Best Ways to Recruit Life Insurance Agents

Insurance Agent Recruiting Tips

A question we get frequently is, “what’s the best way to recruit insurance agents?”  It’s really a tough question to answer unless you know more about the person/company asking the question and the specific type(s) of insurance agents they’re trying to recruit.  Recruitment isn’t a “one size fits all” endeavor, and what works for one organization might not work for another. 

Recruiting Insurance Agents – The Best Way

Before we get to the “best ways to recruit an agent”, it’s important to recognize that agents have many choices.  These choices generally involve one or more of the following and the agent will almost always make decisions based on what benefits them most:
  1. Products
  2. Carriers
  3. Support and tools
  4. Compensation arrangements
  5. Perks/incentives
  6. Existing business relationships
  7. Education and training
As an insurance wholesaler (IMO), or carrier you really have to begin the recruitment process by assessing your value to the agent.
  1. What makes your organization different?
  2. What do you have to offer?
  3. What makes your offer unique?
  4. How do these things stack up to the competition?
The answers to these questions will allow you to begin positioning your company in such a way that it captures the attention of your target audience – the agent.  Put yourself in their shoes, and you’ll realize that what they’re really looking for is a combination of great products, compensation, and solid service and support.  They may or may not already be getting that, so your message needs to deliver value greater than what they’re already getting.
One of our goals at Financial Media Group is to help our clients answer these questions and to craft their message in a manner that will capture an agent’s attention.  The best way to recruit life insurance agents is to make sure that you have something valuable to offer them.  How well you communicate that message and value offering will determine your results.
Generally speaking we tend to group communication options into two categories:
  • Passive
  • Active
Passive activities are typically those that involve one way communication.  These activities allow you to position your company and convey a message, but the agent has to take an action to respond back (call an 800#, fill out a form, go to a website, etc.). 
Examples include: magazine advertising, direct mail, job postings
Active activities are those where there is (or an opportunity for) a two way communication taking place between you and the agent. 
Examples include: telemarketing, email, online communication, seminars, and events
Both passive and active activities can be effective and should be a part of your overall marketing plan.  The key is to learn how to use them together as part of your overall recruitment strategy. 

We advise clients to think about it this way:

Imagine that your office lobby is filled with agents that have been pre-screened to determine if they fit your needs.  These agents know very little about your company, but are open to hearing about new opportunities that will benefit them. 
Would you stand a better chance of recruiting these agents by handing them a brochure or a magazine ad, (or) inviting them into your office one by one to hear why they should consider your firm.
I’m guessing you would choose the personal (active) option over the passive option of letting them just read about your company.
Now, realistically you’ll never have a lobby filled with qualified agents, but hopefully you’ll see our point.
Use passive activities to support or lead up to active activities, and don’t rely on them as your sole means of communication.  If you do, you’ll miss out on more opportunities than you gain.  In the above example, the best approach would be to give them a brochure to learn about your company and then interview them in person.

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