A leading industry figure is urging senior professionals to get involved with mentoring, saying many have far more to offer than they might realise.
“There a lot of brokers who have been in the market for a long time and they’ve learned so much over that period,” says Mark Vilo, head of bank intermediaries at Suncorp.
“I think now’s the time for them to take advantage of the knowledge they have and share it with the newer brokers who are coming in.”
Vilo told Insurance Business that, after having countless conversations with new brokers over the past 12 months, one thing that stood out was that the majority are calling out for general guidance rather than instructions on how to handle a specific situation.
“When new brokers come in, they want to talk to more seasoned brokers to understand the obstacles they encountered when they first started, they want to know what business traps they may have fallen into and any tips they picked up along the way,” he says.
“It’s less around going to a mentor and asking how to deal with a particular case or client – it’s around the ideas that can help them overcome some of the common hurdles when it comes to starting your new business.”
However, Vilo says one of the things that’s standing in the way of mentorship is the level of modesty within the broking profession.
“This is an industry that I have found to be hugely collaborative and I don’t believe for a moment that brokers don’t want to share their insight,” he says. “I just question whether or not they feel they’ve got any value to add and the short answer is ‘yes’, they do.
“The fact that they’ve been in the game for 15 years, they will have made a lot of mistakes along the way and by helping newer brokers understand that they weren’t always the successful broker they are today, that will really build their confidence.”
For those who do put their hand up and sacrifice an hour or two to help newer brokers, Vilo says they’ll also end up reaping the rewards.
“You’ll often find the guys who’ve been around the block a few times will also learn something from the newer brokers,” he says.