaper.)

If he had not called me first, he would have given up better benefits and would have never been able to get them back for even close to the same rate. He ended up just slightly reducing his prventative benefits to get the cost down with my help.

Needless to say, he will probably be a lifetime customer. It is as important to your customer as it is to yourself. I just wish more customers realized this...
Mac

Posted: 13 May 2008 07:26 Post Subject: insurance help

to know about the insurance

Posted: 13 May 2008 09:17 Post Subject:

Needless to say, he will probably be a lifetime customer. It is as important to your customer as it is to yourself. I just wish more customers realized this...



This is a hard lesson to learn both for the insurance agent and the customer, sometimes.

Many customers never reach that point of realizing that some of us actually have their best interests at heart. Sure we have to make a living, but if we continue to do the right thing for the cusomter, then our income will always take care of itself.

Many agents go into a home or place of business with dollar signs in their minds and whatever they can do to get the most dollars, they will do.

Sounds like you have your head on straight.

Maze

Posted: 16 May 2008 11:20 Post Subject:

On the P&C side we too are seeing things change. We are requoting and rewriting alot of customers who have been with us for 20+ years. Although I am capitive we also write for 5 other major carriers. This does help us with retention.
I believe the customer loyalty is there somewhat but with the way the economy is today most of the time its the bottom line price that they are looking at, for us anyway on the P&C side.

Posted: 16 May 2008 11:56 Post Subject:

Yes, the auto and home insurance side of the business is probably being affected more than any other type of insurance.

I actually have one P & C carrier who is sending postcards to my existing customers offering them a savings of $300 if they will buy "direct" online.
Needless to say, I don't place much business with them anymore.

Some customers will change auto insurance at the drop of a hat, others are loyal to their original agent or agency.

Then, we have "cut rate" companies out there who want to "Keep You Legal For Less".

Insurance is just like anything else we buy. We get what we pay for, usually.

Maze

Posted: 17 May 2008 09:07 Post Subject:

I am bringing on a new agent. He was in sales in a non-insurance related field and they simply closed down in the state he lives. Rather than relocate he has elected to go into insurance. I think it's one of the very best fields anywhere for the right person. Their are just so many great benefits.

Posted: 18 May 2008 06:25 Post Subject:

I originally entered because I was in a dead end job after bouncing around from several jobs over several years, and MetLife surprisingly hired me. I was so grateful to have the job and I worked my tail off. It's been a good ride as I found my niche.

Posted: 19 May 2008 05:22 Post Subject:

I joined insurance because I was sold a Dream, lol Too bad that dream was through A.L. Williams (for those of you who know who that is). Well my dream was shot down very quickly with is company...

I went independent and never looked back...

Insurance can be the hardest $35,000 per year or the easiet $100,000. That is so true.

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