What's The Foundation Of A Successful Insurance Agency?
By Lew Nason
Insurance Pro Shop
I find it absolutely amazing that the majority of insurance agents today have no idea of the real reason why they are not able to consistently earn $100,000 or much more selling insurance or financial services. It seems that all I ever hear is, "I can't find a good source of sales leads." "The leads I get just aren't any good." "The lead company I use can't supply me with enough sales leads." "The leads are old and have already been contacted by another agent." "All of the leads I get are just shoppers looking for a price quote." "The only leads I get are the people with health problems." "All of the people who come to my seminars are just plate lickers." "I've run out of friends and family to sell to." Almost every agent believes their problem is simply a lack of leads.
These agents aren't seeing the big picture. And, the truly unfortunate part is that even after they read this article, most of them still won't get it. But, that's OK, because if you get it, you are going to have a distinct advantage over all of them.
Let's start with the basics. Would you agree that the success (or the lack of success) of your agency depends on your ability to constantly be in front of people who want to buy your products and services? Then, why are you relying on someone else for this critical function of your business? And, why are you relying on just one way (or, at the most two ways) to generate your sales leads?
Unless, you take complete control of this critical function of your business, you'll have to settle for an average income for the rest of your insurance sales career.
If you were to examine the most successful agencies (or any successful company, regardless of the product or service they sell), you'll find they all have an effective system to continually get their message out to their clients, prospects, friends and everyone in their local area. They are continually delivering the right message, to the right people, at the right time.
Do you know what that is called? It's called marketing. And, it's the lack of a solid marketing foundation that is the main reason most insurance agents and advisors are not able to consistently earn $100,000 or much more selling insurance (or their financial services).
To put it another way marketing is the only function in your business that brings in clients, produces sales and generates profits. Until you take control and establish a marketing program that generates a consistent flow of sales leads, you are going to struggle to earn a living in insurance sales. If you want to consistently earn a six-figure income, you must start thinking of yourself as a marketer of insurance products, instead of an insurance agent or financial advisor.
Don't fool yourself into believing that it's about your knowledge, credentials, products, company, services or sales skills. All of those things are completely useless if you don't have the marketing skills to get qualified prospects to talk to you.
When you have a consistent marketing system, prospects will contact you instead of you chasing after them. The sad truth for most agents is that their companies, managers, recruiters and sales trainers do not understand the critical part marketing plays in your overall sales success. Consequently, most agents are only taught (or given) one or two marginally effective ways to generate leads. And, eventually when one of those ways, for whatever reason, slows down or stops working, the agent struggles and eventually leaves the business.
It's very sad; While there are many organizations teaching agents everything they ever wanted to know about insurance products, sales presentations and closing techniques, very few, if any, teach them how to get and keep lots of customers.
Marketing is the continual process of staying in contact with your clients, prospects, friends, relatives and everyone in your local area so that they see you as a specialist and a trusted resource, so when the need arises they will think of you and buy from you over and over again. And, they'll refer everyone they know to you.
Establish a consistent marketing campaign. In the very beginning, to get started, most agents need to call on their friends, family, relatives and everyone they know for help. Plus, they may need to purchase leads, use telemarketers, or sign-up with a company that provides leads. However, as most agents have found out, these approaches to lead generation are only a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
If you want to succeed long-term in insurance sales, you must establish your own marketing campaign - right now. You can't afford to wait until you run out of leads. It takes time for marketing to work; it takes time to build your reputation as a specialist and a trusted resource.
Always remember, people buy when they are ready to buy - not when you are ready to sell. So, if you're not continuously in front of these people when they're ready to buy, they're very likely going to buy from your competitor, who is in front of them.
Think about it: There are literally hundreds of financial professionals in your local community that are offering the same insurance products, annuities, investments and services you offer: insurance agents, banks, accountants, attorney's, P&C agencies, the Internet and more. They are constantly contacting your best customers and your best prospects.
If you want to be there when your prospect is ready to buy and shut out your competition, then you must build a strong marketing foundation for your agency. You want to out market your competition. You want to have multiple marketing campaigns working for you, so you are consistently in front of your best prospects. Marketing is not a one-time event; it's a continual process.
You'll need to establish systems including, but not limited to: referral system, direct mail system, advertising system, news release system, seminar system, joint venture system, center of influence system, contact system, free report system, newsletter system.
Believe it or not, the effective use of just a few of these marketing systems will consistently get you more prospects than you can handle. Imagine having a flood of qualified prospects calling you each week, almost begging to do business with you. This would be a great dilemma to be in, wouldn't it?
Now, it's up to you. You have two options if you want to stop depending on other people for your overall success. You can spend a lot of time and money to learn everything you can about how to effectively use the above marketing systems from marketing gurus like Jay Abraham, Al Ries, Jack Trout, Dan Kennedy and Dr. Michel Fortin. Then, by trial and error, you can adapt and determine which of these systems will work the best for you and your situation.
Or, you can learn from someone who has been using these marketing techniques successfully for over two decades. Someone, who has already adapted these techniques to the insurance industry. Someone who will provide you with all the sales letters, invitations, ads, free reports, strategies, tools and training you'll need to successfully implement these marketing techniques for your unique situation.