Recipe for Success
as a Combined Agent
Kevin Bryant,Assistant Vice President Agency Leader for Recruitment
Appointed Assistant Vice President Agency Leader for Recruitment, Training and Leadership Development Canadian Distribution Branch of Combined Insurance in August 2022 and has over 32 years of experience in Financial Services and began his career as a licensed insurance agent for Combined Insurance of America.
Prior to his current position he held leadership positions in sales, training, and sales enablement. In his role, Kevin has responsibility for the leadership, day to day operations and strategic direction of the Agency Recruitment, Training and Leadership Development team.
An Airforce veteran who has earned his Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI) and Fellow, Financial Service Institute insurance designations.
Think you’re ready for success in insurance sales? Over my 30+ years in the insurance industry, I’ve learned a lot about what can make-or break-an insurance sales career. Success-or the lack of success-hinges on several factors. All of these take work and discipline, and we are here to help. Personally, I think the single most important factor for success is attitude, followed by the right amount of activity. Once you have those two down, everything else falls into place.
1-Make having a positive attitude your priority
Having a positive mental attitude is essential for success. Founder of Combined, W. Clement Stone coined PMA-or positive mental attitude. He wrote “there is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”
Insurance sales is an activity-based career and engaging in income- producing activities on a regular basis is essential. Essential activities include:
· Establishing a referral base
3-Determine your “Why”
Knowing your why is the most important step in achievement. The “Why” is more important than the “How”. Knowing why you do what you do every day is essential, for most of us the why could be our family, career fulfillment, serving a greater purpose etc.
4-Be all in
Dedicate yourself to becoming the best version of yourself and an expert in financial services. To do this, you will have to engage in continuous self-development and learning.
Continuously evaluate your progress towards achieving your goals and take the opportunity to recalibrate as needed. Ask yourself “What you are willing to do to achieve your goals?”
6-Find a mentor
Create a mastermind alliance with a mentor. Seek out an individual who you can partner with to keep you focused on your “Why”. This could be a sales leader, manager, executive, family member or an associate etc. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals to help you keep your mind on the things you want to achieve.
7-Take time for yourself
It’s important to find balance in your life. Taking the time to reenergize and reset is a crucial step in building a successful career in sales. Celebrate your successes with those that mean the most to you.
Our recipe for success at Combined Canada
To support our training and development mindset, we have 6 important phases to support the new sales representative. These include:
2. Licensing and Sales Class
3. Onboarding Pre Pal
4. Onboarding Pal Week
6. First 13 Weeks
During the recruitment phase, we review the Canadian market and its potential. We take a look at our value proposition including our competitive advantages, our positioning in the market, our available products and compensation. We focus on expectations and what success looks like at Combined Insurance.
Through our training centers across Canada, Combined offers unique in-person and/or virtual licensing support training sessions. The goals are to learn the rules and regulations of the Canadian insurance industry. Our Sales class lasts for two weeks and includes training on our products and the sales process.
Introduction to onboarding which formalizes the association of the agent with Combined, and it includes interaction with sales leadership to help ensure success.
Onboarding continues and evolves into your first day infield. This week is your first week in the field and includes 5 full days of infield training. The goals of the first week are clear:
· Learn to create activity by diversifying your approach Practice introductions, transitions, sales responses
· Learn to present our products and close business
· Develop independence and confidence as a Sales Representative
This phase is called our Blueprint for Success, and it’s how we predict success. The concept is simple; the more annualized premium in the initial 5 weeks, the better the chance of achieving long-term success with our organization. We encourage a fast start and investing the time required to become competent and confident.
We take an sales representative’s decision to work with us seriously, and we put in the effort and investment to ensure success.
Our United States counterparts
Our training and development programs are similar in the United States. We have some great programs and program enhancement in store for 2023.
- Horizons: In early 2023, we are enhancing the current AD/AL onboarding program and will launch a redesigned 26-week Horizons Program that will help ensure ADs and ALs have the knowledge, experience, and roadmap they need to be successful.
- New Agent Education: Also in early 2023, we will be introducing changes to our new Independent Agents and Agency Coordinators education programs. Upping the ante with more interactive and hands-on education activities.
- National Education Webinars: To help you continue to fine-tune your skills we will be offering a suite of education webinars that you take advantage of. These webinars will be deep dives into topics that will also allow for more opportunities to ask questions and share best practices.
As W. Clement Stone shared, “If you employed study, thinking, and planning time daily, you could develop and use the power that can change the course of your destiny.”
Take the time to develop and grow and change your destiny! If our program sounds like something you’d like to learn more about, I invite you to reach out to me personally!