10 Business Skills You'll Learn Your First Year as an Insurance Agent
August 5, 2019
People with an entrepreneurial and business mindset are often driven, motivated and passionate about running their own business and meeting their goals, which makes them a great fit for the insurance industry. At Farm Bureau, our first-year agents learn beneficial skills that will sharpen their business intuition so they can reach their lifelong dream of running a successful business on their own. Depending on some of your current business skills, you may have the basics down, but we’re confident that Farm Bureau will help you strengthen and hone in on even more capabilities.
Business Skills New Agents Will Learn Within Their First Year
#1 Taking Responsibility For Your Business
When you become an insurance agent at Farm Bureau, you’re becoming your own boss. This opportunity comes with great responsibilities to run a successful operation and assist the people within your community. At the end of the day, entrepreneurs need to love what they do, so if you are not passionate about helping others, this entrepreneurial pursuit might not be the best fit. If you’re looking forward to making a difference and protecting the members in your community, we want you to be a part of the Farm Bureau team.
#2 Business Planning
As a business owner, you’ll be in charge of your own actions and decisions. What you decide will not only affect you, but will have an impact on your bottom line, employees and your business as a whole. You’ll discover the business planning tactics that work best for you and your insurance business.
#3 Leading a Team
As your insurance business grows, you may be in charge of a few employees, such as office managers or assistants, and eventually sales associates to help you expand your business. As the leader of a team, you’ll be in charge of setting business growth goals and financial goals, holding all employees accountable to meet challenges, giving feedback and criticism and you’ll be a mentor to the insurance agents that work for you. Within your first year, you’ll learn more about your leadership style and how to lead in a way that motivates the people around you.
Along with running your own business, many Farm Bureau insurance agents are involved in leadership roles within their communities, so this is an essential skill to have. Since your job revolves around helping members within the community, taking a community leadership role can enhance your exposure and build trust among local potential clients.
#4 Time Management
There are always different activities that entrepreneurs and business owners could be doing to improve their work - taking a training course, setting up client meetings, prospecting for new clients, the list goes on. Even though it’s essential to expand your business and take care of your existing clients, it’s important to find a balance of growing your clients and capabilities while also making time for yourself. Effectively managing your time so you can run your business without getting overwhelmed or burnt out will be the key to a successful start as a Farm Bureau agent.
#5 Managing Revenue and Expenses
Managing your finances is more than just keeping track of the money coming in. As an insurance agent, it will be essential to keep proper records of the financial state and cash flow of your business. This includes accurately forecasting future profits, future expenses, setting financial goals and much more.
You’ll also get to dip your toe into the accounting world by establishing a process to record your financial transactions and keeping accurate records for your insurance business. As an insurance agent, you’ll learn how to keep track of business-related expenses, pay working employees and make sure you’re doing your best to earn a profit for your business.
#6 Managing Multiple Marketing Platforms
For some business owners, learning marketing techniques and best practices will be a completely new skill set. You’ll learn how to manage your own business website, which a Farm Bureau representative will help set up. This gives potential clients and current customers a way to find your business information online and check out the services and insurance options you offer. Farm Bureau also recommends creating professional social media profiles when you become an insurance agent. Social media is a great way to promote yourself and your business, while giving your clients an easy way to contact you. You will learn more about setting up social media ads, sharing content related to your community or industry and more. With a little work on your marketing and advertising skills, you could reach more potential clients with your insurance business.
#7 Sales Processes
You’ll have the opportunity to sharpen your sales skill set when you choose to become an insurance agent. Through our proven sales training process, each agent is equipped to grow their business from the start.
Even though you’ll have growing sales skills, you won’t be on your own. Farm Bureau also has a team designated to answer any questions you have about our sales process or the insurance coverage we offer to our clients. The Just in Time team will be your go-to resource for insurance industry knowledge and experience, and they will be your sounding board if you want to go over a sales presentation or discuss which option is best for the client. No matter what you need, the Just in Time team can give you helpful answers or guide you in the right direction.
Prospecting can be one of the most important steps in the sales process, and we talk a lot about best practices in our training sessions for new agents. Our sales professionals will discuss the benefits of networking and staying involved and how this can be a great skill for insurance agents and business owners to have. By being active in your community, you’ll naturally get to know more people within your neighborhood and grow your prospecting list. Additionally, you’ll be seen as a person that’s dedicated to improving the future of the community and can build trust by networking with others. If you’re not searching for new potential clients, you’re not attempting to build your business.
#9 Relationship Building
Our business was built on trustworthy relationships, and we believe this is one of the keys to our success. In your first year, you’ll learn that reaching out to others or checking in on your current clients can go a long way. When you become an insurance agent, you’ll learn how to develop goals for your relationship building, how to measure success and more. Agents are trained to use our customer management systems to track their clients, prospects and relationships, but sometimes just having a calendar reminding you to set up an appointment every few months can be the easiest way to continuously reach out in a timely manner. It’s always important to build lasting relationships and learn more about your client in order to give them a plan that best fits their current needs.
#10 Supporting Clients Through a Claim
Something to always keep in mind when you become an insurance agent is that you’ll need to be there for the tough times. When a client has to submit a claim, there’s probably a situation in their life that went wrong. Whether it is a car accident, a death in the family, damage to their property or any other circumstance, we know our Farm Bureau agents will be there to support their clients when they need it most.
What to Expect When You’re Getting Started
Farm Bureau gives all insurance agents a complete course on what it’s truly like to become an insurance agent with our Developing Agent Program. Through this course, we train professionals and give them the tools they need for a successful opportunity. During our award-winning training, we’ll go into detail about the transition of becoming an insurance agent, what skills Farm Bureau agents use on a daily basis and what support teams are there to assist you and keep things running smoothly.
New agents are given even more assistance within the first few months to get them started on the right foot, but our support teams are always available to help agents. Even after you’ve completed the program and you’re in charge of your own operations, you’ll still be able to call on the agriculture, insurance industry or wealth management knowledge of some of our support team members.
If you have more inquiries about what it’s like to get started as a Farm Bureau insurance agent, check out our Frequently Asked Questions blog!
Perks of Running Your Own Business
One of the most rewarding parts of transitioning to become an insurance agent is becoming your own boss. Once you learn the necessary details about the insurance industry during training, you’ll be able to hone in and build on the business management skills you already have. Running your own business is a thrilling challenge that gives you the power and flexibility to make your own decisions. Running your own insurance business can let you utilize skills like leadership, networking, time management and plenty of others.
Use Your Skills to Build Your Own Business
Start putting your business capabilities to the test by getting started as a Farm Bureau agent. If your current business position isn’t as fulfilling as you’d like and you want to try running your own business, contact Farm Bureau. Get started today to start making a difference.