An insurance agent is always looking for ways to make their name known so that when the time comes, those looking to purchase insurance will choose that agent to assist them.
There are many ways to become remembered and respected as a professional insurance agent, but you must work at it. An agent’s profession involves so much more than selling insurance products, making sure you pay your E&O Insurance premium each year, and providing proof of E&O Insurance to your Companies. One of the most important pieces of a successful insurance agent’s career is being known and respected in the community and among colleagues.
How should an agent plan to grow their business and build their reputation in their community? Get involved! Here are a few ways to do just that:
Business Card Exchanges
Many Chambers of Commerce offer opportunities to participate in free business card exchanges with other business owners who are looking to share information about their services. Be a good listener, and collect business cards from others who attend the exchange. When the exchange is over, take the time to jot a meaningful note or two on the back of the cards you collected. The next day, follow up with those you met by sending a letter asking that they keep you in mind for any insurance needs, and telling them you will share their information should the opportunity present itself. The next time the Chamber hosts a business card exchange, you’ll want to attend, say hello to those you met previously, and look to meet new people. Always collect business cards and always follow up with a friendly letter. Make attending these card exchanges a business routine. Give serious consideration to joining the Chamber and becoming part of a committee.
Does your community offer adult night school courses? If so, consider teaching a course about an insurance topic that you’re very familiar with and that would serve to provide good information. Waive any costs for attendance and do not take a fee for teaching. Provide free, useful materials, making sure that anything you distribute has your contact information on it. Be sure to allow a question & answer segment and, from an E&O standpoint, if someone asks a question for which you don’t have an answer, tell them you will research the answer and get back to them.
Youth Sports & School Activities
If you have children or grandchildren who participate in sports or school activities, get involved! Don’t just buy an ad in a flyer, put some time in running a snack stand or selling raffle tickets. That way, when people see the ad, they’ll make a connection and it will be a good one.
Church or Synagogue
Do you go to church or synagogue? If so, become an active member and get to know the stories behind the faces you see each time you attend a service. Often, people have insurance questions but fear asking because they don’t want to have to battle with an agent who merely wants to make a sale. Be the agent who answers questions with no pressure. Passing your business card to someone and asking they keep you in mind should they have further questions is simply planting a seed.
Have you knocked on doors? Consider meeting some of your local Property & Casualty agency owners. You may become a great source of referrals for each other.
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Although insurance sales pays the bills, when interacting with the public in the hope of gaining future clients, be sure to remember your best practices when it comes to E&O exposures. Never tell someone that you can definitely find a policy for them, because you could be setting yourself up for a future E&O claim. Only sell the products you are familiar with; otherwise an E&O claim may just find its way to your doorstep in the future.
Through your day-to-day interactions with people, opportunities will present themselves where you can plant a seed. If that seed is planted with a smile and no one feels pressured but instead remembers you because you’ve helped them out, or are known to volunteer with a particular organization or two, in time, the calls will come. Your professional reputation will shine as those calls turn into clients who later refer you to their family members and friends. You can buy E&O Insurance to protect your livelihood, but you can’t buy a reputation. Put in the time to cultivate strong relationships with those in your community, and you will become a very successful and respected agent.