From helping clients understand products and choosing the one that best suits their needs, insurance agents play a critical role in the success of your firm. But for this to happen, your people need to acquire specialized knowledge and skills through effective training. However, when training is such a business-critical task, how do you choose the right programs for insurance agents? Have no fear! With over 20 years’ of experience in the insurance training space, we’re going to share our top tips about choosing the right training programs for insurance agents.
What Training Topics Should Insurance Agents Take?
To determine what training your insurance agents need, you must first consider the tasks they do within their day job. So given that agents typically complete tasks such as:
- Assessing clients’ insurance needs (including their budgets, risk, etc.)
- Completing paperwork to ensure close sales and that policies are in effect.
- Answering client’s questions – at many different stages of the buyer’s journey
- Helping to build long-term relationships with clients and the firm they work for
We can determine that training needs may include:
- Risk analysis
- Negotiation skills
- Communication skills Client service
- Insurance industry specific skills – such as commercial lines coverage and product knowledge
So armed with this knowledge of the skills your insurance agents might need to acquire, how do you address these training needs?
Should You Curate Or Create Learning Content?
Curation vs. creation is a hot debate in L&D circles. The world is full of incredible content at our fingertips. But you only want the best for your employees, right? So let’s look at the pros and cons of both:
Creating Your Own Learning Content
Creating learning content, experience and resources from scratch is no easy task. It’s time consuming and requires a huge level of subject matter expertise (on a wide variety of topics!) But it is an option that many organizations opt for. And that’s because creating your own content can provide you with more control, tailoring it your objectives and audience needs. And it allows you to develop a unique voice and style that aligns with your firm’s branding and messaging.
Curating Learning Content For Insurance Agents
Content curation involves searching for, selecting and organizing learning resources from external sources, into a format and location that is easily accessible by your people. Curated content can come in a multitude of formats, for example videos, podcasts, webinars and articles. But most importantly, curated content can provide a diverse range of perspectives and insights that may not be available if learning is created in-house.. In the insurance industry it is critically important to validate your curated learning content for insurance agents.
Working With A Third Party Training Provider
Insurance firms do have a third option they can embrace when it comes to training their agents – and that’s to partner with an external training provider. External training providers bring heaps of experience to the learning development process, giving you an external source of expertise while also creating content bespoke for your organization.
How To Choose The Best Insurance Training Provider
How would you know you’ve selected the right training partner? It’s a question that many Business Leaders, L&D, and HR professionals consider. Our top tips for identifying the best providers
- Consider Reputation And Investigate Reviews: L&D and HR professionals are great at leaving reviews and feedback for providers – so check out your provider’s rating! Or, ask for recommendations from colleagues and peers within the industry. (We need to rework this one because we don’t publish our reviews)
- Instructor And Topic Expertise: Cross check your instructor’s or provider’s expertise with the skill sets you need in house. It’s easy to be wooed by reams of content, or tons of topics listed on a website. But make sure they’re the topics and skills you really need.
- Learning Formats Available: There are so many different types of learning formats. From e-learning and instructor-led training, all the way through to blended programs. Identify the learning formats needed to best train your people and ensure your chosen provider can deliver in that way!
- Cost: Of course, if you’re outsourcing learning & development, this will come at a cost. So make sure the cost associated with the training will give you a demonstrable return on investment. And remember, cheaper doesn’t always mean better!
- Accreditation: We work in a highly regulated industry, so some of your training programs may require accreditation. Finding a provider who is accredited in training insurance professionals is a great way to assure you’ve chosen the right provider!
Do Not Compromise When Choosing Training Programs For Insurance Agents
Training your insurance agents is a critical step in the continued growth of your organization. By ensuring your employees are up-to-date with the latest trends and develop essential skills, you are ensuring that they will be equipped to provide a best-in-class experience to your clients – giving your firm the competitive edge. So do not compromise! To discuss choosing training programs for insurance agents, get in touch or check out our ready-start library today.