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February 9, 2016

You Are No Longer an Insurance Agent

Summary:

It's no longer enough to just be an agent. You are first and foremost a marketer, publisher, creator, innovator and more.

Photo Courtesy of Phil Dowsing Creative

News flash! You are not an insurance agent.

Yes, you sell insurance products and services for commissions, but that’s not why your clients buy from you. Every successful insurance agent today understands that they do much more than transfer risk for their clients. Today’s successful insurance agents understand that they are first and foremost marketers, publishers, creators, innovators, speakers and value providers.

This may seem like a foreign concept, but it’s true.

No insurance producer can help clients financially if she can’t first paint an emotional picture through words and ideas. Marketing is not about manipulation, tricks or tactics. Today’s insurance buyers are too educated and untrusting to fall for inauthenticity. Today’s marketing is about great content.

Content is not limited to a website, emails or product and service descriptions. Everything a customer or prospective customer comes into contact with about you or your agency is content. Content is any medium through which you communicate with the people who may use your products or services. It could be the words on your webpage, the email sent to a client, a headline on your brochure or the words used during an appointment with a prospective client.

There is no hiding from content. It will make or break you.

However, most agents don’t seize this opportunity. In fact, most agents don’t even know the opportunity exists.

Ann Handley, author of “Everybody Writes,” says it best: “Ours is a world where technology and social idea have given us access and power: Every one one of us has the awesome opportunity to own our own online publishing platforms—websites, blogs, email newsletters, Facebook pages, Twitter streams and so on.

“I don’t use the phrase ‘awesome opportunity’ lightly. The opportunity to change how we communicate with people we are trying to reach—and what we communicate—is tremendous, yet we aren’t taking full advantage of it.”

With this great opportunity, why are the vast majority of insurance agents still standing on the sidelines, simply watching and waiting?

Some think they lack time, others say they lack of knowledge or skill, and others still believe that there is no need to change.

I contend you don’t really have a choice.

  • Your prospective clients have more options than ever before.
  • Your prospective clients have more resources than ever before.
  • Your prospective clients expect more from their agent than ever before.

Those agents who deliver on these expectations will stand out and earn business from their ideal clients. Those who don’t will continue to fight and scrape for what’s left.

So, I ask you a basic question: Are you a marketer or an insurance agent?

Trick question. You have to be both.

One is expected, the other will make you successful.

You are expected to understand policy terms, definitions, exclusions, coverage gaps, underwriting, endorsements and what all those strange acronyms mean.

You get paid for providing a positive experience through your content. Providing that is not easy, and that’s why most agents are struggling. It requires that you are much more than just smart, friendly and able to ask if you can provide a quote.

  • You have to help your customers achieve something that’s important to them.
  • You have to provide a unique viewpoint.
  • You have to put 100% focus on your customer and view the world through his eyes.

All three listed above take hard work, hustle, training, continual personal development and a passion that burns deep inside you.

This passion doesn’t come from outside sources. It starts and ends with you.

  • How badly do you want to make an impact?
  • How badly do you want to help others?
  • How badly do you want to become the industry leader?

To succeed, you must decide you will not settle for being just another insurance agent. You are a professional who earns trust through consistent and valuable content, offline and online, to your clients and prospective clients.

To be a successful insurance agent today, you must first be a marketer … and a good one.

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About the Author

Brent Kelly is the CEO and co-founder of BizzGrizz Marketing. He helps insurance agents stand up, stand tall and stand out in today’s noisy world. Kelly spent 15 years as an active property and casualty agent where he was named one of the top 12 young agents in the U.S. by PropertyCasualty 360 in 2012.

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