We know that to be successful as a final expense insurance agent—and we mean really successful—we each need to network. If that word makes you cringe, if you feel a twinge of guilt at the thought of what you should be doing, you are not alone. Here’s why “networking” is not the mindset most model agents maintain.
Networking is Old News
The idea of “networking” as our parents and grandparents knew it is no longer applicable in today’s world. Shaking hands and passing business cards with a “my people will call your people” is just not as effective as it used to be. There are a few logical reasons for this.
First, technology has made networking in this way pretty unnecessary. Through social media, community web pages, and company web sites, that first exposure can be done from the comfort of your own home. In fact, most people prefer to communicate over the internet while they are just looking for a first encounter with the business.
Next, every potential client can do research of their own. You better believe that almost every new person you introduce to final expense insurance is googling if it’s a good idea to purchase or not. Their initial questions are answered via the internet, and they come to your sales meeting already holding a bias based on what the top three results on their search engine showed.
Last, because of the two reasons already discussed, clients don’t need to network with you to gain information about you or your product. What people are looking for, in this day and age, are personal connections.
The very premise of a network is a series of people connected to you, with yourself at the center of this network. This idea is no longer feasible with the thousands of connections each of us makes over the internet every day. Jon Levy says, “The strength of a network is judged by the connections between the people. The more connections, the stronger the network. You will notice, when there is a significant number of people connected to each other, we call that a community.” A community is where a group of people all affect each other—they’re not centered around one person. To build a community, Jon recommends doing three things:
- Invite others to events (and always have an event going on). Hosting an event allows you to connect with a lot of people at one time, and it provides opportunities for clients to connect with each other as well.
- Don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself. Especially when first starting out, final expense insurance agents take a while to get their footing and feel comfortable with the language and interactions of final expense insurance. Just go for it!
- Ask others for favors. That’s right, part of building a community is serving the people within that community, and when you ask for a favor, the person who does it for you actually likes you more.