You’ve hired some new blood for your insurance agency -- congratulations! These guys and gals may be very new to the game. It’s even possible that they just passed their certification requirements. Or, maybe they just finished college and are new to sales but took some courses in finance. Insurance agents come from a variety of different backgrounds these days. Some even have a few years of work experience on their resumes. Regardless of how much hands-on sales experience some of your newbies may have, it’s a good idea to start off with an open mind with your fresh hires. Assume that they are capable of the best and put them in a position to prove you right! We’ve found that because you can control many factors when buying insurance leads and using live-transfer calls, using leads has great training potential. Keep reading to see how.
Normally, our best advice to agency owners is that if you want the strongest return on investment, you should generate insurance leads for your top producers. It makes sense, right? They are the most capable people to close leads and you’ll get your money’s worth. However, it’s important to also consider giving insurance leads you buy to new producers who are still learning the ropes. We’ll tell you why. Generally speaking, the more support you give your new hires, the more money they (and you) will make. You’ll also be letting them know you are investing in them too. With a steady stream of leads, backed with some hands-on training, you’ll identify your top talent quickly and easily this way. You’ll also not lose your new hires, who may get frustrated not selling policies otherwise. Whatever you do, don’t try training your new producers by asking them to telemarket all day long. It’s just too demoralizing.
While your new producers get their steady stream of leads, keep your eyes (and ears) on them. This observation time will give you a fair assessment of how they are treating leads and customers in general. Without giving notice, choose any lead and ask the producer to tell you all they can about this prospect. Also, ask what their process has been in contacting and following up with this lead. See if they have been identifying all the different insurance products they could’ve upsold and/or cross sold. Also, see if they thought to apply discounts on multi-policy plans. Have they been representing your agency in a good light? If you record phone conversations, this would be a good time to take a listen. This is the perfect opportunity for you to go over mistakes your new hires are making. While these check-ins may feel like micro-managing, there’s no better way of getting a fair assessment of your talent pool. It’s also a very efficient way of reinforcing some important habits into your new agents before they get used to doing things their own way, which may be the wrong way.
If you feel hesitant about spending boatloads of cash on new hires (buying insurance leads doesn’t come cheap), you can feed these insurance leads to your best performers while they mentor a new hire. The best way to learn and pick up good habits is to watch, listen and learn. This is also the perfect way to invest in two employees at once. Ideally, when the new producer is shadowing the more seasoned one, they will be conferenced in on a call so they can hear what the prospect is saying as well. Rotate producers with new hires regularly. One person’s approach may be a perfect fit while another person’s will be nothing like the new hire’s natural style. You’re not out to change people, only to fine-tune their process so they are more successful. Good producers don’t all have the same style of selling.
Sometimes you’ll come upon a great call in which the new hire’s talents came through and he/she closes the deal. Take this as an opportunity to reinforce what was effective during that call. Just as with any craft, you need to enable the new hire to really understand how they are performing. Avoid only going over the negative points of their sales pitch, follow-through, tone etcetera. While it’s important to show your producer what they’re doing wrong, you also want them to feel confident in what they are doing right.
If you schedule to have live-transfer calls to stream in at 10 am to noon, you are carving out a specific time that will set the structure for the new producer. (S)he will have to consider that every day this time is booked. They will have to begin structuring other hours of the day, especially ones that will be used for calling other leads and for generating fresh ones. You may have forgotten how it was when you first started, but chances are that your new hire is like most young and enthusiastic people and doesn’t yet make the most efficient use of time.
Your new prospects are probably in that age range of Millennials who love nothing more than technology. That’s actually very beneficial to you, too. SmartFinancial’s lead generation platform is built on the latest and most streamlined technology. Chances are that your new hires will feel more comfortable than you when it comes to the SmartFinancial’s dashboard, which is used to track, follow up and pause your insurance leads. A great way to build up their confidence is to have your new hire teach you the ropes after one of SmartFinancial’s account managers does a walk-through of the platform with them.
When you’re ready to buy leads, call us at SmartFinancial. Our account managers have experience working with brand new agents and seasoned insurance professionals. When you want a legitimate lead source with a generous refund and credit policy, don’t hesitate to call on us to help. We’re always here for our partner agents: 877.323.7750.