Recruiting And Training Agents
Life insurance is not bought; it must be sold. Selling insurance requires people talking to people. Potential clients want an agent they know and trust, one who is knowledgeable in the field. Therefore, the key to business success is attracting, hiring and developing the right agents and financial advisors.
Agents should be selected from a point of strength. It is important to have enough candidates to interview to be able to select the best one. In addition, by interviewing a large number of candidates you hone your interviewing skills.
A successful recruiter generates good name flow from “warm sources,” people who refer prospective agents to recruiters. Just as referrals are the lifeblood for a good agent, warm source name flow is the lifeblood for a good recruiter.
Most often, the best prospects come as referrals from existing agents. Recruiters who dont regularly ask for names from their existing agents are missing an important opportunity.
Not only do existing agents know the qualities they admire in their colleagues, they know what it takes to do the job successfully. Typically, the most accomplished agent prospector will be the best provider of name flow for recruiting.
Good agents often move into management and recruiting positions. Whatever an agent was doing to find new prospects may be a great warm source recruiting process. If great centers of influence were successful for prospecting as agents, use them as great sources for recruiting name flow.
Additionally, new managers who transitioned from the field should recognize their existing clients will also bring in outstanding recruits. Approach your clients and let them know that you have changed career paths and are looking for individuals to join your company.
Additional sources that give a recruiter quality names include Internet job postings, advertising, direct mail and participation in career and job fairs. A recruiter must use all of these tools to find quality candidates.
Some important tips to keep in mind when recruiting:
? Build relationships with the warm source individuals who will be there to help you when you ask them.
? Use a good e-mail system to stay in front of the e-mail population.
? Make sure you are in front of your centers of influence on a regular basis and provide them with value.
Once a candidate successfully has gotten past the screening process, the next step is to make the right selection. This is where great managers earn their stripes and have the opportunity to build outstanding agencies.
Weve all been taught to use behavioral-based questions to assess potential candidates. The question is this: How many of us ask them and use the results? Its very easy to ask the questions, but its difficult to make the right decision based on the answers when there is an immediate need for an additional hire.
Its time to sharpen those skills and commit to using them with every prospective agent you interview. Taking regular refresher courses that focus on agent selection and asking behavior-based questions is worth your time just to remind yourself of the importance of that step.
At this stage, it is also imperative to do the following:
? Conduct pre-contract training to let the candidate see what he/she will be doing before starting full time. This matches perception and reality and gives the manager an opportunity to verify the market potential of the individual.
? Conduct reference checks. The value derived from speaking to references should not be underestimated.
? Have the candidate meet with other agents in the office so he or she can ask questions. This gives you, the manager, an opportunity to get feedback from the agent and to see what questions the candidate asked.