Have you been told you have a knack for connecting with others? Are you driven to help people? These are two of the most sought-after qualities companies are looking for when appointing new insurance agents in Texas.
You’ll need an insurance license to sell insurance in Texas. But beyond that technical qualification, if you have discipline and perseverance, you’re well positioned to become an insurance agent. In fact, the day-to-day work might not be as hard as you’re anticipating. Just listen to trainer and growth strategist Brianna Rowe, who began her 15-year sales career with Aflac as an agent: “With the right training procedures and attention, you can be successful.”
The truth about becoming an insurance agent in Texas is that success is often determined more by determination and grit than by prior industry experience. Keep reading for more.
Qualities of a good insurance agent
- Tenacity. Dedication, persistence, stick-to-itiveness – they all boil down to the same crucial quality. Plenty of experienced insurance agents say that grit is the #1 thing a person needs to succeed in this field.
- An enthusiasm for learning. Some insurance carriers have a training program that will equip you with the tools and information you need. Rowe describes Aflac’s first-year insurance sales training as state-of-the-art. “We support new recruits with tools and resources,” Rowe says. “But just like learning a new sport, it’s about commitment.”
- A gift for connecting with people. Business is built on relationships. That’s doubly true in a sales career, and even more so in insurance, where the rewards stem from an ongoing relationship with clients as opposed to a one-time sale. Two factors that can help you hone that gift: an ability to focus on others, and being a good listener. “When I walk into the room, it’s not about me – it’s about my audience,” says Meaghan Mutrie, a market recruiter for Aflac. “What’s important to them? Focusing on them and prioritizing their needs above my own leads to a better outcome. It helps to be a good listener and open to what other people have to say.”
- A drive to help others. Service is more important than dazzle here. “You don’t have to be an extrovert to succeed in this business,” says Reese Golchin, an Aflac market recruiter. “Many of our sales leaders are quite introverted. But I find that introverts – and extroverts, but this can be even more of a driver for introverts – like the idea of helping people. That gets them past the barrier of getting in front of people.”
- Adaptability. The ability to switch gears at the drop of a hat is helpful here. As an insurance agent, you’re bound to venture from boardrooms to warehouses and everywhere in between. The ability to adapt to your environment will give you a leg up as an insurance agent.
- An ability to tap into your own life. Your life experience can be incredibly helpful in developing a successful sales career. You might be surprised by some of the places where the qualities of a good insurance agent can be cultivated, such as:
- Sports. Whether you played football, tennis or another sport, the discipline, work ethic and perseverance you nurture as an athlete can make for a smooth transition into the insurance industry. Not to mention your experience working within a team dynamic. “I’m looking for people who want to build something with the company, people who are eager to be part of a team environment,” Mutrie says. “The skills you develop as a part of an athletic team are an asset in this field – you know that if one person drops the ball, everybody is impacted by it.”
- Military. Few assets are as important and cross-industry as discipline. And if you’ve served in the military, you’ve had plenty of training in it. Many veterans who work with Aflac report viewing their Aflac sales career as an extension of what they did in the armed forces – helping people.
- Business. Broad interests and knowledge about how businesses succeed are helpful in this field, both personally and with the clients agents serve. “Having small-business skills – marketing, basic accounting – helps,” says Jennifer Ramos Nubie, a market recruiter for Aflac covering the Austin area. “You’re wearing every single hat.”
- Education. “Education majors can be great at this,” Rowe says. “They’re used to relating to all types of people; they’re used to educating and teaching.”
- Theater. As an insurance agent, you’ll need to present in front of people you don’t know. Experience in overcoming nerves in order to give a stellar performance helps. The ability to interact with your audience and successfully pull off a presentation with gusto goes a long way.
Texas insurance licensing requirements
- Hours of study: Unless an applicant is seeking a temporary 90-day license, the state of Texas doesn’t require any prelicensing education for prospective insurance agents. That said, due to the rigor of the exam, taking a prelicensing course – be it through ExamFx, Kaplan or elsewhere – is highly recommended.
- Take the exam: Prospective agents in Texas need to pass an exam for each line of insurance they want to work in. To schedule an examination, visit Pearson VUE. Walk-ins are not allowed. Depending on the license(s) you’re applying for, your exam will have anywhere between 100 and 150 questions. You’ll need to get 70% of them right to pass.2
- Get fingerprinted: Even if you get a perfect score on the exam, you can’t get your license until you’ve been fingerprinted. Visit the Texas Department of Insurance for the most up-to-date requirements and instructions on this matter.
- Apply for the license: Once you’ve passed your exam and have your fingerprints ready, you can apply for your license through the National Insurance Producer Registry.
One last question prospective agents often ask: How long does it take to become an insurance agent Texas? If you’re with a carrier that provides training and licensing assistance, you can start working the minute you have your license and have been appointed with the carrier.
Regardless of your background, if you’re interested in the insurance industry, remember that it’s not about having prior industry or sales experience; it’s about determination and the desire to help others. “I’m interested in your soft skills,” Mutrie says. “I’m looking for hungry individuals.”
That motivation pays off. And it can pay off well. Take it from Rowe: “If you’re ready to go to work, this is going to be a dream.” Ready to take the first step toward becoming an insurance agent in Texas? Fill out our form and we’ll get in touch to chat.