concept image of businesswoman looking at watch with gray backgroundThe start of a new year is always a great opportunity to reevaluate and recharge your business, whether that means adopting new technologies or learning about a new industry niche.

Continuing to grow and evolve is especially important for those in the insurance industry, as the industry itself is changing from year to year. Here are just a few tips on growing your business this year.

Develop your interpersonal skills

The most successful insurance advisors aren’t the ones who sell a client one product, and then never see them again.

Rather, it’s the insurance advisors who are able to build long-term relationships with their clients that reap the greatest benefits. These are the advisors who know the names of their clients’ children, or who’ve seen their clients through major family and life events.

The best way to develop these kinds of relationships is to have strong interpersonal skills. Advisors must know how to relate to their clients not only during their happy times, but also during their most difficult - after diagnosis of a terminal illness, for example, or after being widowed.

Learn about life settlements

Life settlements, or the sale of an individual life insurance policy to a buyer in exchange for a lump sum, may not seem like something insurance advisors would need to know about.

After all, you’re in the business of getting your clients insured in the first place - not helping them get rid of their policy.

However, there are several reasons that learning about life settlements and introducing them to your clients is a good idea.

The first is that a life settlement can offer major relief to clients who no longer need their life insurance, or who are struggling under the financial burden of long-term care or an inadequate retirement fund. By selling an asset they’re not using, they can access immediate liquidity. This cash can then be used to meet their needs.

Second, knowing about all the options available to your clients will be excellent for both your client’s satisfaction and your reputation. Clients will appreciate your knowledge and willingness to help them. That’s a highly effective way to both keep your current clients and grow your client list through referrals.

Invest in smart ways to market yourself

One of the many game-changing aspects of social media is that it offers anyone, anywhere, a huge variety of ways to reach people around the world, and most of them are free.

For marketing, this can be extremely beneficial. However, marketing yourself on social media can also quickly become overwhelming as you try to decide where to dedicate your efforts.

Instead of trying to have a presence on every platform, the best thing to do is to decide on one or two platforms or strategies to focus on. Choose the ones that make the most sense for you. Are you passionate about educating your clients? Starting a blog might be the right choice. Do you attend lots of conferences and networking events? Putting your photos on Instagram might work well for you.

The goal is to get results without overextending yourself.

Insurance advisors have lots of options when it comes to ramping up their business in 2018. For more, read “New Year’s Resolutions for Financial Advisors.”