business skills.

9 Business Skills You'll Learn Your First Year as an Insurance Agent

People with an entrepreneurial mindset are often driven, motivated and passionate about running their own business, which makes them a great fit for the insurance industry. At Farm Bureau, our first-year agents develop beneficial skills that will sharpen their business intuition so they can reach their dream of running a successful business. 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 even more capabilities. 

#1 Establishing a Business Plan

As a business owner, you’ll be making many important decisions. What you decide will not only affect you, it will also have an impact on your bottom line, your employees and your business as a whole.

The good news: At Farm Bureau, we give all insurance agents a complete course on what it’s like to become an insurance agent with our Developing Agent Program. Through this program, we give professionals the tools they need to succeed. You’ll discover the business planning tactics that work best for you. We go into detail about the transition to becoming an insurance agent, what skills Farm Bureau agents use on a daily basis and what support teams exist to assist you.

New agents are given assistance within the first few months, but our support teams are always available to all agents. Even after you’ve completed the program, you’ll still be able to call on the agriculture, insurance industry or wealth management knowledge of our support team members. 

#2 Leading a Team

As your insurance business grows, you may oversee a few employees, such as sales associates and service associates, who can help you expand your business. As the leader, you’ll set business growth goals and financial goals, holding employees accountable to meet challenges, giving feedback and mentoring the staff 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. Since your job revolves around helping members within the community, taking a community leadership role can enhance your exposure among local potential clients. 

#3 Mastering Time Management

There are always activities that business owners could be doing to improve their work: taking a training course, setting up client meetings, prospecting for new clients. Even though it’s essential to expand your business and take care of your existing clients, it’s important to find a balance between that and making time for yourself. Effectively managing your time so you can run your business without getting overwhelmed or burned out will be the key to a successful start as a Farm Bureau agent. 

#4 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 key to keep proper records of the financial state and cash flow of your business. This includes forecasting future profits, future expenses, setting financial goals and more.

You’ll also get to dip your toe into accounting by establishing a process to record your financial transactions, monitor business-related expenses, pay working employees and make sure you’re doing your best to earn a profit for your business. 

#5 Leveraging Marketing Tactics

For some business owners, learning marketing best practices will be a completely new skill set. With the help of a Farm Bureau Marketing Coach and corporate support team, you’ll learn how to manage your business website and create a marketing plan.. This gives potential clients and current customers a way to find your business and learn about the services 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 connect with you. 

#6 Determining Sales Processes

You’ll have the opportunity to sharpen your sales skills when you become an insurance agent. Through our proven sales training process, each agent is equipped to grow their business right from the start. Plus, you won’t be going out on your own. Farm Bureau offers agents a team designated to answer questions you have about our sales process or the insurance coverage we offer. The Just in Time team will be your go-to resource for insurance questions, and they will be your sounding board if you want to go over a sales presentation or discuss which option is best for a client. 

#7 Prospecting

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 how this can be an important skill for insurance agents and business owners. By being active in your community, you’ll naturally get to know more people, and grow your prospecting list. Additionally, you’ll be seen as a person who’s dedicated to improving the future of the community, which helps build trust. 

#8 Building Relationships

Our business was built on relationships, and we believe this is one of the keys to our success. In your first year, you’ll discover how much checking on your current clients benefits your long-term business growth. When you become an insurance agent, you’ll learn how to develop goals for relationship building, plus how to measure that success. Agents are trained to use our customer management systems to track their clients, prospects and relationships, and encouraged to find a system that works for them.

#9 Supporting Clients

Something to 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—a car accident, a death in the family or damage to their property. No matter the circumstance, Farm Bureau agents will be there to support their clients when they need it most. 

Use Your Skills to Build Your Own Business

Ready for professional growth?  Learn more about the opportunities that await you as a Farm Bureau agent.