Building your network as an insurance agent is one of the best ways to grow. Whether you’re networking with other insurance professionals, local business owners, or online experts and thought leaders, getting to know others outside a sales context can go a long way toward long-term success. That’s because insurance agents who network often receive more referrals, learn about valuable resources, form partnerships, and more.
But how do you leverage networking if you’re a new insurance agent or haven’t networked much in the past? If you don’t have a strong network already, it can seem hard to get much out of them.
In this guide, we’ll examine how to build networks as an insurance agent so that you can put our insurance agent networking tips to use.
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What Are Networks for Insurance Agents?
Before diving into the best ways for insurance agents to build networks, it’s important to first understand what it means to have a network. Some think of insurance agent networks as formal groups, such as trade associations. While that can be one form of an insurance agent network, your own network can be much broader and more casual.
Where to Find Insurance Agent Networks
Essentially, insurance agent networks can include anyone that you know who can potentially provide value to your business, whether that’s in the form of introducing you to prospects, teaching you sales skills, or even just being there to bounce ideas around. And networking at its core is about building relationships. Overall, these relationships skew professional, but there can still be friendly, personal aspects at times as you get to know people in your network.
Against this backdrop, an insurance agent’s network could include groups such as:
- Family: If you’re just starting to build your network as an insurance agent, don’t overlook family members. Think about who they might know and ask for recommendations. Also, see if they have experience building out their own professional networks that you can then learn from.
- Friends: Like family, your friends can also be a good starting point for building out your network as an insurance agent. Some friends might hold professional roles that add value to your business, or they might be able to point you in the direction of helpful resources they’ve come across in their own careers.
- Current customers: Once you convert an insurance lead into a customer, it’s important to keep building the relationship. That way, these customers can be in your network and provide further value by helping you get social media engagement or gain reviews and referrals.
- Past customers: Even if a customer decides not to renew their policy, try to remain on good terms. These past customers can provide similar value as current customers do, such as with reviews and referrals.
- Prospects: Networking with prospects can help you ultimately convert more of these leads into current customers. Just remember that networking should be about getting to know people, not launching into sales pitches.
- Colleagues: Your current colleagues can be great to network with, whether that’s as simple as connecting on LinkedIn or chatting with them about their career goals. You never know how you can help one another in the future.
- Other insurance agents: Other insurance agents outside your agency can also be good to network with. Meeting agents at industry events, for example, can lead to referrals if another agent has a prospect that they don’t have the right expertise to serve, but which you might.
- Other business professionals: Other business professionals outside of insurance, but who might not make great prospects, can still be useful to network with. For example, you might network on social media with a thought leader who shares great marketing advice. Getting to know these influencers could even lead to referrals down the road.
Building Online Networks for Insurance Agents
There are many types of people for insurance agents to network with, but how do you actually go about building these networks? These are some of the best ways to network online:
Engage on Social Media:
Comment on other people’s content, share posts, and follow relevant professionals on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. This type of engagement can help you start to form relationships, turning social media strangers into people in your network. Insurance agents can also join social media groups on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, or join conversations like Twitter Chats, to interact with all types of people online.
Attend Online Events:
Online events can also be a great place to network. Search sites like Meetup and Eventbrite for online events, some of which may be directly geared toward meeting other people professionally, whereas others might be more education-oriented. Either way, you can often get to know new people through these events.
Subscribe to E-Newsletters:
Your first instinct might be to try to grow your own email marketing list, but before you get to that point, it can be valuable to subscribe to other people’s e-newsletters. These can be from other insurance agents, other business professionals, prospects, etc. These e-newsletters can then be a great way to kick off relationships, such as if you reach out to a new contact after reading some of their content first. Other e-newsletters might also have valuable nuggets, like a list of industry events you can attend for further networking.
Building Offline Networks for Insurance Agents
In addition to all the avenues that exist online to grow networks, insurance agents can also build relationships in person. Below are some of the top ways to do so:
Join Industry Groups:
Depending on the type of insurance you work in, you might find that there’s an industry organization that you can join to meet others in your field. Or, you might find that you can join a non-insurance group like a sales organization, which can help since insurance agents are also salespeople. This type of organization could help you learn how to grow sales as an insurance agent while also enabling you to meet other sales professionals you can add to your network.
Some of the networking from industry groups happens online, but there can often be an offline component, such as if these groups host events in your area or put on large conferences that you can attend to meet lots of people at once.
Join Local Organizations:
In addition to groups related specifically to the type of work you do, look for broader organizations in your local area. For example, joining your local Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Club can help you meet all types of professionals and community members who can become valuable parts of your network as an insurance agent.
Like with online events, look for in-person ones that you can attend to meet new contacts. The same types of sites like Meetup and Eventbrite may post events that you can attend, even if you’re not part of a formal organization. These in-person events could potentially be more valuable than online ones, as you may have more opportunities to mingle with attendees.
At the end of the day, building your network as an insurance agent doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Try to be friendly wherever you go, whether that’s at a networking event or if you’re chatting with someone in a store. You never know who could be a good contact to have.
As you build out your network, you’ll often find that it gets easier over time, with current members of your network exposing you to new contacts. In turn, insurance agents can often find new opportunities to grow their businesses.