What to Look For When Hiring an Insurance Salesperson
Due to unpredictability in today’s global politics, economy and climate, insurance companies are faced with reshaping traditional business strategy by developing innovative products which meet customers’ expectations, while still growing profits. And as new carriers enter the marketplace, there is growing competition between newcomers and established insurers to recruit the most talented salespeople for their teams. To help you find those standout hires, look for these five traits.
Motivated Self Starter
Nearly every cover letter will include the phrase, self starter, but will have little to nothing to back it up. Ask candidates to describe exactly how they are proven self starters. Can they tie their examples back to profits or another measurable key performance indicator (KPI)? If not, then keep looking. As an insurer, you only make money when your salesmen bring on new clients (or keep existing ones happy) — so make sure you hire someone that has a proven track record of doing so.
As you likely know, every insurance agent must be licensed before selling insurance. Accident and health, property, casualty and life insurance salespeople typically need to do around 20 hours of pre-exam training in order to be licensed. Unless you want to train and invest in unlicensed agents who risk not earning their license or not following through with their training, we suggest you hire an agent who is already licensed.
Has Creative Marketing Skills
There’s no way around it. Every insurance agency knows that cold calls, direct emails and lead generation tactics are part of the job. But being able to make cold calls is wholly different from successfully bringing on a new customer. During the interview process, ask potential hires about their most successful and creative customer acquisition strategies. What sets them apart from the rest of the talent pool?
Stays on Top of News and Trends
As mentioned earlier, with the world in constant upheaval, it’s important that your insurance agents are up to date with the latest global and financial news and are able to leverage this knowledge to better inform their clients. A new drug in the marketplace might mean a new health insurance option, whereas an unexpected natural disaster could affect one’s property insurance policy. The more the insurance salesperson knows about a customer’s life and surroundings, the better they will be equiped to help them find the right coverage.
Cares About Clients
Insurance agents tend to get a bad rap, often depicted as being invested in a client one minute and then being impossible to reach once a claim is filed. The truth is, for some agents, that initial commission is all that matters. But continued good service is what will ultimately keep a customer happy and entice them to stay loyal to your business. And as most business people know, it’s far cheaper (and easier) to keep an existing customer than to acquire a new one. Agents that care about their clients will advocate on their behalf, help them find the best coverage and update it when needed, decipher complex jargon and make them feel heard and respected.
As you go through the hiring process, remember: it doesn’t matter which industry — whether you are selling life, accident, health, property, auto or casualty insurance — a rockstar salesperson or agent should embody all of these qualities.