Networking: Successful Strategies for Health Insurance Agents

As an independent insurance agent, reality dictates you must network in order to create opportunities for yourself and grow your business. As hard as the reality may be for some, it really is like riding a bike and you’ll only get better at it over time. Especially if you use some proven strategies and follow the plan you set forth.

The Polished Pitch. I know many career coaches who advise keeping your elevator pitch to 30 seconds or less. Personally, I think it’s fine to make it a minute or so (you can always condense or wrap it up quickly if needed). The important point to keep in mind is that you only have a brief moment to grab someone’s attention and sell your merits. So, rehearse your pitch over and over until it becomes second nature. You can mix it up a bit so it doesn’t come across as a robotic repeat button, but it should be consistent and to the point. Regarding the pitch itself, make it succinct, make it memorable, and make sure to differentiate yourself. While a whole blog (or book!) could be dedicated to differentiation, one good rule of thumb is to highlight how you can directly benefit the person you’re engaging with, rather than just talking yourself up.

Confidence & Realism. Practice makes perfect. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll become. The more confident you become, the more successful you’ll be. Make a point to network, if only to practice networking! Part of the key to becoming more confident, however, is to keep your expectations realistic. Not every networking event/opportunity is going to lead to an immediate deal or a ton of leads; if it doesn’t, don’t give up! Keep in mind that the goal of networking is to establish long-term relationships that can eventually lead to significant, quantifiable results.

Cast a Wide(r) Net. When you reach a comfortable confidence level, don’t be afraid to go beyond the usual circles. Network with mortgage bankers, real estate agents, local business owners, advertising professionals and more. There are countless potential partnerships and opportunities that can help get your name in front of prospective clients.

Keep Good Company. If networking isn’t necessarily your forte (especially at the beginning) or you find it extremely stressful, bring a friend or colleague with you! Doing so will increase your comfort level and can boost the number of connections you make at an event.

Follow Through on Following Up. You’ve attended the event. You’ve met great people and exchanged introductions, niceties and business cards. You’ve made potentially meaningful connections. Now is NOT the time to sit back and wait for the phone to ring. Send follow-up emails, make phone calls, connect on LinkedIn…

Expand Your Brand. If you haven’t yet, consider creating a professional website and business social media profiles, particularly on LinkedIn. We’ll discuss websites and social media efforts in separate blogs, but know that LinkedIn can help strengthen and build upon your professional networking efforts.

All these strategies can help you network and improve results. However, none of these strategies will work if you approach events and people with the wrong attitude. You can present your polished pitch with confidence, cast a wide net, attend events with savvy colleagues, follow up and expand your brand; if you are, however, simply going through the motions just to get it over with, your lackluster results will reflect your lackluster performance. On the other hand, if you positively approach each event with the aim of helping others rather than only helping yourself and keep your goals tied to building relationships, the quantifiable results (increased leads, conversions, clients, etc.) are sure to follow.

As a National Marketing Organization that works with over 5,000 independent agents, we understand you must network and generate new leads in order to grow your business. That’s why we work diligently to provide the resources necessary for successful marketing. If this information is valuable and you want to know more about the services we provide our agent partners, please contact us at marketing@berwickinsurance.com or 888-745-2320.

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