I can only speak to how I started in this industry and how I’ve brought other people into the industry. Obviously, it’s a really tough industry to get your arms around quickly. It’s usually a process. I always say it will take at least three years to get fully comfortable in what you’re doing.
I started out with LUTCF, which is more of an entry level designation and it really taught me the skillsets that I need, and that is also how I’ve brought others into our agency. We can talk about product all day long, but to me one of hardest things to get comfortable with is the sales process. Those are things you don’t really get taught, say, at an insurance school in a home office.
Definitely the hands-on skills-building training is really what I look for — so a combination of LUTCF and really doing joint appointments. We do a lot of teaming in our office and do role playing before the meeting and also do it live in the client meeting. The best way I learned was to just do it myself.
Once I got that under my belt, did LUTCF and got through my first three years, then I started toward the more advanced designation programs. I got my CFP and my CLU, because I think you always have to be learning. I had a mentor who was amazing. I used to send him case scenarios via email and he would help talk me through it. Anytime you can surround yourself with other advisors who’ve been around a lot longer, you’re certainly going to be much better off. Having a really easy way to team people up and set up mentor programs will help new agents.