Good Insurance Agent Qualities That Will Make You Successful in 2023

If you’re passionate about helping your friends and neighbors protect what is important to them or you’ve always wanted to manage your own business? If you have ever contemplated becoming an insurance agent or wondered whether this career path could be right for you, there are several qualities that you will need to possess, at least to some degree. Whatever your reasons, with every new job comes new skills to develop.

When learning how to be a successful insurance agent, it's critical to know that agents who are willing to put their clients into a product that pays a lower commission because it better fits their needs are much more likely to retain customers.

Selling insurance can be a lucrative proposition, with relatively high-paying commissions and a high degree of autonomy with flexible work hours.

However, it is not an easy job. You can expect a high rate of customer rejection, stress, and attrition rate. Still, all good insurance agents share some of the following skills and knowledge, plus core qualities in one way or another.

1. Communicative

Client/members want to work with someone who they can have a conversation with and trust. At Farm Bureau, we don’t just sell insurance; we grow relationships within our communities. We look for individuals with strong communication skills to navigate important life topics with their clients and to deliver on the Farm Bureau promise of continuing these conversations as needs change and evolve.


Helping protect your community isn’t always a 9 to 5 job. Our client/members count on us to be there in times of need, both day and night. Successful agents know that selling insurance is more than just a job. They’re on-call and ready to go when their products and services are needed most. Customers who are able to get hold of their agents when they need them are much more likely to stay happy and reassured. A timely response to inquiries and phone calls is a must, and you must be able to do what you say you will do, when you say you will do it, or at least have a good reason as to why you can't.

3. Persistence. 

This is perhaps the most vital quality of any good insurance agent. Those who work in this field absolutely must be able to handle rejection on a daily basis over the course of their careers and do it with a smile. Good insurance agents understand that each "no" only brings them closer to someone who will say "yes." Successful insurance agents do their homework and use the resources they have at their fingertips. Great agents are attentive to detail, return client calls promptly and are on time to every appointment. 

Being organized makes you more productive, which helps you reach your business goals while helping protect the futures of your client/members. But, with determination and persistence, you can survive the rejections and use them to your advantage. Again, that doesn’t mean badgering prospects until they say yes or slam the phone down. It means understanding that not everyone wants what you are selling. Keep going despite the rejections.

4. Honesty. 

Insurance agents who use deception to close business seldom stay with the same company for very long—and can end up behind bars in some cases. A good agent knows that telling the truth upfront will win them clients' respect and trust and is likely to lead to repeat business over time. Becoming a successful agent requires building relationships and being an important resource in your community. Making connections in your community will help you understand the insurance needs of your client/members. Community engagement will give you the opportunity to show your community what’s important to you and how you’re willing to do what you can to help your community.

5. Technical know-how. 

A good insurance agent knows much more than how to sell a policy. The agent must understand the tax and legal aspects of the products they sell and how they are designed to fit into a client's overall financial situation. Many agents earn financial planning designations such as the Certified Financial Planner®, Chartered Financial Counselor, or other credentials. Some agents practice financial planning, income tax preparation, or some other avenue of financial service as their primary profession, and then add-in insurance business when it becomes necessary.

6. Self-Motivation 

Being an insurance agent and running your own business is not easy. In any given day, there is a multitude of challenges and frustrations to overcome; from frequent rejections to financial concerns. Without a strong mental attitude, you can easily become dejected and lose faith in your ability to succeed as an agent.

One of the most common traits among successful agents is the ability to self-motivate. Those that stay the course to success can overcome rejection and other business challenges better than anyone else. They know that there is no smooth path to success. 

A wide array of products. As the old saying goes, if all you have to work with is a hammer, then everything in the world looks like a nail. A good insurance agent will be able to offer a comprehensive selection of products and services that can meet any reasonable need a client might have.

You will have to stay motivated and keep going despite failures. The more energy and enthusiasm you have for your career, the easier it will be to stay motivated. A big part of developing self-motivation is loving what you do.

7. Willingness to Win 

The competitive landscape in business is stronger than ever before. You have to compete with other agents, companies with better financing, and technological advances. Knowing how to turn all the apparent adversities into advantages is crucial. You can find ways to become the best agent in your area, use the lack of financing to position your agency as the endearing underdog, and leverage technological advances to your benefit. 

In short, you need to have the willingness to win. You must find ways to gain the competitive edge over other agents if you are to succeed in today’s contentious market. Winning, however, does not mean alienating yourself from other agents. In fact, remaining friendly and cooperative with other agents will be beneficial to your success. 

Winning means being the best at what you do. You could, for example, become known as the agency that provides the most comprehensive after-sale service; or perhaps, you will be the best at finding the most appropriate policies for individual client needs. Whatever the case, the key is to adopt a winner’s mentality that will drive you to become a successful insurance agent.

These points are just some of the qualities that life insurance agents must possess in order to be successful. The life insurance business can be very challenging and immensely rewarding for those who are willing to learn the necessary skills to build their business.
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