Let us guide you through how we coach agents on navigating their first six months here at Goosehead, so you know what to expect.

An Example Six-Month Blueprint

Month 1

Your first month should revolve around networking and putting in the work early. On your first launch day, you’ll hit the ground running by calling or visiting one potential client or referral partner. Begin executing on your marketing plan, which you should have solidified before you launched your agency.

The rest of the month shouldn’t deviate from your main theme of networking. A network is everything to an agent. Treat your network like a true business partner. Or, even better, treat them like a friend. There will be plenty of time later to innovate and try new things, so resist the temptation to become sidetracked by flashy marketing strategies. You should be checking in several times this month with any referral partners or clients you have initially contacted to foster those new relationships. Avoid the instinct to cast a wide net right away, or you’ll overwhelm yourself and risk letting potentially lucrative relationships fizzle.

Additionally, you’ll want to pick a networking group to join. While networking groups may not be your main source of leads, they’re a good supplement to your marketing plan. Invest fully in the group, connect with your peers, and even plan to become an officer to show your dedication. However, avoid grazing or hopping around networking groups, which can distract you from putting valuable time into your business during your first month. Pick one group and put your all into it for the best results.

Months 2 & 3

Months two and three revolve around patience, tenacity, and execution. Avoid distractions—there are no shortcuts to doing the work. Follow the model set out for you by your franchisor or in your business plan. Try not to get discouraged if you do not see an immediate payoff. You’re likely new to being an insurance agent, and your prospective clients and referral partners don’t know how good your work is yet. Even if a prospective client already has the right coverage, be honest and don’t force your business on them at any cost. Simply convey that you’re dedicated to your client’s best interests, and it will pay off for you in the long run.

During these two months, you should focus on identifying and playing to your strengths. If a marketing tactic works for another successful agent, it’s not guaranteed to work for you. For example, if you’re great at networking in person, focus on that. If you’re a social media whiz, do that. Authenticity is important when interfacing with clients and referral partners, so you'll naturally come off as knowledgeable and confident when you're playing to your strengths. Sticking to your strengths doesn’t mean you should never stray from your comfort zone, but situational awareness of what is and isn’t working is vital.

Months 4-6

In these next few months, you should begin seeing signs of success; however, continuing to build relationships should still be your focus. Even though you will start seeing relationships moving in the right direction, don't be discouraged if the money isn’t overflowing your bank account just yet. This is the moment to examine your existing connections with greater scrutiny. If they’re not working for you, be flexible and make a plan to find more partnerships. If you believe a relationship will pay off in the long run, fight for it. In the end, you should trust your gut but realize your core network is going to evolve drastically in the years to come.

Your relationships will take work, and they need constant attention to thrive. When you visit with a client or referral partner, spend 90% of your time getting to know them personally. Then, with the last 10%, you can tell them all about why you’re the best at what you do. Ditch the script and connect on a human level. After all, you probably entered this field because you like to help people—talk to them about that!

Biggest Mistakes New Agents Make in Their First Six Months

By knowing the biggest mistakes new agents make early on, you can avoid pitfalls and stand out above the rest. The following are common scenarios of struggling agents:
  • “I’m too busy to network.”
    • If you don’t make time for cold calls, pitching, and relationship building, you risk your network fizzling out. Don’t get complacent because someone sent you one or two leads. Follow up consistently and continue to offer your services.
  • “I’m going to get licensed in [another state] too, so I can cast a wider net.”
    • Focus on your home market in your first six months. If you don’t establish yourself locally at the beginning, you risk spreading yourself too thin, and you might not be able to give your clients or referral partners enough attention. As established in the blueprint above, your networking efforts likely won’t pay off for several months, but once they do, you’ll want to dedicate yourself to those clients to fulfill your promises.
  • “I don’t know what [a carrier’s] policy is.”
    • Before you even launch, you should know your tools and products inside and out. The worst thing you can do is lose business to a carrier who is already in your portfolio.
  • “I didn’t know who to ask for help.”
    • Especially if you’ve franchised with an insurance organization, you’ll likely have tons of tools at your disposal, from corporate support teams to other agents. If you’re independently owned, this is where networking groups and online forums can help immensely. Ultimately, you should not let yourself miss out on deals because you didn’t reach out for support.
  • “I’m going to try a new marketing tactic I saw another agent do.”
    • Consistency is key, and innovation comes later. By constantly switching up your marketing and business plan and not being intentional with your time, you risk coming off as unorganized and inauthentic. Stay the course for the appropriate amount of time to see the potential payoff before switching tactics.
Your first six months after launching will present you with a learning curve and the potential for personal growth. Regardless of whether your first months look exceedingly similar or drastically different than the blueprint outlined above, hard work is the only way to achieve your goals. Your existing connections are finite, so eventually, you’ll be forced to fall back on your work ethic. Work harder than any other agent around you; do one more visit or one more call, and you’ll likely find success.

Consulting with a professional can help you understand the pros and cons of starting an insurance franchise. Book an appointment today with Goosehead’s team to learn more about how our model can fit your goals and lifestyle.

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