If you're interested in learning more about franchise opportunities with Brightway, fill out this form to receive a copy of our brochure and how to connect with a Brightway Franchise Sales representative.

In insurance, your book of business is your lifeline. If you’re a captive agent, you can rely to some degree on your company’s brand recognition to drive people to your door. When they come in, though, you have only one brand to sell them. This doesn’t meet everyone’s needs and you wind up quoting a lot, and selling some. If you’re an independent agent, you can quote customers with a few companies, but you likely spend a lot for either local awareness and/or leads that net little return.  

So, the question remains: How can you grow your book of business as fast as possible with quality business?

We’ve put together a list of five proven steps you can take to help build a quality book of business fast. These are the steps Brightway Agents follow and as a result, their average pre-tax profit margin in 2020 was 42%* compared to 29% for other agents according to a report by CSIMarket.*

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • People who need a home or auto insurance policy in order to close their sale should be you’re No. 1 referral source
  • Cross-selling your book with the right technology is a must
  • Become a great listener and not just a “know-it-all”
  • Retention is you’re life line and ideally you need both time and choices in carriers to be maintain a strong rate
  • Consistency and accuracy are key to your online presence

1. Referrals, Referrals, Referrals

Referrals are the ultimate sales lead and the key to growing your business. While referrals can come from existing customers, friends and family, you will have the most success with referral sources who need a home or auto insurance policy in order to close their sale.

Brightway agents’ No. 1 source of business is referrals partners. To help our agents get started, we supply them with lists of referral sources and transaction data in their areas along with materials they can use to introduce themselves and build deep, mutually beneficial relationships.  

 2. Cross-sell

Cross-selling other products to your existing customers is some of the best low-hanging fruit you can take advantage of and yields customers with much greater retention, but many agents don’t do enough of it.

Figuring out who has what policies with you can be an onerous task if you don’t have the right technology in your office. What can be even more taxing is determining how to reach those customers effectively and follow-up at key times throughout a policy’s lifetime.

At Brightway, our marketing team handles cross-selling on our agents’ behalf without losing the all-important personal touch. We’re able to do that by leveraging technology. Best of all, our agents don’t need to lift a finger.

3. Develop a strong point of sale experience

It’s no secret that a bad sales experience will leave a sour taste in someone’s mouth but there are ways to ensure a customer has an amazing experience. The No. 1 key is to be a great listener and let the customer be the hero in their story. You can rattle off your insurance knowledge until your blue in the face but that’s not what “expert counsel” means.

Brightway trains its agents, whether they have prior insurance experience or not, to be the trusted source for insurance in their communities. They care about their customers. This means finding the combination of price and coverage that works for each customer. This often means “mixing and matching” insurance companies to assemble the policies that meet each of the customer’s unique needs. Having a wide selection of insurance carriers empowers our Agents to do that.

4. Sustain a strong retention rate

Maintaining a strong retention rate is paramount to any business. If you’re losing customers, you’re not gaining anything except a bad reputation. If you’re an independent agent operating on your own, it’s all on your shoulders.

Brightway Agents have a couple of advantages when it comes to retention. First, a key Brightway differentiator is after-the-sale service. This gives you the time you need to really get to know your customers and assemble for them a package of policies that meet their unique needs. And, after-the-sale service includes all the activities necessary to renew that customer year after year.

Second, at Brightway you have access to more carriers than other agents. This means that, even if a customer has a need to move from one carrier to another, you’ve still retained them—they’re still with your agency.

As a result, Brightway Agency Owners enjoy industry leading retention rates, helping them build their book of business faster.

5. Maintain a strong and consistent online presence

Many agents don’t realize how difficult it can be to keep up with the accuracy of your listing information online. With so many directory service sites out there, you may not even realize some have incorrect information listed about your agency. And, if there is conflicting information, Google disregards you in their search findings.

Brightway partners with a leading data management company to ensure all of our agencies’ information is consistent and accurate across the web ensuring your agency appears in Google and other searches.

Another important aspect of your online presence is your website and your social media engagement.

Every Brightway franchise owner enjoys a personalized website that we create and maintain for them. Our team of marketing experts also post engaging content to our agencies’ Facebook business pages multiples times each week, driving up online engagement.

Being able to be found leads to more customers which leads to more policies, building your book of business faster.

The Bottom Line

Building a book of business takes time and requires a certain level of tenacity. If you’re an independent agent, the bulk of this work falls squarely on you unless if you’re spending a good deal of money out-sourcing. If you’re a captive agent, you’re bound by your own walls.

Brightway Agents have the best of both worlds. That’s why over 40% of Brightway Agencies open at least one year have books of business over $4 million.**

If you're interested in learning more about franchise opportunities with Brightway, fill out this form to receive a copy of our brochure and how to connect with a Brightway Franchise Sales representative.

* This representation can be found in Table 3 of Item 19 of Brightway Insurance Inc.’s Franchise Disclosure Document issued April 20, 2021, which includes results for 56 franchisees during the 2020 year that had been open for five or more years as of December 31, 2020, reported their full 2020 expenses to Brightway in response to a survey sent to all Brightway Locations, and were fully-staffed as of December 31, 2020. Of this subset of 56 Included Locations, 14 are Top 25% Agencies and 14 are Bottom 25% Agencies (based on 2020 Pre-Tax Operating Profit). Of the 56 Brightway Locations presented in Table 3, 21 (38%) exceeded the Overall Average Pre-Tax Operating Profit. Of the 14 Top 25% Brightway Locations presented in Table 3, 6 (42%) exceeded the Top 25% Average Pre-Tax Operating Profit. Because we only began offering the Office Agency model in 2020, this representation is based solely on the performance of franchisees operating Retail Agencies.

** The representation that over 40% of Brightway Agencies opened at least one year have books of business over $4 million can be found in Table 1 of Item 19 of Brightway Insurance Inc.’s Franchise Disclosure Document issued April 20, 2021, which shows the Annualized Premium of 163 Agency Owners operating the 180 Included Locations for the 2020 calendar year. The 180 Included Locations in Table 1 were open for more than twelve months as of December 31, 2020 and a total of 75 had annualized premium of over $4 million. The Annualized Premium of our multi-unit owners are combined because our multi-unit owners are permitted to share business across their locations. Because we only began offering the Office Agency model in 2020, this representation is based solely on the performance of franchisees operating Retail Agencies.

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