Kristoffer Williamson is the sight manager at Essential Services Insurance. He supervises 140 employees and 30 insurance agents. But selling insurance was something of a surprise for him. Williamson studied business administration at California State University East Bay. He never planned to go into finance or insurance. However, with the real estate market boom in the early 2000s, he found out that he was good at sales. When the market crashed, he moved to a less volatile industry, insurance.
“Nobody sets out to become an agent,” he says. “It just happens. Someone gets displaced from somewhere else. That’s how people end up here. I’ve been in the industry for 15 years now, but was in finance, especially real estate mortgages, for years. In 2009, the market became volatile, so I became a Liberty Mutual insurance agent in Texas and did that for 15 years.”
At Liberty Mutual, Williamson was a personal lines agent, who also sold life insurance and annuities. He was also active in business development and sales training. After much success in his role, Williamson was eventually promoted and transferred to Texas to work in field management.
“From Liberty I changed jobs and went to Texan Insurance, the largest independent insurance agency in Houston. There, I had 15 sales agents working for me.” Williamson was also involved in marketing, search engine optimization, building out content and internally generating leads. He then got recruited for an even more challenging role at an even larger-scale operation.
At Essential Services Insurance Agency, Williamson sells personal lines, including auto, home, recreational lines and excess liability. Because it’s an independent agency that works with 45 carriers, Williamson can always find a fit for his clients.
“At Liberty Mutual and Texan Insurance, I didn’t work with leads,” Williamson says. “I first began purchasing leads when I came here to Essential. It’s a brand new agency that we are building from the ground up, so we’ve had to do more marketing.” And that’s why Williamson partnered with SmartFinancial.
Williamson has been having great success buying live transfer calls for all personal lines and data leads for commercial clients. The average talk time for Williamson is eight minutes.
“The lead quality is so good. I am meeting very interested folks, who are scrubbed properly. I probably quote about 90% of leads because they are qualified leads.” Keep in mind that the industry standard is 40 to 50%, nearly half of Williamson’s results.
According to Williamson, many of the callers sent over from SmartFinancial are ready to buy. He’s made $50,000 in premiums in October and he’s allocating his entire marketing budget with SmartFinancial for November.
“It’s almost like having a marketing channel that is outsourced and doing a good job. Not having to focus on marketing is huge for me. Plus, we don’t have to absorb that cost. SmartFinancial frees up my capacity to coach my team, and make them better. It’s a marketing partnership. ”
4 Golden Tips from Kristoffer Williamson
The biggest mistake agents make is that when a live transfer call is transferred over, they don’t give the quote right away. When the customer thinks you’re not on the same page, they will back out.
Always follow up. It’s about staying in front of the customer. You need to make constant contact.
Your lead management capability is very important so that you are updated on all your clients. All the data from SmartFinancial should filter into your CRM. The handoff needs to be clean. We buy as many as 30 transfers a day, and we have built in follow up within 24 hours and then 72 hour and then every other day until a decision is made.
Assume the sale. Assume you have it and you probably will.