Why Association Involvement is so Important for Young Agents

by Jason Verlinde, CIC - Verlinde Insurance Agency on February 9, 2011 · 2 comments

Think about your circle of friends. The ones that you talk with on a daily basis. Where did you meet them? The answer is probably one of four places: neighborhood, school (or your children’s school), place of worship, or place of employment.

Being from Michigan a lot of my neighbors work in the automotive industry. They go to work each day and walk into large offices or plants that have hundreds of people working in them. They have worked there for several years and have become close friends with many of their co-workers.

Twelve years ago I started working for an Independent Insurance Agency. I walked in the door and went to work with my Father and two other people who were no where near my age. There went twenty five percent of my chance of meeting life long friends. Our agency is not unlike most Independent Insurance Agencies. Most are small business and most do not have many “young” people working in them.

Friends1

So how do you keep your new young agents from getting the urge to bolt to the corporate world where they see their family and neighbors growing life long relationships with their co-workers? The answer is to get them involved with your states Insurance Association. They put on several events each year that will give your employees a chance to meet other people who have common interests.

I know that it may be tough for the agency to be without a young agent for a few days while they are away at a conference. It may not always be in the agency’s budget. You may also think that some events are nothing more than a three day party with a few CE opportunities thrown in and it is all a waste of money. But think of the cost of losing a young agent after a year or two because they think the grass is greener in the corporate world. Because they want to be able to go out to lunch with a co-worker or hang out after work and grab a drink.

I have been fortunate. My agency has always realized the value of my involvement within our state association. I have also been fortunate by meeting some great people (see photo above) that are my closest friends. Friends that I speak with almost on a daily basis. Friends I can bounce ideas off, talk to about my problems, and the ones that I am sure will be the friends I am sitting around talking about my grandkids with twenty five years from now.

In most states there are two different State Associations putting on valuable programs. You can find yours by going to either:

National Association of Professional Insurance Agents – www.pianet.org

Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America – www.iiaba.net

What are your thoughts about young agent’s involvement in state associations?

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