At AAI, we all work together as a team, although we are all independent agents. We also have fun, share information, and compete for fun prizes. However, every insurance agent needs to look outside of their industry for networking opportunities. If all we do is talk to each other, we’re never going to expand our business. Networking events are the best ways to expand your profile, meet new people, and (hopefully) find new clients.
Types of networking events
If you’re dreading going to another business networking event, meeting the same suits who pitch the same pitch every year, then you need to look for new types of events. An event doesn’t have to have “networking” for you to take advantage of an opportunity to meet new people. The more people you know, the better your chances of finding new clients.
Charity events are an amazing opportunity for you to meet a lot of people, but in a situation where you aren’t there to “sell” your business. You will meet people organically, connect over a common cause, and start building relationships that can turn into opportunities to grow your business and improve your industry reputation. We’re seeing a lot more focus on selling your brand and relaying what you stand for, not what you are selling, and finding common ground with new people at a charity event or fundraiser is a golden opportunity. Of course, you should go and support charities that fit your company’s culture and beliefs, because authenticity is key.
Showing up early to events
Yup, it’s scary to be one of the first people available, but the point of networking is to stand out and meet as many people as possible. In fact, selling isn’t the point of networking; it’s meeting and connecting. If you make the right connections and make the right first impression, you can meet up at a later date and talk business. However, the networking event isn’t just for networking.
If you play your insurance agent cards right, one day, you’ll be organizing and speaking at future networking events, but until then, show up early and be sure to introduce yourself to the organizers of the event. If you show up to a packed room, you’ll be competing with everyone else, so don’t be afraid to be one of the first people there and make a good first impression on the people who matter the most and can help expand your business, your client base, and your reputation as a leader.
If you show up fashionably late, you’ll just get lost in the crowd.
Find events that speak to you
Don’t just show up to a networking event because it’s a chance to network. Find events; whether they’re industry-specific, through the chamber of commerce, college alumni programs, sporting events, speaking events, or happy hour events, go to an event you think will be fun. If you’re genuinely interested, you will make a better first impression. You’ll be more authentic, and not just another salesperson who is trying to expand your business.
Turnkey business model for independent agents
Affordable American Insurance provides a turnkey business model for a captive insurance agency to transition to the independent world, or for an existing independent agency to have a platform for increased carrier representation and revenue while removing carrier production requirements.