What does reading books have to do with becoming a better insurance agent?
According to Warren Buffet – whose net worth is over $80 billion by the way – reading books is the reason he’s so successful. When asked in an interview about the key to his massive success, he pointed to a stack of books.
He said, “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.” (USA Today)
If reading is so critical to improving and becoming a better business person, well… what should we be reading?
We’ve gathered 10 books that cover character, sales, persuasion, insurance-specific information, and leadership.
While you shouldn’t stop at just 10, these books will help you begin a journey towards a better business.
Best Books for Senior Market Insurance Agents
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- The 25 Sales Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople by Stephan Schiffman
- Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
- Shift: 201 Instant-Action Proven Marketing Strategies To Sell More Insurance And Financial Products Now by Jeremiah D Desmarais
- The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell
- Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness by Jeffrey Gitomer
- The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Senior Market Insurance Agent by Jason Ferguson
- How to Sell Short-Term Care with Confidence by John Hockaday and Jeff Sams
- How to Sell Life Insurance with Confidence by Kirk Sarff and Michael Sams
1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
This is one of those books that nearly every person in a position of management or business has read. Perhaps you’ve already read it yourself, but if you haven’t, here’s what to expect.
This is a self-improvement book published in 1989. Don’t let the age fool you – this book is like a great suit. It doesn’t go out of style.
The book takes you through (you guessed it) 7 habits of people who are deemed to be successful, and those 7 habits are:
- Be Proactive
- Begin with the End in Mind
- Put First Things First
- Think Win-Win
- Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
- Sharpen the Saw
In order to get the full picture, you’ll need to read the book (or read through the summary here), but trust us – you’ll turn that last page with a new perspective on life.
2. The 25 Sales Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople by Stephan Schiffman
This book is a great follow-up to the previous one. We’re honing in now on salespeople, and the 25 habits in this book are bound to help you improve your sales techniques.
Published in 2008, this book helps you learn the basics of converting leads into solid sales, how to stay motivated (which is especially important when you’re running your own business), and also how to give killer sales presentations.
If you’re looking to improve your sales strategy, this book can give you that fresh perspective you’re looking for.
3. Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono
This book gives you a fresh perspective that helps to
- Uncover hidden opportunities,
- Explain complex issues to your clients, and
- Present new products clearly.
Learn how to be constructive and creative, how to solve problems, and how to open up new opportunities.
The book goes through the 6 thinking hats, which are as follows:
- White Hat Thinking: Information available and needed.
- Black Hat Thinking: Cautions, difficulties, barriers; Where things might go wrong.
- Red Hat Thinking: Intuitions, feelings, and hunches
- Green Hat Thinking: Alternatives and creative ideas.
- Yellow Hat Thinking: Values and benefits; Why something might work.
- Blue Hat Thinking: Manage the thinking process.
You’ll learn how to use these 6 thinking hats in order to solve sales problems, spot opportunities, maximize time, and more.
4. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
If you want to learn what makes our brains tick, this book gives some astonishing and incredible insights.
Published in 2006, this book teaches you the 6 universal principles of persuasion. Why do consumers buy an item at regular price, but they won’t buy it when that same item is on sale? Why do people buy items at a store when they’re given a sample first?
This book uncovers persuasion truths that we all know deep down, but it’s still just as shocking and revealing.
5. Shift: 201 Instant-Action Proven Marketing Strategies To Sell More Insurance And Financial Products Now by Jeremiah D Desmarais
Shift is directed at insurance agents, and the marketing strategies it contains are mandatory to know.
From that classic 9-word email to digital marketing basics, this book will have you prepared for the modern world of sales and marketing.
Many of the strategies are taken from other industries, but when Jeremiah applies them to his own insurance business, he saw his sales explode.
All of the 201 strategies have real-life examples of people who tried them, so you know it worked for at least someone.
Sometimes, we just have to look elsewhere for inspiration, and our team must admit that we also use many of the marketing strategies he discusses in this book.
6. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell
Another oldie but a goodie, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (1998) will help you improve your own leadership abilities, which has a huge impact on your insurance business.
From the Law of Influence to the Law of Respect, these 21 laws of leadership help you see the full, well-rounded picture of what it takes to be a fantastic leader.
While reading the book, you’ll start developing a strong sense of where you struggle and where you have room to grow.
John Maxwell has over 40 years of leadership successes and mistakes, and the book has sold over 1 million copies.
It’s safe to say that this one is a must-read.
7. Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness by Jeffrey Gitomer
Why do sales happen? How can you make them happen for yourself? The Little Red Book of Selling offers tips and tricks from Gitomer’s lifetime of selling that will help you understand how to take your business from zero to major sales.
The book is a short read to help those of us out who don’t love to read a heavy book with 500 pages.
The 12.5 reasons people buy are very interesting to read, and the better you understand them, the better you’ll be able to sell to future prospects.
8. The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Senior Market Insurance Agent by Jason Ferguson
The next 3 books on this list are written by our team here at New Horizons. They’re specifically written for senior market insurance agents, and they’re meant to help you get into the industry and feel confident selling product.
The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Senior Market Insurance Agent will help you determine is insurance sales is right for you, it’ll help you learn how to get licensed and contracted with carriers, and you’ll even get aa brief introduction to CRMs, marketing, and more.
This truly is the ultimate guide to entering our industry, and whether you’re brand new or have been selling insurance for years, you’re bound to learn something new.
This book is sold on Amazon, but we offer it here on our website for free. You can get your copy by clicking the link below.
9. How to Sell Short-Term Care with Confidence by John Hockaday and Jeff Sams
The need for extended care is real — we’ve just lived it — and we want to spark that same fire in all of our agents. We’ve found an attractive alternative to long-term care insurance that
- you’ll prefer and
- that your clients can get excited about.
This short training covers what happened to long-term care, pros and cons of STC vs. LTC, carrier-specific information, sales techniques, and more.
If your older clients need an LTC solution, you need to give this short guide a read.
10. How to Sell Life Insurance with Confidence by Kirk Sarff and Michael Sams
When we talked to agents who only sell Med Supps about life insurance, we learned a lot. There's this idea that the different types of life insurance are complicated and hard to understand. And… we admit that might have some truth to it.
BUT, the biggest misconception out there is that YOU have to know all of the complicated product stuff. And you don't.
New Horizons has a Life Insurance Department that makes selling life insurance incredibly simple. Learn how to take advantage of us and see how you can make a killing selling life insurance to your clients.