As an insurance professional who wants to grow your agency, we know you’re always on the lookout for the next best resource—a workshop, webinar, or podcast that’ll help you get more leads, increase your production, and write more policies. Since it’s summertime and you’re likely spending at least a little time at the pool, we decided to suggest a few books to keep you company. (These aren’t your typical rom-com-style beach reads, so be sure to toss a highlighter into your pool bag!)

Books? Why Books?

You could, we suppose, log into a webinar from your poolside chaise lounge. But there’s something powerful about picking up a book. Research shows Fortune 500 CEOs read four or five books a month, while 67% of Americans have read a book (one book!) in the past 12 months. At the start of his career, Warren Buffet read up to 1,000 pages a week and still spends 80% of his day reading. Bill Gates reads nearly a book a week, and research shows a clear correlation between reading and success. So, why books? Because reading is something successful people do. 

Why These Particular Books?

To be honest, a list of must-read books for insurance agents could include hundreds of titles, in multiple categories: sales, marketing, networking, entrepreneurship, the industry itself, and more. We figured a list of 7 was a bit more digestible, and we choose them based on two criteria: 

    1. The book offers a paradigm shift.  The best business books are those that turn conventional wisdom upside down and compel you to think about a problem—or yourself—differently than ever before.
    2. The book is a classic (or nearly so). While we all want to learn mind-blowing, new information, there’s something to be said for getting back to basics. For example, no one’s going to argue that reading Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People is a waste of time. Even if you’ve read it a dozen times before.

The List

Without further ado, here are 7 must-read books for insurance agents.

1. Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller

If you have trouble talking about your insurance agency in a clear and compelling way, Miller’s book should be your next read. (Spoiler alert: “I sell insurance” is neither clear nor compelling.) A standout among customer-centric marketing books, Building a StoryBrand teaches you a simple framework to help connect better with your customers and convert more leads to sales.

2. First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham

Speaking of paradigm shifts, this book will challenge everything you thought you knew about business management. A fantastic read for both micro-offices and bustling agencies, First, Break All the Rules will help you know how to draw out the best from your team—for their benefit and for your customers.

3. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

There’s a reason 7 Habits was named the most influential business book of the century. It offers timeless wisdom and practical how-tos for both self- and team-leadership, time management, productivity, attitude, and more. 

4. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Sure, this is technically a leadership book, but it’s also a sales book—and since insurance is sales, it’s an easy addition to our must-reads. In Start With Why you’ll learn how to gain more customers and become more profitable, all by finding your answer to one fundamental question. (For a quick summary, check out Sinek’s TED Talk.)

5. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

Running an insurance agency can be overwhelming and exhausting, and if you’re not careful, you’ll flame out. Allen’s book introduces you to the nearly cult-level culture of GTD (Getting Things Done) so you can get and stay organized—personally and professionally.

6. The Sales Bible by Jeffrey Gitomer

Again: Insurance is sales, and Gitomer’s classic, no-holds-barred text teaches sales strategies that actually work. Packed with practical tips for everything from social media to lead generation, The Sales Bible will help you close more deals—faster. (For loads of free resources, check out Gitomer’s Sales Blog.)

7. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

OK, don’t get all weirded out by the whole “emotion” thing. This is not a squishy self-help book; it’s a hard-hitting, step-by-step path to understanding yourself and the people around you—including your prospective customers. You know how critical relationships are in the insurance world. So get better at them with Bradberry’s help.

Successful People Read

Again, we could’ve created a book-length list of books here, but these will give you an outstanding start toward growing your business knowledge and personal perspective—so you can grow your business. Yes, joining RECAMP will help you, but there’s nothing wrong with rounding out your business chops. Happy reading!