Owning an insurance agency is full of days of making critical and tiring decisions such as:
- Are we meeting clients’ needs?
- Do we know their needs?
- Who is our biggest competitor?
- How can we protect our profits?
- Where should we be in the next year?
The list could go on and on, but the most crucial question that is not often taken seriously is: How do I ensure the insurance agent’s success I am about to hire?
It does not need to be said that any hiring decision should be backed by serious thinking but hiring a new insurance agent is especially critical. Your insurance agency depends on these agents for-profit, and the position is highly compensated and has a high financial risk for your agency. Depending on this insurance agent to bring in and retain revenue and how they conduct business, you will impact your insurance agency’s brand and reputation.
When hiring new agents, you should always be doing anything you can to ensure the highest possibility of success. With so much on the line for both parties, this should be a no-brainer. Ensuring a new hire’s success is one of the most critical responsibilities of any insurance agency owner.
When it comes to mistakes being made, the same things seem to come up repeatedly. It does not matter if you look at different agencies or within the same agency. The following tips will help you avoid making the five most common hiring mistakes that insurance agencies make.
- Looking at the wrong traits
Make sure you are not solely looking at a “network of connections” who knows the “right” people. Ensure you see the level of curiosity and willingness to learn and grow from these possible new hires.
- Don’t conduct a good interview.
Although you may be a salesperson, make sure you do not talk for most of the interview. You may feel good about the conversation leaving it that way, but it is more important that you take the time to learn meaningful information about this potential insurance agent.
- No testing
Many agencies forget the importance of personality profile testing (it is essential) and the importance of finding a way to see their critical thinking abilities and how they handle sales. (Role plays and case studies are great for resources on this)
- Ignoring the past
It is no secret that the insurance industry tends to churn around the same batch of questionable candidates. Don’t ignore a candidate’s past sales history – if they did not produce at their last three jobs, it is unlikely to be any different at your insurance agency.
- Putting little emphasis on onboarding and training
Even when getting past the first four mistakes, new insurance agents often trip right on the starting block. Many agencies do not provide an onboarding process, training, coaching, goals, or accountability. Without these types of things, once they are hired, how does one expect a new insurance agent to succeed? Your job does not stop when you hire them. Here are some things to ensure you improve on to help new insurance agents succeed:
- Onboarding process
- Training program
- Sales goals
- Accountability for sales & behavior
- Sales process
- Compensation model
- Sales meetings
- Sales leadership
- Market differentiation
- Ongoing education for agents
If you need help in improving any of these listed above, contact Agent Pipeline. We work with agents and agencies to help ensure you are the most successful you can be.
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