The insurance industry has had a rough 18 months, with catastrophic loss claims hitting $2.7 billion.
That might give the impression that it’s a bad time to start a career in insurance sales. The number of claims only underscores the need for a good insurance policy.
With certain policies like cybersecurity becoming a necessity for businesses, there are plenty of opportunities to become a successful insurance sales agent.
You just need to figure out how you can jump-start your career in insurance. This article has you completely covered.
Read on to find out how you can create a new career in insurance and become one of the top insurance agents in your area.
Evaluate Your Skillset
Let’s get right to it. Insurance is a very hard job. Yes, there are companies that tout million-dollar sellers and agents who make six figures a year.
Those people are the exception, not the norm. Most insurance companies function like revolving doors with high turnover. You don’t want to get into the industry only to burn out a few months later.
The more you can learn about the industry ahead of time, the more success you’ll have.
Start by evaluating your career background, skills, and experience. Do you have previous sales experience? Did you make money from commissions, salary, or both?
Sales experience is a good start, but not all sales jobs are the same. There are some sales jobs where telemarketers qualify leads and the salesperson closes them.
This doesn’t happen with insurance sales. It’s up to the insurance agent to find leads, qualify them, and close them.
Selling insurance is a commission-only position. Some places might start you with a salary, which decreases over several months as you ramp up your business.
If you’re not used to the financial pressure, insurance sales might not be for you.
Who are the most successful insurance agents? They’re people who have inside and outside sales experience. Some of the successful agents have a long list of connections within the community.
Decide Your Career Path
Selling insurance is a lot like running your own business. Just like any entrepreneur, you need to develop a mission and plan for your business.
You need to make two important decisions early on. The first is what kind of insurance agent you’ll be.
Many start as captive insurance agents. You are a contractor or employee of one insurance company, and you can only sell their insurance products.
Captive insurance companies are usually large, recognizable brands. They offer marketing support, but they pay a lower insurance rate.
An independent agent is like an insurance broker. You work with several insurance companies, which lets you come up with the best insurance product for your clients.
You’re completely responsible for marketing the agency. You have to build your company’s brand from scratch. That takes a significant investment and time to do.
Do you like the appeal of working with several insurance companies, but don’t want to market on your own? An FMO will appeal to you.
FMOs work with several carriers and provide marketing support. You’ll get help with lead generation, training, mentoring, and business guidance.
The other important decision is what kind of insurance products you want to sell. You could be a general insurance agent and sell everything under the sun.
It helps to have a specialty so people can immediately identify you and your brand with the type of insurance you sell. For instance, if you have a technology background, you could be a cybersecurity expert.
People will go to you for cybersecurity insurance, then you can sell other insurance products.
Insurance agents and brokers need a license to recommend and sell insurance products. Each state has its requirements to sell insurance products.
Make sure you understand what these requirements are. Most states require a pre-licensing course and exam.
There are a couple of different licenses. Property and casualty allow you to sell a home, business, and car insurance.
A separate license is needed if you plan to sell life, health, or accident insurance.
Complete the course and pass the exam, and you’ll submit your insurance agent application. The state also does a background check and fingerprints.
Get Your Own Insurance Policies
Remember, you’re running a business and you need to protect it with insurance. It’s amazing to learn so many new agents forget about this step.
The insurance policies you should have are liability insurance and errors and omissions insurance. If you do a lot of remote work, consider cyber insurance as well.
Of course, you need personal policies such as life insurance, health, and property insurance policies.
Start Selling Insurance
This is the hard part because you have to work your network daily. Start by letting people know that you’re selling insurance now.
If you use social media to post about your insurance work, make sure that you comply with all regulatory standards. Social media is considered advertising and falls under FINRA’s regulations.
You want to get a CRM to manage your leads. Put systems in place that allow you to work leads at various stages of the buying process.
For instance, people will learn about you through cold calls, networking, and presentations. A certain percentage will show interest.
You’ll keep them in your CRM for follow-up. You’ll meet with them, email them, and continue to work with them. A certain percentage become clients.
That’s the point that most insurance agents stop selling. Stay in touch with your clients to make sure your products meet their needs. It’s also a great time to ask for referrals.
Build a Career as an Insurance Sales Agent
Insurance sales is a hard career if you don’t know what it entails. Make sure you have the skills to be successful and choose the right products and business model.
Those steps make selling insurance much easier. Head over to the Business section of this site for more ideas to grow your business.