Here are 10 best practices for training young or inexperienced insurance agents.
Being an insurance sales manager comes with a lot of responsibility. One of the biggest responsibilities is hiring and training new professionals. Whether your staff is just out of college or making a mid-career shift to the insurance industry, you need to help provide the support, guidance, and opportunities these inexperienced insurance agents need to succeed.
Help Your Team Set SMART goals
Inexperienced insurance agents will need your guidance in setting professional goals. The reason the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals method works so well, is that they help new professionals organize their goals and allow you as their manager to keep track of their progress. By guiding your agents to choose a specific goal, you’re helping them focus on and develop one or two skills. Making sure a goal is measurable, allows your new team to track and define their successes and areas of improvement. It’s important when training young or inexperienced insurance agents to set attainable goals because you want your team to be motivated to succeed. Of course, the goal must be relevant to their workload and focus, and keeping a goal time-bound, ensures that your team stays motivated and achieve their goals in a timely fashion.
Encourage Networking and Mentoring
Remember what it was like when you first started in the insurance field? It can be daunting being the new kid, and even scarier if you don’t know anyone else in the industry. Encourage your inexperienced insurance agents to buddy up with someone in the office who has been there a while. This can be a formal mentor pairing, or even providing opportunities for your team to interact and work together. Outside of the office, encourage your team to attend networking events in their designated region. Better yet, bring them with you to events and make a point of introducing them to colleagues in your field. A quick introduction and conversation starter can go a long way for a new professional building industry relationships.
Gamify Your Sales
Incentives are nothing new when it comes to motivating insurance sales teams, but what if you can make it a little more interactive and fun? Turn your quarterly sales goals into a friendly competition with prizes and other rewards. Create mini teams within your office pairing more experienced insurance agents with new professionals. Building camaraderie and morale is important for all of your insurance agents but can be especially motivating for your young or inexperienced agents.
Offer Professional Development Opportunities to You Inexperienced Insurance Agents
Invest in training young or inexperienced insurance agents by providing them with professional development opportunities. There are many in-person and virtual conferences and workshops that are beneficial in training insurance agents. For a more budget-friendly professional development opportunity, ask your inexperienced insurance agents to all read the same recommended book or listen to an industry-specific podcast. You can build out a book/listening club where you gather monthly to discuss and share ideas about what you’ve read or listened to.
Use Positive Reinforcement
It’s probably obvious that positive reinforcement is a great tool when training young or inexperienced insurance agents. When a new insurance agent succeeds at something early on in their career, be sure to recognize them for their efforts. Even better, recognize them publicly! It doesn’t have to be a big speech during a meeting. Send an email to your boss or colleague letting them know what a great job your new agent has done. Be sure to CC your new agent on the email so they know they’re being recognized.
Discover Their Passion and Strengths and Lean Into Them
Does your new professional have a background in computers and technology? Have them research a new customer relationship management (CRM) software your agency is thinking about buying. Has your inexperienced insurance agent just transitioned from a role in telemarketing? Use their expertise in building stronger phone call scripts. As a sales manager, it’s your job to identify the strengths of your young or inexperienced agents and leverage them to benefit your whole team.
Roleplay Roleplay Roleplay!
The importance of insurance sales roleplay cannot be understated when working with new professionals. Being able to test out sales techniques and strategies in a safe bubble will help your inexperienced insurance agents build the confidence they need to be ready for the real thing. It’s extra helpful if more experienced colleagues take turns pretending to be different types of customers since they’ve likely handled similar prospects and can offer guidance and suggestions once the roleplay is complete.
Record and Review Sales Calls
Just like roleplaying, recording and reviewing sales calls is a tried and true method for training young or inexperienced insurance agents. Being able to review real sales calls, pausing, and replaying certain moments will help your young or inexperienced insurance agents connect sales theories and strategies into practice.
Review Your Training Material
It’s always good to review your insurance sales training material, periodically, to make sure terminology and technology are up to date. Build this into your hiring cycle so that each time you bring a new team member on board, you know they’re getting the most current information based on the latest industry standards.
Implement 360 Feedback
You know those bumper stickers on the back of tractor-trailer trucks that say “How’s My Driving?” Well, sales managers need them too! Implement a way for your young or inexperienced insurance agents to give you feedback. Ask them how they think training is going. Ask them for input on ways to improve the training materials and exercises. Building a relationship with your new staff that is based on transparency and open dialogue will help you train and retain great staff.
Looking for ways for your new professionals to jump right into insurance sales? Set them up for success by adding double-verified leads to their sales funnel. They can focus more on relationship building and closing the deal. HBW Leads provides cold calling experts and technology to help your business grow. Connect with them today!