Insurance is an ongoing and growing need for most consumers. Let’s use this example: Say Jack buys his first solo auto policy from you at the age of 23—a bare-minimum, liability-only policy—and he adds basic renter’s insurance, too. After several years, Jack upgrades his car, adding comprehensive and collision coverage, and replaces his renter’s coverage with a homeowners policy. Then he gets married and his auto coverage becomes their auto coverage, with two cars covered. Years later, Jack and his wife have enough assets that an umbrella policy makes sense.
What started as two small policies has grown to be four policies with high coverage limits. And somewhere along the way, Jack told his friend Ryan about you, and he became your customer…and Ryan’s sister Sara…and her best friend Bethany…and…you get the point.
It’s easy to see how an insurance agency’s growth can be exponential. Every customer has the potential to turn into multiple sales. This is even more true if you and those you work with are effective in your jobs. Here are five tips that can help you achieve more growth:
1. Clarify Your Goals
Whether you’re a new agent or one who has been in the business for many years, it’s helpful to be clear about what you are working to achieve. How many new customers would you like to add to your book every year? Is there a particular annual-percent increase you’d like to see in your income growth? Think about other goals to enhance your business growth, such as researching best practices and implementing at least one new idea annually, like signing up for lead-dialing service DYL, one of Hometown Quotes’ preferred partners.
2. Sell Based on Your Customer’s Needs
The most satisfying sales transactions are always a win-win for the buyer and seller. Once you’ve decided what your goals are, set them aside while you discover what’s most important to your customer. Once you’re clear on what they want, figure out how to meet their needs while also working toward your own goals. It may not always seem possible, and you may sometimes find that you need to subjugate your goals in the short term. But remember that in the long term, keeping a customer happy will serve you well.
3. Develop Your Competitive Advantage
What makes you different from other insurance agents? Think about what you’re good at and what you’re not; ask colleagues who know you to do the same and listen to their feedback without defensiveness. Then figure out how to exploit your strengths while minimizing your weaknesses. Do you shy away from self-promotion? Hire a marketing consultant to develop and implement a marketing plan over the next six months. Are you great at talking to people but not so great with follow-up? Think about automating your sales process through a company like Capsule Five, another one of our preferred partners.
4. Build Customer Loyalty
As an insurance agent, you’re hamstrung to a certain extent because one major factor affecting customer loyalty is outside your control: pricing. While you have no say in the insurance rates you quote, there are other areas where you can shine:
• Competence – Know your insurance products inside-out and which companies offer the best deals for your particular client’s situation.
• Ease – Be easy to work with, both through a congenial attitude and by communicating with your client in the way that they prefer most, whether that’s over the phone, via email, through texts, etc.
• Gratitude – Express your thanks to your customers. Sincere verbal thanks, a personalized card or email or a small and universally useful gift like a water bottle are all simple ways to make a customer feel good.
5. Measure Your Success
You can’t tell how much weight you’ve lost unless you step on the scale from time to time, right? Tracking your business over time will give you the best snapshot of your success. You can track by the number of each type of policy sold, number of customers, age of customers (a wide range of ages can ensure that you’ll have the opportunity to sell all types of policies), and/or income generated by each customer. Encourage yourself to stay on top of your tracking by setting goals on a monthly and annual basis, then celebrating with a special treat when you reach them.
Sustained business success is rarely due to luck. You can make the most of every sales opportunity that comes your way by knowing what you want to achieve, listening to your customer and being grateful for their business, and being accountable to yourself for your future growth.