Do’s and Dont’s for Operating your Insurance Agency

When a new quote calls or walks in to your agency, are you 100% confident you or your staff are doing everything possible to write the business? Below is a short list of do’s and don’ts that may help you in your next staff meeting. It’s important to emphasize to your staff the fact that at the end of the day, you’re a Sales Organization. Some Agency Owners will balk and say they’re a customer service organization first, but in reality, without sales, there’s nobody to service.

Do’s:

  • Every prospect that calls in for a quote receives one, the first time they call. No taking numbers and calling people back.
  • We introduce ourselves to every prospect and obtain their contact information every time. Name, address, phone and email. If you hesitate when you ask for the information, they’ll hesitate to give it to you.
  • You build rapport with every client by finding common interests and getting them to like and trust you.
  • You educate the prospect on coverage without boring them with too much product knowledge.
  • Tell the client how much you’d love to insure them. (You’ll be shocked at how much they like this)
  • Offer every client UM coverage. Quote it with and without.
  • Every prospect you quote receives an email and snail mail quote the same day. Regardless of the outcome of your quote.
  • Sell benefits, not price alone. (Carrier rating, 24 hour claims, agency in business X years, etc)
  • Offer other lines of business. EVERYTIME.
  • Keep your promises. If you tell someone you’ll call them – do it. If you tell them you’ll mail them something – mail it.
  • ALWAYS ask for the sale. If the person says you’re too expensive and his mother is an insurance agent, ask for the sale anyway! Then mail and email them a quote.
  • Learn your products, coverage’s and office procedures.

Don’ts

  • Never assume someone is “just shopping” and isn’t serious about buying. Everyone’s a buyer; you just have to close them.
  • Never bad mouth the competition, especially the carrier they’re with now. (Even if they’re bad mouthing them)
  • Never use the term “Full Coverage” (There’s no such thing!)
  • Have a bad attitude. Your attitude is felt through the phone. Smile, even if it’s fake.
  • Place people in carriers that benefit you. Place them in the carrier that has the best coverage, the best rate and fits their needs best – not yours.
  • Don’t skip a carrier on the list because you’re not familiar with their software or rules. LEARN THEM.
  • Argue with a prospect about coverage or other insurance matters.
  • Leave people holding for more than 20 seconds.
  • Take a name and number when a new quote calls in. Pass it on to someone that can take the quote right there and then. (I know, it’s in the DO’s section, but it’s an important one)
  • Let anyone walk without buying, until another agent or manager has an opportunity to speak with the client. Many times there can be miscommunication that a 3rd party can straighten out and get the buyer to buy. Nobody walks!
  • Get involved in office politics or gossip. This is the biggest waste of you and your employers’ time.

Times like these are a great opportunity to evaluate your agency and determine if the way you’re doing business is going to be effective in our new economy. Take the time to train your people, cut expenses, rid yourself of excess and make 2009 a profitable year. It all starts with the day to day habits of you and your employees, hopefully the list above will help develop some new ones.

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