THE LEADER'S CIRCLE

Tips for the Young Professional

By Kitty Ambers, CPIA, CIC, CISR, NetVU CEO


We’ve got a lot of young guns in the industry today. Bright, charismatic, driven and influential doesn’t even begin to describe them. But as with every job, being a new comer can be daunting in itself. Despite the fact that selling insurance is a whole lot different than selling anything else.

Insurance can be expensive for some. But for all the young professionals, keep this in mind: You aren’t selling insurance. Rather you’re selling an idea, your trust and your word! And most importantly you cannot do any of these without selling yourself first. A lot of young professionals quit their careers in insurance too early because they get overwhelmed by the perception that they are not meeting with success. I personally, love to see young professionals thrive in our industry. In fact even us veterans can learn a lot from their charisma, their drive, their passion and their willingness to adapt.

For the young professionals in our industry, here are my top 5 suggestions for success:

1.            OBSERVE EXPERIENCED AGENTS

Often, one can learn a lot through simple observation.  Watch experienced agents as they interact with clients and prospects during appointments and at networking events.  As you notice things, ask these veteran questions.  Learn from their challenges, observe how they handle objections, and watch the different behaviors they display to effectively build relationships with different types of individuals.  While the veterans in our industry may not be the ones to show you the latest app on your iPhone, they have been around the industry for a long time.  There is a lot to gain from simply conversing with them to learn their keys to success.  Then, take the tips they share, and personalize them for your use.

2.            EXCITEMENT IS VITAL

Have you ever watched a commercial that’s boring from beginning to end? Can’t think of any right? That’s because almost every commercial is lively, bubbly and packed with excitement, or you changed the channel before it was over. People tend to gravitate toward excitement.  Enthusiasm is contagious. Find ways to stay upbeat and positive whether it’s through music, meditation, motivational affirmations or exercise.  Be a center of positive energy and it will overflow into your sales results.

3.            HARD WORK WILL PAY OFF

Over the years I’ve seen some agents bow out of insurance simply because their hard work didn’t bear any fruits in the time they expected it to. In the insurance business, unless you are focused on single product sales to a specific target market, if often takes time to build relationships and comprehensive product knowledge.  Finding your stride, and the balance between product knowledge and people knowledge, takes times.  Work hard, but smart.  Follow the examples that successful agents set.  Don’t go trying to reinvent the wheel every time. Set goals; break those goals into daily action steps.  Plan your work and work your plan.  With focus on a daily action plan, your effort will turn into results.  Remember to have a marathon, rather than sprint, mentality when it comes to long time success in our insurance industry.

4.            DON’T TRY TO WING IT

Legendary, albeit controversial, basketball coach Bobby Knight said, “It’s not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.”  This is so very true.  Remember those goals and the daily action plan?  Be sure it includes time for learning and preparation.  Understand the importance of that initial “fact finding” conversation with your suspect / prospect.  If you determine that the account is worth working on, prepare your proposal presentation thoroughly.  Take into account the initial concerns uncovered during discovery conversations, and be sure you’ve done your homework on the key decision makers.  When talking to prospects and customers alike, it can’t be ad hoc. You have to know what to say and what not to say. Know what words may put a prospect or client off and stay clear of them. Initially, until you become more comfortable and practiced, create a script for yourself. This helps you stay on point without talking too much. Allow your prospects and clients to do the majority of the talking; that’s how you learn what is most important to them.  Take time to prepare and you’ll get lucky.  Luck is when preparation meets opportunity! 

5.            SELL TO YOUR FELLOW YOUNG PROFESSIONALS

The Millennial generation is now the largest.  This target market segment can be a great source of business. Young people are buying homes and cars, starting their own businesses or moving into management roles, and they are determined to live exciting and fruitful lives. These behaviors are clearly something that can be tapped into. They are your peer group and you know exactly what to say to trigger a conversation that can result in new business sales.

NetVU has a forum for young professionals in the industry.  Check out our NetVU Young Professionals Chapter.  This dynamic group meets virtually and face-to-face throughout the year. They are responsible for education sessions at our NetVU events and are focused on the needs of the young professionals. If you have suggestions for ways that we can help our members embrace the future of our industry, please email me at kitty@netvu.org or call 800.456.7799800.456.7799 FREE.