As an insurance agent, you spend most of your time building relationships with your clients, as you should. But do you also want to meet other insurance agents and grow your network?
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We often think of selling insurance as a journey, and no journey is complete without friends and mentors to help you, laugh with you, and commiserate with you along the way. Networking with other insurance agents can be even more beneficial than having a travel buddy when you hit the road.
Let’s explore not only why it’s important to network with other insurance agents but also how to do it.
Why Networking with Other Agents Is a Good Idea
In this era, post pandemic, you may already feel the desire to connect and form relationships with other people. We’re social creatures, and we thrive when surrounded by people who support and care about us. You can fulfill that desire by doing something that’s also beneficial for your business — networking with your peers!
“Two heads are better than one” is an adage for a reason. A network of agents is the perfect place to ask questions and get help. Nobody has all the answers, and asking for help from colleagues and offering advice in return makes you a more savvy and well-rounded agent. Use your network to brainstorm solutions for tough cases, plan new marketing strategies, and research new products and contracting opportunities.
A network of agents is the perfect place to ask questions and get help.
Having a network can also expand your referral base, not in a spirit of competition but that of collaboration. Just like how nobody has all the answers, nobody can be everything to every client. Being known as a collaborator who puts clients’ needs first will help you build a strong brand and reputation in your community, which can lead to more referrals. Look to join forces with other agents who have a similar sales philosophy and a portfolio that complements or supplements what you offer. We recommend forming affinity partnerships with agents who sell other types of insurance, like property and casualty, or with financial advisors who specialize in assets under management.
Additionally, networking with other agents could lead to big growth professionally. If you’re a seasoned agent, mentoring new colleagues within the industry could be your next step towards recruiting downline agents or growing your existing agency. On the other hand, if you’re a new agent, joining an agency to learn the ropes under an experienced and successful agent can be a good strategy for starting your new career.
Finding other like-minded agents who share your passion for serving clients provides you with a strong support system that’s beneficial to a growing business. But how can you find these agents?
Networking in a Digital Age
The advent of modern technology has made networking with others as easy as turning on the computer; however, in-person networking still holds its allure and value. Here are four virtual and in-person strategies that can make networking with fellow agents possible!
1. Join an Organization like NABIP
This is a great first step if you’re new to networking. Joining the National Association of Benefits and Insurance Professionals (NABIP) — formerly the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) — gives you access to a nationwide network of agents, professional development opportunities, discussion groups, educational resources, and more. You can also join a local NABIP chapter like the Pennsylvania Association of Health Underwriters (PAHU) and reap the benefits of more local connections.
How Ritter makes it easy: As a field marketing organization (FMO), Ritter Insurance Marketing is a network of agents you can join. Registering with Ritter is free and simple and gives you access not only to resources, training, tools, technology, and sales support but also a network of more than 15,000 active agents. Organizations like NABIP and Ritter provide the conduit between you and other agents, helping you create the center of your networking web.
Organizations like NABIP and Ritter provide the conduit between you and other agents, helping you create the center of your networking web.
2. Utilize Social Media
Organizations and companies use social media for industry news and community building. Having a presence on social media immediately widens your networking web. Joining social media platforms is a good second step, but you may find that simply reading comments on NABIP’s Facebook page doesn’t give you the support you desire. You get from social media what you put into it. To make the most of your networking capabilities, join groups, like pages, and get invested in your local community. Don’t just read comments — post your own!
LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for networking, as its focus is on professional connections. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile already, we encourage you to create one. Not only can you ask other agents to join your network, read news and updates, and join groups, you can even recruit other agents to join you.
How Ritter makes it easy: Ritter covers all the bases when it comes to social media. Like our Facebook page, join the conversation on Twitter, enjoy the content on Instagram, learn from our YouTube channel, and network on our LinkedIn.
3. Participate in Online Forums
Have specific questions or interests? Join an online forum, or message board, to meet agents and have more in-depth conversations. Sign up on Insurance Forums and join the more than 80,000 members (most of whom are agents) discussing all kinds of insurance topics. Search a forum for a targeted conversation or simply browse their Senior Insurance Forum. You can also head over to NABIP’s website and join one of their B2B Discussion Groups.
How Ritter makes it easy: Agents registered with Ritter have access to our private Ritter’s Round Table Facebook group. Within this online community, agents are encouraged to ask and answer questions, share experiences, and more!
4. Attend an Event
Networking virtually can spin you a web of connections, but it might not get you as far as you’d like. We recommend connecting with other agents face to face, too. One of the best places to meet other agents is at events, like NABIP’s various conventions and conferences and the annual Medicarians conference. At events like these, you’ll meet agents, hear from carriers, and probably have fun experiences! You can also investigate local events, like community festivals or senior expos, where other agents may be out advertising and networking, too.
At events like these, you’ll meet agents, hear from carriers, and probably have fun experiences!
How Ritter makes it easy: Ritter and our partners host events throughout the year. One of our biggest opportunities is our annual in-person Summits held in the summer. Attend a Summit to prepare for AEP and earn CE credit. Registering with Ritter also gives you access to exclusive invitations to local events throughout the year.
5. Bonus: See the World
Did you know that you can even explore new places with other agents? This bonus option is nothing but fun! Every year, the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI) hosts an international travel tour for Medicare and LTC insurance agents. Additionally, some insurance carriers, like Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, offer travel sales incentives for agents. Work alongside your insurance agent buddies so they can become your actual travel buddies. These opportunities give you the chance to take your network overseas!
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There are many ways to network with other agents, both virtually and in person. Having a strong network of like-minded professionals can help you feel more connected and invested, while giving you the support you need to grow your business.
Here at Ritter, we’d love to help you build relationships with other agents. Signing up on RitterIM.com is simple and free. We can’t wait to connect!