If you’re an agent who suddenly had to transition to working from home, you may have at first thought that it’s going to be all fun and games, until you realized the challenges. While some people have a natural knack for working efficiently in a home environment, most of us are less structured with our time management and are prone to experiencing setbacks. It takes self discipline to stay focused outside the office. But what if you’re not the perfect remote employee?
Well, we’ve rounded up 10 tips to make selling insurance from your home office much easier.
1. Create a Work Space
No, we’re not asking you to light candles and burn sage. In fact, make this space as austere as possible. Keep it clean, not distracting and well-organized. If your environment is a mess, your mind will be a mess, so even if everything around you spells chaos, keep this area as tidy as possible.
It’s okay if you live in a tiny studio. A workspace can be as big as a laptop can hold. If you’ve got kids, that’s a tricky situation, especially if there’s no one else who can help you. But you must try to keep your work space free of distractions.
When you take a break, avoid doing it in your work space. Step away when you take lunch or an afternoon coffee break. Come back when you’re ready to work. You’ll soon condition your mind to turn on whenever you enter your work space.
2. Set Ground Rules
Set ground rules with family members or roommates, even your pet(s). When you’re on the phone or working, you’ll want as few distractions as possible. Remember, your work space is your space. Let everyone else in your household know they should only enter it if it’s an emergency. Having young children in the home makes it especially difficult. Do your best.
3. Don’t Get Lazy
Oh, that hour lunch break turned into two hours and you had some wine with lunch. Bad. Whenever you find yourself distracted or tempted to bring a little fun into the workday, snap out of it and take yourself back to your designated work space. Enjoy your work, don’t act like you’re on vacation.
Make yourself a cup of coffee or tea, and remind yourself that you’ll only have yourself to blame if you come up short in revenue. That’s self-discipline. It’s already a hard enough time adapting to the new rules that govern us with the coronavirus. Messing around is not going to help you overcome this really overwhelming crisis we’re going through.
People need you. Get back in the game and hustle. Make some money.
4. Follow Your State’s Guidelines and Curfews
Many people still think the coronavirus is a hoax. Regardless of how you see it, you must follow the mandates of your state, which most likely require quarantines. Don’t meet face-to-face with a client if you can avoid it, and avoid getting sick by staying home! Put the networking opportunities on the back burner for a while. Not many people will show up to them anyway. The last thing you want to be remembered for is getting tons of clients ill. You can still set up one-on-meetings if you need to see a customer in person, but if you’re able to bind online, by all means do it! There are other ways to make up for the time you’d normally spend meeting new clients. See more below.
5. Keep Busy and Set Regular Work Hours
It’s a tough time but only because things are different, not terrible. We just need to do business differently for a while and it’ll take some adjusting. The fact remains that people still need to be insured, now more than ever. There are great opportunities out there to sell, especially now that Obamacare is being opened up outside the enrollment period in some states. Reach out to your clients who may be considering letting their car insurance lapse and advise them against doing so.
If business is slow, buy insurance leads. You’d be investing your money wisely and keeping busy. Many people have the time now to comparison-shop (yes, even your existing clients), so make use of this time and get connected with shoppers. Leads are simply people who are home and thinking of ways to save money, so it’s the perfect time to be of service to them. SmartFinancial has committed $10 million to a Small Business COVID-19 Relief Package to help insurance agents during the pandemic. You can save up to 50% on products and services. But remember: you still have to work hard to close with these prospects like you do with any other lead. You still have to sell.
6. Schedule Breaks
Some of us are more self-disciplined than others when it comes to getting work done from home but we run the risk of burning out because we don’t know how to turn it off. If your business time is cutting way too much into your personal time, you’ll want to pull back a little. If you’re especially busy putting out fires, make sure to schedule breaks, eat your lunch and get up and walk around. It’s not a bad idea to take a 15 minute walk and get some fresh air during your lunch break.
7. Split Up Your Time Wisely
Most agencies need to split up the time they spend on engaging new prospects and nurturing existing relationships. Generally speaking, you should spend 30 to 40% of your time on sales prospecting calls and the rest of the time you can spend nurturing existing relationships and sifting through paperwork. Your calls will ideally include live-transfers, which have the highest rate of return.
People are confused right now. To some, it seems like the apocalypse, so be mindful of that and be on top of your game when you speak with consumers. It’s okay if you’re shaken up too, but try to inject some normalcy into your conversations with prospects and active customers who are probably riddled with questions. Your work space is where you will eventually feel free to let go of your own sense of doom-and-gloom or boredom and focus on making people feel positive, especially your clients.
8. Get the Right Software
The busier you are the better, but that also means that you need to be more organized too. Otherwise, you’ll bleed losses without even being aware. Especially now that you’re working from home indefinitely, look into using software solutions designed for productivity and efficiency. A customer relationship management (CRM) system will help you keep tabs on important information, like when you need to follow-up, last contact date, policy renewal dates and so on. You should have a system like this in place in the office and your home office. This tool will be especially useful when you buy leads. Keeping track is half the work. Let a CRM do it for you instead.