With technological advances bringing about changes in the customers’ purchasing habits and the agents’ career aspirations, it becomes more important than ever for an agency manager to be flexible and adapt to the current trends to keep the business thriving.
While it most certainly is a challenging role, it is also extremely rewarding. Whether you’re currently managing your own insurance agency – or aspire to do so soon, go through this checklist to find out the necessary qualities an agency manager should possess:
1. Get your hands dirty
If you want to earn the respect and commitment from your agents, you’ll need to lead by example. Don’t just tell your agents to do something – show them how it’s done.
If you’re starting a direct approach exercise with your newest agents, for example, be with them for the first few direct approaches. You could take on the first few approaches to illustrate how the sales pitch should be done. Following that, observe how they perform and offer insights on areas for improvement.
2. Practice open communication
There are several ways you can create a safe space for your agents to voice out any burning matters. Firstly, introduce a monthly catch-up session with the team to discuss challenges faced by the team and the best solutions. Secondly, check in with each agent individually every quarter. These one-on-one sessions are great for hearing out more personal issues that may not have been voiced out in the monthly group sessions.
Communication from you to your agents should be on-point as well. Always keep your agents in the loop of the latest agency updates. Even where there is particularly difficult news to share, find the courage to distribute the information as clearly and professionally as possible. The last thing you would want is for them to find out through distorted rumours heard elsewhere, instead of the accurate story they could have heard directly from you.
3. Don’t stop learning
Possessing thorough knowledge is crucial to being a successful leader. Before you can train your agents on the different products available, the right sales techniques to use, and other key knowledge and skills, you’ll need to be well-versed yourself. Even if prospecting and selling does not make up a large percentage of your day-to-day responsibilities, make it a point to attend insurance product training, motivational sessions, and such.
On top of the training sessions, fortify your knowledge by keeping a healthy reading habit. Essential books worth adding to your library include Zig Ziglar’s classic, ‘The Secrets of Closing the Sale’, Keith Rosen’s ‘Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions’, and the entertaining, memoir-like writings of Peter Rosengard in ‘Talking to Strangers: The Adventures of a Life Insurance Salesman’.
4. Be creative
Any leader can do things the tried-and-tested way but if you’re set on differentiating your agency from the rest, a penchant for creativity is essential. Creativity shows up at work in many ways, whether it’s a distinctive elevator pitch that you’ve trained your agents with, or the way you resolve sticky disputes between agents who find it difficult to get along.
5. Catch up with technology
As technology affects almost everything we do today, it helps to catch up on the latest tech available and fully utilise them to drive your agency’s productivity. At the very least, a Facebook page is a great way to generate awareness of your agency and set your team apart from the rest. You can also explore other forms of exciting channels to strengthen your agency’s branding, like starting a bite-sized insurance 101 series on YouTube, or share your agency’s fun work culture through Instagram Stories.
The latest tool to add to any insurance agent’s essential sales kit is the new iBantu mobile app. Some of the app’s best features include:
– Quick and direct contact capabilities between customer and agent
– The ability to assign multiple insurance policies across different companies to a customer, for easy reference
– Availability of sales generation opportunities, from ratings and reviews received on the iBanding Agent Directory to dedicated promotions like the Agent Spotlight segment
Interested to find out more? Get further information on iBantu here.