As an insurance agent, one of the strongest assets you can acquire is community. Networking is an extremely essential practice in the industry regardless of your specialty or tenure. Though it may seem intimidating to navigate, there are plenty of simple steps you can take to start building your network and, more importantly, a stronger reputation as an agent.
WHY IS NETWORKING SO ESSENTIAL FOR INSURANCE AGENTS?
Here’s a short answer: networking is the key to standing out in a sea of competitors. With so many outlets to find a provider, consumers are surrounded with ample opportunity to purchase insurance policies required for their personal or business-related needs. A surefire way to grab their attention is to make yourself personable, present, and attentive. When given the choice, people are always going to choose an agent who aligns with their own values and takes strong initiative to meet their needs.
Showcasing your interpersonal skills and sincerity will draw your prospective clients in, and further fostering those relationships builds trust. The best way to market yourself as an agent is to have others speak on your credibility and ultimately send new clients your way.
SO HOW CAN YOU NETWORK AS AN INDEPENDENT AGENT?
Get Involved in Your Community
One of the most effective ways to build connections is to start volunteering and participating in local events. It will speak volumes on your character, and you’ll meet and interact with like-minded people who also care about making a difference in their community. Sharing this sentiment with others will give them a reason to trust you over other agents. It also gives you the opportunity to support local small businesses!
Build an Online Presence & Stay Informed
As you start building more of a network, your connections are going to want a resource to learn more. Having an online presence is extremely vital when it comes to connecting with your community and developing your career. The first step is to invest in a well-made website that is easily accessible, easy to follow, and tells your audience more about you and what your values are. It is also the main avenue for contact. When your website is professional and concise, it speaks highly on your credibility.
You’ll also find it beneficial to stay active on relevant social media platforms, such as LinkedIn or Facebook, so that you have a way to interact with potential clients. This is an easy way to engage with your market and further show initiative with the click of a few buttons. This form of networking requires the least amount of effort, but still goes a long way. Another great aspect of social media is the ability to connect with other agents and learn more about current happenings and events in the market. People often share their own stories, both from the agent and client perspectives, which may shed light on areas of opportunity.
Develop & Maintain Relationships
The further you invest into your relationships with both current and prospective clients, the more interest you’ll gain. Always prioritize your client’s wellbeing and happiness, and be sure to listen actively. Don’t overlook any connections you already have with friends, family, neighbors- because word-of-mouth still carries weight. Reputations speak for themselves: if you’re a reliable neighbor and friend, even those who aren’t in business with you will speak on your behalf as an agent.
Attend and/or Host Events
The more involved you are, the more you’ll find events contrived with the sole purpose of expanding your network and breadth of knowledge in the industry. Many agents like yourself also prioritize building relationships with others in the field, and plenty of agencies and alliances host forums and socials to bring you together. These events are often hosted virtually to make them more accessible, which opens the door to a much larger community.
While establishing your network may take time, it does have a great ROI. Just remember the goal is to build connections that are meaningful and sustained, as opposed to making a quick sale. Your opportunities will grow substantially, and you’ll even form great bonds along the way. Following these steps will provide you with a strong foundation as an agent, and we hope you take action to keep developing those relationships!