6 Growth Tips For Insurance Agents Too Often Ignored
As an insurance agent with his eyes set on the future, it’s important to realize that failure isn’t an option. While other people are worried about what the Internet will do to their income, you’re out there innovating and finding ways to sell a customer on value so they never leave you. To get there, you must be focused on growth, and here are some growth tips that other agents usually ignore.
- Be mindful of what you must do, but focused on what you must do NEXT.
When it comes to handling risk as an insurance agent, a long-term plan is absolutely necessary. But before you get fearful of that larger looming goal and overwhelm yourself with questions like, “How am I ever going to get there?,” you need to take a step back from the situation and see it as a series of steps. From there, you can go from being mindful of the endgame — “what must I do” — and FOCUSED on “what must I do next.” Most people who fail at this or any industry do so because they get blinded by the proverbial headlights — overwhelmed with the outcome to the point that they’re unable to see it as a journey with a series of steps that must be taken.
- Keep a FAQ, and actively update it.
As you interact with more customers — even the ones who leave you — really listen to what they have to say and see if they can give you some insight into what they find important. From there, log anything that jumps out to you in a Word doc or spreadsheet. You can use this to build your Frequently Asked Questions, which you should absolutely be doing even if you don’t have a website. Why? Because it serves as a reference that you can use to better understand the customer. And with understanding, you’ll have a much better chance of serving them in ways that lead to retention.
- Know where most of your business is coming from.
This is another excellent record-keeping opportunity. By knowing where all your business is coming from, you can do two things: 1) Maximize potential revenue for that particular channel; and 2) Pinpoint profitable areas where you’re coming up short, thus enabling yourself to formulate a successful game plan moving forward. So whether it’s the phone book, social media, search engine results, or referrals, be able to tell where each and every dollar you’re generating originates.
- Know how your customers operate.
If you’ve been in the trenches as an insurance agent in the digital age, then by now you should know customer behaviors like the back of your hand. You should also have some idea of where it’s going. To date, agents have remained an integral part to the long-term insurance planning process for customers across the globe. They are using the web to educate themselves and compare prices, but they rely on agents to get them the best value. Those who deliver earn customers for life. Those who don’t spend most of their time chasing after leads wherever they can find them.
- Be aware of your competition: how they’re winning and losing, and how you can differentiate.
Most of the U.S. insurance agent’s competition will come from other agents. How do we know this? Because according to a recent IBM study, 70 percent of customers continue buying through an agent rather than an online sales channel. For those who are buying online, the vast majority are once again looking after two years, meaning that it isn’t the price they’re drawn to but the value. So look to the really successful agents in your area. If you’re just starting out and don’t have an affiliation — students, for instance — see if you can’t act as an unpaid apprentice. If you’re already in direct competition, just try to observe how they market themselves, both online and regionally. What ideas resonate? Which ones don’t? How can you do something different that helps you stand out?
- Do not be afraid to take risks.
Insurance agents of all people should know that avoiding risk is impossible. Whether you’re taking action or sticking with the status quo, you’re running some kind of a gamble. If you’re doing things the way you’ve always done them, for instance, you’re taking the chance that the industry will not shift in an opposite way from your business plan. Ask agents, who failed to follow the digital consumer trends, how that’s working out for them. You’ll probably find that doing nothing is as dangerous if not more so as taking a chance.
If you have an insurance business and you want to see it reach the next level, then you have to start taking the steps and getting in the mindset that will get you there. As you move forward, keep the above tips in mind, and good luck to you.