nGInsights: Social Media Unites Young Agents

Attention "Old Timers" - You are holding back our industry

I was talking to my buddy Jason Cass (Chairman of the National Young Agents of IIABA and Owner of JDC Insurance) the other day  to exchange ideas about marketing and sales and how we each can leverage technology more efficiently to effectively dominate our respective markets.

I brainstorm with a couple of young agents throughout the country, whether by phone, Skype, email and social media. There have been more than a few truly incredible and inspirational ideas that took their first breaths during one of these mastermind sessions. In every mastermind session, no matter whom I’m talking to, no matter what medium we’re using to communicate and no matter where that other person is located in the country—the conversation always turns to future of the insurance industry.

Where do we see it going?

What will the landscape look like in 5, 10, 20 years?

How will we be selling?

But most importantly, how will we communicate?

Before we answer that question let’s get back to my conversation with Jason Cass.  See I’m a big fan of Jason Cass. Like myself, he’s fueled by emotion and the desire to advance an industry we both love (Believe it or not that industry is insurance).

So Jason and I finally got to the “How will we communicate?” question and he said something I thought was very profound. He said, “Ryan… Young agents aren’t pushing the insurance industry forward into an era of new technology. They’re pulling the old timers along kicking and screaming.”


You Are Holding Us Back

Think about that for a second. American culture has fundamentally shifted in how it communicates. We are no longer empowered as gatekeepers of industry specific knowledge that is bewildering to the consuming public. Insurance consumers can Google search everything they want to know. They don’t need us to find the information.

Now this is where things get sexy… insurance consumers need us to use that information!

Insurance consumers WANT to communicate with their insurance providers by a different method than they did 10 years ago. The vast majority of insurance professionals WANT to continue communicating the way they always have. Because that is way they’ve always done it.

Hey you, “Old Way” salesperson:  You’re holding our industry back.

We all want to complain about direct writers. Have you stopped and thought about the reasons that direct writers do so well? Could it have anything to do with the fact that they communicate on the client’s terms? Do you think that insurance consumers prefer to do business with a faceless voice a thousand miles away? Or do you think insurance consumers would jump at the chance to do business with a local provider that could communicate in a medium of the client’s preference?

The answers to those questions are as follows:

  • No you haven’t
  • Yes it does
  • No they don’t
  • Yes they would

Read this and get straight: If You Work in Insurance, This Should Be the Only Article You Read on the Future of Social Media.


"Let's do some awesome things"...Read on for more!


Thank Goodness for Young Agents

This is why it’s such an exciting time to be a young insurance agent. Because we don’t need old timers, we need Jason Cass, Matt Brown, Brent Kelly, Nicole Waerzeggers, and all the other amazingly talented and bold young insurance professionals dying to take our industry to the Internet.

We’re waiting for old timers to get out of our ways so we can harness the tools given to us by technology. The insurance industry needs pioneers and innovators… we need crazy SOBs that are willing to make many uncomfortable to help all be more successful. So I call out to all young insurance professionals: It is our burden to carrier this proud industry forward.  Let us unite through social media and share ideas on success.

My name is Ryan Hanley. I’m a young insurance agent for The Murray Group Insurance Services located in Albany, N.Y., and I’ve just smacked you across the face with my gauntlet.

If you’re not scared…Pick it up and let’s do awesome things.

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