In college, Edward Seidl studied economics and finance. His first job was at a consumer finance company that loaned money at high interest rates. After six months Seidl began looking for a different career track. He never expected to be in the insurance industry for 32 years, but since the age of 23 he has worked as an underwriter, a claims adjuster, and a commercial and specialty underwriter. Seidl has worked for Farmers Insurance, CNA Insurance, AON insurance, Axis Insurance and after 28 years of various roles in insurance, he decided to utilize his knowledge and expertise and opened his own insurance agency with Farm Bureau.
“I’ve been an agent since 2017,” he explains. “I began using Internet leads four months into my agency career. I initially started reaching out to my natural market but realized that I needed to extend beyond friends and family. Internet leads are a great alternative, since I meet potential clients that I wouldn’t reach otherwise. The Internet leads are typically people who are not completely satisfied with their current insurance, so I connect with them and try to find out what their current problems are and address them.”
Seidl has a CRM process in place, which he uses to filter leads to get the target market he wants. His staff then contacts the leads and provides them with quotes. Seidl then works with the clients that respond to the quotes and he finds that he can often provide the clients better coverage at a lower price. But he’s no longer jumping to be the first one to call the lead.
“Originally I tried to be the first caller when the lead hit my desk,” he says. “I don’t do that anymore because it’s not necessarily the first caller who has the best product and price. For example, we are competitive on newer homes, so I place filters to get leads for newer housing. Also, I try to write full accounts which include house, cars, and financial products. It’s more likely the customer will stay with me, if there are more products in the account.”
Seidl buys at least 20 leads a week and he reports that his team is successful in closing about 10% of the leads that he buys. He finds that each vendor has its advantages and disadvantages, often it is a balance of volume versus quality. “SmartFinancial has better quality leads than my other vendors,” Seidl says.
Seidl’s view is that it is not about how many policies he writes, but about how many clients he is able to keep. Seidl says, “If you’re in it for the long haul, you want quality clients that have property and financial needs to protect. My goal is to add value for my clients so they will stay with me.”
5 Golden Tips from Edward Seidl
1. Know where you are the most competitive and use the right filters on leads to spend your money wisely.
2. It’s good to buy different kinds of leads. An agent has to match the leads they’re buying with the underwriting company they represent
3. It’s difficult to sell from the initial call. In a normal non-Covid environment you’re trying to sell an appointment, not the product. These days, you’re trying to get the product in front of the client. Sell a zoom or telephone appointment.
4. If you’re selling on price, know that these clients will shop for price again.
5. Get the prospective client to understand what they are buying. Buying the wrong coverage can result in a financial loss, so help them understand what the coverage means and you’re likely to retain them as a client.