Did you know that between Allstate, Farmers, and State Farm, there are over 130,000 independent insurance agents alone? State Farm alone has more open insurance agencies than Starbucks has locations in the USA! Yet, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median income of an insurance agent is just a hair over $66,000 per year.
What surprised us most about that number is based on all the headache, stress, and financial diligence required to run an insurance agency, we thought that salary would be much higher. There are plenty of other professions, much easier to grow into other than owning an insurance agency, that would also net you a much higher annual salary. Considering how much time and financial commitment it takes to be a successful insurance agent, $66,000 a year is not a great return on that investment.
Now what about Agent B, the one who DOES make six figures a year? Is Agent B really that much better at sales than Agent A who only makes $66,000 annually? Are the leads better for Agent B than Agent A? Is their market less saturated, giving Agent B more opportunity? Are the employees at Agency B that much better than Agency A? Or, are they just getting lucky?
In our experience, both as agency owners, and as partners of successful insurance agencies, we have found in order to become a six-figure earner there are 7 Key Things Successful Insurance Agents Do.
1. They Get Up Early. Seems like a simple one, and we agree. There are not only many health benefits to getting up early, but also many psychological benefits as well. We can tell you from our end, a big benefit to being an early riser is Confidence. It sounds odd, but when you get up early, you feel more accomplished than others. Want to be in the top 10%? According to Edison Research only 8% of our nation’s population is up before 5AM. Another 1 in 5 are awake by 530AM. You can read more about these benefits and some tips for becoming an early riser here in our blog 5 Benefits of Being an Early Riser.
2. They Understand their Competition - Never bash the competition. We tend to think badmouthing makes us look better, but in reality it makes us look worse. When you say something bad about your competition, it makes your prospects wonder, “if XYZ Insurance Company is so bad, then why are people choosing them over this agent?” Rather than talking bad about your competitors, understand them. Once you know how they work, you can pose the reality of their “too good to be true statements” to your prospects in the form of third party hearsay. This not only makes you look like an expert, but also shows your prospect that other people have come from XYZ Insurance Company to your insurance agency because the statements made by them were in fact “too good to be true”.
3. They are Not Cheap - Being a six figure earner comes at a cost. You can’t expect million dollar results with a thousand dollar budget. Successful insurance agents understand it takes money to make money. You buy $1 insurance leads, you get $1 results. You pay entry level wages, you get entry level talent. What you give, is what you get in return. Insurance Agents earning over six figures a year understand, they have to have a budget for tools and solutions to make the investment of owning an insurance agency worth their time. If you don’t have a referral program where your clients get something of value in exchange for kind words, you will rarely see a referral worth your while. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Simple economics. Don’t be cheap, or your insurance agency will be cheap when it’s time to close your book of business for good.
4. They Train, Constantly - Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Your level of personal success will never exceed your level of commitment to personal development. It’s very similar to the previous bullet point in which you get out that which you put in. Want to be in the top 10% of insurance agents? Invest in your people, your business, and yourself. Peyton Manning (former NFL Quarterback) would watch game film, workout, practice, drill, and rehearse 60 hours a week to perform for just 60 minutes a week, 17 times a year. If you can’t even give 30 minutes of your day to developing yourself for a job you do 8 hours a day, 5-6 days a week, for the rest of your life, you have no right to complain when you don’t get the results you want.
5. They Work on Their Business, Not In It - We get it, you opened an insurance agency to be the boss. You want to be there everyday, see every little thing that happens, touch every deal, talk to every client, make sure the building doesn’t burn down. That’s not your job. You have people in place to manage the business, and do the job. You have a marketing budget to source new leads, you have sales people to close those leads, you have service associates to help your current clients, you have a smoke alarm to monitor the fire safety of the building. If you are working IN the business you can't work ON your business. If you find yourself doing your employees' job, you can never do yours. You need to be networking, attending events, developing lead campaigns, organizing training sessions for your team, being the face of your insurance agency. You don’t need to be talking on the phone with clients about their late payments, submitting claim information, or God-Forbid you find yourself running car insurance quotes. Remember, “You are not responsible for the job, you are responsible for THE PEOPLE responsible for the job.” - Simon Sinek
6. They Have a Proven Process - There is a system to business. There is a life-cycle behind how you earn new business, grow that business, and sustain that business. 90% of new insurance agents haven’t been given the proper sales education to establish a business process. It’s so much more than saying the right things to the right objections, or submitting policies to underwriting, or collecting payments. How do you get someone to the door of your insurance agency? How do you close that person on your insurance services? How do you structure their journey through your book of business? What are you doing with that prospect once they are a client? What is your game plan for UP and CROSS selling? 82% of all insurance agents that come through our business have no set process in place. Of the other 18% who do, only half of them find their employees actually follow it. Harvard Business Review found that companies with a formal process in place saw a 28% increase in annual revenue. What would an additional 28% do for your insurance agency as it stands today? More importantly, what would that do for your family?
7. They Balance Work & Personal Life - After all, you didn’t get into business ownership to be tied to a desk and office all day long. Make work fun! Network, go to events outside of normal work hours. If you spend 10 hours on a Saturday at an outdoor networking event, take a half day on Tuesday. Remember why you are doing this. Take time to enjoy being your own boss. There are a lot of requirements that come with being a successful insurance agent, but there are also a lot of benefits. Don’t get bogged down by work. Let your mind wander, spend time with those that are close to you, shut the office down two hours early once a month and take your team to happy hour, or better yet bowling! Be a human first a busy bee second.
We hope you enjoyed this post. If you’re interested in seeing how insurance agents have turned their business around using our cloud-based insurance sales training platform contact us today!
We would love to hop onto a consultation call and learn more about your business, how you do what you do, and determine if we would be a valuable resource to you moving forward in your insurance agency. Thank you for taking the time to read our post and be sure to check out our other Resources on our website.