Rethinking What It Means to be An Agent
How The Role of “Insurance Agent” Has Evolved
Have you thought about how you define yourself as an independent agent? What does the word “agent” mean to your clients? Does that title really explain what you do or the value you bring? Over the years, the insurance industry has made some pretty heavy adaptations to the way consumers like to shop. Maybe it’s time that you adapt the way you think about what it means to be an insurance agent.
Here are 3 ways that your role may be changing:
· Advisor vs. Agent. As an insurance agent, you’re more than a representative. You’re building your book of business based on your knowledge, expertise, and commitment to providing value to your clients. As you take on an advisory role, be sure that you’re communicating the benefits that your knowledge and support offer your clients. After all, today, consumers expect agents to deliver expertise alongside personalization. Your clients care about the relationship you’ve established with them; and they rely on you to be on their side. You’re advising them each step of the way. Use the term “advisor” whenever it can support the value that you bring to the table. You can also expand on your advisory role to help differentiate your level of service and commitment to help you stand apart from others in the industry.
· Always On. Today, consumers spend time researching, browsing, and shopping 24/7. Think about your availability to your clients. Do you often meet with clients after traditional business hours or text clients with information over the weekend? How are you working to meet the expectations of your clients? While you certainly don’t need to be “on duty” all of the time, the reality is that the internet is accessible at any time, day or night. Protect your work-life balance by scheduling helpful email messages and social media content after hours and on weekends. Not only are these key opportunities to use those media at times in which they’re most popular, but you’ll also be presenting some form of contact with your clients during atypical hours, helping you to provide more moments of connections with your clients without having to be physically present. You can also adjust your outgoing voicemail and set up an email autoreply to provide details about your availability while also offering a somewhat generic message that can be of value to all of your clients…perhaps a wellness tip about maintaining balanced nutrition or trying to work in more opportunities for physical movement throughout the day. These messages will provide your clients with an easy means of messaging you on their time, while immediately communicating your availability to them so that they can know when to expect a return call; and in the process, they’ll receive a tidbit of helpful information. If you have more information to share, consider writing a blog article that goes into more detail on a particular topic and provide the web address in your outgoing message or autoreply. Or, develop a landing page with frequently asked questions and offer an overview of questions and answers on your outgoing voicemail message or automated email response to direct clients to your page to learn more. If your clients are going to take to the internet for information, you can do what you can to help ensure that the information that they’re receiving is coming from you…even if it’s three in the morning.
· A New Focus. While nothing will ever fully replace the art of customer service, more and more agents are now devoting more of their time and attention to cross-selling and customer retention over more ordinary service tasks. With mobile apps and web portals, consumers have more control over their accounts and can receive many of the same service-style support on their own. As your clients become self-serviced through technology and changing consumer behaviors, agents can now focus more on finding new ways to introduce new products and strengthen client relationships.
Regardless of how your role shifts to accommodate consumer expectations and industry trends, we have the resources to help you succeed. Schedule a demo to learn about our web-based app, Propelicy; or contact us to see what makes us a unique FMO — one who’s here when you need us. Visit us at gsnational.com.
GS National Insurance is an independently owned insurance marketing organization. We specialize in helping independent advisors increase their Health, Life, and Annuity Business. Our primary focus is the senior health insurance marketplace. We combine technology and experience to deliver high-quality service and support. Learn more at gsnational.com