The insurance industry offers amazing career opportunities for those who seize it. This is especially true for insurance agents/producers. I spent 15 years as a property & casualty agent and have had many ups and downs. There were moments of great success and days where I simply wanted to throw in the towel.
The insurance industry needs some new young talent. Unfortunately, young people aren’t flocking to become insurance agents. For those new agents that do take on the challenge of becoming a new insurance agent, many fail. Why?
I think there are three main reasons why new insurance agents fail.
1. Expecting too much too soon
Let’s face it, most of us live in the see it, want it, have it generation. We see something we like, we want it, and then we must have it right away. We look at successful people and think, “That must be nice. I sure wish I was that successful.”
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Wake up call; successful people work their tails off. Typically 20-30 years of hard work looks like an overnight success.
This is thought process of many young agents. Been there, done that. We start off in the first year or two of our careers and expect to be driving the nice car, have the nice house, and play golf about 100 days a year (ok maybe the last one was just mine). There is nothing wrong with those things, but first you must pay a price. You must sacrifice to win. You must put in the time and effort.
The insurance business is tough and like every profession, it takes time, effort, and FAILURE to become a master. You must get kicked in teeth, make mistakes, have bad days, and maybe even question your sanity before you achieve a high level of success.
This doesn’t mean the first few years have to be awful, but young agents often expect too much too soon. Learn and master your craft. Read, practice, grow, and before you know it success will find you.
Understand that the insurance business should be looked at as a slow cooker vs. a microwave. This doesn’t mean you can’t have positive results quickly, but young agent’s must understand that a huge book of business comes from developing relationships and expertise, not a sales gimmick.
Training, development and mentorship can set new agents up for success. (Photo: iStock)
2. Lack of quality training/education
I often speak with young insurance agents who are frustrated with their job. That can’t understand why this business is so tough. After a few minutes, I realize that this young agent was given a phone and computer, and maybe a lead sheet with no training or mentorship.
Of course they are going to fail. That’s like taking a person who has never golfed, walking them out to the golf course, giving them a club, and questioning why they can’t break 100.
Young agents need training and mentoring. They need quality education. There are some great programs out there to help agents get a start. There are insurance association groups, formal classwork programs or training from insurance companies.
Most importantly, I think every young agent needs to find a mentor. Better yet, two or three mentors. Someone who has had success in the industry and is willing to help new agents find their way. This could be someone from your office if you are fortunate.