Do you remember playing dodge-ball as a kid? Two team captains would stand apart from the crowd and go through an intense selection process, naming players one by one to join them. Depending on who you were, the process of choosing teams was either validating or awkward.
The kids who got picked first were the fast and agile ones, because the team captains knew their individual skills would be beneficial to the team as a whole.
Well, our business is also a team. Not a dodge-ball team (thank heaven!) but an insurance team. And as the team captains, we are looking for agents who embody specific qualities that will benefit everyone at Firefly.
To ensure you’re not picked last—or not picked at all—when trying to join our team, you’ll want to understand and demonstrate the 5 P’s of great Firefly agents:
You need to have personal goals, and a plan to cover your expenses while you are growing your book of business.
Even though you don’t have per-carrier production requirements with Firefly, you still need to write business to succeed! We want to be sure you have a plan that will help you reach your financial goals, and we want you to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve by working with us.
Consider these questions:
- At what point will you consider your relationship with us a success?
- How much do you need to make in order to keep your lights on? $30 thousand and $1 million in revenue are both fine goals, as long as you have a plan to reach that amount.
- What will you do to get in front of enough prospects?
- How many households do you really believe you can quote each month?
For commercial insurance agents, goals and plans are especially important. Commercial agents need a target market, confirmation that the carriers have an appetite for the markets, a marketing plan, and a commitment to learning coverages for those classes. They must also be prepared and willing to walk away from accounts that are not a good fit for their plan.
We want agents who have a people-minded personality.
We find that the best agents are easy to talk to. Communication is essential in any business endeavor, and we want to be sure our agents are friendly and clear when they communicate with clients and with us.
If you think it’s okay to get angry at an underwriter about a decision that they made, you’re not a fit.
A good agent believes this statement:
“Carriers provide us an opportunity to be in business for ourselves, so we owe them a profitable book of business.”
If you have been an agency owner in the past, we will want to see a history of writing profitable business for your carrier.
And whether or not you’ve owned an agency, we want you to value the underwriting process. This is the key to profitability! If you worked as an insurance agent for a decade, you would be profitable 8 out of those 10 years just by following underwriting guidelines.
Since underwriting is vital to success, we want our agents to champion good field underwriting procedures. Not all carriers require this, but we look for agents who are willing to do a few easy things to be better than the minimum carrier requirement—like getting pictures of a home before insuring it.
We only want agents to commit to writing policies when the risk meets the carrier’s underwriting guidelines.
You can’t be a good dodge-ball player without an understanding of the rules and techniques of the game. Likewise, you can’t be a good agent without sufficient knowledge of the insurance business and the skills to put that knowledge to work.
Firefly agents know the ins and outs of insurance coverage. They are technology-proficient and comfortable with using it to communicate with clients and agents and perform other tasks. They are also able to create and execute successful marketing plans.
When an agent signs up with Firefly, our trainers can help assess your current skills and give you guidance on how to improve. You’ll get comprehensive training, if you become a Firefly agent. But you have to have a foundation of understanding for it to work.
Finally, good agents act professionally. We want you to maintain a professional image with a quality online profile, a professional voicemail, and a signature on your emails.
But professionalism is much more than an online persona, crisp suits or skirts, or a stylish office space. My dad’s first office was his basement! He achieved success back then through talking and connecting with people in a personable, professional way.
In short, the way you interact with underwriters, other agents, and your customers may be the most important factor in your success. Be professional. Be confident. And above all, be a consultant, not a commodities salesperson!
When we evaluate professionalism, we’ll look at your response to the first four qualities of this list. Your personality, business plan, conversation with a trainer, and reaction to our field underwriting process will reveal whether you are professional or not.
We’re glad you’re thinking about joining our team, and we have faith that you have the potential to be a good fit for us. Just remember the 5 P’s of Firefly agents, and you may be an all-star yet!