There are many reasons why building a career in the insurance industry is a good idea. Insurance brokers have independence, flexible work hours, and, when you look at insurance broker salary ranges, fairly good remuneration.
That being said, not everyone is cut out for an insurance career. Certain skills are advantageous in this relatively unstructured, but fast-paced industry. The following are the traits successful insurance brokers are likely to possess.
Do you derive pleasure from finding solutions to difficult problems? Clients won’t always know what insurance policy is best for them. It’s up to the insurance broker to understand the client’s current financial position, their insurance goals and what constraints they might have. From this information, the broker identifies the solution that’s most workable.
Since the finances and objectives of clients will vary greatly, you’ll have to deploy your analytical abilities to weigh the pros and cons of each option. If crafting customized solutions excites you, a career in insurance brokerage could be just the thing for you.
Are you self-driven? An insurance broker must motivate themselves every day without relying on formal structures to get them going. Brokers often work beyond 9-to-5 since many clients will not be available for meetings during normal working hours.
Selling insurance is also a difficult industry. The majority of people you approach will decline to sign up. This continuous stream of disappointments can be demoralizing. Follow-up and persistence are vital for success.
As an insurance broker, you’ll be vying against numerous other brokers for the same clients. This cut-throat competition drives some to deceive and mislead customers in a desperate attempt to close a sale. However, this will only lead to temporary success at best.
Dishonest and unethical insurance agents are unlikely to last long in the trade. This is one industry where reputation is everything. Consistent honesty wins trust and respect which leads to more sales in the long term.
4. Sense of Urgency
Closing an insurance policy sale is all about timing. Often, a client will get to that point in their life where they need to urgently find and finalize on an insurance cover. If the agent they wanted isn’t available, they’ll turn to the one who is.
You cannot succeed as an insurance broker if you do not move with a sense of urgency whenever someone shows interest in your product. A tenacity to follow-up on all leads and pursue each prospect is paramount.
Can you stand being turned down 9 out of 10 times? Rejection is the insurance broker’s daily bread. If being told ‘no’ dozens of times would get you feeling hopeless and dejected, this is a line of work you probably want to stay away from.
You need copious amounts of patience and persistence. When someone tells you no, you must check if they are comfortable with you contacting them in future just in case they change their mind. You’ll fall many times, but will only succeed if you get up and keep moving each time.
To be an effective broker, you must engage and excite your clients. You must demonstrate enthusiasm and energy for providing solutions to their insurance needs. A successful broker is an ambassador of the insurance industry and always ready to detail the benefits of taking up a policy.
Enthusiasm is contagious and attractive. Two people could be selling the exact same product, but clients will naturally be drawn to the one who exudes passion and confidence.
While the rationale for insurance is fairly straightforward, the workings and terms of an insurance policy can be a complex concept for the average person to understand. Few people will be willing to part with their hard-earned cash for a product whose logic they do not grasp.
It’s up to the insurance broker to break down difficult terms into easily understood ideas. You could have a product that’s a perfect match for the client, but it’s your ability to explain and persuade that will eventually get them to sign above the dotted line.
8. Good Listener
You cannot communicate meaningfully if you are not a good listener. The desperation to close a sale can drive an agent into rushing through a product presentation. This can be a catastrophic mistake as the broker could be selling the wrong product to an otherwise receptive customer.
The client is at the center of every insurance policy. A successful broker takes time to listen and note down the client’s needs and expectations first before recommending the best solution. If need be, they’ll ask for a few days to prepare for the discussion.
9. Networking Skills
A broker is essentially an insurance salesman. Any salesman’s success is greatly dependent on the size of their physical or virtual Rolodex. The more people you know and can get in touch with, the higher the number of sales you are likely to make.
A broker must have a large network and be comfortable asking clients, family and friends for referrals. Of course, one has to balance their passion and boldness of asking for leads with enough tact so that will not make them obnoxious around family and friends.
10. Hungry for Knowledge
The insurance industry has been around for a long time. While the basic principles of insurance have remained the same, the industry is always changing. One area that brokers must keep a particularly close eye on is regulations. A new law can make what was perfectly legal yesterday, illegal today.
Another aspect to stay current on is the tax implications of various policies. Overall, insurance agents must be voracious readers on industry developments in order to make sure they are providing their clients with relevant and current information.
Like any career, talent can only get you so far. Success will come down to hard work. It’s the level of commitment (in energy, money and time) that determines how well each broker will do. If you focus on and perfect each of the above 10 skills, you increase your odds of building a prosperous and sustainable career in the insurance industry.