Recruiting Recent College Grads For Advanced Markets Can Work
Can an insurance agency realistically expect a recent college graduate to come on board and be successful planning for clients in the advanced markets?
Patrick Ungashick thinks so, and he told a group at this years LAMP meeting how his agency does it. The managing director of Madison Financial Group in Atlanta, Ga., explained that all his recent college graduate recruits begin their career working on fee-based cases in advanced business, estate and financial planning markets.
Many agency managers feel that recent college graduates are not a good fit for the advanced markets. Ungashick admitted that these new agents have no “natural” market. “From a quality and quantity standpoint, the people these young agents know are not prospects for the advanced markets,” he said. With limited life experience, and a first job, resum?-building mentality, most recruiters will not want to take a chance hiring one.
But Ungashick explained that there are several reasons why recent college graduates are ideal recruits for the advanced markets. College graduates have high energy and enthusiasm, he said, and theyre extremely coachable–”they do what you tell them,” theyre loyal, and theyre willing to pay their dues.
Given these qualities, its important to understand there are certain tasks recent college graduates can do well, and others they cannot, he added.
“They prospect well in highly structured systems, they can qualify prospects well, and theyre comfortable in a supporting role in a team environment,” he said.
On the other hand, recent college graduates are unable to execute advanced cases by themselves, are not credible as financial planners, cannot immediately develop their own markets, and cannot draw on past experiences for confidence, Ungashick continued.
The system the Madison Financial Group has built for bringing in these recent graduates puts them in a team environment with a mentor for at least two years and gives them clearly defined tasks and expectations.
An apprentices first task is to set appointments for a mentor. But, since the new agent has no natural market, the mentor must identify whom the apprentice should call.
As a veteran agent who has already developed his or her market, a mentor should easily be able to produce a list of 100 names for the apprentice to call on, he said. The new agent uses structured methods to contact these people. These methods include targeted phone calls or performing market surveys, depending on the nature of the market, Ungashick explained.