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How to Become a Successful Insurance Agent in Property & Casualty
A successful property and casualty agent works too hard for their money initially and hardly at all once established. Most P&C agents would disagree with the last part of the statement, since there's always service work to do once you establish a book of business. Property and casualty agents receive a first year commission on premiums they collect when they sell a policy. Unlike life representatives, it's not that large, but they get it each time the customer renews. This means your income continues to grow every year you're in the business.
Expect to work long hours and late hours. Since you need to see people when they are at home, you do most of your business after the normal office hours. Initially, you'll put in 60-hour weeks because there's always something you need to do, whether its maintaining records, prospecting, handling claims or selling. Often, seasoned reps have service personnel who handle much of the service work in later years.
Calculate your budget. Know how much money you need to live. While it's important to help individuals and do a good job, if you don't have the income to keep going, you're not a help to anyone. Consider your family's needs and find out the amount of premium you need for the commissions to pay your bills. Remember that your income improves every six months to a year, depending on the type of premium payment your client makes. Income for P&C agents grows with time. You get a commission not just for the initial sale of the policy but also each time the client pays a premium. That means every six months you get a raise, because you have renewals. This also should remind you to keep in touch with existing clients every six months.
Keep excellent records. This doesn't just mean client records, which are important, but also personal sales records. You need to find out how many contacts you have to make to secure an appointment and how many appointments you need for a sale. Also, note the average income from each sale. This helps to plan for the number of contacts.
Keep up with the changes in your industry. Continuing education is important in any field, but especially in insurance. It's important to also know the increasing costs of cars and claims so you can keep your clients adequately covered. Take a continuing education class every six months. Most of the time, your state insurance department will require that you earn a certain number of CE hours in order to renew your license.
Ask for referrals. If you have satisfied clients (and if not, you should find out why), ask for referrals. Many representatives have postcards made with an introduction about themselves that they ask the client to sign. They send the postcards to the referrals before they call.
Participate in public service activities. There's no better way to meet other people than helping out at a charity fundraiser. It's beneficial for your career and for your community. The more people you meet, the more prospects you'll have. Choose functions for charities you truly want to help.
Keep consistent work hours. One of the biggest problems with any type of sales position is often you're the boss of your time. Frequently, that boss is far too lenient. Consistency works. Even when it looks darkest and sales are few and far between, you'll feel better working. Eventually, that dry spell will disappear and you'll have ample sales from all the groundwork you did getting through it.
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