Reopening after coronavirus means different things to different people. While most businesses were sleeping, the insurance industry was wide awake. If you are an insurance agent or agency owner, chances are that you’ve been working all along without skipping a beat. Sure, there have been new challenges, but you’ve still been plugging along, making calls and hopefully using Zoom to your advantage.
Insurance agents are considered essential workers for a reason: no one has stopped buying insurance! When people began allowing their insurance to lapse, the big carriers came to the rescue with reduced rates because of the financial hardships caused by COVID-19. When millions of uninsured Americans lost their jobs, some states opened up the health insurance marketplace. So, it’s not that we haven’t been touched by coronavirus. In fact, many of us have had a challenging time adapting to doing business remotely over the past few weeks. Some of us have lost substantial business.
The bad news is that the state of the pandemic may not change for many months to come, but the good news is that there are a few things you can do to boost sales, especially if business has been slower than usual.
It’s easy to miss new opportunities during these unsettling times, so we’ve compiled 4 things you can do to jump start your sales today.
Buy Auto Insurance Leads
During the initial phase of the coronavirus, many insurance agents who once swore off buying leads began trying them out. Many of these agents continue buying auto insurance leads -- because they work. The way an auto insurance lead ends up in your inbox, text message or on the other line is complex. There are multiple marketing strategies that go into convincing an insurance shopper to fill out a form with pertinent information about themselves. Often, shoppers come upon one of SmartFinancial’s informative SEO-focused articles and decide to compare auto insurance quotes with us after getting the information they were looking for. Sometimes, they click on our ads to compare rates.
Many people who have been hit hard economically began shopping for auto insurance in an attempt to save money. Many car insurers have been offering special rates during the pandemic because people are driving less. Therefore, it’s actually never been a better time to buy auto insurance leads because so many people are actively comparing their insurance options right now.
However, not all auto insurance lead providers are the same. The quality of leads matters and so does the time the lead provider invests in you and your success. A valuable lead vendor will assign an account manager to your account. This person will help you see an increase in sales month-over-month.
It pays to be picky when deciding which lead provider to work with, so look at their crediting policy, see if your carrier has any kind of cost-share program with SmartFinancial and start increasing your sales exponentially.
There is always the well-founded worry that the coronavirus outbreak may have wider and deeper economic implications in the long-run. You will be wise to invest in more prospects so you can continue making sales well into the future.
Remember that prospects are also a fountain of referrals if you take care of your new clients. Your account manager can also help you strategize to stay ahead with sage advice.
Reframe Your Relationship with Clients
Those of us in the insurance business have to put ourselves in the shoes of those who are unable to work and those who’ve been impacted by the coronavirus in many other excruciating ways. People have lost loved ones or have been unable to see them because of social distancing. Many are in the worst state they’ve ever been in, economically and emotionally. While you may be well aware of all this, it’s important to remind yourself that people’s priorities have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic began. This affects your business
For instance, if you are in the business of selling commercial insurance, it should be a very busy time for you. If your clients are bleeding losses, they may be looking to save any amount of money that they can, so you need to be proactive and see if there are any ways you can help them out before they jump ship completely. Also, did any of these businesses file claims with coronavirus as the reason for business interruption? If so, how were these claims handled? Can you mediate and expedite matters as a way of helping your client(s)? Doing a little goes a long way right now. Business owners can use all the help they can get. Show them you care, don’t just say it. As horrible as this period in history seems, there will be some amazing relationships forged with your clients if you do the best you can.
On the flip side of this scenario, there are many business owners who are feeling frustrated if not downright disappointed in their existing relationship with their insurance agents who are not being as attentive. If you can reach these people and show them that you will go that extra mile for their business, you may be in luck.
We always encourage insurance agents to sell as many lines of insurance as they can while learning as much as they can about each product. Not only does selling more types of insurance make you less vulnerable to cyclical downturns, it’ll make you less vulnerable to competition -- but only if you play your cards right.
Consumers want expertise when they hire an insurance agent so approach each prospect fully prepared to ease their burdens. It’s not enough to have the best intentions at heart. If you do not know the products you sell or how they are relevant to your client’s needs and industry, you will have trouble convincing people to work with you. So, don’t just get licensed and gloat in all your accreditations. Do your homework and understand the ins and outs of what each client needs. You’ll earn a good reputation this way, and new business will follow.
As for getting new licenses, the fact is that in today’s competitive insurance market, you need to wear many hats and sell as many policies as you can. With carriers selling and advertising directly to consumers these days, you’ve got to show value for the work you do and offering convenience is the biggest takeaway a client can get! If they can settle all their insurance needs in one place, they are bound to do it and, even better, they will be more likely to stay with you. You’ll be like the insurance Santa, offering all kinds of discounts by bundling so many policies with one carrier.
If you’ve got some time on your hands during this coronavirus outbreak, you may want to sign up for a virtual licensing course in a new line of insurance.
Increase Your Territory
In order to increase your territory you may need to pass a licensing exam in another state. While this may seem like a big commitment, it may be one that will pay off. In order to sell or even discuss insurance in another state, you must be licensed in that state. The good news is that most states only require that you need few or no additional requirements, like pre-licensing courses. All you have to pay for is the application fee if you want to start selling outside your state of residence.