Why Does It Matter to Have a Professional Look as an IA?
Professionalism gives people confidence in your abilities. This is true no matter the profession but is especially true if you are in business for yourself as an Independent Adjuster. According to The Harvard Study of Communication, you only have seven seconds to make a good first impression. Your knowledge of insurance adjusting could be impeccable, but if you come across as flaky or unprofessional you will still struggle to get repeat business. Make that first impression of professional look count and build those contacts that could lead to future client business.
Simple Ways to Seem More Professional as an IA
- Smile. Remember that every opportunity to meet someone is a potential referral for new business. A big, genuine smile portrays friendliness and promotes trust.
- Make eye contact. Looking someone in the eye indicates you have nothing to hide and are being straightforward. Eye contact also builds trust and helps someone feel at ease when inviting a stranger into their home.
- Dress professionally. For the Independent Adjuster, shirt and tie aren’t always doable in light of potential work hazards on site. This doesn’t mean it’s okay to show up to assess a property looking like you haven’t showered in three days. Minimize jewelry and keep your appearance well-groomed for a more professional look. Refer here for some direction on what to wear.
- Return calls and reports in a timely manner. Turn first impressions into referrals by establishing a reputation for punctuality and follow-through. If you tell someone to expect your report within five business days, have it turned in sooner and definitely no later than midday on the last day. Answer phone calls and emails as quickly as possible. If a new contact is looking for an IA, they will move on to the next person who picks up if their order is time-sensitive. If you get a message, return it within an hour.
- Respect others’ time. Set appointments and keep them. If running late, call ahead to notify them of a delay. Everyone knows that life throws unexpected circumstances around but if you aren’t able to keep an appointment, give at least 24 hours’ notice. This allows for rescheduling and minimizes inconvenience.
- Have a website. Insurance companies and other clients need a way to find you, contact you and refer to you. Invest in web design that looks professional, includes education and certifications, and outlines services and location range.
Be sure to check out our website for other articles that will propel you in your Independent Adjusting career. As you continue to gain experience in the field, some of these items will make more sense and come more naturally. In the meantime, a little extra effort goes a long way in being perceived as a professional.