Success Story: Austin Bruce of State Farm

Fran Majidi June 12, 2023
Austin Bruce of State Farm

In 2011, Austin Bruce graduated from high school and went on to live in Honduras for two years as a service missionary for his church. In 2019, he got his associates degree in finance and business and eventually got a bachelor's degree in finance.

When Bruce became a State Farm team member in Idaho, he started out as a producer for an agency owner. As an agent aspirant, he worked for that agent for two years before being considered for an agency of his own. After being accepted, he was given a book of business from State Farm to manage after an older agent passed away

To be given an agency, Bruce had to move to Columbia, South Carolina from Idaho. Luckily, he and his wife loved the area because of its proximity to the beach, the mountains and professional sports.

“It’s a bigger city than we were living in in Idaho but it feels small,” Bruce says. “The cost of living is low but the cost of insurance is high, so it’s that perfect storm of everything we were looking for.”

Aiming to be a very efficient and hardworking agency, Bruce runs his office very similarly to the way his mentor ran his, and it’s been paying off. “I did not reinvent the wheel,” he explains. “I only made adjustments because I’m in a different state with different rules, but it’s pretty much the same process. We just hit the Chairman’s Circle, too: Out of 19,000, we were in the top 400. As a member, I gave presentations to other agents about what we were doing differently.”

Much like the way he started, Bruce’s team members are also agent aspirants.There are two sales people, one part-time customer service manager and one intern in charge of cold calls. They are highly driven to be agents themselves so they perform at a high rate to meet State Farm’s rigorous goal-system targets each month.

“It’s all about actions,” Bruce simplifies. “If we make 50 outbound phone calls a day, that’s at least 10 quotes a day. If we hit that, we hit our goals. Plus, we keep track of our calls. During my first two years, I analyzed all my calls to figure out what worked. I encourage my producers to do the same.”

In fact, Bruce sets daily quarterly and monthly goals for the team. When the producers hit those goals, they always see success. He also buys leads based on those goals.

“I buy about four live calls from SmartFinancial a day. I also buy 12 data leads, but I want to buy more calls,” he explains. “I have analyzed why warm transfers end up being more profitable. Our main driver of sales are quotes so the sooner I can get the quotes, the higher chances are that we sell. With cold leads, you don’t even know if you’ll ever get a hold of them.”

Bruce’s agency has a close ratio that falls anywhere between 35-45% overall. When an auto leads comes in, that lead often turns into two or three sales across all insurance verticals. That’s how the agency gets the higher numbers.

“We pivot all the time to cross-sell,” explains Bruce, “It makes losing a couple of leads worth it by selling more per lead.” The agency currently sells auto, home. business health and life insurance and plans to offer financial services in the future too.

Other goals Bruce has for the next five to 10 years include building a production team to cut his hours in half so he can spend more time with his family. He’s confident that if he keeps hitting his goals and retaining the right people at his agency, he can achieve his dreams.

I buy about four live calls from SmartFinancial a day. I also buy 12 data leads, but I want to buy more calls because they are more profitable.

6 Golden tips From Austin Bruce of State Farm

  1. Your team is the #1 thing, because with a good team you will be successful.
  2. Copy paste yourself because you can’t do everything. Find great sales and customer service people, and your agency will grow naturally.
  3. Keep your team accountable with goals that help them stretch their potential.
  4. Work leads as soon as you get them and be quick with the quote by giving it within five to 10 minutes into the call.
  5. Make a connection within the first couple of minutes. Keep calling them if they don’t buy right away until they buy or say no. Be persistent but courteous.
  6. Find joy in working. Hire people you want to be around. Maintain a good environment people want to be in.