This piece originally ran on Contactability.
The very best insurance agents know what it takes to sell insurance. The best insurance agents and agencies achieve superior performance because they follow the 8 secrets below. It doesn’t matter if you are an exclusive or an independent agent, as long as you follow these rules, you too can be a success selling auto and home insurance.
1. Be aggressive in everything you do.
Selling home and car insurance is hyper-competitive. If you and your team are not going to be aggressive in your sales, managing your team and relentlessly pursuing of new policies, you will not succeed. Being aggressive means having high energy everyday. It means not accepting the status quo and trying new strategies to drive your sales. Being aggressive means never accepting that things are “ good enough”. Being aggressive means buying insurance leads and calls so that you and your agents have zero downtime during the day, evening and weekends.
2. Outwork the competition.
If you and your team do not get the sale, it is going to your competition. To be successful, you and your team need to work smart and hard everyday. Get up early, work relentlessly through the day and into the evening. Consumers shopping for insurance have many more options than ever before, especially the most desirable ones. If you don’t reach an auto insurance lead on the first attempt, try again, until you reach them, email them or even send them a text. The days when insurance buyers had few options are gone forever. Remember to follow-up, follow-up and follow-up again.
3. Hire, delegate and hold accountable for results.
If your goal is to build a self-sustaining agency, that can out last any one individual, you need to hire staff, train, delegate and hold them accountable for achieving results. You can not do it alone. There is too much to do and too little time. When you have the right people, in the right jobs, you will achieve your desired results. Too many agency owners will hire their friends and/or family for open positions and then not hold them accountable for results. Doing this is a mistake. Set sales targets, revenue goals and relentlessly pursue them.
4. Focus on customer needs and wants.
Some agents try to “sell” a consumer what is best for them, rather than what is best for the customer. They will try to “sell” the policy with the highest commission and what they believe will make them the most money. This is shortsighted. Consumers may buy because you “sold” them, but they won’t stick around. You will make less money in the long run because they will switch agents the moment they find a better deal. Always remember to focus on the consumer and that will be rewarded with more sales and longer retention.
5. Have a roadmap to where you are heading with your agency.
It is critical that you have individual, team and agency daily, weekly and monthly goals. These goals should be for both new sales and retention. You need to tie your compensation and rewards to achieving these goals. Goals need to be adjusted from time to time and should be achievable, yet also something that you have to push yourself to achieve. If you are over achieving your goals on a regular basis, the goal might be set too low. If you are not achieving it, it might be too high or you might not be working hard enough. Before lowering your goals, you should try harder to see if that makes a difference.
6. Invest in your sales.
How do the most successful agencies grow and make money? They are not afraid to invest resources into performance based marketing. They invest in programs that have direct measurable results. They buy car and home insurance leads and calls from leads companies that pre-quality the consumer. They know that relying on “referrals” or word of mouth, to grow your agency is like playing the lottery and hoping to win big. Many insurance agents will reduce their marketing when sales are down, this is the opposite of what they should do. When sales are down, agents should invest more in marketing, not less.
7. Establish and foster partnerships.
There is nothing more important that establishing and building a strong relationship with your home and auto insurance lead and call supplier. Many insurance agents approach their relationship with their lead company in an adversarial manner. This is a mistake. Insurance agents should build and nurture their leads supplier relationship to create a win-win situation. When you have your lead company on your side and working for you, you will be more successful.
8. Listen to your prospects, clients, employees and community.
You do not know everything. The more open you are to obtaining advice from successful people around you, the more successful you will be. The insurance industry is very dynamic and you should be always looking for ways to work smarter and shamelessly copy those that are doing well.