By Curtis Killen, President, KBD Insurance —
My company has had many successes, as well as several failures, since I started back in 2013.
Today, I want to share with you one major success we’ve experienced: hiring and developing the skills of young, green insurance brokers.
Here’s how it all started:
In 2015, I became the manager of KBD for the home & car insurance division; I had no idea what I was doing and a few of the brokers that my father hired were much more experienced than myself.
So, try picturing this: A 26-year-old inexperienced insurance broker (and the boss’ son), who is managing (or attempting to manage) two brokers with a combined 25 years of experience.
As you might imagine, this was a recipe for disaster!
The brokers left very soon after I became their superior.
I knew that, moving forward, KBD was not going to grow by hiring experienced insurance brokers, so we came up with a new strategy:
Develop a training system and aim to hire young individuals with a knack for sales.
Since implementing this hiring & training strategy, KBD has experienced a 500% volume growth and we now employ over thirty insurance brokers.
I want to share with you the advantages of hiring millennial insurance brokers, and why you need them on your team.
And before we get into my points, I would also like to point out that experienced commercial insurance brokers are of tremendous value to an office as well! But this will not be the focus of today’s blog.
1. Young brokers are easy to train & mould to your organization.
Green insurance brokers don’t know anything about insurance, and that’s a good thing. You can train and teach them to develop good habits when it comes to workflow, dealing with clients & prospecting for new business.
You get to train them your way.
Training a “green” insurance broker is more work in the short-term, but you don’t have to deal with bad work habits that may have developed at a previous office. Generally, with proper training and guidance, it takes anywhere from 3-6 months for an insurance broker to be self autonomous in personal lines.
2. Millennial insurance brokers come with the hunger to learn.
Develop a hiring strategy and go after a specific profile that will fit your company culture. If executed properly, your new insurance brokers will have the will to learn, and this is so important.
Business owners and managers need to recognize that Millennials who are coming into the insurance industry are looking for a career; this isn’t a summer day-camp job.
Have that in the back of your mind when you’re training or hiring a new employee, and if you have doubts about their loyalty, have a sit-down conversation and discuss their seriousness about the job role.
A new broker who is both competent and eager to learn will be a HUGE asset to your company down the line.
3. Millennial insurance brokers can help you with technology.
There are two types of insurance firms when it comes to technology:
- Those that have implemented technology workflows & services into their day-to-day operations; and
- Those that want to implement technology, but don’t know how.
Millennials can be a huge asset in helping you transition through small updates such as becoming paperless or migrating your BMS to the cloud.
These software systems are secure and they will increase workflow efficiency in your office space. They will also provide more structure and facilitate the training phase for a green insurance broker, or any type of insurance broker for that matter. These BMS systems are especially important if you are a commercial insurance broker.
No millennial is going to work at an office that is not paperless.
4. Millennials will help grow your business – Here’s how:
If you’ve tried aggregators in the past – such as LowestRates.ca or Kanetix.ca – and it didn’t work, your employees may have said “These leads are horrible” or “I’m too busy to follow up the leads, I have clients to service.”
I experienced this first-hand myself when KBD started our aggregator pilot project a few years ago.
Most insurance brokers with 30 years of experience are simply not going to call these online leads effectively – that’s just a fact. And to be honest, I get it.
So, here’s a tip your brokerage can use today that will help grow your business immediately:
- Hire a millennial. Pay for their training to pass the insurance exams and get them licensed in PL.
- Once they are ready, set up an agreement with an aggregator like LowestRates. Start with a small amount of leads per day.
- Assign all these incoming leads to the new insurance broker; they will be more than happy to contact the online leads. It will also speed up the learning curve for the green broker, as they will be getting more repetition. More quotes per day = faster learning curve.
In conclusion, the pros far outweigh the cons of hiring a millennial insurance broker.
Hiring a millennial insurance broker is a long-term play that will benefit your office down the road.
Insurance firms like mine – KBD Insurance – and others in my personal network are Quebec brokerages that have experienced significant, double-digit percentage growth over the past few years, and we all follow a similar hiring strategy.
Hire based off of personality, ambition and competence, not experience.
The brokerages who catch onto this phenomenon will see future success as many baby boomers are retiring from the industry. These job positions need to be filled, and Millennials are the perfect individuals to do so. They understand technology, and they are looking for careers.
About The Author
Curtis Killen is a damage insurance broker from Montreal, Quebec and has been in the industry for seven years. He is third generation and is the President at KBD Insurance, a brokerage with two offices located on the island of Montreal. KBD Insurance provides business, home & car insurance to Quebec residents and was established in 1974. Curtis has helped take the company from 2 employees back in 2013 to now over 30 employees in 2020.
About KBD Insurance
For over 40 years, our knowledge, expertise and exceptional customer service has allowed us to offer our clients an unparalleled, personalized insurance experience for the home, car and business sectors. With two head offices based out of Montreal, we provide our services to clients across the province of Quebec.
Our goal is to make insurance easy to understand. We simplify the process for our customers and give them the peace of mind they deserve and expect when it comes to insuring their most prized possessions.
For more information, please visit www.kbdinsurance.com.
SOURCE: Assurance KBD