There’s a lot to love about being an insurance advisor. It’s a booming industry with much room for growth. You can set your hours, and there’s good money to be made. And the best part? You are the hero for the people who find out how your services can best protect their families and assets against the evil forces of the universe. A noble task indeed!
But it’s not all sunshine and daisies – it’s a tough job:
Sometimes people don’t want to return your calls; they skip appointments; they lie to you; they fire you. Oh, did I mention that you are dealing with a highly regulated business?
In the insurance world, you have to earn your wings. To become exceptional, you need certain qualities that will help you survive and go from average to exceptional in the industry. Below are eight of the most important:
The first quality that makes a good insurance advisor is competence. It’s important to have the knowledge and experience to make informed decisions about your client’s insurance needs, helping them avoid unnecessary expenses while protecting their assets.
A good advisor can anticipate issues that might arise and take steps to prevent them from occurring or at least minimize the damage once they do occur. Additionally, they can translate complex concepts into language that’s easy to understand and apply. They’ll also know where to find the best products and services at the best prices.
If you are new to the insurance business and don’t have much experience, then there are many things you can do to improve your competence. You could attend seminars, classes, or workshops covering risk management, underwriting, and claims handling. You could also seek out mentors who can help guide you through this process.
In fact, having mentorship is the best way to come up the learning curve the right way. Do joint work with an experienced advisor so you can see how to conduct meetings effectively, how to answer objections, and most importantly, capture all the client’s deficiencies (i.e., all the sale opportunities).
The Cambridge dictionary defines “people skills” as “the ability to communicate with people in a friendly way and therefore deal with them effectively, especially in business.” Wikipedia further explains that “it is an umbrella term for skills under three related sets of abilities: personal effectiveness, interaction skills, and intercession skills.”
Let’s look at these three sets of skills:
Personal effectiveness: The ability to motivate yourself and others by setting goals and following through on them. You also have the confidence to handle difficult situations when they arise.
Interaction skills: This includes your ability to communicate effectively, your listening skills (to understand what your client needs), your empathy (to feel what your client feels), and your social skills (to interact comfortably). Your interpersonal abilities are vital when working with clients who might be upset or angry about something.
Intercession skills: These include conflict resolution skills and the ability to use guile to proffer a suitable solution that satisfies opposing views—basically, the ability to help others resolve problems by finding solutions or mediating between conflicting parties.
These qualities are essential in any profession, but they are especially important if you want to become an insurance advisor. People skills are essential for developing trust with clients and helping them make difficult decisions about their finances.
In the end, it adds up to:
Effective customer service – Putting clients’ needs first, going the extra mile to meet those needs responsively, and treating them with respect and courtesy at all times to ensure their satisfaction.
Good Advisors Understand Their Products Inside Out
What other vital quality insurance advisors need before entering the “battlefield”? The answer is straightforward: Insurance advisors need to know their products inside out. They need to understand how each policy works and how they differ. The better their product knowledge, the more likely they’ll be able to recommend policies that best suit the client’s needs, leading to a positive outcome for both parties.
I’m going to be blunt: an advisor without a full grasp of their products is a disaster waiting to happen.
This is not to slight advisors learning their craft or getting up to speed on their product knowledge. But the fact remains that if you don’t understand the intricacies of your products, then how can you competently guide clients through selecting the right ones?
Ability To Sell Their Services To Clients
This may seem obvious, but not all advisors are capable of selling their services to clients. An insurance advisor shouldn’t just want to sell their prospects an insurance policy — the best of them come across as solution providers that would go the extra mile to help clients get the most out of it!
According to the Taylor Method the key to “selling” can be bundled into four main components:
- Knowing how to find “perfect” prospects strategically;
- Understanding the process of asking insight-revealing questions combined with handling objections;
- Unlocking beneficial opportunities for clients that would transform into sales;
- and mastering the close – how to get clients to accept the deal happily.
“Selling” isn’t just about the money — it’s about getting the client to buy into your solutions by understanding they have a problem in the first place. The best insurance advisors can sell themselves and the value of their products and demonstrate that they can deliver on their promises.
Many advisors miss out on juicy opportunities because they’re not organized enough. They can’t see the forest for the trees and don’t know what’s happening in their markets.
A good insurance advisor should be able to keep track of the different policies under their management to ensure that all policies are up to date and in line with the laws of the land.
For clients, it also means that they need someone who can manage their own time well.
Organizational skills ensure that advisors know where everything is at all times.
Trustworthiness is a key quality for an insurance advisor. If you’re not trustworthy, you’ll likely lose a client’s trust and may be less likely to recommend you to other clients.
Insurance advisors should always be honest and transparent with their clients. It is especially true regarding the fees or commissions from products like life insurance, disability insurance, or auto insurance. The client has a right to know that these fees are standard and that they aren’t being overcharged for them.
Willingness To Keep Learning
One of the most important qualities a good insurance advisor will have is the willingness to keep learning. Clients and advisors themselves would benefit immeasurably well from this as they will be able to learn more about the industry, its clients, government regulations, and how they can make more money for clients.
Possessing this quality is crucial for those advisors who have been in the industry for a long time. It’s easy for them to be stuck in one place, but if they’re willing to learn new things, they’ll be able to provide great service and advice to clients.
Persistence is the fuel that drives success. The ability to keep going in the face of rejection (you’ll get many of those as an advisor), and even when you don’t feel like it, will help you succeed in any career.
The insurance industry is one of the most competitive industries in the country, with many companies trying to beat each other at their own game. When it comes to insurance advisors, persistence means following up. It means staying in touch with your current clients and helping them when they need it most. It means being there for the people who matter to you and those who are counting on you.
Persistence is a key quality that sets great insurance advisors apart from those who are just average. It helps them get through tough times when things aren’t going well. It’s what keeps them motivated and working hard toward their goals.
Persistence also shows clients that you’re dedicated to what you do and don’t give up easily – and this could prove to be a deciding factor that stacks the odds in favor of an advisor.