Working in the insurance industry can be both a challenging and a rewarding experience. That’s why it’s even more important to have the right qualities and habits to succeed. Here are ten of the most common traits of highly successful business men and women:
1. Ambitious and Determined: The most successful businesses do not rely on luck, but work hard and focus on sales, while understanding that there will be rejections and setbacks along the way. Even if you are a natural-born salesperson, or have the right business skills and connections in place from the start, thriving in this industry takes grit, energy and perseverance. Your passion, along with a willingness to work hard and build relationships, will help you grow. Successful business men and women also keep the big picture in mind, setting short- and long-term goals for themselves and for the business to achieve.
2. Natural Relationship Builder: Those who flourish often have an outgoing, gregarious personality, making it easy for them to make lasting connections as they are networking and speaking with potential customers on the phone. Sales involves developing a great rapport with the customers you serve. Customers want to feel as if they know, like and trust you, and that you have their best interests in mind. Aside from getting to know them, you must also be able to truly understand your customers so that you can tailor the right product offering for their needs.
3. Highly Visible: With the competitive nature of the insurance industry, one must work to stay top-of-mind as potential customers weigh their options. Effectively marketing your business should include a combination of several forms of communication, from outbound sales activities to advertising, social media marketing, direct mail and event sponsorship. Communicating your message through a variety of marketing channels will ensure that all your potential customers hear about your agency and that you are in the right place at the right time when the customer is ready to buy. Staying visible through marketing and sponsorship also helps your follow-up activities become more successful if your prospect is familiar with your agency before you call.
4. Responsive: The insurance business requires a different level of customer service than other industries. On the retail agency level, when customers call you to submit a claim, they are typically dealing with a stressful event, and their level of emotion escalates. They want to know that you are there when they need you, whether it’s answering a quick question about coverage or responding to a quote. If you find ways to make you or your business more available, even after normal business hours, you will impress your customers and increase your perceived value to them.
5. Learns from a Mentor: No matter how many years of experience you have, you can always learn from others who may have had success in a different market or using a different tactic. Learn from a more experienced professional, asking them to become your mentor. Find at least one individual who has demonstrated success in the industry and take them out for lunch or coffee once a month. Or create a mastermind group to collaborate online or in person regularly to motivate, share success tips and encourage each other. When you surround yourself with successful people, you will quickly find yourself more motivated to succeed, too.
6. Listens and Serves Others: While successful businesses can make a comfortable living from earning great commissions, the most fruitful businesses genuinely care about the customers they serve, and it shows. Serving others first will earn you lasting loyalty from your customers, and will help you earn even more valuable referrals from your most enthusiastic fans.
7. Community-Focused: Being well-connected in your community can help you stand out among other agents in the geographic area you serve, and give you opportunities to meet and get to know potential customers. Whether you decide to sponsor the little league team, donate to a nonprofit organization close to your heart, or donate your team’s time toward a worthy project, understand that staying community-focused can help your business grow as well.
8. Prioritizes and Delegates: These traits are especially important as the business expands. Great leaders know that they can’t do it all, and are willing to allow other employees to take on some of the day-to-day activities and less-critical tasks. Outsourcing some of your responsibilities will free up time for you to focus on other areas of the business, such as relationship management or customer retention.
9. Embraces Technology: While some businesses have survived the last few decades without the benefit of digital tools and software, the future of success must include adapting to the new way of online communication. Whether it’s improving your website, using a customer relationship management application for your sales process, or becoming active on social media, businesses must realize that prospects are using the Internet to research and assess potentially working with them. Staying visible online and embracing new technology shows that your business is efficient, nimble and has staying power.
10. Displays Integrity: The most successful business leaders truly stand out in terms of their heart and willingness to go the extra mile to help their customers and staff. Honesty and trustworthiness also go a long way in the insurance industry, so be upfront with customers to earn their trust. Those who display integrity are rewarded in the form of improved loyalty and customer retention. Integrity also extends to your support staff, so make sure you are hiring people who understand and live out your company culture.
While successful business leaders possess many of the core qualities mentioned above, finding ways to incorporate even a few of these habits into your current business practice will move you closer to the success you deserve.