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I first started my insurance career after leaving Law Enforcement after more than a decade. It was time for me to move on to a career where I felt like I could use the skills and education I had. Do I miss law enforcement? Sometime. Do I regret leaving? Not for one second. Do I regret choosing insurance as my follow up career? Absolutely not; actually, I have been able to use my skills more in this career than in other other venture I have had.
When I think about my past, I realize that I would not be successful today without the lessons that I learned in law enforcement.
So, I started in insurance as a captive agent with Allstate. This story could be a blog entry in itself, but, I digress. So, moving on, I attempted to open my own agency and during those initial meetings I met a woman with another Allstate agency who made me a fair offer. So for the first part of my career in insurance I was with Allstate and during my second stint with Allstate I took over the lead on sales and pushed for more commercial sales.
During this push I was able to use my skills to develop some interesting tactics to leveraging commercial contacts for both policies and personal lines referrals.
During my tenure with the second Allstate, I was approached by a gentleman who asked if I would be interested in helping his agency transfer from a captive agency (of over 40 years!) to an independent agency. And unfortunately, the employment negotiations took months and in the meantime I switched to working for a local GEICO office. And, this is where I began to truly understand insurance.
The GEICO model, even in our small city was so unique that we made money - lots of money.
MY GEICO DAYS
While working with GEICO I was able to learn a lot of their marketing concepts. I was able to combine their proven history of marketing with my understanding of current marketing trends and develop tactics that not only worked, but they worked well.
In our office we had 4 full time producers. Each producer averaged about $50,000 in premium on 90% monoline auto policies. GEICO paid us well and took care of us on a personal level since the office was technically a captive agency owned by a local agent.
Some of the important concepts that I learned (that were different than my Allstate experience) was make it 100% about price and then try to sell up from there, spend money on advertising, pay for referrals when allowed, and make the quotes and binding as quick as possible and refrain from becoming too intimate with the clients.
Now, I am not saying these were perfect. Each of us put on own twist on the topics and we all did it slightly different. But, one thing that was consistent was the core concepts; especially the quick quote + bind.
I FINISHED NEGOTIATIONS
After less than a year with GEICO I felt that I had learned all that was needed. Their model was simple, straight forward, and any advancement was done on an agency level. So, I continued negotiating with the Captive/Independent transition agency. And We finally finished and set a start date for hire.
Keep in mind, these negotiations were about commissions, equity, salary, benefits, opportunity, and more. This was me leveraging my skills for a piece of the pie. And, after months, it worked. I started working the first day of September that year so we had a strong start for Q4 that year.
If you made it this far, remember, I am giving away a FREE WEBINAR training session on commercial insurance: CLICK HERE
SO WHAT HAPPENED
It was amazing. My skills is what the agency owner needed. He was in a position that I could grow inside the agency and take a book of business for myself. This was a great opportunity. Admittedly, he had not put in much work for organic growth over the last decade because of his captive status.
The first few things I did involved learning about all of our carriers for commercial insurance. I reviewed the book of business and realized it was more than 90% personal lines. So, I began to study not only our carriers but also our aggregator which happened to be the country's largest aggregator; SIAA.
Through SIAA I participated in their BIA (business insurance advantage) program. I was a standout student in this course to the point that my instructor began to ask me to send them MY marketing materials and asked me to share some of my insight.
Now, keep in mind, I am not an insurance sales savant; but my background was in reading people (law enforcement), understanding processes (civil process experience), and marketing / design ( I was an investing partner in a printing and design firm in my late 20s and my college education is in marketing).
WHAT DID YOU SHARE WITH SIAA
Not a whole lot. I realized that the aggregator had other clients in my city/state and I did not want to share too many details of my process since I would be walking into their client's offices. However, I did share with them my general outline and tried to give them an understanding of how modern marketing works.
Safeco did a study that showed that customers need to be "touched" about 8 times in order to prompt a call/quote. So, in modern 2019, 2020, 2021 I feel like that number is EVEN HIGHER because we are now so accustomed to social ads, Hulu commercials, or using our DVR to skip commercials all together.
So, I developed a process that revolutionized how commercial insurance is "sold" and how to get past gatekeepers and actually reach the person in charge of the decisions. I did this with physical trial and error and testing the concept in a few regions.
Today I will share the general overview with you in this blog, but I will be doing a LIVE webinar that explains this process in depth during the month of February. For more information CLICK HERE.
First, define your niche. I know this sounds repetitive but I mean it. Define your niche down to where you have maybe less than 25 potential customers in your driveable area.
Let's say you decide you can target businesses within a 15 min drive of your office. And inside that bubble there are LOTS of doctors offices. But you decide to ONLY TARGET doctor's offices with less than 15 client parking spaces, with between 7-12 years in business, and with a social media account with more than 100 likes and average 3% social interaction over the last 14 days.
This takes out 25 offices down to maybe 8 (for example). So now we know we only need to target these 8 businesses for the WHOLE MONTH.
This allows your to use the next few steps to easily target and touch those businesses 6-8 times while leaving a lasting impression. Also, don't forget to ask the gatekeeper if you can help them save money on their personal insurance and remember that EIA will handle the entire process and service for you.
WANT THE WHOLE PROCESS
This is a multi-step approach that is best described in person so that you, the producer, can ask questions about the process and learn not only how to increase your commercial sales but also learn how you can use EIA as your aggregator to handle personal lines servicing for you and sales if desired. Either way, you still get new business and renewal commissions.
Seats are limited to only 50 per webinar and there is absolutely no charge. EIA believes in disrupting the industry and changing the predatory practices that have plagued the industry for decades.