As an independent agent or staff member of an independent agency, you're part of a small business that makes its money based on commission. This means that your number one goal should be to consistently close deals or to be assisting those who do so that your agency can continue to produce.
While this is all very obvious and we're not breaking any top secret insider agency codes here, it's very easy for agents and support staff to start to lose sight of the basics when business starts rolling and other day-to-day issues become prioritized.
The following are a few basic ideas to keep your eyes on when it comes to maximizing your agency's best chances for success on a consistent basis.
1. KNOW WHAT YOU SELL
There's a difference between doing a rehearsed sales pitch and having an in-depth conversation about the ins and outs of one of your products. Your clients want to know that you're well versed in the products that they're going to be shelling out their hard-earned dollars for. Know about the regulations unique to your state. Know the dos and don'ts of buying one product over another. Be sure to stay up to date on your competitor's products, as well as any new products on the market, so you can always have the most current and best options available for your customers.
2. PUT YOURSELF IN A POSITION TO EDUCATE
By choosing just a product that your agency provides and committing to learning everything you can and everything other agents do NOT know about that product, you position yourself within the industry as a source for information about it. This means speaking out about that product on social media and finding ways to brand yourself locally as someone who people will automatically know to seek out when they're in need of that product.
3. BECOME AN EXPERT
Since agents are permitted to hold licenses in multiple categories across the board, an excellent tactic is to choose a product or category - health, life, property, casualty - and focus on it. This provides special niche market opportunities for agents that being an all-around agency doesn't. Don't neglect other categories because you can always still sell those to clients who come to you for your "expert" branded product.
4. ALWAYS BE MARKETING
You've done all of this work to educate yourself and others on products available in your agency, be sure you're marketing yourself properly so that you make your agency available to as many people as possible. Be networking. Be going to local events to talk about your agency where you might find new prospects. Get involved in trade groups and be present on social media so that you're not hiding what you have to offer.
5. PEOPLE SKILLS ON POINT
Yes, you're on sales, so you likely have the "people-person" shtick down, but you're going to want to be sure that you're bringing your genuine personality and desire to help your customers with you on every call. Agents don't sell physical products, they sell protection. By relating to the things that your clients want to protect - their families, their homes, their businesses - you're showing them that you understand why they need and want what you're selling.
Staying on top of the big ticket items in your agency is a must, but it's important to stay on top of basic steps that can help your agency stay on top, as well. Successful agencies boost sales by using these basic ideas to position themselves ahead of the other agents selling the same product with the same level of knowledge that hasn't been helpful to them in the past. See how they work for you and your agency!