15 Ways to Grow your Insurance Agency Top Line Revenue

March 22, 2018

“Being obsessed with business expansion is critical to success—it’s senior to strategy, pricing, timing, competition, or people. Place every ounce of your energy, time, money, and other resources into growing your revenue. Prioritizing the top line is more important than good margins. Shift your energy into offensive spending and investing.  Make, raise, or borrow enough money so that you can reinvest 30% to 40% into expansion.”
Grant Cardone

Expanding your agency and growing your top line revenue is something that every successful insurance agent should have a relentless obsession with.  Adding more home and auto insurance clients and increasing your commercial and life insurance sales should be what you think about and what you focus on 100% of the day.

The following are 15 concrete strategies you can utilize to grow your agency top line revenue.  

Refuse to Lose  Selling insurance is a contact sport and requires that your sales people relentlessly pursue new policy sales.  A ‘refuse to lose’ agency philosophy means that your producers will pursue a sale with passion and a competitive spirit.  It means they sell the value of your agency and carrier relationships and it means that they attempt to overcome all objectives.  It further means that they follow-up with every prospect until the sale is closed. 

Keep sales funnel overflowing  Unsuccessful agents will ‘take a break’ from their marketing initiatives or insurance lead and calls purchases and tell themselves that they want to work what is in their funnel.  This is a mistake.  To be successful and grow your top line revenue, you need to have your ‘foot on the excelerator’, 24/7, 365 days a year.  Buying or selling insurance isn’t a seasonal activity.  There are a multitude of reasons for people buying insurance and you need to be in front of them, when they are shopping.

Don’t limit your geography  Some insurance agents that sell home and auto insurance are stuck in the 1970s and earlier.  They have the mindset that they want to sit down with their clients, to visit their home and develop a long term relationship with them in person, and over a cup of coffee.  They want to limit their sales to the 5-10 mile geography around their physical office or home.  This is a mistake.  If you are licensed to sell in the entire state of Florida, sell home and auto insurance in the entire state of Florida.  Why limit your top line revenue to the people around your office.  Sell where you are licensed and if you can get licensed in multiple states, you should do that!

Use automatic reminders  Your follow-ups with prospects is a critical part of growing your agency sales.  Using an automated reminder system or CRM is an essential tool to make sure that your insurance prospects do not fall through the cracks.  You should also use automatic reminders to reach out to your existing clients to speak with them about additional products.  Your goal should be to have every client have two or more insurance products with you.  Clients with multiple products will be less likely to move their business to another agent or carrier.

Task management  Are you and your staff doing things because they have always been done?  Are you or your team creating and reviewing reports because someone told you it would be a good idea.  Every task that you and your team are doing that doesn’t involve closing a sale, takes time away from growing your top line revenue.   If you and your team are doing things that are not directly tied to growing your clients and revenue, Stop doing them.  Just stop.

Mindshare  Does your staff come to you throughout the day with issues that they can handle themselves or things that no one should be focusing on?  Do they take up your time asking about things that have no direct impact on the primary task of your agency; growing and maintaining a large P & C insurance book of business.  If they are, tell them to immediately stop.  Tell them that they are wasting both your and their time on trivial issues.  Tell them that they should focus on what is important, growing the agency top line revenue and that they will simultaneously grow their personal ‘top line’ with higher commissions and pay. 

Positivity   A negative, defeatist attitude will take down your team.  If you find that your team is not confident in your auto and home insurance products and your ability to close sales, you need to work with them to increase their positivity.  Do not be afraid to encourage negative people to find new employment.  You will not grow your agency top line revenue if your team does not believe it is possible, achievable and doable.  If you believe it, you will achieve it!

Turn off the outside noise  If you go into any office, you will see more than a handful of people looking at their phone, texting, posting messages online and more.  Distractions take away from your ability to focus on writing more insurance business, making more sales and growing the agency and your top line revenue.  If you have an open wifi network in your office, close it down.  If you see your staff on their phones, tell them to put them away.  Explain to them that they need to focus their efforts on quoting, following-up and writing new insurance business.  They will make more money and the agency will grow faster and stronger.

Invest in your agency and yourself   Investing in your agency and yourself comes in many forms.  One direct investment is purchasing home and auto insurance leads and calls.  Some agency owners believe that their staff should work their ‘circles of influence’ for leads and sales, rather than investing in their success by purchasing leads or calls.  This is a mistake and will only prevent the growth of your top line revenue.  Producers will have bigger or smaller circles of influence, you should not allow this fact to limit your sales.  There is no better investment than purchasing good high quality insurance leads for your producers.

Establish stretch goals   The only way you are going to achieve and exceed your goals is to push harder and farther everyday.  If you want to double your monthly revenue or book of business, shoot to triple it.  Then break that down to monthly, weekly and daily goals.  Once you have done that, determine what you need to invest to get there.  It may require investments in additional people, office space, computers, phones and leads.  Invest in yourself and your agency to achieve your goals.  Do not let fear of not achieving your targets hold you back.

Reputation   “Show up early. Treat people with respect. Perform at the highest levels.”  Grant Cardone  What people think and know about you and your agency impacts your ability to excel and achieve.  If you are known as an auto and home  insurance superstar, your clients will want to refer others, your clients will have confidence to purchase multiple products from your agency and you will have better success with your insurance leads and calls. 

Measure your results  Making smart decisions about how you invest in your agency is essential.  You need to have processes in place to measure how well your leads are working, how often your producers are quoting, their close rations and more.  The key is to not allow this to take away from day-to-day activities which are related to sales and growing your book.  Your time spent on non revenue related activities should be minimal.  Once you know the results of the various programs you have underway, you can allocate more resources into the ones that are producing more top line results.

Utilize multiple strategies and tactics   “Never depend on one action.”  Grant Cardone  There are agents and agency owners that will implement one particular sales strategy at a time and if they don’t achieve their desired results, will stop and try something else.  They do this with marketing programs, with sales strategies, products and more.  Insurance agency owners or producers should always have multiple programs underway at any given time to assure their success.  When you have multiple tactics, strategies or programs underway at the same time, if one falls short, the others may exceed expectations.

Recognize results  Your team will focus on, what you focus on.  If you are recognizing sales, upsells and bundled product sales, your team will sell more.  If you are focused on revenue growth, your team will be focused on revenue growth.  If you are focusing on expenses and are negative, your team is going to focus on the wrong things along with you.  When you are growing sales and revenue, you should recognize and reward those results within your team, they will work harder to help you get to the next level of achievement.

Get in the door  Growing your top line revenue is about making sales.  It is not about margins nor profitability.  Many agents will focus all their time on getting business that they believe will result in higher long term profitability, without really knowing if their activities can have a direct impact on that.  Agents will spend all their time trying to sell homeowner insurance which they believe is more “sticky” than auto insurance but in doing so will miss out on hundreds of opportunities to sell more auto insurance.  A better strategy is to get in the door with a sale, regardless of the product, then bundle and upsell other other insurance products.

18 Resolutions that every Insurance Agent Should Make

December 20, 2017

18 Resolutions that every Insurance Agent Should Make.

The beginning of the year or any time of the year is the right time to take a step back, take stock of where you are and make a decision to resolve to do better, to be better. In business and in life, we should all strive to get closer everyday to where we want to be.

The following are 18 resolutions that every insurance agent should consider making. These resolutions will improve your professional and personal success. They will help you to be happier and grow your agency and book of business.

1. Don’t criticize. This resolution is about being positive. In our everyday lives it is easy to be negative and criticize our family, friends, employees, coworkers, competitor and more. This is especially true when you are talking about a competitor, when trying to close a sale. If you are asked a question about your competition, you should just talk about how you are a good company to work with and avoid being negative towards them. Being positive will help you to be happier, improve your relationships and be more successful as an insurance agent..

2. Lose “weight”. This isn’t about trimming your waistline. It is about looking at the tasks and activities that you do everyday and discontinue those things that are not adding value or making you money. If you are doing activities that are not directly helping you to retain policyholders or write new policies, you should look at stopping. If you are doing things that are weighing you down, you should stop. This will give you more time to do things that will help you to grow your book and agency.

3. Do more of what works. Do you know what marketing and retentions programs work for your agency and book of business? Do you know what your cost of acquisition or retention programs cost you on a per client or per policy basis? Has your retention improved? As you run your agency it is important to measure your activities so that you are able to make data driven decisions about what works and what doesn’t.

4. Embrace social media. It is not necessary to be active in all social media outlets, you should the social media you’re comfortable with and provide helpful insurance information to your connections. Engaging your clients, prospects, friends, family and community at large in via social media will help you to increase your visibility and position you as an insurance expert.

5. Ask for help. Whether you are a new agent or one that has been running an agency for 20 years, it is okay to ask for help if you are stuck or unsure of what to do next. Asking for advice or help is not a sign of weakness, it is a recognition that sometimes you don’t know everything. Asking for help allow you to gain new perspectives and solutions to problems or situations you are looking to solve or improve.

6. Don’t be afraid to fail. Some insurance agents will attempt to minimize all risks or will not embrace a new marketing, sales or retention strategy without a ‘guarantee’ that it will work for their agency. This perspective will hinder or prevent agents from identifying new opportunities to achieve new levels of performance. One strategy may work for one agency and not another due to a variety of factors. Agents and agency owners should not be afraid to try new things as even not being successful with a strategy will help an agency get better.

7. Take a walk. Many agents and agency owners are so busy during their day that they neglect to take a break during their day. They will sit at their desk the entire day working on quotes, customer service and so much more. Taking a walk during the day will help clear your head and allow you to refocus your efforts. Taking a walk will give you an opportunity to burn a few calories and reflect on your day.

8. Recycle. Recycling cans and bottles is great for the environment but, in your agency you also have things you can recycle and make useful again. You should make it a regular practice to go after former clients to see if you can help them with their insurance. You should re-work the insurance leads that may not have purchased a policy during your initial contact. You can repost information you shared in social media.

9. Say thank you. When you show appreciation and have an attitude of gratitude, more people will want to work with you. This is true of your employees, business partners, co-workers, clients and even potential clients or prospects. You can say thank you in a number of ways, both formal and informal. Thank you notes (yes that you handwrite) or thank you emails are great but even just a sincere, “thank you for giving me the opportunity to provide you with insurance,” will be welcome by those you do business with. This will also be appreciated by your family, friends, co-workers, employees and everyone you come into contact with on a regular basis.

10. Remind yourself why you do what you do. For most people, they work (and run their agency) to support themselves and their family. In many cases, it is also to provide jobs and opportunities for their employees. Reminding yourself why you do what you do will keep you motivated to push harder and stay focused on growing your agency and book.

11. Expand your knowledge. Podcasts, audiobooks, webinars, magazines, blogs, online classes and more are great ways to expand your knowledge and keep your mind sharp. The prospects or leads that you work with all have different interests and your ability to connect with them will help you to deepen your relationship and write more business. Expanding your knowledge will also keep you up to date on what is changing in your environment so that you adjust your business practices to keep pace.

12. Quote more. The more quotes you provide to leads or prospects, the more business you will write. The easiest way to quote more is to purchase leads and calls. You are then able to better forecast or predict the number of sales you will make. Leaving to luck the number of quotes you give out everyday is not a successful strategy to achieve your daily, weekly or monthly goals.

13. Worry less. Worrying or stressing about the state of your agency is not a strategy that will help you to turn around its performance. If you are not happy with your agency performance or are not making money, you need to create an active plan with specific tactics. For example, if you are not writing enough new business, you may need to put together a plan to buy insurance leads that you can quote and write the business. Worrying about what is wrong with your agency is not a way to turn things round. You need to develop concrete plans and implement them.

14. Create a monthly plan. If you don’t have a monthly sales and retention plan, now is the perfect time to create one. Once you have a monthly plan you should break it down to a daily plan or goal. Having a plan will give you something to shoot for and achieve. The plan will also give you a reason to implement a ‘course’ correction if you find yourself not achieving your goals or plans. For example, if you find that you are not writing enough business from referrals, you can contact your lead company to buy additional leads, to supplement what you already have in place, so that you can still achieve your overall target.

15. Hold yourself and staff accountable. Once you have a plan, it is important to hold yourself and your staff accountable for achieving those plans or goals. If you have a producer that isn’t achieving their agreed upon target, you need to meet with them to put together a course correction plan and then make sure it is being implemented. You should also recognize or reward yourself and your team when they over achieve on their goals or plan.

16. Have fun. Smile and have fun during your work day. Laugh and make others laugh when you can. When you are smiling and fun to be around, others will want to work harder and do business with you. Remind yourself on a regular basis that you can be a serious insurance professional and have fun at the same time.

17. Organize your day for sales. Many insurance agents manage their day by taking care of customer issues, phones calls and appointments. They don’t plan their day around time to work leads and make sales calls. This is a critical missing part of most insurance agents day. To grow your agency, you need to spend a significant amount of time each day working with prospects, quoting and writing new business. If you don’t do this, you will get bogged down doing non-revenue growth activities.

18. Be charitable. Giving aid to those in need can come in many forms. If can be as simple as spending extra time with an elderly policyholder who needs help understanding changes to a policy. It can mean adjusting the work schedule of a producer with a sick child. It can mean working with a new producer to share you knowledge and expertise.

Resolving to do better doesn’t require a new year, a birthday or any specific life event. At anytime you can decide to resolve to improve the way you live and work. Making and keeping 18 resolutions is a bit much to do all at once. It is ok to work on 2 or 3 resolutions at a time before you take on others. The key is to get started.

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