A recent study shows that most CEOs read one book per week, or around four to five books per month.
These are the movers and shakers in the business world. They’re the ones at the top, leading massive teams, and seeing unprecedented growth.
As an independent insurance agent, these are the inventors, ground-breakers, and game-changers to emulate. Whether you’re just breaking into this niche or you’ve been selling policies for years, there’s still so much to learn.
Books can help you get there. Today, we’re sharing three of the best ones to help you excel in your career.
Download the audio version and listen on your lunch break, or go the old-fashioned route and buy a hard copy to keep at your desk. Either way, the lessons you’ll learn within the pages can help you break free from a state of stagnation and excel at your craft in new and exciting ways.
The Value of Training Through Reading
With so much on your plate and too many items on your to-do list, why should you focus on building up your book collection?
In short, reading helps you approach the industry in new ways and learn ideas you might not have considered before. It also offers an incredible chance to recharge and unwind, allowing you to turn inward for self-improvement and self-reflection.
If you’ve been on the grind for too long, it’s all too easy to get burnt out in this industry. It’s fast-paced and competitive, and you might struggle to simply keep pace. Thankfully, there are experts in this field who have forged a path before you and are more than willing to share what they’ve learned along the way.
The books on this list aren’t laborious or overly long. They also won’t require a pot of coffee to get through. We’ve carefully selected just a few that are exciting, informative reads that also happen to be highly entertaining.
Want to know which ones made the cut? Here are three of our latest favorites, along with one honorable mention. All of these are available to purchase online, so start planning your reading nook today!
1. The Psychology of Selling
The longer title of this book is “The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible”. If that isn’t a sales pitch in and of itself, what is?
Written by legendary sales professional Brian Tracy, this book was originally published in 1985. You might think that nearly 40 years later, the tactics included therein would be outdated and obsolete.
Coupling sound, logical advice with actionable, step-by-step methodologies, Tracy explains the simple techniques that can help you improve your sales numbers from the bottom up.
As the title implies, most of these strategies are rooted in the psychological principles that inform the sales process. After all, professional salesmanship is more than just knowing what to say, or who to say it to. It’s a skillful art of persuasion and presentation, and no one does it better than Tracy.
There’s a reason that more than 1,000 companies have hired him to help redefine their sales approach. In his 30-year career, Tracy has given more than 5,000 talks to more than 5 million people, collectively.
This is a great book for beginner agents, though anyone can glean value from its practical, always-relevant lessons.
As an independent insurance agent, one of your primary goals is to help your clients discover and purchase the products that best fit their requirements. You’re there to advise them on key questions, including:
- How much insurance do I need?
- Which carrier offers the best policy?
- Which insurance coverage is the best fit?
To help guide them toward the right solution, you have to start by understanding their needs.
This is the premise of “Ask: The Counterintuitive Online Formula to Discover Exactly What Your Customers Want to Buy” by Ryan Levesque. On the front cover, there are claims that this strategy will help you create “a mass” of raving, dedicated fans and take your business to the next level.
Now that we’ve piqued your interest, let’s get into the details.
Get Inside the Brains of Your Buyers
This #1 best-seller answers the key question that’s on the front of every agent’s mind: What do my customers really want to buy? As Levesque explains, you can find out the answer by asking the right questions, and they might not be what you think.
Published in 2015, “Ask” has generated more than $100 million in online sales and has been applied across nearly 25 industries. A master study in human buying behavior, it draws on Levesque’s academic background in neuroscience to help you better understand the mindsets of those in front of you.
You’ll finish the book with new processes to try and surveys to conduct, more than ready to take your sales game to the next level.
3. Fanatical Prospecting
Every insurance professional knows that prospecting is a requisite part of the job. Yet, there’s no denying how challenging it can be, especially if you’re still getting your feet wet in the industry.
In “Fanatical Prospecting”, author Jeb Blount unlocks the secret to successfully filling your pipeline with high-quality, viable leads.
Since its publish date in 2015, this book has shown salespeople across various sectors how to keep their prospect list healthy to avoid underperforming. In these chapters, you’ll learn how to move past common obstacles that often waylay agents on their way to the top, including:
- Resistance and objections
- Lagging sales conversations
- Leads that go nowhere
- Paralyzing sales slumps
Rather than list out a bunch of ideals with no true backbone, Blount gives readers a logical, step-by-step approach to building and maintaining a solid pipeline. The takeaway? By the end, you’ll know how to balance your prospecting methodology across various channels, learning critical principles such as:
- The Law of Replacement
- The Law of Familiarity
- The 5 C’s of Social Selling
- The 5-Step Telephone Framework
- The 4-Step Email Prospecting Framework
- The 7-Step Text Message Prospecting Framework
Honorable Mention: Talking to Strangers
In 2014, the Guinness Book of World Records confirmed a new landmark: A mystery billionaire had taken out a life insurance policy for $201 million.
Breaking the record for the most valuable policy on record, the event was a staggering, complicated, one. It required multiple, concurrent negotiations with more than two dozen insurance companies, along with complex underwriting requirements from each one.
Before this date, the previous record was held by Peter Rosenguard, whose $100 million insurance sale in 1990 had long been regarded as the most expensive in the world. The policy, taken out on the life of an entertainment figure in the U.S., shot Rosenguard to fame and established him as a leading figure in the industry.
The Man Behind the Mania
In “Talking to Strangers: The Life of an Insurance Salesman”, Rosenguard takes readers on a fascinating journey through his decades spent doing just that. Published in 2013, the book reads more like a memoir and it’s utterly fascinating.
In it, you’ll learn how Rosenguard sold that massive policy. You’ll also hear all about his day with The Doors, the night he spent with a Mafia boss, and the policy he sold to an African chief.
Sprinkled throughout the tales and tidbits, there are nuggets of wisdom and details on how to help your own sales skyrocket. Most of all, you’ll close the book with a newfound appreciation for the profession you’re pursuing, and the hope that perhaps you, too, can leave a legacy as inspiring.
Rosenguard’s passion leaps across the pages and makes this a fun, easy read. If you want to learn how to increase your income, break the ice with strangers, and truly enjoy the work you do, it’s a must-add to your collection.
Support for the Modern Independent Insurance Agent
Any time you make a career change, there are obstacles to overcome and steps to learn. If you’re a new independent insurance agent, we understand that these hurdles can seem especially daunting.
That’s why we’re dedicated to helping you grow your career, one step at a time. In addition to expert coaching and mentorship, we also provide training opportunities and online support functions to answer your questions and help you expand your knowledge base.
These four books are a great way to jumpstart your journey, but we hope you won’t stop there. When you become a member of ILIAA, you gain access to all of our resources, including free tools and sales materials, case studies, and exclusive discounts. Learn more about membership pricing and join a plan today!