Coaching Insurance Agents vs. Training Insurance Agents: Is there a Difference?
Having top talent at your insurance agency is essential, but how do you ensure that the individual insurance agents you hire will become high producing insurance agents? The key is coaching and training. To make sure that your newest insurance agents know the ropes and understand what goes into being a top-producing insurance agent, you should have top-notch coaching and training. But what is the difference between the two?
The Difference Between Coaching and Training
Training and coaching are different, although the difference is slight. Training is based on transferring knowledge – it’s more like reading and learning from a textbook. On the other hand, coaching is about enhancing one’s knowledge. For example, if you are an insurance agent in training, learning the rules and memorizing facts about products and compliant details would be considered training. If you are an agent that is being coached, it’s likely that an insurance agent who has worked in the industry longer than you is there to enhance your knowledge with what they know. So, when should you apply coaching or training? Let’s compare them in detail.
You should always use training to help new insurance agents learn about the tools and knowledge they need to be successful. Many insurance agencies find that hosting trainings in a formal setting will help it to be more learning focused. Training is comparable to a classroom structure. There should be lectures/presentations that are full of useful information, and along the way, the trainer should ask questions or give quizzes to ensure that the agents are understanding and retaining the information displayed to them.
Another great way of training your insurance agents is to host an online webinar or presentation that agents can join in on at their leisure. Pre-record your training sessions and simulate live, so that your busy insurance agents can continue to work throughout the day and set time aside to complete their training course.
Agent Pipeline offers several self-study training courses that you can also use for your agency training.
Because coaching is used to enhance a new agent’s skills, it is usually one-on-one. An insurance agent who is being coached has most likely already gone through training and has now moved on to see how agents that have been in the industry for an extended period apply what they know. Coaching can be beneficial because it helps form new good habits and break old bad ones. Coaching is also less structured making it more relaxed and not as formal as training.
A great way to ensure all of your agents are being coached is to pair them up with a mentor. Mentoring is an effective way to ensure each team member is matched up with someone who can help them grow. There is a lot to learn from each person in the mentorship; while newer agents can learn old tricks, more seasoned agents can learn newer techniques with marketing.
So, when should you use coaching or training? To ensure that your insurance agents are ready and full of knowledge, you should be using coaching AND training.
Training is a great way to learn and get a good set of basic skills, but studies have shown that people don’t retain information as well until they have applied it. That’s where coaching comes in; actually showing new agents how to sell, find plans that are perfect for clients, and build meaningful relationships with customers is what is going to make the absolute difference in helping them become top producers.
Providing your new insurance agents with excellent training and coaching will aid in guaranteeing top talent. Arrange an advantageous and practical training program to help your agents begin their learning process, and once their training is complete, start coaching. In doing this, you will learn that training and coaching are different, but when they are used together, they make for a powerful learning experience.
For more information on training and coaching new insurance agents, give us a call at 800-962-4693, and we would be delighted to help you.