Many agents and brokers are experiencing challenges in writing new business. The number one complaint we hear are that the phones aren’t ringing. It shouldn’t take the second coming of the Great Depression for insurance agents to prospect new business. It should be a habit and become a part of your daily routine.
In the insurance brokerage business, we’re spoiled. Most of the business you write calls you. You or your employer advertises on TV, the internet, yellow pages and hundreds of other types of publications. Anyone that ever worked for FGS, AIS, Eastwood or any large brokerage remembers receiving a list every morning of the TV spots for the day. You could guarantee that, within 5 minutes of the time on that TV schedule your phones would ring like mad and everyone would be quoting.
Times have changed. Now consumers go online to obtain an auto insurance quote. Prime time TV is loaded with commercials from GEICO, State Farm, Allstate and other direct carriers. The 3pm spot during the Rikki Lake show no longer pulls in the calls it used to and is cost prohibitive for most.
One suggestion to get your phones ringing is to use the FSC Rater as a prospecting tool. Whether you know it or not, FSC is loaded with tools that can help you prospect, follow up and cross sell your clients. FSC has Marketing Letters, quote letters, email quotes and most likely, a few tools I’m missing.
In FSC you can print 100’s of letters at the touch of a button. Select a date range with a few other metrics and voila; letters. You fold and stuff throughout the day and they’re mailed by 3-4:00. A few items in FSC have to be organized before you can successfully print.
- 1. The status in FSC should be updated daily. There’s a “Prospect, Insured and other” field on the first screen. Make sure when you sell a policy you make the client an Insured. When you receive returned mail, make the client an OTHER. If you’re missing addresses on any quotes, turn them into an “other” as well. This way, all of your “Prospects” are the leads you’re targeting in your mail campaign. They have addresses and haven’t bought from you yet.
- 2. Another option is to print a list of all the quotes given the past few months and hand it to your Sales People and CSR’s in the morning. Have them call; email and/or snail mail a quote to at least 10 prospects on the list. It’s not that busy; everyone has time to call 1.2 people an hour to try to sell insurance, don’t they? If you have 5 people in your office that’s 50 calls daily to prospects!
- 3. Obtain addresses on every quote you deliver. Many Agents and CSR’s fear obtaining an address but it’s the first step in gaining control of a conversation. If you ask for it – they’ll give it to you, if you hesitate when you ask, they’ll hesitate to give to you.
- 4. Be consistent with your campaign. You can’t send 20 letters per day for a week and decide it doesn’t work. You have to stick with it for months before you can gauge results.
- 5. Include 2-3 business cards in every marketing letter or quote mailer you send.
- 6. You can run reports in FSC that drill down prospects to a specific carrier. You can run a report on every person you quoted ABC Company in the past X days or months. The next time ABC Company introduces a new discount or has a rate decrease, you can run a report and mail or call all of your prospects to let them know their rate is less than it was when you quoted them.
This is a proactive approach to making the phones ring. Rather than sitting there and complaining about how slow it is, proactively bring in a few quotes per week and improve your Sales Numbers. Calling 20 old leads per day is a better option, but it’s nearly impossible to get employees to pick up the phone unless it’s ringing. We used to have joke in our office that the phone weighs 400 pounds unless it’s ringing. (Unfortunate but true!)
In addition to using FSC as a sales tool, it’s important to remember a few other basics:
- 1. Treat every quote you receive like gold.
- 2. Pass out business cards when you’re out and about. When you pay the check at a Restaurant, leave a few cards. When the waiter tells you about the specials, ask who they’re insured with. Take their info on a napkin and call them the next day with a quote. Network with friends and family members. Tell them you NEED business and their referrals will be taken care of. If you’ve had the same box of cards for a while, you’re not passing out enough of them.
- 3. The phone doesn’t weigh 400 pounds so pick it up and make some calls. Call referral sources, existing clients, prospects and anyone else that may buy insurance from you today or in the near future.
- 4. Ask every client you come in contact with if they have any friends or family members that want to save money on their insurance. If they say no – ask again, because everyone wants to save money on insurance.
- 5. Learn how to sell Homeowners and other lines of business. Cross selling is essential to success in the insurance business.
- 6. Be positive and enthusiastic. Your attitude affects your performance as a sales person.
- 7. Be persistent.
- 8. Set goals for yourself. Don’t set a goal to write 3 policies a day, set your goals on the actions you need to sell 3 per day. Example: Call 20 old leads, send 20 mailers, call 3 referral sources, and send 30 emails to old quotes. Set Production Goals to arrive at your ultimate goal of writing business.
- 9. Don’t be content with a mediocre income. Strive to be the highest paid sales person in your agency.
I believe that when people are productive good things happen. Even if the sales you close today aren’t a direct result of your prospecting; when you’re doing what you’re supposed to the outcome is usually positive.
Selling and prospecting has always been my favorite part of the business and if anyone would like to discuss it please send us an email or give us a call.