Victor Gomez graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2013 with a double major in environmental science and sociology. After graduating, he didn't know which career he wanted to pursue so he tried social work. In 2016, he applied to master programs to further his education in the field but in the end he decided that was not the best option for him. At the same time, his friend had just opened an Allstate office in northern California. He asked Gomez if he wanted to leave southern California and work for him. Gomez said yes.
"I took a risk and moved to San Jose, but I'm glad I did," says Gomez. "Three months into helping my friend set up his agency, I decided I can open my own office."
Gomez worked with his friend for two years, and in May of 2019, he moved back to southern California, to be near friends and family, and to open his agency in Santa Ana. Unlike his friend, who bought a book of business from an established agency, Gomez had to start from scratch, with no employees and no customers.
At his friend's established agency, Gomez was cross selling and asking for referrals to create new business, but he now had to find new ways to build his own agency. His district manager suggested that he start buying live-transfer calls.
"I followed her lead and came across SmartFinancial," says Gomez. "Since day one, I've been getting amazing support from my SmartFinancial account manager and my Allstate district manager, which has helped my business flourish."
Gomez spends thousands of dollars a month on live transfer calls from SmartFinancial and other lead vendors. He recently began buying data leads as well. With his dedicated account manager, he gets reports on his account and ideas on different campaigns to boost sales. "My account manager does more than what I expected of a lead vendor," says Gomez, who appreciates the transparency about what he's spending per lead and all other relevant financials.
Gomez closes 18% of the calls he buys from SmartFinancial because he understands that following up is key to closing new business. If they say to call back later, he keeps trying until he closes the deal.
"Once you're a lead, you're always a lead," Gomez says. "We sold some leads this year from a batch we bought in 2019. Things change, people have accidents, policy prices change. You may be offering something they want later down the road, or your rates may be cheaper for them later on."
The SmartFinancial calls Gomez buys go directly to his staff of licensed agents. He's the only one who works data leads, which require more work and have a lower close rate. When working data leads, Gomez has a system down: "I continuously follow up according to a method I have in place so that the customer is contacted via phone, mail and email."
5 Golden Tips from Victor Gomez
Just because you get a "no" from a customer right now, it's not necessarily a "no" in the future. Keep that lead's data until you close the deal. I still have leads from when I first opened that I still call. Maybe I'll close what didn't work out five or eight years down the road so I keep trying.
You have to make an investment in your agency so you must invest in insurance leads. How do you expect to make a sale without opportunities at your door?
Have a good relationship with your account manager at SmartFinancial because trying different campaigns to find one that works for you is the most important thing, and it takes time. Without my account manager guiding me, I wouldn't succeed. Look to those who can guide you to meet your goals, including your district manager.
Follow up. Every agent hears this, but you really need to do it or else they will get calls from other companies and other agents, and you can lose their business.
Be patient and work hard. Remember that the more calls you make in a day, the more people you will come across, which means more sales!