August 18, 2020

Are You an Insurance Producer Who Wants To Relocate? Use These 4 Interview Strategies.

by Scott Thompson

Relocating as an experienced insurance producer is challenging because agencies believe their sales success is rooted in local connections. Many have had at least one bad experience with a hire they “took a flier on from out of town”.  One bad hire should never pigeonhole your future potential. In fact, time and again Capstone has helped experienced insurance producers find jobs with great agencies in new markets. It’s been our experience that a successful process is all about preparation. Use these four interview strategies if you’re ready to change zip codes!

1. "Why Our City?"

You need to give a reasonable answer to why you want to move to a particular location. Start with, “I’m looking to move here because…” and cite one of these acceptable answers: 

  • Hometown roots. You grew up in the area or have family nearby.
  • Academic ties. You went to college there and maintain a lot of personal contacts.
  • Your in-laws. This is a move closer to extended family especially with aging parents or young children who are growing up.
  • Personal passions. You love the area- mountains, sandy beaches, four seasons, etc. You’ve often visited their city and now want to be a permanent resident.
  • Business contacts. You’ve sold in this area before. You’re done with the travel and want to live closer to where you already work.
  • Spouse’s job. For various reasons (the military, great promotion, etc.) the search started with your partner, but you are 100% onboard with a new career change. It’s an exciting opportunity for the ENTIRE family.

2. "How Serious Are You About the Move?"

Prove just how badly you want to relocate with a couple of key initiatives.

  • Ask for in-person interviews. Start with a bunch of phone screens. Narrow the list to 3-5 viable options.
  • Line up on-site visits and that volume will justify paying for your own travel expenses. The return trip for your top 1-2 finalists may be paid by the agency is they have flipped the script and are now heavily courting you.

3. "Are You Realistic About the Challenges Of Starting Over?"

Insurance agencies believe a new producer can ‘ramp up’ more quickly if they have established local business contacts. You have a disadvantage in this regard, but it can be combatted with a business plan.  A brief proforma should contain:

  • No more than a two-page outline of your market research, target clientele and new business production goals in the first 12 months.
  • Note what resources you need the agency to provide. This includes training, mentoring, country club dues, a T&E expense and more. 

4. "What Do You Know About Our Community?"

Here’s where culture has two meanings. First, you want the right culture match with the agency. Second, you want to fit into the business community. Start planting seeds during the interview process that prove you can integrate into the community.

  • Ask your interviewers for advice. What schools and neighborhoods do they recommend you research?  Can they introduce you to realtors, teachers and other resources to help your family move?
  • What non-work activities make you happy? If your motto is “I work to live” then reinforce those outdoor activities like skiing, surfing, etc. that connect your passions with the local scenery.
  • What fills your head and heart? Start making connections with local charities, social services, religious institutions and other philanthropic outlets. There’s also a good chance the agency is a business supporter to many of these outlets.

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