Insurance Agents, Resist the Quick Fix!
If your insurance agency isn’t growing at the rate you would like it to or your retention rate is lower than you expected, you may find yourself frantically searching for a quick way to pick up the slack.
There are hundreds of articles out there that will tell you how to get more insurance leads. Suggestions like buying internet leads, printing out flyers, TV advertisements, events, and social media marketing are just a few of the recommendations you might find.
The Problem with Quick Leads
Though these are all legitimate sources of leads and are appropriate in many situations, they are quick fixes. Leads from these sources are often looking for the lowest price, or are switching insurance agents/carriers. When you sell to customers like that, you may find that in six months or a year, they’re leaving you for the next agent who can offer a lower premium just like they left their previous agent for you. They might provide an immediate boost in your revenue, but they will not result in a healthier book of business and will not produce long-term growth for your agency.
You know what they say, “Easy come, easy go”.
It’s not that immediate lead sources should not be part of your marketing plan, they just shouldn’t be your fundamental source of growth. If they are, you will find that you have a hard time gaining traction over time and you’ll develop a hollow client base.
A Long-Term Solution
The best method for generating steady long-term growth is right under your nose. It’s your current book of business. Growth that occurs from your current book of business happens in 3 ways:
As you increase your retention rate, you no longer have to replace so many leads and any new business results in growth.
2. Cross-Selling Opportunities
As your current clients experience life changes, you may find that you can introduce them to policies that are beneficial to their circumstances. It is much easier to sell to a customer you already know than to find a new one. Just imagine you sell 1 new policy to 25% of your book of business. The financial result is significant.
Customers that come from referrals are less expensive than any other other marketing source. When a customer is referred to you by a friend they trust, they are also more likely to trust you. As a result, they are willing to open more policies with you initially. You get to the skip the “testing the waters” phase.
The Process for Driving Long-Term Growth
How do you harness the benefits of retention, referrals, and cross-selling opportunities? A consistent customer insurance review program. There's a lot to be said about customer insurance reviews, and if you are interested in all the details, please check out our free educational program that goes in-depth about how to actually implement a successful process for customer insurance reviews in your agency.
In a nutshell, you'll need to meet with each customer in your book of business about once per year. Review all their policies, teach them about their current coverage and when they might need more, ask for referrals, and get to know your clients. This program may start out slow for the first year or two, but over time you will find that your book of business will grow and become healthier than ever. Your customers will trust you, thus increasing retention. You will be able to identify opportunities to sell additional policies. You have the perfect environment to ask for referrals.
So, insurance agents-- resist the "quick fix" and implement a customer insurance review program that results in real, tangible growth.