- Have a system and work your system. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. There are many good systems out there. Ask a manager or successful colleagues how they do things and follow the pattern.
- Put in the time. Insurance people can work half-days—Pick any 12 hours per day and work them. Stick to set office hours. Clients love it when you are in the office, and they get what they need when they need it. If they call before noon, try to get their answer that same day. If they call after lunch, get back to them by the very next morning.
- You are in the business of promotion, not insurance. Promote yourself. People buy from their friends. People make more friends playing tennis, golf, at sporting events or kids’ games or serving on community boards than by cold calling strangers.
- Dress to be a professional. You never know when your big client will walk through your door. A good haircut and long dark socks are always in style. One good pair of shoes and one good suit can start you off. My first car had a hole in the gas tank, so I had to run on a half a tank and park uphill! Keep your car clean, and whatever you can afford to drive will look better.
- Invest in your education. Immediately start to earn the highest designation you can aspire to and afford to go for. Achieve it. Earn it. Show it on your stationery and signage. Continue to earn it. Be a lifelong learner. Take course → Ethical Business Practices
- Line up all of your appointments for the week during your Monday night phoning routine. People know what they are doing for the week, and it is not so far out that they cancel or forget. Meet with both decision makers at every meeting.
- Sell appropriate products appropriately. Suitability deters grievances, lost clients, and worse yet, lawsuits. NEVER oversell someone. Bigger incomes have bigger expenses. If a decision is too big, people will check with a handful of others, one of which is sure to say hold off; if people suffer a risk and they have not bought something they needed, that is the worst decision of all. Take course → Four Hour Best Interest Training For You
- Get the person as a client first for a small need. In life insurance, sell term first. It pays if they die, it converts, and it is much easier to get a bigger commitment later once the person has your trust and can afford what they want versus what they minimally need.
- Work smarter, not harder. Prospect upward. People with bigger incomes and assets tend to need bigger insurance policies and control more decision-making. Better prospects have often been better at keeping others out over the years. Ask them to loan you their trust and earn it. People buy from people whom they feel are trying to understand them. To be that person you want the client to perceive you as, you must first work to have your own household in order.
- Delegate. Hire a very capable assistant, invest your time and money in training them, and thank them frequently with words of affirmation, increased responsibilities and trust, and money perks.
- See people and fight to see people. Have your assistant answer the phone. That person can do parts of your job, but if you do his or her job, nobody is doing the part you get paid the most for. Besides that, your clients like to talk to your assistant as much as they do you!
- Earn referrals by being in a league of your own, whether that is through expertise, service, products, having a team of experts, or all of these. Do a legitimate process for your clients over and over again that builds their confidence in you, earns their trust in you and sets you apart from others in your field, such that they would want to refer their friends to you, and referrals will eventually come. Do not just give them the stare-down. The process begets the referrals.
- Persist in doing #12 for many years. Be pleasantly persistent. Ask your customers to buy from you. Never be afraid. The answer is either yes, no, or maybe later, so call me in x number of weeks, months or years. Sometimes the best prospects have needs because they have kept out others whom they did not respect or trust. Everyone needs insurance of some sort, and they have to buy it from someone.
- 14. Pay-it-forward toward your referral sources who become centers of influence. Honor the referrer by doing right by their friends, family and colleagues they recommend you to and to you. Thank them with an unexpected update on the friend’s happiness (respecting confidentiality of course) and a tiny stipend gift to show your appreciation at a different time, such as at the holidays. Tiny stipends only remind the referrer that their friend got the gift of you, not you got the gift of them. Do right by everyone as a matter of principle. Do business with your referral sources if you can use their products, because they too are reputable like you. Like kinds attract in business. Take class → Ethics – What Does Your Belief System Say?
- 15. Act with integrity at all times. There is no substitute, and you only get one shot at it. Your reputation is the greatest thing you possess and will become the only thing you need to not only survive but thrive. The truth is always good enough. Beyond that, make case notes anyway; the faintest of ink is clearer than the sharpest of memories (Chinese proverb). Take course → Examining Ethics – Integrity and the Insurance Professional
Written by Jackie Jaeger, BA, MA, CFP
Community Educators Instructor