Being an insurance agent is an honorable and caring profession that can also be financially rewarding.
Growing and operating a successful insurance agency requires that you have an assembly line of support, resources, and agency operations.
Carrier(s) – Product(s) – Niche – Triggers – Prospect List(s) or Groups – Types of Marketing – Marketing Automation – Follow-Up Methods – Lead Tracking - New Customer Process – Service Processes – Retention Processes.
Click here to listen to the free audio podcast of this blog post: http://bit.ly/agencyassemblyline
The assembly line starts with having access to carriers that provide the right products, at a reasonable price, for the niche audiences you cater to.
Next on the assembly line is your understanding and recognition of the specific triggers that makes insurance important to a consumer.
Examples of triggers include: buying an item that has a mandatory requirement for insurance such as a home or car, a change in income such as getting a promotion or losing a job, or something that makes a consumer have to look at their current insurance agent relationship such as filing a claim, or making a change to their policy.
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The constant trigger that an insurance agency should use to their advantage is the expiration date of a current insurance policy. This is when consumers notice the rate increases that dominate today’s insurance market.
Once you know your triggers, your next stop on the assembly line is to acquire a prospecting list and market to groups of consumers that match your niche and triggers.
There are many ways to locate lists, you can buy them from list vendors, you can partner with other professionals that work with your niche prospect, you can even buy search engine result marketing that targets consumers searching online for your products and services.
Regardless of the types of marketing you decide to use, marketing automation such as drip emails, permission based text messaging, automated dial technology, product hotlines, and other marketing automation, will make your marketing consistent and effective,
Not sure what automation is best for your agency? Download or free Insurance Agency Automation Checklist: http://bit.ly/automationdownload
Next on the assembly line is prospect follow-up. While you would think that following up with a prospect that has requested a quote wouldn’t be a concern, it is a major problem in most agencies. In fact, often, the better the marketing efforts of the agency, the worse the follow up practices.
Most agencies depend on the self-discipline of sales and service staff to follow-up with prospects, when in reality they should rely on accountability and lead management software to help support the sales and service team.
Accountability requires the use of established agency processes that can be trained, tracked, and measured.
The insurance industry is flooded with lead management software, so finding a tool that you can afford and easily use is as simple as performing a Google search.
Do you need set processes and accountability standards for your agency, but you are not good at training or holding your staff accountable? Check out the insurance agent mentoring services of Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring: www.inspireanation.org
The final 3 stations of the assembly line are what separate great agents and agencies from average or below average agents and agencies.
The New Customer Process: How you onboard a new customer establishes the culture and expectations of the relationship. If you do it right you will get additional sales, referrals, testimonials, and the customer will be happy and content.
Do it wrong, and your customer will look at you, your products, and your services as another bill that they are forced to pay. At the first sign of a rate increase or issue with service, they are out shopping for cheaper insurance and/or better service.
Unlike other processes that can have multiple variations, the New Customer Process should be one standard process without variation.
Service Processes: Another important piece in establishing the culture of your agency. Great service should be the agency standard, not an unexpected treat reserved for special customers.
In order to consistently provide great service to customers, the agency has to have a culture built around training, accountability, and automation. Something as simple as using an e-signature tool can make life easier for the customer and agency staff.
As asked earlier; Do you need set processes and accountability standards for your agency, but you are not good at training or holding your staff accountable? Check out the insurance agent mentoring services of Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring: www.inspireanation.org
Retention efforts and processes are our final stop on the insurance agency assembly line.
Every conversation, process, tool, and piece of automation and technology should help support the retention of current customers. You can’t grow to a large insurance agency if your existing customers are leaving just as fast as you are bringing on new customers.
While contrary to what most consumers believe, the insurance agent does not control the rate that an insurance company decided to charge a customer. However, the culture of the agency and the agency operations can and should establish the value of the knowledge, wisdom, and expertise of the agency and all staff associated with the agency.
Everything from how an endorsement is processed, to how a billing question is answered, to how a claim is handled should show an expertise that is far beyond your peers. How do you get this proficient? Training, accountability, and the proper use of agency automation and technology.
Take this blog post and share it with your staff and peers. If you are a corporate sales leader, forward it to the agents you support.
Mastering the assembly line will allow you to grow your agency to heights you probably never dreamed.
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