Okay, so we gave you a whole month to pull your personal resolutions together because at SmartFinancial we believe that balancing life and work is important. If you’re not happy, your work will suffer so hopefully, you’re eating, sleeping and behaving better because of the goals you set for 2019.
Inevitably the improvements you make in your personal life will spill over to your job as an insurance agent too. As an agent, you are not just selling insurance products --
you are also selling yourself. The more balanced and happy you are, the more people will be drawn to do business with you.
Now it’s time for professional goals, so we’ve listed the top 10 ways to increase your sales over last year. Here’s hoping that you truly flourish in 2019!
Setting up efficient processes. If you’ve been selling insurance for decades now, you’ve seen so much change. Remember the days when there were “Internet Teams” on staff dealing only with one static web page? These days, everyone is on the “Internet Team” and using online resources for everything from finding leads to paying employees. It’s hard to imagine a time when we were so inefficient, but we were. Many of us still are, especially if we’re intimidated by technology. This is why Business Intelligence (BI) is a hot topic amongst insurance agents right now. BI is the use of technologies, applications and practices that enable the user to analyze data pertaining to the business so as to make good decisions. Using BI and new technologies to your advantage will be a hugely profitable step to take in 2019. Whether it’s hiring an Excel master to show inefficiencies in your processes or it’s buying leads from a reputable ad-technology company, you’ll be boosting profits with fewer losses.
Become more visible: People want to do business with good people: It’s really that simple. Establish your agency’s ethics and values. Incorporate them in what you write about the company, and showcase them on your website and in marketing materials. Involvement in charities and non-profits can bring you some very positive exposure too. GuideStar, Charity Navigator, and Give.org can help you find legitimate charities. There are countless events to participate in, too. Whether you’re walking for breast cancer, feeding the homeless or holding a cupcake tasting to end hunger, make sure to take great pictures and videos and stream them on social media. Write press releases and pay the extra charge so that media outlets pick up on the event. While you probably won’t get mentioned in the bigger papers, local ones may very well mention you and publicize the event!
Meet client needs: Are you keeping your existing clients happy? Is there a way that you can simplify their payment methods or save them a few dollars a month? Are you able to bind online yet (some agencies are doing it and others are well on their way)? See what you can do to make your clients’ lives easier. Can your auto client, who just bought a new RV, bundle his motorhome with his home and auto accounts for convenience? While you’re at it, can you find a carrier who will offer a savings if he buys all these policies in one place? More often than not, agents only feel like they have to answer to the carriers, but it’s just as important to go as far as you can to keep the clients happy or give them an unexpected bonus to show them that you’ve got their backs. They are, after all, the ones who pay your bills--and other agents are eyeing them.
Stay aware of trends and new products: There are new risks these days with all the new technologies out there. While advancements in technology are supposed to make our lives easier, they do sometimes create more risk. For instance, there’s now cyber crime with crooks stealing data from business computers. Even your personal life is more vulnerable, with thieves figuring out ways to outsmart the smartest smart homes and steal cars by manipulating the safety features you spent thousands of dollars on. There’s never been a better time than now to sell insurance products around the new threats posed by technology. Cybersecurity insurance, anyone? How about self-driving car insurance?
Shake things up: Disrupt the agency by testing new strategies. When people get too used to a routine, creativity dies. If you play music in the office, change the station. If you don’t play music in the office, start doing it. If you manage people, change up their routine by assigning a project: maybe a group project if it’s something new. Try to shift things around every few months, preferably every quarter. Take notes on what works and what doesn’t. Whatever you do, don’t let people’s routines get too stale.
Improve your website: If your website feels like an afterthought, it probably looks like one, too. These days it’s more important to have a fresh and thorough website than it is to have a business card. Everyone searches for a company’s website if they are interested in the services. Not only should you consider hiring professionals to build you a professional one, you should consider hiring a content manager who knows a thing or two about search engine optimization. That person could bring you some much needed traffic. Also, don’t forget to ask clients to write testimonials about your services so you can publish them online. People listen more to what others have to say about you than what you have to say about yourself.
Increase your volume of leads. It seems like obvious advice: Grow your leads and you will grow your sales. But how? You should really network as much as you can. Get existing clients to refer you by offering gift cards. We have lots more advice on how to grow leads in our free downloadable white papers. And yes, with all the competition out there, you do need to buy leads!
Make work more fun: We’re not saying that you need to tap a keg in the middle of the office, but taking your producers out for drinks or dinners once in a while may not be such a bad idea. Take time out of the day to just catch up and chat. Maybe coordinate walking meetings instead of using the conference room. Why not buy that foosball table you keep joking about (but really want)? You know what makes sense in your office so do it.
Get in touch with the quiet ones: Often, it’s the clients who never call to insist that their rates are too high that quietly go away when you least expect it. Evaluate your history and see if this holds true for you too. In your downtime, begin calling clients you haven’t heard from in a while. Ask if anything has changed in their life (marriage? new job? a move?) that may bring down their rates. Listen attentively because the more information the better: if they have a new job, that may mean a new business insurance commission. If they bought a house, see if you can beat their current rate by bundling it with their auto. If you already have a client’s house insured, see if you can add on flood and earthquake insurance (people wrongly think these coverages are included in a standard policy). A whole host of things may have happened since you last spoke. Not only will simple check-ins retain your business, you may be able to upsell and cross-sell too.
Re-evaluate past successes and failures: Without beating yourself up, take a good look at some of the failures you’ve suffered over the past few years. Failures are a chance to learn: that’s why we suffer them in life. The wise learn and turn around their luck. The unwise keep making the same mistakes and never reach their desired ROI. The best salespeople hone their skills through trial and error. We invite you to join the wise in 2019 by taking a good look in the mirror. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for the things you do well either. It’s important to recognize both our strengths and weaknesses whenever we try to improve upon ourselves.
We hope you have a wonderful new year filled with promising leads! We’re always here to help in any way we can. -The SmartFinancial Team