Are you interested in learning how to recruit insurance agents?
If you are looking for guidance on recruiting:
- Folks thinking about getting their insurance license, or,
- New or experienced insurance agents
Then this training is for you!
My focus today is to provide tips and a detailed analysis of the best way to recruit insurance agents, whether you do that online, on social media like LinkedIn and Facebook, or through your warm market.
Since 2013, I’ve built a national insurance agency specializing in helping agents become top producers in selling insurance, like final expense, Medicare Advantage, annuities, and mortgage protection.
I’ll cover whether or not recruiting insurance agents is a good idea, while detailing various strategies on how to recruit life insurance agents.
Let’s get started!
NOTE: Are you an aspiring or new insurance agent looking for more insight on how the insurance sales industry works? Check out my free New Insurance Agent Resource Guide to help answer many of your questions (as well as ones you didn’t know you had!).
Many think recruiting insurance agents is nuts!
Ask enough former agency builders about recruiting agents, and they’ll liken it to “adult babysitting.”
Of course, this comes mostly from top producers migrating into agency building that didn’t realize learning how to recruit insurance agents is TOTALLY different than selling at top levels.
Simply put, some agents are better suited to scaling their sales efforts to maximize income, instead of recruiting insurance agents.
A great producer does not necessarily make a great agency builder!
The inverse is true, too.
Some of the best agency recruiters/managers were not top producers.
With that said, one important rule about ALL agent recruiters…
They SHOULD have SIGNIFICANT experience selling insurance.
More on that later.
Advantages Of Recruiting Insurance Agents
When I first started learning the best ways to recruit insurance agents in 2013, I had a few years of success mixed in with ups and downs.
I wanted to take my business to the next level, and always had a penchant for teaching and helping others.
Not knowing what to expect, I took a stab at learning how to recruit insurance agents.
Although I wasn’t sure whether or not agency building was for me, I figured one BIG advantage of recruiting is developing a semi-passive income.
When you’re selling life insurance like I was, your income is predominantly earned in the first year. There’s little to no renewal/passive income opportunity.
That means you must work daily to make money daily.
The beauty of the insurance business is that it can provide significant semi- or total passive income streams.
The key is to tap into the right business model, such as selling Medicare Advantage products, or in my case, recruiting insurance agents.
Why isn’t recruiting agents a completely passive income stream?
Because recruiting insurance agents is a RELATIONSHIP game. And relationships take ACTIVE effort to sustain.
For example, if you recruit new agents, expect to answer frequent phone calls with questions.
Also, expect to put on regular conference call training sessions and field train your new agents.
If you don’t, your agents will get frustrated and flat-out quit the business, or work with another agency.
Bottom line, most insurance agents you recruit need motivation, sales training, and positive reinforcement.
If you’re an aspiring agency builder, keep that in mind!
Why I Love Recruiting Insurance Agents
The reason I recruit is I love training agents.
I love helping insurance agents grow into top producers.
Quite frankly, I enjoy it more than selling insurance to prospects.
I get a thrill out of helping a new or down-on-his-luck agent figure out how to tap into success selling insurance.
It’s really exciting to see agents self-create a lifestyle, both lucrative and free from Corporate USA.
When Should You Start Recruiting Agents?
One question frequently asked…
When should I start recruiting?
Immediately as a new agent, or after gaining sales experience?
Here’s the truth…
One of the BIGGEST problems many of the biggest insurance agencies advocate is multi-level marketing (MLM) style recruiting practices.
While I don’t have a problem with MLM, I DO have a problem with new agents taught to IMMEDIATELY recruit other new agents.
Think about it…
Why in the WORLD would you work for someone who has no track record of success?
Sure. Maybe the organization has success. But the truth is your immediate upline is the most pivotal element in your start as a new agent.
New agents need support, coaching, and training.
Simply put, most recruiters without “street-cred” ain’t gonna provide this.
How Much Sales Experience Required Before Recruiting?
For me, I did 2 years of field sales before getting into recruiting.
I think you can get into sooner if you have:
- Multiple months of consistent success, and
- Experience selling something similar.
That translates into – in the BEST case scenario – 6 to 12 months of in-person selling experience BEFORE recruiting insurance agents.
Without the requisite first-hand experience, you cannot effectively teach new agents or explain sales concepts based on actual application.
Please. This business is hard enough.
Don’t recruit insurance agents on “blue sky” and Kool-Aid. You’re doing them a BIG disservice.
Steps To Take Before Recruiting
Here’s what you need to accomplish before learning how to recruit any life insurance agent:
Commit your sales efforts to one singular niche.
Sell successfully, consistently.
Be in the top 10% to 20% of producers at a minimum. While you don’t have to be an elite-level producer, you do need to be good.
Passion for teaching.
Ask yourself if you have a passion for teaching. Teaching requires EXTREME patience.
You must have a willingness to help, especially in the beginning when your agent hasn’t made you any money through policy sales.
Drawbacks Of Recruiting
Let’s get real on what drawbacks exist recruiting insurance agents.
Recruiting takes away time from selling.
Many agents get into agency building, not realizing that you are ADDING additional time requirements into your day.
And for many agents, they MUST continue producing in order to pay the bills, as new recruits take some time before they’re ready to sell.
For those new insurance agent recruiters, this may cause a short- to medium-term reduction in your income.
So, be prepared for this to happen.
I worked 6 days a week, 12 hours a day for the first 4 years in my agency before I felt comfortable taking my foot off the gas pedal of personal sales.
Expect it’ll take longer than you suspect to build a successful agency.
Since successful agencies realize that TRUST and a positive relationship is at the center of their success, it only makes sense that it’ll take YEARS of mindful recruiting before you reap the rewards it provides.
Think about it this way. Would you marry someone for life based on a first date?
Most wouldn’t. They’d want more time to really get to know the person and their family before deciding.
That’s how building relationships with good producers works. It takes time to build a bond of trust.
Plus it takes time to find agents that are the perfect fit.
That’s why you should expect to put in a LOT of time – months, even years – recruiting, training, fostering relationships, BEFORE realizing a significant profit.
So PLEASE… do NOT give up personal production as soon as you start learning the best ways to recruit insurance agents.
In fact, double down on your personal production goals as you develop your agency.
Expect to double your time invested weekly into your vision if you’re serious about success.
Consequences of a credit co-signer.
Another risk of recruiting insurance agents new or experienced is that you carry the risk of advanced commission defaults.
In case you’re unaware, if you receive an advance of first year commission, your upline signed off on paying off any chargebacks you accrue that you do not pay back.
And you MUST do the same for any agents you recruit that need an advance, which is virtually 100% of all agents.
Examples to scare you straight =)
First, I know a very good producer in Georgia. He recruited an agent who was a former NFL player. He thought very highly of him with his background.
The recruiting agent figured he was a hard worker with all it took to get drafted into the NFL.
And he was right! This new agent sold 60 policies in his first 2 months.
That’s when the trouble started…
Within the following 2 months, 58 out of the 60 policies he wrote lapsed.
The NFL agent ended up with $15,000 in chargebacks. And guess what? The agent disappeared into the ethers, refusing to pay.
Clearly, this agent either aggressively hard closed every prospect, or committed white collar crime, fraudulently submitting applications.
Regardless, the upline had to pay. And he ended up with a $15,000 debt he has slowly paid off over time.
I heard about an agent in North Carolina who was getting policies issued on dead people.
She racked up $20,000 in advances before getting arrested.
Guess what? The upline was STILL responsible for paying the debt.
Personally, I had an agent I thought the world of. And he left me with $15,000 in chargeback debt.
The longer you recruit insurance agents, the more likely you’ll take a hit of this caliber.
Sadly,there are agents that will convince you of how great they are, but are simply lying scammers with zero integrity.
This is why it’s important to keep selling, especially in the beginning. One bad agent early on can RUIN your long-term agency building efforts.
How to avoid deadbeat agents?
It’s tougher than it seems.
First, judge a man by his actions, not his words.
If he has a history of not paying credit cards, or his mortgage is in arrears, do you REALLY think he’ll treat you any different when push comes to shove?
Second, trust your instincts.
I’ve made many wrong decisions in my life in business. And most of them I had this gut feel that it was wrong, but ignored it anyway.
Your “gut feel” is actually a survival mechanism, warning you that despite not knowing exactly why, you should doubt the circumstances and not take the risk.
So trust your instincts more than you do, especially when an agent just rubs you the wrong way.
Finding The Best Agents
With that said, how do you recruit the best insurance agents that won’t screw you?
Truly, this is the million dollar question =).
If I knew EXACTLY how to find a top producer, then I’d be a multi-millionaire by now!
While there is no perfect science in knowing if your agent prospect will actually deliver, I can provide some commonalities to note among top producers:
Something To Lose
A.L. Williams of AL Williams Company and Primerica said he only recruited older people not single but married with children who already had successful careers.
Art’s perception was recruiting these types of candidates meant they had something to lose if they did not succeed.
And the fear of loss is surprisingly motivating to work hard, if not more so than the hope of success.
What I Look For In Potential Agents
My insurance agent recruiting strategy is fairly simple.
Skin in the game
First, find someone willing to put skin in the game.
This means they are willing to invest their own money into purchasing life insurance leads.
I believe in supporting people who “walk the walk,” and take a risk on themselves.
Agents with sales/business experience
Second, favor agent prospects with business ownership or sales experience.
Potential agents with a history of business ownership or success selling will transition to insurance sales with less roadblocks.
Sometimes You Just Don’t Know
And that’s it. Over the years, I have never developed a more detailed recruiting strategy than the one above.
Why? Because I have commonly been WRONG in my initial judgement of a potential agent.
And it’s frequent enough that if an agent meets at least one of the criteria above that I’ll support him despite my gut reaction.
I can think of several incidences recently where I thought the agent getting recruited wouldn’t be a top producer.
I love being proved wrong in these circumstances =).
Best Ways To Recruit Insurance Agents
Now I’ve primed the pump of the pros and cons of recruiting insurance agents, let’s talk about the best methods in which you can recruit insurance agents.
The most common route to recruiting insurance agents is through joining a large MLM insurance IMO.
I’ve reviewed several MLM insurance agencies that do exactly this.
How Recruiting Works At MLM
Here’s how MLMs recruit insurance agents.
First, they teach agents to both sell insurance to prospects AND recruit them, too!
MLMs commonly turn sales prospects into recruits.
The belief is that most people either need to make more money than they earn in their full-time job, or outright hate their job and want to do their own thing.
This strategy held true for one of the most successful insurance agencies of all time, AL Williams and Primerica.
They recruit more insurance agents using this strategy than any other approach.
Second, MLM insurance agencies teach you to recruit out of your warm market.
This is a staple to MLM insurance agent recruitment.
And while this recruiting strategy rubs many the wrong way (including me), it is extremely effective.
Why? Because people who know, like, and trust you already extend that bond to your discussion about your business opportunity.
Insurance agent recruits within your warm market are more loyal and likely to follow direction than an agent you have no prior relationship with.
If you use this strategy, don’t burn bridges with friends and family.
Make sure you have a good understanding of selling insurance first.
Time and again, I’ve seen this strategy work well, and also end up damaging relationships with close friends and family.
Warm Market Recruiting Strategies Outside of MLM
First, you don’t have to join an insurance MLM to utilize their strategies of building a downline through your warm market.
You can take their recruiting protocol and apply it to any agency, MLM or not.
Here are a few insurance agent recruiting strategies you can utilize right away:
You can meet with friends, family, and business associates to show them what you’re doing in your career and explaining the advantages of both buying it and selling as a profession.
This gives you the opportunity not only to recruit new insurance agents from your sphere of influence, but also convert them into policy sales, too.
One of the most innovative ways of recruiting insurance agents is leveraging your social media accounts to spread the word of your profession.
I teach my agents interested in recruiting insurance agents to put out multiple posts a week on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
You are personally branding yourself as an authority with consistent content creation.
People will look to you when they have questions about your industry and assume you have expert status.
However, what you do NOT want is to spam your social media with blatant attempts at recruiting and hyping up what you’re doing.
Instead, I prefer the “long game.”
If you think about creating useful content that viewers will enjoy and provide value, more become receptive to learning more about what you do for a living.
Over time, a fraction of those people will lose or quit their job, or want to start part-time life insurance sales, and will think of you because of your consistency in promoting your profession.
This does not happen overnight.
Expect to create content several times a week for a year straight BEFORE recruiting a single insurance agent.
As someone who has built a large following on YouTube, things didn’t substantively take off for until several years and hundreds of videos later.
What kind of content to create?
I recommend starting with 3 posts weekly around the following subjects:
- Stories about what you do (good, bad, and ugly).
- Pictures of the houses and clients you help.
- “Day in the life” posts
- Answering basic questions about selling insurance
- Things you love and hate about insurance sales
- Sharing (not bragging) about your accomplishments
- Benefits/drawbacks of your profession
- Occasionally talk about the money made
This is a start as far as post ideas go.
You can create dozens of post variations with these concepts in mind.
I recommend planning them all out ahead of time and making sure to include a picture with your written posts, and also do videos and livestreams on occasion to mix it up.
While patiently building your brand via social media is smart, you may consider actively reaching out and recruiting insurance agents as well.
There’s several strategies you can use to accomplish this. I’ll cover them below:
Warm Outbound Social Media
Using Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, you can message individual people within your connections and ask to explain to them what you do for a living.
You’ll find many of your connections “lurk” your account and are familiar with what you do per your social media, even though not actively commenting or liking it.
Cold Outbound Social Media
This involves you targeting people on Facebook or LinkedIn not necessarily within your sphere of influence and sending them a quick overview of what you do and how you can help.
This is a great strategy if you can better define your target market beyond just someone who is an insurance agent.
I’d spend time on cold outbound effort to let them know other options exist that could boost his pay and get better coverage for his client.
I’d do 20 to 40 cold approaches via social media daily in an attempt to strike up a conversation.
Basically, this is just like cold calling. Not everyone will reply or express interest.
However, you’ll get the occasional agent who hates their work setup and is interested in shifting over to working with you.
Worst case scenario, if they aren’t interested, many will still connect with you.
Then you can let your branding do its magic to win them over.
Traditional Cold Approaches
While I highly recommend social media branding and cold approaching as a long-term strategy, you can also utilize other traditional marketing methods many of the largest agencies use.
Here’s a few right now you can tap into, along with their pros and cons.
You can purchase a list of agents in any state to cold call. You can get information like when they were first licensed, what carriers they’re appointed to, etc.
That way, you can custom-tailor a prospecting list, targeting the exact agent you think would fit well into your agency.
Many large agencies utilize job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor, and ZIPRecruiter to place opportunity ads to build traffic and interest.
This is definitely a grind, as you’ll have to sift through all sorts of people expressing interest who might not have their license or not fit well into insurance.
In combination, you can do outbound contact to people listing their resumes in an attempt to get their interest.
As you begin branding and doing outbound recruiting for insurance agents, take time to develop your agency’s unique selling proposition, too.
It’s simply not enough to recruit someone to throw them to the wolves.
Have a complete “blueprint of success” new agents can tap into.
You need to have training systems available to new agents, and be willing to do field training to better develop them.
Also, make sure you have access to some sort of insurance lead program.
Otherwise, if all you do is simply recruit insurance agents, you’ll never properly differentiate yourself as an agency, and fail to create meaningful relationships to produce profitable long-term income.
I hope you enjoyed reading my article on the best ways how to recruit insurance agents.
If you have any questions, please feel free to post those questions below in the comments. Or reach out to me here.
Interested in building an agency? I help experienced producers build successful agencies.
Message me here so we can set up a time to talk.