Every day, the insurance industry continues to evolve as new technologies are receiving heavy investments to improve dated systems.
This tech is called InsurTech or InsureTech and is designed to improve the experience for policyholders while also improving insurance rates and increasing efficiencies for insurance carriers and agencies.
All in all, these technology changes will improve insurance coverage while making it more affordable and providers more profitable.
The insurance industry is one of the largest industries in the world and is experiencing healthy growth.
As a matter of fact, the P/C sector experienced a massive net income of $60 billion in 2018. That’s about a 66% growth rate compared to the previous years.
For someone who’s looking to grow their insurance agency, you should understand that the implementation of effective growth strategies will help your agency to keep excelling. But first, you need to master and adapt quickly to growth trends.
Bearing this in mind, we came up with 15 clear cut and proven strategies that will help you boost the growth of your insurance agency.
According to the best insurance consultants at companies like McKinsey and Digital Insurance, the largest insurance agencies and most successful independent insurance agencies are investing in these 15 areas to grow their businesses.
Do you know how everyone always says that the best time to invest is right now? Investors accept this as universally true and even Business Insider offers this advice.
I’m not here to argue otherwise. In fact, I’m going to tell you that…
Now is the best time to invest in your insurance agency!
According to a study last May and June, 67% of Americans see COVID-19 as a wake-up call. They’re evaluating their finances and their need for insurance policies.
That means the risk of investing in your insurance agency is at its lowest right now.
More people now see the value of insurance policies in protecting them against uncertainties. With a high demand for different insurance products, you can freely make smart investments to grow your agency without worrying too much about getting clients.
This is also an excellent time for insurance brokers and agents as well as financial advisors because you’re offering the same thing – a cushion against uncertainty.
Throughout the article, you’ll notice how I try to demonstrate each strategy’s potential in terms of return on investment, $/hr, or opportunity cost.
And that’s because, for any type of business, you need additional capital to expand. Being the most hard-working is honorable but at the end of the day, your agency needs income to thrive.
Here’s a little secret: no one becomes rich by hiding all their money in a piggy bank. Becoming a millionaire entails investing too.
So, let’s dive into some proven ways to grow an insurance agency that the most successful agencies are using.
Change Your Mindset
If investing results in growth, why isn’t everyone doing it?
To be blunt, it’s because they’re afraid. They want to grow but aren’t willing to take calculated risks to do it.
Avoiding unnecessary costs is a legitimate way to having more money. But if cutting costs is preventing you from making sound investments, you’re doing it wrong.
I was guilty of this too! I’ve told myself:
“I can do everything by myself.”
For a long time, this belief kept me from earning more money and from having more time for myself.
I believed that doing everything by myself is cheaper, so I lost both time and money in the process.
“I don’t have time.”
Taking this pricey course? When am I supposed to do that?
Because I tried to do everything by myself, I didn’t have any time left to “sharpen the saw”. And if only I weren’t too stingy and stubborn, I could’ve learned about an expert’s years of experience in just a few hours.
“I can’t afford this.”
If you are almost certain that a $10,000 investment in your agency would generate $10,000 of income in a year, would you be willing to invest? That is a 100% return on your money which outperforms the S&P 500 by over 12x. In other words, you should invest the $10K in your business.
If something is profitable, you find the money to invest in it.
That’s why you should take the opportunity to grow your insurance agency right now.
Here are 15 proven ways that you can do it.
Have a Goal
For you to grow your insurance agency, you need to understand first, the importance of goal setting.
In other words, goal setting means the creation of plans that are meant to work in favor of your agency’s growth. A lot of people who are involved in sales understand this, so they ensure to set actionable goals.
An example of a goal that you can set for your insurance business is; the acquiring of new customers. Because indeed, getting new people to patronize you helps with the company’s growth.
If your agency is still a new one, then you shouldn’t ignore goal setting as it will help you to prepare yourself and your agency for inevitable success. They are designed to help guide you in your pursuit of agency growth.
A great place to start is with your marketing goals, to help you we created this Insurance Marketing Checklist.
Get in Touch With your Customer’s Pain Points
Knowing your customers and their pain points will help save you from a lot of stress that other insurance agents go through during sales.
When you understand your customer’s pain points, you will be able to map out a standard marketing strategy that will help you provide solutions as regards your agency to them.
According to McKinsey, 80% of satisfied consumers are quick to have their policies renewed. This can’t be said for the unsatisfied ones.
Image source: Mckinsey
Simply put, getting in touch with your client’s pain points helps you to tailor your content and services in order to give them the desired satisfaction.
Review your sales strategies
When considering insurance agency growth strategies, one of the first important steps to take is going through the different sales tactics you are currently implementing and finding out where to implement new changes.
Remember, the industry keeps undergoing changes, and the faster you move with the train, the better.
For example, if you are used to working with offline methods of selling, you may want to ditch that and start marketing your insurance agency on the internet. The first to this is usually to launch a website for your agency.
In accordance with this, digital marketing can offer you a place to fall back to as it’s fast ruling the world. Also, you can leverage social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, etc. To attract leads and increase sales.
Invest in New Knowledge
One thing I’ve come to understand is that a lot of business people tend to feel comfortable with themselves as long as the income keeps pouring in.
In an ideal setting, this isn’t supposed to be the case. This is because there shouldn’t be any limit to education.
When you seek to gain new knowledge on how to grow your agency, you may get shocked by your findings. Always ensure to hone your skills because it might prove helpful in the later years.
Look out for people who are sitting at the top tier of the insurance industry, invest your capital in their teachings, and learn how they’ve been able to reach out to prospects and retain existing clients.
This is a simple tactic that will help to greatly improve your agency if you correctly implement it.
As a business owner, one thing you should endeavor to give out is the maximum value. It’s a very important part of a business’s growth.
Everything must not be about sales for you. In fact, prospective clients tend to get turned off when they notice that you are always trying to force sales on them.
Moreover, how do you expect to convert your cold audience if you don’t give them tangible reasons to buy your idea or service? Have you thought about educating your audience through the kind of business content you put out? If no, then you should consider correcting that.
About 80% percent of online buyers first look through the internet before making a buying decision. Content marketing makes it easy for you to attend to such persons in due time.
It helps you gain their trust and in turn, gradually draw them to you and your service. It’s also an indirect sales process that a lot of agency owners are currently employing.
In 2017, it was reported that 71% percent of people who are looking to invest in insurance agencies tend to look online first before anything.
Ideally, you should have a blog before you can most effectively carry out content marketing. However, Social Media is a great place to kick start this and a lot of insurance agencies get promoted daily through this means.
Build a Goal-oriented Team
Most times, the kind of people you work with has a way of making or breaking your insurance business.
To properly grow your insurance agency, you need to consider buying into the idea of team building. One huge advantage of team building is that it encourages everyone to collaborate and work hard towards the achievement of a common goal.
For you to build an effective marketing or sales team, ensure that every member of the team establishes a bond with each other. By doing this, everyone gets to understand and learn how to accommodate each other’s flaws.
If you run an independent insurance agency, rest assured that successful marketing starts with the right team.
Also, ensure that the people you are building a team with are driven by results, and are ready to learn and develop their skills and marketing strategies.
Train your Staff
This is also similar to what we discussed in number 3. Aside from your personal efforts and contributions to the growth of your insurance agency, your staff is also part of the reasons why your business is still running efficiently.
The saying “what you sow, is what you reap” isn’t a myth. As such, you must try to equip and invest in the training of your staff.
You can get started by inviting and paying experts in the industry to come and impact on your staff.
According to dialog tech, 62% of insurance buyers made decisions to become policyholders through phone calls with the agency’s sales rep. This is part of what you should look out for while setting up training for your staff; how to close deals over the phone.
Image source: dialog tech
Also, from time to time, you may want to consider adding an increase to their current bonuses. This helps to build their motivation and encourage them to work better.
Improvement in Technology
The only way one can remain relevant in today’s business world is by ensuring that constant upgrades are being done in all sections of their business, technology inclusive.
Image source: digital insurance
It’s reported that well over half of life insurance agencies are beginning to adopt technological advancements in areas like artificial intelligence, digitalization, legacy modernization, etc.
Marketing automation software such as Contactually, Get Drop, and Agile CRM can allow you to gain access to the personalization of the information that will provide extreme value to your client.
Start Social Media Marketing
This is especially for people who run independent insurance agencies. Social media is a big place where the young and old co-exist. If you’re looking to grow your agency, you can get involved with social media marketing to get exposure to a wide variety of potential policyholders.
According to a study, independent agencies earn at least 58% of P&C insurance bonuses. But, this is only limited to people who have been able to grow their independent insurance agency.
Social media can help you achieve your pictured growth and definitely needs to be a part of your marketing strategy.
Here are a few reasons you should marketing and growing your insurance agency on social media.
- Brand exposure
- Low-cost advertising
- Free organic reach
- Social proof
- More reviews and trust
- A way to reach potential policyholders that you may not reach otherwise
Learn a new skill or tool
I’m not talking about a fun team-building activity like kayaking. Your goal of learning a skill is for your business to become more efficient.
It must either:
- increase your agency revenue while working the same hours; or
- reduce working hours without sacrificing your income.
If it doesn’t improve efficiency, you might as well stuff that money into a piñata and throw the most awesome company party ever. (10/10 for employee morale, but maybe not for growing your agency)
You can learn a new skill by:
Investing in knowledge
Investing in knowledge simply requires buying a course or other training material for you and your staff.
Training materials and course content are sold to many people at a time making it more affordable for teams of people that can all benefit from the course or training material.
Let’s say that what you learned in the course increases hourly income by $20/hr. If you get 10 of your employees to take the course, you can potentially increase the agency’s revenue by $200/hr.
That’s an additional $1,600 per 8-hour workday and $32,000 if they work 20 days per month.
And if you reach these numbers, you can easily make up for the cost of any course even before the month ends.
Hiring a trainer
Insurance agencies earn when they sell insurance. So for your employees who face the clients, brushing up on their sales training can help them close more clients.
Hiring a trainer for this also helps increase revenue. Of course, you can hire a trainer for any purpose you believe will benefit your agency’s bottom line.
“You don’t have to change who you are, you have to become more of who you are”
– Sally Hogshead
And collectively, what you are is an insurance agency. Learning a new skill or tool just makes you and your agents more effective at that. Invest in the assets you already have instead of starting from scratch.
Get a consultant
If your car breaks down in the middle of the road, would you know how to fix it?
If you’re anything like me, you’d call your insurance provider and head to an auto repair shop. That’s what most people would do because the alternative is:
- Learning about what’s wrong with your car;
- Buying the equipment to fix it;
- Making costly mistakes; and
- Eventually going to an auto repair shop because you can’t do it.
Pretty impractical and expensive, right? That’s just going the long way.
By hiring a consultant, you’re getting that expert’s years of experience and applying them to your business. If you want to implement changes exactly the way an expert would, this is the only way to go about it.
The odds that the consultant’s recommendations would improve your profit margins are much higher because they’re already an expert. This also means that you should prepare to make a more significant investment.
Even if this method is pricier than learning a skill, this can be useful when:
- You want someone to create a plan for you. Before you create a plan, you need to collect data and make your analysis. With a consultant, you can go about your business instead of worrying about additional tasks.
- Learning the consultant’s skills has no long-term use to your business. You only need to optimize and streamline internal communication once. So even if you become an expert in doing this, it’s not going to be useful in growing your business.
Businesses should focus on what they do best – in your case, that’s selling insurance products. You can outsource everything else, especially the tasks the agency doesn’t need as much. Forbes listed these benefits to outsourcing:
- You become more effective in your expertise because all your focus is there.
- You reduce errors thanks to outsourced teams with more experience in those tasks.
- More work gets done because outsourced teams work independently from and simultaneously with you.
So by outsourcing, you accomplish tasks quicker. This increases the agency’s hourly income because more work is done in the same amount of time.
Invest in your existing assets
What I love about investing in existing assets is that people already know about them. For example, even if you have a dated office, you can just get new furniture to revamp the place and look more professional.
Now, do I think you should do your office first? If the words “dated office” struck a chord, then maybe you should. My guess is it’s already affecting your productivity anyway.
But you can also invest in:
If you’ve been in business for a while, you probably have a website that potential clients already visit. This makes it a good idea to invest in higher-converting copy, better web design, and better content.
A website is a powerful piece of marketing real estate. You’re more likely to attract clients if your website looks professional and easy to navigate.
Cold outreach strategies
Cold outreach is a great way to reach people who may need your services, but just don’t know about you yet. You can convince some of them to sign up or at least meet with an agent with a great script.
If your current strategy closes 1% of the clients and the investment increases that to 2%, then the agency will be earning twice as much from this source.
Even email marketing to your existing policyholders is a great way to sell more policies.
Other assets that have the potential to bring additional revenue
Investing in an upgrade can help your agency reach a wider audience and close more clients. And when you replace the old with the new, you can increase revenue permanently.
That’s why it’s important to regularly audit your assets, so you know where it’s best to invest.
Did you know that a little over a century ago, people paid someone to wake them up? They’re called knocker uppers, and they tap on your window using a long stick.
I’ve always wondered if you had to pay extra if you’re a heavy sleeper. But I guess that doesn’t matter anymore since they’ve been replaced with an alarm clock.
Failing to automate is like hiring a knocker upper to wake you up when you can set your phone to ring at a specific time every day.
Investing in automation like autoresponders allows your agency to connect with potential clients even if no agent is available. By automating, your agents can focus on income-generating tasks like meeting up with clients instead of responding to frequently-asked questions.
It increases your agency’s income because your agents are focused on more profitable tasks without sidelining less important (but still necessary!) tasks.
If you don’t invest in growth, stagnation will kill your agency.
It’s hard enough to compete with bigger insurance companies for clients. And without any investment in growth, you’re sure to lose out.
I can’t stress this enough: this is a great time to be investing. Take this opportunity. Policyholders are much more interested in insurance and taking the time to educate themselves on their coverage options than they were before.
Due to this change in consumer behavior, there are many opportunities for you to reach them and grow your insurance agency.
You will reap the benefit of making smart decisions to grow your insurance agency through better revenue and profit margins.
Growing an insurance agency in line with your goals requires that you have a clear marketing plan. With the right customer service and agency operations, you will be able to attain your desired goals.