by Marie King
An agent is your most valuable contact when you’re purchasing insurance. A good agent will steer you towards policies that will re-enforce your risk management strategy. He or she will help you winnow out the pieces of a policy that you don’t need and ensure that the parts of the policy, which are strategic, remain. The agent’s ability to target your needs enables you to save money while getting the best coverage. To find that kind of agent, you must understand what qualities that person has to have in order to meet your needs.
People skills refer to an agent’s ability to discern your needs. The agent does this by performing a multiple of tasks. This insurance person must have an in-depth knowledge of the your industry, so he or she can comprehend your special circumstances and risks. This knowledge base comes out of a situation, where an insurance company specializes in an industry like construction, and the roles its employees play. Discerning your needs, also requires that the agent be a good listener and pay attention to the needs you have voiced and the outcomes you desire.
When you need your agent, you want that person to be available. You don’t want to constantly be leaving voice mails that are never answered in a timely fashion. What you want is answers to the myriad of questions that surface once you have signed on for insurance. The answers to these questions must be knowledgeable and include information that focuses on the complexity of the situation. This information must also be communicated in a manner that is helpful not demeaning.
Emotional intelligence refers to being emphatic with a solution-based demeanor. When you need the support of your agent, emotional intelligence comes into play. This could be in a situation, where you are filing a claim, and feeling the concurrent stress that accompanies the event that has happened. Emotional intelligence allows your agent to help you file your claim in an orderly, calm manner. It also enables your agent to utilize his or her experience to help you weather the crisis that generated the claim.
Your agent is also a salesman that wants your business. He or she is someone that you have put a great deal of trust in. If your agent has not been honest with you, the basis of your relationship can disintegrate. Most agents are honest with you because it’s not in their best interest to be otherwise. When you can tell if an agent has been dishonest, it is when you file a claim. Then what you have been told about your coverage won’t line up with the reality that you face when you file the claim.
Choosing an agent asks for you to discern the attributes of people skills, customer service skills, emotional intelligence and honesty. These are qualities that cannot be discerned in an initial meeting. You need to establish a relationship with an agent and decide whether that agent has the qualities, which you are looking for.