Shifting Paradigms for Insurance Agents

Fran Majidi
June 17, 2020
Shifting Paradigms for Insurance Agents

Insurance agents often carried a legacy, and their practices were based on years of selling insurance, sometimes a few generations’ worth. We were encouraged to be the pillars of society, and that was all the branding we needed to succeed.

Many of us were taught to meet as many people as we can and to focus primarily on our own communities. People in and around town eventually came to know our good name as a trusted source. We filled our offices with producers and other agents with the same values. We scoured the five-mile radius of our brick-and-mortar shops and knew our clients more than casually. buying leads was frowned upon, for many reasons, low consumer intent being chief among them.

Times have certainly changed, but many insurance agents have not. Meanwhile, the spread of coronavirus has created a paradigm shift in the insurance industry, making face-to-face interactions and community involvement a challenge for most of us.

What’s important to remember during these difficult times is that the need to create authentic connections with insurance shoppers has not changed at all. It’s just a matter of finding new ways to do it. I have some tips that will help insurance agents achieve success despite the pandemic.

Buying Leads

There’s no denying that insurance technology companies have changed the insurance industry, and while many insurance agents typically bemoan the rise of the insurance leads business, some agents are surviving the COVID-19 pandemic because of it. Never before has there been a greater need for insurance agents to meet new prospects than now, and there simply is not a safer option available.

Consumers are home, many of them desperately trying to find ways to save money by comparing insurance rates. In this climate, saving $30 a month is everything! The only way to reach these shoppers, who are filling out forms with pertinent information, is to buy leads.

Zoom and Facetime Meetings

Because you’ll be buying more leads than ever or making some form of contact from afar, you’ll want to be camera-ready to work leads. Ideally, you’ve invested in a computer that has a built-in camera for Zoom meetings, or you have an Android or iPhone so you can at least Facetime.

What’s nice about using Zoom on a desktop is that you can use a professional backdrop or hang your degrees and credentials behind you to create a professional environment. You can also share the screen to make your meetings more dynamic than they’d be in person, using charts, graphs, even a calculator to crunch numbers together.

Video Insurance Quotes

Willing to connect anywhere, anyhow, some agents are even giving quotes on social media. While this phenomena is nothing new, social media channels are seeing a lot more activity from insurance agents than ever before.

Another great tool I suggest you use is video. Make the interaction with prospects a little more personal by creating video insurance quotes, which you can text or email to the customer after you have a video chat or phone conversation.

Engage the customer as much as you can first, without the usual fluff. By and large, people’s circumstances have changed greatly. So, be ready to ask how you can help rather than upselling as hard as you can. Even if the lead may not have contracted COVID-19, chances are that they know someone who has. Sincere concern and kindness will go a long way right now.

Virtual Conferences and Trade Shows

Wondering what you’ll do now that business travel is ill-advised? Check in with your favorite vendors to see if they are offering virtual trade shows and conferences. Maybe Vegas won’t be on your bucket list of tasks this year, but many you may be able to network for leads without leaving your work desk.

There are even virtual conferences designed to help independent insurance agents expand their digital capabilities. There are industries being spawned in forging relationships between insurtech companies and insurance agents. After all, before investing in a product, it’s important to understand and make sure that you’re ready to use those resources and services. For instance, it makes little sense to buy large quantities of data leads when you don’t have the management system to keep track of them all. It would be a waste of time and money. Each lead is a nugget of potential, for many policies and referrals, even when that lead doesn’t make an automatic purchase. You can’t keep track of this stuff with post-it notes.