Who needs an education? As an insurance industry professional, you've spent time studying the industry, whether it's in school or as part of your professional career. You've spent time learning and growing, but you know that you need more. As someone who's devoted to growing in your industry, you need an education. Here's how you can fill your knowledge gaps and improve your ability to do business.
1. Networks and Mentors
Connecting with other industry professionals is one of the best and most hands-on forms of education. By talking with others in your industry, you'll be able to delve deeply into bothersome questions, sales and customer service processes, and more issues that only another practicing professional would understand. If you're new to the industry or you're shifting your focus, you may need mentorship as well. Seek out a mentor in your new insurance agency or find a more experienced colleague who you can network with and share ideas with as you move into your new position.
2. Attend Conferences
Attending conferences is an excellent opportunity to build your network. You can also learn about new products that will make your life easier, such as customer service tools or E&O insurance to maintain business security. At conference presentations, you'll learn more about emerging trends in the insurance industry so that you'll be better able to integrate these trends into your daily practice at your agency. The American Agents Alliance Convention & Expo is being held September 22-25, 2016 in Palm Desert, California—it’s the largest P&C insurance event on the west coast so be sure to attend.
3. Software-Specific Training
Whether you have a new CRM system or you're working with a new program for scheduling appointments, you'll need to interact with your office technologies. Computers aren't just for writing emails or scheduling appointments anymore. The technologies that you use can be powerful tools to collect and analyze data and generate reports on your clients and your employees. Do you need to understand the demographics of those purchasing auto insurance? You can collect data on that. Do you need to connect with your E&O insurance to look at the internal processes you have in place to avoid mistakes? Document employee processes, forms, and customer interactions as well. Software-specific training gives you a more thorough understanding of what your tools can do for you.
4. Marketing Training
Today, so much business occurs online, and your website is an immensely powerful tool to draw in new customers. How can you create a website that hits the mark and brings in the leads you want? What do you do to collect email addresses? How can you create valuable blog content that will turn readers into customers? Through marketing training, you can learn more about these issues, even if you're not the one designing the website. Inbound training through Hubspot or free training programs from Google Analytics and Adwords give you a more fulsome understanding of marketing tools and techniques so that you can speak the same language as those who are working on your insurance agency marketing.
When you're trying to further your insurance education, contact the American Agents Alliance. We are a national association of independent insurance agents & brokers devoted to furthering our business and our development. We offer you many membership benefits, including discounted E&O and disability insurance, conferences and networking opportunities.