The insurance coach

We’re in an interesting industry. People generally relate to their insurance and their agents in

a manner similar to the way they relate to their garage door openers and coffee makers. Let

me explain…


When things work well for us, when the garage door opener and the coffee maker works the

way we expect them to, we generally don’t think much about them. We take them for granted

and may not even recall who the manufacturer is. It’s only when they don’t work that we pay

attention. Then our attention gets focused on the product and the perhaps the people that

made the product.


This trait of human behavior is especially important to make note of when it comes to the

business of insurance. It’s pretty evident that when your policyholder has a claim, you have

the opportunity to really shine – to stand out from the crowd – to deliver more service than

they expected. The challenge comes when everything is working well! Just like the coffee

maker, when things go well (as expected) you’re hardly ever thought of. The insurance is just

there. Its “works” the way they expect it to, and therefore you and the insurance are taken

for granted. There’s often very little connection or relationship with the agent. Some

policyholders will just view you as the salesperson that was there to sell them insurance.


The bottom line is that when you don’t have an ongoing connection with your policyholders,

you’re subject to being picked off by someone with a little lower rate or by someone who

happens to come along at the right time and is able to build rapport with them.


Agents who retain clients in the face of rate increases, poor fund performance and increasing

competition understand that they need to connect with their policyholders in ways that address

some of the eight universal needs that people have. These universal needs are:

  1. Sense of Accomplishment – People want to feel that they’ve accomplished something

through their efforts.

  1. Sense of Belonging – People want to be part of a winning team. Make certain that you

communicate just how much your team is winning.

  1. Direction – Communicate your purpose and provide your clients and prospects with the direction to achieve it.
  2. Sense of Empowerment – Expect the best of people and they will rise to your


  1. Recognition – Everyone, to one degree or another, loves recognition for a job well


  1. Respect – Treat people the way you want to be treated. Understand that although we

all have different hopes and dreams, we all have them.

  1. Sense of Significance – Make sure you help your policyholders understand the

significance of their efforts towards reaching their goals and achieving their purpose.

  1. Sense of Purpose – I believe that everyone craves a purpose. We want to be

passionate about something (anything!).. Take advice from great motivational professionals like Richard Jadick to be able to be clear on your purpose and develop the purpose of others.

Top Ten Interview Bloopers and How to Avoid Them

When recalling highlights of all-time worst interviews, many human resources management employers agree on several most common interviewee blunders. As people interview for jobs, it’s common to feel nervous or worry about making mistakes; however, don’t let these simple but common goofs get between you and your dream job. 

  1. Wore your favorite vacation outfit.

Research what might be specifically appropriate for an interview in your field, but remember that a serious suit shows that you are a serious candidate. If you are equal to the other candidates but you are the only one to dress appropriately, you will probably be first in line for the job.

  1. Forgot the first rule of Boy Scouts.

Be prepared and do your homework on the company and the job before you interview. Be ready for any question. This will show that you are competent and will also help you be more confident.

  1. Hovered somewhere between a motor mouth and a one-word-wonder.

You only have a limited amount of time to interview, so use it well. Don’t let yourself ramble, and don’t give answers that are too short. Converse with confidence and be natural. Look for nonverbal cues from the interviewer, respond accordingly and use common sense.

  1. Figured you’d nail it without practicing.

Do several practice interviews before you go. This will help you feel more at ease and come across much more strongly.

  1. Neglected to have hygiene in check.

Make sure you are clean. Don’t pick your nose or sniff your arm pits just because you think no one is watching. Sometimes they are.

  1. Spoke before thinking.

Many people blurt when they’re nervous. Don’t let inappropriate, gross, or overly personal stories exit your mouth. Stay focused and keep it professional.

  1. Channeled Pinocchio.

Never, ever lie. Ever. It may seem tempting, but it always comes back to bite you in the end.

  1. Badmouthed everyone who’d ever done you wrong.

This is not the time to reveal your list of grievances against former employers, coworkers, or anyone. Don’t speak ill of anyone. If you feel something negative from the past relates to the interview in a relevant way, find a polite, professional way to say it without being mean. For example, instead of saying “I hate my former coworkers,” say that you’re accustomed to dealing with challenging personalities and you always try to get along with everyone so things run smoothly in the business.

  1. Felt too at home.

If an employer’s environment or personality seems ultra-relaxed, don’t be fooled. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be completely and absolutely professional at all times. Do relax, but don’t get let business decorum slip.

  1. Went radio-silent.

Write a nice thank you letter to your interviewer and follow up appropriately. Always thank people for their time and the opportunity to interview.

Remember to come prepared, have a nice resume, dress well, and keep your wits about you and you’re sure to let your best talents and qualities shine through. If nothing else, you’ll easily distinguish yourself from other interviewees who make these common blunders.