young agents

Breaking Stereotypes and Highlighting Opportunities in the Insurance Industry

This is podcast #4 in the “Times of the Young Agent” series. This is a bit different. We’ve invited Billy Van Jura back to host our podcast to interview Ryan Sautman and Travis Etheridge, partners with Jason Cass at the newly formed The Insurance Alliance.

Like other young agents, they are tweaking the definition of the “independent insurance agent,” and they do so by distinguishing between salesman and advisor, captive and independent. They’ll tell you where they see opportunity as young agents and how they plan to capture their market going forward.

3 Things I Learned in My First Year Running My Own Insurance Agency

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Ten months into my agency and the learning never stops.  However, I don’t think it should ever stop. With the fast paced changes coming to the industry, it’s vital to be open minded and receptive to changes.

I was so honored when Jason Cass asked me to write up a blog post for The Grow Program.  He does so much for agents and it is a true pleasure to be able to give back to him and to you.

Looking back at the past ten months I could point out a number of things that have helped me, but here are my top 3…

#1:  Mentors

Having a mentor or mentors is critical.  You must have one person or a number of people you can turn to and ask the questions that Google can’t answer.

I collect mentors and to date, I would say I have about 4 seasoned insurance agents who I can ask anything of and who follow up with me to see how things are progressing.They are immensely helpful as you work out agency management questions, ethical questions or questions about where to turn for certain markets.  Get a mentor NOW!

#2:  Mastermind Groups

You must get in a Mastermind Group and you need to do it quickly.  This will be your resource to connect with other agents in your same situation or experiencing similar difficulties.

Also, they help keep your eye on the rapidly changing environment so that you can prepare your agency for the future.

The Grow Program’s Mastermind group, for example, is one I turn to on a weekly and daily basis to stay up to date.  They bring in the top minds in marketing and insurance to help formulate a strategy for today, tomorrow and beyond.

Let’s face it, technology is making the world in which we do business vastly different.  You have to surround yourself with strong, motivated individuals who are pushing our industry forward.

#3:  Don’t get distracted when things go bad

Things go bad . . . often.  You have to train yourself to stay focused on your target, namely writing business and building your brand in year one.

Expect the unexpected and understand that the only constant is that things change.  I learned quickly that the only way to stay on target was to be flexible and let things go.  As I write this, my state is implementing a new rate change that is making things difficult for us.

The one company that has been my go to is now looking like they are no longer competitive and my first thoughts have been “Oh Sh**, what are we going to do?”  But unless you can change something yourself, it’s best to let it go, regroup and formulate your next step.  Stay Flexible!

These are just a few things I have experienced that are worthwhile.  The learning curve for a new agency is steep and year one isn’t easy.  Endless hours with what seems like no headway will soon turn into a successful business that hopefully brings about your dreams and wishes.

Just keep your head down and keep moving.  DON’T EVER STOP MOVING FORWARD!