As a health insurance broker, you have a lot of freedom when it comes to managing your schedule. You decide when you want to work, where you want to work, and your hard work helps you drive your income. You’re in charge of your future – and you don’t have to be appointed with a big brokerage to start selling (or to be successful).
Several things you do need to get started are:
- A health insurance license in the state(s) where you want to sell.
- Leads – from your website (assuming you have already set one up), purchased through a reputable lead source, or shared by another insurance broker who is unable to handle the lead (or unlicensed for the product in which the prospect is interested).
- A work space – in your apartment, home, shared office space, or leased space.
When you’re just getting started, you may not be able to commit to an office space (or even a shared space), but many successful insurance brokers get their start working from home. What’s important is how you set up your home office space, and what you have to help you do your job more effectively.
Here are a few suggestions to help you be more successful when selling from home:
- Reserve a quiet space in your apartment, condo, or home.
- Dress for success: if you get up and get dressed (rather than, say, staying in your sweats all day), you’re more likely to “feel the part,” so you can stay focused and in business mode.
- A “land line” telephone is not required, but it may offer you a clearer line. (Not all cellular carriers are created equally, and reception in your home could be spotty. A less-than-clear line could undermine your image as a professional.)
- A noise-cancelling headset for your phone can be especially helpful; that way you can multitask and look up information while you’re talking on the phone.
- A laptop computer is probably the way to go, so you can access and use all of your programs and quoting tools while you are out and about meeting with your prospects and clients.
- A filing cabinet, ZIP or USB drive, or cloud storage is essential: once you get your business going, you’ll going to need to maintain some paperwork on each of your customers (and those who may not buy initially, but who could become clients in the future).
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software: A good program can help you keep track of your clients, making it easier to follow up on future renewals, referrals, etc.
- Create and maintain a schedule: Plan your day in advance; block off time for important activities like prospecting, cold calling/door to door sales, lead follow-up, social networking, customer service (once your business is up and running), etc.
- Follow-up with your customers (and prospects who did not buy, but have the potential to become a client in the future). When you keep your customers happy, they’re more likely to share referrals with you. (Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals from customers you know are happy with your service.)
- Pay your taxes: It may seem obvious, but it’s important you pay your quarterly personal and business taxes. You don’t want to get hit with a penalty for underpayment. If you’re an independent contractor, you must pay your own income taxes and FICA quarterly (not just in April).
- Take clear breaks – go outside, visit the corner Starbucks, listen to music, or take time to exercise. You don’t have to work 100% of the day (during whatever hours you establish as your workday); just make sure you’re working most of those hours. Post your hours for family members (or on your voicemail for your prospects and customers), so they know when they can reach you.
Your success depends, in large part, on your persistence. While you may not make a sale every time, it’s important you embrace the philosophy advocated in an old song: pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. It’s critical you be able to move on after getting a “no.”
Over time, you’ll be able to grow your business and a steady income stream. If you find you have so much business you’re unable to do the appropriate follow-up with your clients (or you lack time for essential tasks like prospecting, cold calling, and social media), you may find you need to hire some help. If you’re uncertain about how much help you really need, consider a part-timer to start.
We Can Help, Too!
If you are new to health insurance sales, or you’re just considering getting into the health insurance industry, choosing the right general agency partner can make a big difference. If you choose to sell through Word & Brown, you could earn back your pre-license training and exam expenses. At Word & Brown, we believe so much in our partnerships with new brokers that we’ll reimburse you up to $500 after you successfully pass your licensing exam and write your first small business Major Medical policy with us. (That’s in addition to your commission on the sale.)
Health Insurance Broker
2020 Salary Guide
For a sneak peek at what you can expect to earn as an insurance agent, get a copy of our “Insurance Broker Salary Guide.”