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 but with so much competition around every corner, that may not be your best bet. If you’re an independent agent, you can spend thousand and thousands of dollars on purchased leads that may net little return.
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, they sell at an average of more than twice* the rate of the best independent insurance agents in the country.
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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 come from referrals. To help our agents get started, we supply them with lists of referral sources in their areas along with materials they can use to introduce themselves and build deep, mutually beneficial relationships.
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 through our technology which allows emails to be sent and signed by our agents without them having 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 not only finding the lowest price for them but the right choice to ensure their most valuable assets are properly protected.
4. Sustain a strong retention rate
Maintaining a strong retention rate is paramount to any business. If your 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. It’s almost an oxymoron. You work hard to build a big book of business but that only means more work year-after-year to keep those customers happy. It’s work you should never underestimate.
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 Owner enjoy industry leading retention rates.
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 nowadays, you may not even realize some have incorrect information listed about your agency.
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.
* Your results as a new franchisee may differ. There is no assurance that you will sell as much This information can be found in Tables 2 of Item 19 of Brightway Inc.’s Franchise Disclosure Document issued April 12, 2019, as amended. The twice the rate claim is based on "Sales Velocity" results for Brightway locations open during 2018 compared to “Best Practices” agencies as defined in the "IIABA Best Practices Study (2018)" that earned less than $1,250,000 in commission revenue. "Sales Velocity" is a third-party metric defined as the New Business commission revenue during a certain year divided by the total commission revenue earned by that location during the previous year and converted to a percentage.