Ryan Rice was a Peanut and Cotton Scout during the summers while he was studying finance at Valdosta State University. He’d inspect the fields and tell the farmers if they needed to spray for insects and if anything seemed amiss. After college, he worked for the state of Georgia Department of Corrections for two years, first as an accountant and then as an assistant state supervisor. He mainly worked with prisoners about to be set free or those in transition.
A year later, he became an insurance agent.
“My father-in-law was a State Farm agent and had to work for the company for three years and to become an agent and eventually open an agency. I interviewed with Allstate, and they didn’t require me to work for the company prior to selling insurance. I went right out on my own.”
Rice opened the doors of his agency in 2000, selling property and casualty as well as life insurance in Georgia and Alabama. After he received the requisite Allstate training and talking with more seasoned agents, he sought out insurance leads. SmartFinancial was an approved Allstate vendor, so he started buying calls and data leads.
“We did live transfers, but we were not having the success everyone else was having with those,” Rice says. “We find the data leads to be much more effective than the calls.”
Focusing strictly on internet leads now, Rice buys his two-person staff 20 to 30 leads a day, and they are writing quite a lot of business. The agency’s process is to jump on the phone as soon as the leads come in and then follow up persistently for the first seven days. After that, the lead gets placed in rotation to stay in touch.
“I’ve had one of my agents sell after the 31st touch,” Rice says. “You just have to keep calling to write the policy.”
As for filters, Rice is looking for volume so he avoids adding on too many filters, except for continuous insurance coverage and for the lead to be a homeowner. During dry spells, he’ll take people who have no insurance at all.
Rice’s agency has a cost per acquisition of $58 as a result of being thorough with following up. In May 2023, they wrote 21 policies. When asked how he has such success with data leads, he says, “We just stay after them with phone calls, emails and texts.
3 Golden Insurance Sales Tips From Ryan Rice of Allstate
- Stay after the leads you buy. I tell my staff that persistence is the biggest thing. Until the lead says no, it’s a live lead. Sometimes, we sell a policy four or five weeks after we get the lead. And it’s simply from following up with them.
- I’ve been selling insurance for 23 years, and all I do is just go after it. It can be discouraging and frustrating at times, but you have to keep swinging the bat.
- Success comes in cycles. Be prepared for grumbling. The good old days of home policies costing $200 to $300 a year are gone. Now anything below $1000 is like wow! Policies are more expensive but that’s just the way it is.