How Insurance Agents Can Keep Earning Despite Coronavirus

Fran Majidi
March 17, 2020

Making sales in a time of coronavirus is challenging -- until you see how it may work for you, not against you. Maybe you temporarily shut down your agency until further notice or some of your agents and producers stopped coming in for fear of carrying the virus back to more vulnerable loved ones. Maybe you live in a city where the coronavirus has been spreading so fast that you had no choice but to shutter the doors. Whatever your situation is, don’t panic about selling new policies!

Instead of fretting about losses, consider how great an opportunity you have now, with so many people home from work, itching to do something productive. People are not only scrubbing their homes and stocking up on toilet paper and paper towels, they are figuratively cleaning house too: they are getting their finances in order and better managing their insurance products.

More than ever people have the time to sit and consider whether switching for a better rate or jumping ship for superior coverage makes sense. They are bored at home, surfing the web and filling out SmartFinancial’s forms, which in turns converts them into prime leads that can benefit your business.

Let us explain how you can reach these people.

Forget Territory Networking

You’re not attending any events because they will be no-shows and it’s not a good time to be shaking hands with new people you meet -- understandable! When it first dawned on you that coronavirus was going to cut into your networking activities, it felt like the kiss of death. But you must remember that people can now conduct business without ever leaving home or speaking to someone in person. In fact, millennials and Gen-Zers prefer a more clinical exchange, coronavirus or no coronavirus!

Meeting New People from Home

If you ever doubted it, the coronavirus is proof that technology can be your friend. This is a great time for you to be more active than ever on social media. Let people know that your business is open (even if you’re working from home for now).

The biggest deterrent to hooking new business right now is the perception that everything has shut down. It has not. The major carriers are still insuring people, so let folks know that you are willing to go out of your way to help them out without risking anyone’s health.

Update your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, letting people know that you are ready to serve them. If you work with a carrier that can 100% bind online, you’re already ahead of the game. Make sure to blast this very important option in neon lights because it’ll be a great help to you!

Buy Leads

Being active on social media will not be enough to generate new business, and cold calls are bad news most of the time. Your time is still precious, even if it’s being spent at home. Your bills and responsibilities are the same so avoid spinning your wheels in trying to close deals by making new friends on Linkedin and Facebook. While these accounts are great for keeping your existing clients up-to-date and in-touch with you, social media will be less helpful in generating new business than buying leads from a reliable source right now.

Before you open your wallet to buy a bunch of leads, however, know that you’re entering the ring with some serious hustlers. Plan to call your leads at least 4 to 8 times before you start pointing fingers and playing the blame game.

Data leads are not one-call closers. On a rare occasion you may have a one-call close, but don’t expect it. Be prepared to keep track of how often you’re following up too, to avoid being a nuisance (we highly suggest investing in a solid CRM for this purpose).

To keep the phones ringing, you can also buy live-transfer calls, which are expensive, but far easier to close because you have the customer on the phone who is already invested in getting a quote after filling out a form. It’s always a good idea to invest in your top sales people with live transfers.

How Do I Choose a Lead Provider?

When you choose a lead provider, make sure it’s one with a good credit policy. If you want to spend as little as possible but keep your force busy and pushing hard, buy shared leads. You have different options based on your marketing budget. This is your chance to use these very strange days a little more wisely.

Are all lead generation companies the same? No, you’ll notice if you work with different insurtech companies that you’ll get different demographics for prospects and you’ll have more success with one company over another. The ideal leads are solid, organically sourced and pre-screened leads.

Be Reasonable with Pricing

The number one pressure for an agency is to have producers sell while building trust with their clients, which means selling the products and services, not selling based on price. Whenever you can, buy good organic leads and offer competitive pricing when you quote prospects. And don’t forget to offer discounts!

Create a Work-from-Home Arrangement

The aforementioned live-transfer calls can be sent to any phone number of your choosing. All calls will be recorded too, if you’re worried about an agent or producer not picking up or slacking because they are working from home. At the very least, you can be in close communication with your assigned account representative who will ensure that your money is being wisely spent.

Your account representative’s job is also to increase your ROI over time. Lean on this person to get the most out of your investment. Leads work; isn’t it time you began to work leads?