Insurance Agent Cecil Burt, based in North Carolina, has been in the industry for 50 years.
We've been setting appointments for Cecil's agency for 5 years now, and I was lucky enough to chat with him about:
His experience with Engagex.
His proactive approach to customer retention.
How he has found even more success utilizing virtual appointments.
Cecil's insights resonated with us, so we compiled the highlights of our conversation in the following video for you to watch - we hope it resonates with you as well!
The Proactive Approach
When I first started with State Farm in this industry I looked around and I said,
"What can I do to distinguish me from my competition?"
One thing I saw that I could do - because I can't do anything about rates, you know, sometimes we'll be competitive and sometimes we won't - that's beyond my control.
What can I control?
And the one thing that I realized, and it really has not changed in 50 years, is that most insurance agents, particularly property and casualty insurance agents, don't tend to proactively visit with their customers and stay in touch with them and review their risks and their insurance programs and stay on top of it.
I felt like I could provide that service - that adds value and that makes me better than my competition, even if I happen to be a little more expensive.
It helps me retain my business, as well as get referrals and build trust, so that when they do need something, they feel like I'm not just trying to sell them something else, I'm looking after them. That's been the basis of my business.
Outsourcing for Consistency
The problem I ran into with that, particularly as my agency got bigger, was maintaining a consistent call program to where I made sure I wasn't falling down on my promise to my customers.
I mean I've had team members doing it, but team members get busy with their day-to-day stuff and so it was like one other thing they had to do.
Even though I looked at it as a vital process, it was hard to hire enough people to do that on a regular basis.
So when Engagex became available, it was a great outsourcing tool so that I could have that done on a consistent, month in, month out basis, that I could live up to the promise I feel like I owe my customers and know that it's going to get done.
I mean, I'm just solid in your camp. I love what you do for me and I just think it's money well spent with you guys.
It's even better that State Farm subsidizes it, but even if they didn't, I would do it.
Virtual Appointment Success
My experience has been that the virtual appointment is much more efficient for me and my customers.
They're much more likely to accept - my guess is that when you guys do the calling, it's a lot easier to book appointments for us when they know they don't have to get into the car and come here.
It also enables me to talk to customers that are all over the state, not just ones that are close by.
I'm getting to talk to people that I was never able to talk to before because they just didn't want to mess with it. But it's so easy to do it this way that they say, "Sure, why not?" you know.
So I'm getting to see more customers than I was before.
My sales success through [virtual appointments] is actually better than in-person,
because a lot of times I can have husband and wife in on the appointment whereas in-person I couldn't get them both to come, because one had to stay home with the kids or whatever, one was working, that type of thing - so getting them both in one room to make a decision was tougher.
I've found that actually, my closing ratio has gone up doing virtual appointments more than it was on the phone or in person.
I like the fact that you give me a choice of platform to use and I was having such good success with the virtual that I opted to have you guys (Engagex) make that the first choice, and if they want to come in, yes, we'll let them come in and as a third choice would be by phone. That's working very well, you're keeping me very well booked with that.