The foundation of a successful agent is people skills
To be a success as an independent insurance agent, you need good people skills, but having people skills is more than just being the life of the party. You need to be able to gain trust, show empathy, be a good listener, and be patient. You also always need to put the needs of your clients first.
Showing empathy and relating well to others
Having good people skills means that you can relate to, understand, and work well with others. Being able to relate to others requires empathy and listening skills. Relating to someone could simply mean that you listen and understand their point of view, even if you don’t agree.
Empathizing with the person or people with whom you are communicating will give you unique insight into their situation, and will help you determine how to move forward to solve a problem or to increase efficiency and productivity. Being able to empathize with a client will help you relate to your clients, putting their needs first.
Being able to relate to your employees and your clients will help build trust and mutual respect.
Listening and communications skills
Good communication skills mean that you can strategically articulate your instructions, that you can give concise and precise directions to your team, and that you can impart hard-to-understand information – like insurance – to your clients in terms in which they can understand and relate.
Communication used to be heavily focused on your oratory skills and your demeanor, but with the rise of digital communications, it is equally important that you can communicate via the written word. Written communication skills are often more difficult that verbal communications, as you often miss inflections in speech, humor, and the body language that we use to communicate verbally.
Patience and constancy
Being the boss and starting an agency is stressful. There are many balls in the air, and it’s your job to keep them from falling to the ground. Part of having great people skills is being able to remain calm in the face of the stress and chaos that sometimes comes with starting a business. Your team and your clients are looking for you to always keep a level head and make sound decisions, no matter how stressful the situation may be.
Affordable American Insurance is a growing network of independent agents from Colorado, Arizona, and Utah. Members of AAI are guided by a team of industry experts to help maximize their potential as independent agents, as well as work together to stay competitive and succeed.