As a captive agent, you can only sell your company’s insurance products. You can’t start a conversation by saying that you’ll compare multiple quotes from different carriers. But you likely have a brand name that carries much weight to it.
The longevity of a carrier means a lot to many people who are buying insurance. It means you have a very financially secure company behind you, and that matters to people who need to protect themselves from financial catastrophe.
If you’re a captive agent, we have some tips on how to use your strengths and the tools at hand to get matched with the right shoppers and close more sales.
The expertise of captive agents often surpasses that of independent agents because training is so very important when you sign on. You’ll know the insurance products, packages and discounts your carrier offers better than most independent agents know the various products and packages they sell.
You’ve probably had training in cross-selling and up-selling from the carrier company and know how to ask the right questions to sell as many policies as possible. Workshops are encouraged.
Expertise is important to the most valuable insurance shoppers, who have more at stake if they ever suffer a loss or are faced with a lawsuit. You know how to cover all the necessary bases with these people, who are often more concerned with how claims are handled than finding rock-bottom prices.
When you get insurance leads, you would prefer not to have to sift through a pile of contacts who don’t match your required risk profile. That’s where using the right insurance technology company comes into play.
Matching Carrier Risk Profile
Most carriers buy their captive agents sales leads. If you’re a captive agent, ask your carrier if they are already partnering in SmartFinancial’s cost-share program or plan to do so in the near future.
Cost-share programs save you money when you buy insurance leads because your company pays a large percentage of the cost. Independent agents don’t have this perk and are on their own to buy leads for their agencies so make the most of the benefits that come with being a captive agent.
The reason why established carriers work with SmartFinancial over other lead providers is because their technology has superior capabilities of matching carrier risk profiles that will work for you.
SmartFinancial’s filters and other tools enable Account Managers to zoom in on the right demographics that will want your products and services. Most agents see an incline in sales over a period of working closely with their seasoned Account Managers.
If any leads that don’t match your profile end up in your email or on the other line, you’ll be credited those leads for ones that do match your profile almost immediately. However, not all lead providers have a generous return policy, so be careful before you buy. Test out a sample to see how the lead provider treats returns.
When you get a lead on the phone who has come to you because they’ve compared prices and yours is competitive, you’re almost there. Your sale will be so much easier to close. After all, if you’ve already won the battle with pricing and branding, you’ve only got yourself to sell. And the product, which we’ve established that you know well.
Calls, as you can imagine, are a considerable investment. However, most of your work (making contact with someone who wants to talk, getting the relevant information) is already done. You just have to close.
Unfortunately, many agents who are slow to begin utilizing purchased leads and live-transfer calls in their growth strategy are losing out on a low-cost program designed by the many large carriers. Especially in a post-COVID 19 world, there’s no better way to ramp up growth or see a large return on investment.
My Company Doesn’t Offer a Lead Program
If your carrier does not offer a cost-share program or reimbursements, you should buy insurance leads using your marketing budget. That’s what your marketing budget was designed to do--put you in touch with shoppers, preferably while they are shopping. The right insurance technology company will know exactly how to connect you with your target demographic.
Even though most businesses have opened back up, people are still hesitant to visit businesses unless it’s absolutely necessary. More than ever, it’s the right time to carve out a budget for insurance leads. Perhaps, consider reinvesting your travel budget into leads as an easy shift. There are also other areas of spending that can be skimmed to create a starter lead-budget until you feel more comfortable putting more money into calls and leads.
How Do I Choose My Lead Provider?
When you set out to find the right lead provider, it’s important to ask questions, like “Which insurance companies do you have a cost-share or folio program with?” You’ll get some very important answers. There’s a reason why insurance companies invest in one lead provider over another. Your best bet is to work with a company that the Allstate and Farmers are putting their dollars into.
A good insurance technology company will give you guidance without being pushy. At SmartFinancial, Account Managers are there with you for the lifetime of your account. They won’t push you to spend more than you can. They want to grow with you. If you do not succeed, they do not succeed.
Whether you’re spending a couple of hundred dollars a month or thousands, you’ll have a dedicated Account Manager to help you grow at SmartFinancial because that makes for good business.