Whether you are looking to start a career in insurance sales or changing industries from your current vocation, there is a right way and a wrong way to become successful in the insurance industry. First and foremost, the new agent needs to understand their fiduciary responsibility to their client and the company they are representing. It all boils down to honesty, integrity and ethics. In fact, most states require agents to take a course on Ethics every couple of years as part of their Continuing Education requirements in order to keep this line of thinking in the forefront.
Can an agent who lacks integrity and honesty make money selling insurance? Of course they can and this is true with almost any industry. Can an agent who lacks integrity and honesty be SUCCESSFUL selling insurance? Of course not, because you will always reap what you sow. Knowing this, the first step in insurance sales training is to understand how important it is to put your clients’ needs first and follow all rules and guidelines set forth by the companies you represent. Doing business in an honest and ethical fashion will enable you to have peace of mind and be able to look a client in the eye without fear of being called out for wrongdoing.
Once the new insurance agent is licensed by the jurisdiction they will transact business in, the real training will need to take place. The license only permits you to transact business; it does nothing to teach you HOW to transact business. As in any industry, the best training is obtained by someone who has done your job successfully and is willing to teach you the methods that will get you there as well.
This type of training is usually offered by the insurance company if you are to be a captive agent or by an IMO/MGA (Independent Marketing Organization or Managing General Agency) if you are going to go the independent route. In almost every scenario, the new agent is going to give up some points on the contract to the IMO/MGA to pay for training either in person or via seminars and webinars. This training is normally conducted by a team of experienced and successful agents that have learned the methods of finding leads and converting them into sales and referrals. More often than not, the seminars and webinars will also serve as a motivational experience tied in with the training.
Insurance sales training videos
A new insurance agent can also learn a lot about the business on their own. There are thousands of books available by well-known experts such as Zig Ziglar. These books are based on personal success stories and are a gold mine for new agents to build on. Also available are online web series and videos that are free in many cases. The main draw back in learning insurance selling this way is knowing who to believe and also product knowledge. Each carrier has different nuances in their product that is important to learn as well as unique underwriting guidelines. This is true for Life & Health insurance and Property & Casualty insurance. There is a lot to learn because there are many different products available from every company.
Don’t use the “shot-gun” approach. Many agents will use the “one-stop shop” selling term and this is not necessarily a good thing. The agent that attempts to be all things to all customers will eventually find that this “shot-gun” type of selling is not as profitable as being a specialist that is an expert in a certain niche. Decide what you do best and what is most interesting to you and stick with it. Every category of insurance can be divided into subcategories that the agent can specialize in.
Finally, do not make the mistake of attempting to transact business without knowing what you’re doing. Training is important and will help prevent E&O claims which can be very expensive for you and your company.
A Brief on Insurance Sales Training
Selling insurance packages isn’t an easy job anymore. Talk to anybody, tell him that you’ve got a great insurance package for him and he won’t take even a second to tell you to buzz off. Gone are the days when you could make your way to the top by just ringing a hundred people every day. In 2014, you either have to be a Donald Trump in the making or need to pack your bag and call it quits. To cash in on the opportunity, many schools have started offering insurance sales training. Is this training any good? Does it really help? How could a school make you a better salesperson, especially when you don’t even need to go to any school to be a salesman In the first place? Here are a few notes which will help many of you to make the right choice.
Which Schools Offer it:
Simply put, Harvard and Yale don’t. To tell the truth, you won’t find many good colleges offering this program. Mostly, specialized vocational schools offer insurance sales training. These schools usually have arrangements with reputed salesmen and consumer psychology professors who make up their visiting faculty. Fulltime faculty is rare in such schools. You can use Google to find such training schools in your state.
Which Schools Are Better than Others
It’s almost impossible to answer this question. Why? Because there is nothing like a ranking of schools offering insurance sales training. Students make their decisions primarily by going through alumni reviews over the internet and choose the one that they like the most.
Insurance sales training programs
This is a bit complicated to tell because most schools just bundle up their training program with some other courses that they offer. Starting from just $100, these training programs could charge up to $1000. They keep offering you more and more courses, which builds up your bill to a fat sum. However, you can do one thing to save some money. Many of these schools offer free workshops to give you a ‘taste’ of their insurance sales training program. Attend as many of these workshops as you can. These workshops give you a good overview of their programs. After having decided your courses, you can actually tailor your own insurance sales training program by combing together your desired courses. This will save you from paying unnecessary fees to these schools for unnecessary courses. Doing this, you shall not only be able to save significantly in terms of money but also in terms of time. It’s primarily because of taking unnecessary courses that people think insurance sales training programs are useless. You shouldn’t make the same mistake if you want to be among the $50,000 earning insurance salesmen.