Steve, George, Sal and Francis are all insurance men, but the unique thing about their agency is that they are all brothers. George, the oldest, started an agency with Allstate decades ago. Francis, the youngest, began working for him at the age of 12. Steve went his own route and worked for Farmers for well over 20 years, 15 of which he was district manager. Now all brothers work together and write about 98% of their policies for Farmers.
“Right now, I’m focusing on marketing,” says Francis. “I’ve been in insurance for 15 years. I’ve been an agent, a recruiter. Now, I’m running my own marketing company, so I do both sales and marketing.” He even makes sure to work weekends to stay ahead.
To complement their in-house marketing campaigns, Francis buys leads. Over the years, all three Almeida brothers have gained extensive experience using insurance leads from various vendors, so they understand how important it is to have a budget. Francis likes to buy home insurance leads and live-transfer calls for life insurance.
“Home data leads are awesome,” says Francis. “I’m writing homes, condos, townhomes, mobile homes. Very good leads. I’d say out of every 10 leads, I’ve been making three sales.”
The Almeida brothers have carved out some territory in Florida, Nevada and Arizona and they currently cover all of California, which is the bulk of the business. They buy all their leads for California from SmartFinancial. One month 100% of production in the office was from SmartFinancial alone!
When asked what the Almeida brothers love about SmartFinancial, Francis, says, “The difference between SmartFinancial leads and other vendors is that the prospects are really looking for insurance. I’ve been in the industry for a long time, so I know how the lead industry works. Everything about SmartFinancial is better -- the dashboard, the fair refund policy. Not every lead is great, but these are as good as they get.”
Francis has built a good relationship with his account manager, Erika. Not everything was perfect at the start though. For instance, he hadn’t covered enough territory for his live calls, so he wasn’t getting very many prospects on the phone. He is now expanding his territory to meet more shoppers.
“I’ve complained about stuff, but Erika always made it right,” Francis says. “She puts in the extra work to make sure everything is good.”
4 Golden Tips from Francis Almeida for New Insurance Agents
1. Be Assertive. I’m very aggressive. I call leads right away, and I call until they pick up. I’ll text the lead, if I know that it’s a cell phone. ZipWhip is an application that tells you if the contact number is a cell phone. If it is, the app texts for you. All you have to do is type in the lead and all the information comes up.
2. Use a Dialer. I put the list of leads into a dialer and I’ve had success contacting about 500 people a day. Live dialers can get up to 1000 a day.
3. Work the leads. Make sure you work the leads. You can’t just call one time and put the lead away. You’re wasting your money. You have to call them until you hear a yes or no.
4. Don’t leave messages. If you do, you’ll be waiting forever for people to call you back. You have to hunt them down. Don’t put the ball in their court.