Go from good to great — 5 ways to become a great agent

You are your greatest asset, so make sure you leverage yourself.

Jan 31, 2022

1. Put the Client First and Your Commissions Second
Agents that focus solely on commission are bound to lose out on growing their business. According to a survey by Dimensional Research, 66% of B2B customers stopped making purchases after a negative experience and were 52% more likely to share their experience through online review sites.

Listening to your clients and prospects is integral to being a great agent. When you connect with clients, you earn their trust. That means understanding their priorities and finding the right products and benefits for their needs, even if the commission is lower.

2. Provide Great Customer Service
Your clients have questions, and they often come at inconvenient times. Making sure you answer client questions quickly is a mark of a great agent. Their question may be the tenth you’ve answered this morning, but it may also be their only contact with you in a week. In a SuperOffice customer service survey, respondents said that fast response times are the best indicator of great customer service.

Forty-six percent of respondents expect a response in less than four hours. While you may not know the answer, finding your contact who does is equally important. Clients want their questions answered quickly, but they also need the right solutions for their unique problems.

Second to fast response time is being knowledgeable and going above and beyond for clients. After your clients have signed a policy, do you have a process to follow up with them with best practices in navigating a policy or helpful tips? In these moments, the little things count. Send your clients birthday cards or a yearly thank you card.

In a Microsoft customer service survey, 96% of people stated that customer service is the determining factor in staying with an agency or finding a new agent. Providing an exceptional level of service helps build a relationship with your clients and can create brand ambassadors for you and your agency.

3. Be Persistent
Every great agent is persistent — both for yourself and for your client. For your clients, being persistent means knowing when to guide them to make a decision if they seem stuck. It’s also continuing to offer your expertise when they feel lost in the sea of benefit options and may not directly ask for your assistance. As your relationship grows with a client, you will learn when to be persistent and when to give them space.

4. Educate Yourself
Almost every industry has changed because of the pandemic, and health insurance is no different. There are new laws and statutes to stay on top of, new products to research and new skills to acquire. Developing those new skills is easier than ever. Multiple organizations offer online classes, webinars and articles.

Keep in mind it’s important to grow both your industry knowledge as well as your leadership and communication skills. The book How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie is a good start.

5. Be Honest
Giving your clients news about their rates reducing or signing a new client are great feelings, but things often don’t work out like you or your client planned. Sometimes a request or question from a client falls through the cracks, and you didn’t get back to them, or a benefits package is not coming together as you hoped.

These are tough but necessary moments of honesty with your clients and prospects. Being upfront with your clients helps build trust and garner respect. We are all human, and we make mistakes or find ourselves in situations we can’t control. Walking through those times beside your client, being honest and working to find a solution will lead to repeat business over time.

Every day is a choice to be better than you were yesterday, and improvement is a never-ending pursuit. If you take one small step each day and commit to these five tips, you’re on your way from being a good agent to being a great one and providing a whole new level of service to your clients.

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