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Weathering the storm of dwindling finances in the early stages of owning an Agency is no easy task. It’s even more difficult if you are a captive agent trying to “earn” a contract as an “Independent Contractor”
It can be downright impossible to get ahead of the mounting bills, expenses, and costs of a new Agency. Keeping the Agency in the black, growing your book of business, AND taking home a paycheck are three tasks that typically do not align for 18-24 months.. but they can if you take heed the advice in this article.
Today we talk about how you can avoid being Agent 0…. Dollars.
Here are 5 ways you can avoid being the broke agent.
Treat Your Agency as a BUSINESS – Because it is
A lot of insurance agents begin their business treating it like a J.O.B. They either work from home or work out of a district office with other new Agents. They are “giving insurance a try” and in many cases working from 9-5… maybe even 10-4:30 with a 90 minute lunch.
First 5 years of your business should be a work til you drop affair, 5 1/2 days a week.
We spoke to an Agent recently that referred to the other Agents in their office as coworkers.
You have no coworkers. You have employees. Anyone on your level is a peer. If you are viewing your fellow agents as coworkers and treating your Agency and growing your book like a job you are going to be out of yours very soon.
So many Agents out there are literally flying by the seat of their pants each month. How much will staffing run? Marketing? Expenses? Bills?
All these numbers should be top of mind and tip of tongue and static figures.. not something you are figuring out on the fly.
Come up with a plan and stick with it long enough to determine if is working or not.
Do not change your gameplan every single month. Stay the course long enough to determine if it is really working or not. There are too many variables in a business to make your budget one of them every single month.
Not listening to EVERYTHING your corporate partners tell you
Captive Agents often find themselves scratching and clawing for the opportunity to continue representing their carriers for the first few years.
Your corporate “managers” (Theyre not REALLY your manager, right? Youre an independent contractor! They cant tell you what to do.. but if you dont listen well maybe they won’t extend you your contract. W2 employee much?) will make a lot of tongue in cheek recommendations.
Some of these may sound familiar!
Send out thousands of mailers!
Agent :Ok.. how do I track ROI?
Corporate Partner :Well New Agent you’re branding and some business will trickle in.
A: What if I need leads and dont have the resources or time to brand right now?
CP: Do whatever you want, that’s our advice. Your contract renewal is in 11 months.
Put up a Billboard!
Agent : That’s a lot of money – do people respond to Billboards anymore?
Corporate Partner : Of course they do! That’s why they are all over the roads, right?
A : How many leads will I get from it? It’s $4000 you know
CP: Your contract renewal is in 9 months. Do what you feel is best.
Corporate Partner : You know you need to have more people in here to make calls and sales
Agent : I have no renewals coming in yet and money is really tight.
CP : Run up your bills now and reap the benefits later.
A: But that’s against everything we teach our clients to do to be fiscally responsible
CP: Your contract renewal is in 6 months… Do what you feel is best.
Buy a TON of Leads from Internet Lead Companies!
A: These internet leads sure are expensive. How many should I be buying?
Corporate Partner: How many can you afford?
A: Im not sure.
CP: Whatever the number is double it. Double it again. Now get to work and earn that residual. Even though the internet lead companies are sending you massive amounts of bad information, charging you through the nose, and the prospects that actually DO buy are some of the most transient and disloyal price shoppers on the planet.
A: Did you just really say that?
CP: Your contract renews in 3 months. Sounds like you have this all figured out
Oh Corporate Partners… You So Funny!
Have a Business Account
Too many Agents out there co-mingle their personal and business expenses. Do not have your mortgage and your payroll coming out of the same account!
This ties into budgeting as well but having a business account forces you to differentiate your funds and treat your Agency more seriously. If you can’t dip into your business money for personal needs you will budget your personal life better and have more available to effectively grow your business. Growing your business today will make running your business easier tomorrow.
Too many Agents treat their commissions like a personal paycheck and not the funds necessary to run their business.
Don’t be one of them.
Learn how to Run Your Agency more Cost Effectively
Instead of paying $5-12 a piece for shared leads why not generate your own exclusive leads on social media for way less.
Its more then possible if you know how.
Career Agent Concepts has several strategies that generate leads for free, some for less then a dollar, and others that run for about $3-9 each but are all yours and yours along and completely exclusive and with intent.
Instead of paying a service person $30-40,000 a year to manage your service why not leverage technology and put that payroll back in your pocket?
We teach that too…
Instead of paying a telemarketer $10-12 an hour 40 hours a week plus a bonus for quotes or appointments.. why dont you pay someone to work for you $400 a MONTH to work for you 40 hours a week and pump out more business then the ones you were paying hourly.
Yes. That’s a real thing too. And we teach it.
If you are looking to transform your Agency and significantly increase your production and efficiency while reducing your budget on payroll and marketing, reach out to us by filling out the form below.