Considering a career transition from another industry to insurance? Even if you have no previous professional experience as an insurance agent, you might be surprised to learn that your set of skills can translate to a successful future in insurance.
Take Eliott Milakovich. His resume didn’t scream “insurance agent.” He had no sales experience and had spent most of his career in construction. But the Farm Bureau Financial Services manager he first met with saw important attributes in Eliott: a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial drive.
“My manager thought I needed to work on a few things before I was a good fit for the company, and I was drawn to that,” Eliott says. “That became a challenge for me — to accomplish something I wanted.”
Farm Bureau agents come from many different backgrounds, good news if you’re wondering how to get a job in insurance with no experience. Agents might have had careers as teachers, coaches, retail associates or farmers before making the leap to the insurance industry. But they all have a few things in common. For one, they share Eliott’s entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen. Secondly, they get access to the supportive network Farm Bureau offers to both new and experienced agents.
Take Advantage of Training
One of the most popular myths about becoming an agent is that you have to have a background in insurance to be successful. Not true. Like his Farm Bureau colleagues, Eliott’s first year as an insurance agent started with an intensive four-month training experience before he become a contracted agent. The Developing Agent Program not only allows prospective agents to earn their life and property-casualty insurance licenses while getting real-world experience, but it also gives them an opportunity to make sure the position is a good fit.
After becoming an agent, the learning continues through industry training academies, online classes and in-person field workshops. It’s a flexible, on-demand approach to continuing education that allows all agents to form solid industry foundations — and encourages them to keep building and growing.
Lean into Your People Skills
Experienced agents know that long-lasting success isn’t just about selling products to clients and moving on. It’s about relationship building. An important rule to always keep top of mind: Put the needs of the client first. This means taking the time to get to know your clients, asking them questions, learning their goals and understanding their motivations. Then – and only then – you can determine what products and packages best suit their needs for the long haul.
Get Hands-on Guidance from Experienced Mentors
From day one, new agents at Farm Bureau have a manager who will encourage them to rise to their potential. These mentors — or “district managers,” as they’re known at Farm Bureau — are there for each new agent to provide support and ease the transition into the profession. No matter what kind of advice a new agent needs, the district manager is able to serve as the first line of assistance and to provide any necessary resources. In short: They’re as dedicated to your success as you are.
Tap into an Existing Network of Support
A new agent’s support team doesn’t end with their district manager, however. While he was settling into his career at Farm Bureau, Eliott valued the help he received from team members who were knowledgeable in niches such as marketing, sales and community networking.
“We’re not out producing, we’re not bringing in clients, we’re not keeping those clients happy if we don’t have the tools to make that happen,” Eliott says. “Farm Bureau goes out of their way to give their agents the things they need, through products, training, support systems, underwriters and more.”
Enjoy Financial Support and Incentives
It’s expensive to transition careers and begin a new profession, and Farm Bureau understands that. To offset these costs, Farm Bureau offers additional compensation in an agent’s early years through the Developing Agent Commission Program. New agents also receive incentives for achieving property-casualty and life production sales goals.
“When you compare it to what other companies are offering,” Eliott says, “the way [Farm Bureau] wants to pay you and the way they’re going to support you to make that happen — it’s very lucrative for people who are willing to work.”
Ready to Become an Agent?
If you’re interested in becoming an insurance agent but are unsure where to start, contact us to learn more about the next steps.