What You Can’t Afford When Running Your Insurance Business
When running any kind of a business, but especially something like an insurance business where one’s very survival depends on how they’re able to produce, it’s easy to dream up reasons why you “can’t afford” to do this or do that. “I can’t afford to hire office help, I have to cut costs” or “I can’t afford to take a chance on this particular marketing campaign because of the time and resources involved” are common things you might hear a timid agent say. We’re good at making excuses, but we’re not good at seeing the downside of playing it safe. In our experience, the only things that an insurance agent really “can’t afford” are these.
You can’t afford to hold back investing in your success.
Your business is an investment, period. That is to say, you’re never going to get any value out of it if you don’t put value into it. That means you need to be willing to invest in marketing campaigns. You need to invest time to build relationships. You need to invest in people to help you focus on the core aspects of your business. You cannot hold back on any or all of these things and then wonder why you’re not producing. But how do you know which investments of time and money are worth your while? Ask yourself these questions: does it help me do what I’m best at? Does it bring me a more intimate knowledge of my prospects and customers? Will it provide my clients with a better experience? If the answers are yes, yes, and yes, then it’s definitely something worth investing in.
You can’t afford wasting your time on things that don’t matter.
This is a serious problem among agents, who may be struggling with sales. They try to do everything themselves under the guise of “cutting costs,” and so they end up doing none of it very well. Team building is essential, because it allows you to focus on what you actually should be doing instead of the incidentals.
You can’t afford to ignore key data points about your customers and prospects.
Collecting and studying data on customers and prospects is essential. At the beginning of the relationship — maybe before they’ve purchased their first product — it may be more difficult to find the nuggets of information that will turn them from an insurance shopper to a loyal long-term customer. You may have to focus more intensely during these beginning stages. But as you get to know your customers better, you can make note of the things that are important to them as well as any upcoming milestones that might require them to give their policies a second look. Try to dig more deeply than the basic name, age, gender, income talk. Find cues that will tell you something more personal about the customer; then have a data collection process in place so you can recall key details before each communication. Data really is king. It keeps you from being an isolated policy purchase and enables you to become “their agent.”
You can’t afford to be the same as everyone else.
Being one of a hundred agents in the same market doing the same things with no differentiation is no way to operate your business. It will rest control in the hands of fate instead of your unique talents and abilities. When that occurs, you’ll always be limited in the amount of success you experience, and you will be in control of nothing. And a business owner, who isn’t in control, is just biding time until the reaper arrives.
There are things you can’t afford in your insurance business but investing time and resources where they’re needed isn’t one of them. Use the tips above to make sure you’re focusing on the right areas, and you’ll be managing a business that actually runs rather than running it into the ground.