Most insurance agents came into the business with a few golden rules that the most successful agents, their mentors, followed religiously. The most notable rules are the 5-mile-radius rule for growing a business and the rule of specializing in one area of insurance over others. Bob was a car insurance guy and Ted was the business insurance guy and so on. That’s just the way it was, with people relying on one person and referring them as experts in their specialized vertical of insurance.
Today, the 5-mile-radius rule is stifling and impedes growth if used restrictively. Also, becoming a generalist is more beneficial to insurance agents these days. The main reason you want to sell many lines of insurance is because there is an over saturation of competition out there, driving policy prices and agent commissions down. You simply have to sell more policies to do well. Selling across the board and keeping relationships solid are the two new golden rules.
There is always a way to achieve the effect of cross-selling other verticals of insurance without making the slightest effort to add a new person to your existing book of business. It requires some dedication, lots of discipline and lots of calls. If you follow the steps below, you’ll not only grow your business and commissions but you’ll also strengthen your existing relationships with clients.
1. Get All Insurance Licenses
First, start off by learning what licenses your state recognizes. Next, see which ones you can add to your list. If you sell auto insurance, you have your property and casualty license, which allows you to sell renters, homeowners insurance and business insurance. You may consider getting your accident and health license and even a life insurance license. If you only have life and health, you can easily expand your existing business by selling car and home insurance to people you’ve signed onto a health insurance plan. Just revisit your lists! If you’ve only focused on car insurance, convince your clients that it’s worth their while to get a new home insurance quote or a new renters insurance quote. While you’re at it, find out if they own a business. Business insurance is the most overlooked potential in an existing client. Whatever it is that you need to do to get started, do it now: get all your licenses and cross sell your heart out!
2. Buy Insurance Leads
Back to the old-fashioned 5-mile radius rule. We’re not saying to stay out of your territory. We just want you to exhaust the vicinity you live in and do business beyond. Only begin this step after you’ve exhausted your book of business to upsell and cross sell as many insurance products as possible. Now that you’re armed with all the designations in all areas of insurance and all your clients have been taken care of, you’ll want to step outside of your comfort zone and buy leads, both in your near vicinity and as far out as your license will allow. It used to be that insurance salesmen rented hotel rooms and staked out their catch of the day to plant their seeds in a new territory. Now it’s a digital-based pursuit. You’ll spend less time running around and probably spending less money creating new relationships by buying internet insurance leads. Buying them from a reliable source like SmartFinancial is highly advised. You’ll also want to buy as many different kinds of leads as possible at first. You’ll notice one company will be stronger in some areas of insurance than others. This is true of all lead generation partners. All that means is that you may need to buy leads from more than one source. Also, don’t rule out renters insurance or motorcycle insurance. Often, these people who have these policies also have a car (car insurance) and need health/life insurance too. Some own businesses. Buying commercial insurance leads is also a great option. The commissions on small business insurance packages are more profitable for one thing. Also, if you have success selling business policies, getting those clients to switch over their home and auto will naturally fall into place if you pursue your clients with competitive rates. Now that you have all of your licenses too, why wouldn’t you sell your commercial client a group health policy? Make that person’s life easier and a little more pleasant and they may entrust you with the family members’ health insurance plans and even life insurance. In short, never look at one lead as just one lead. See each as a gateway to protecting your client from every angle. There’s no shame in turning your business model into a 1-stop shop. It’s a wise idea, in fact!
3. Stay Social
Don’t just treat social media as a place to check in with family and friends. We’re sure you’ve seen plenty of businesses getting creative on these pages. There are many ways to use your social media channels to your advantage, without even spending a dime. We’re not suggesting that you shouldn’t advertise either. You’ll get much more for what you pay in advertising on Facebook then you will in print. Plus, you can choose the demographics you’re trying to reach down to their ages. For free, you can establish ties with all of your clients. Get them to connect with you immediately so you can aggressively monitor your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds for news about new births (life insurance, health insurance), wedding announcements (auto insurance rates are lower for married people; a wedding may signal a homeowners insurance policy), new car photos, new homes or additions to homes, an RV purchase, etc. No, you’re not prying into your clients’ lives, you’re staying abreast of changes so you can sell insurance accordingly.
4. Umbrellas, Endorsements and Riders
Add-ons like endorsements for expensive equipment or jewelry add up. Someone may think their engagement ring is covered with a homeowners insurance policy only to find out that its cost exceeds their coverage. It’s your job to explain that they may need a riders, endorsements or floater if they have lots of expensive personal belongings. You will lose revenue and possibly your client’s trust if you’re not on top of each way that you can mitigate risk in a client’s life. That’s why you should also consider selling your clients umbrella insurance, which simply adds extra liability insurance that goes above limits placed on home, auto or watercraft insurance. This extra protection can save a client thousands of dollars if they are ever sued for damages to other people’s property or injuries that may happen from an accident in the home. Some say that every business owner should have an umbrella policy, so hit up your book of business, with a focus on small business owners. Fine tune your elevator pitch for why they need this product more than anyone else (they’ve got more to lose!).
5. Pursuing Life Insurance Leads
Whether you’re buying life insurance leads or are trying to cross-sell life insurance to existing clients, you should know that these types of policies are very slow to close but are highly profitable when they do. All you can do is go over the cost and weigh it against what the product ultimately guarantees it will payout in the event of a death. Understand that for older clients that this is a cost that is not to be taken lightly. They will sit on these figures and think. You should stay by their side and be communicative without being pushy. Give the client the wisdom of knowledge about the product and show them how they may benefit from owning a policy. Help them do the math. If they have young children, explain how a life insurance policy can act as a safety net, a low yield but a very safe trust fund. The more you know about financial advising and retirement, the more successful you’ll be selling life insurance. And using your existing book of business and a reliable lead generation source, you’ll have many leads there ahead of you!