Jason Duree is the son of a lifelong health and life insurance agent who now works for him selling group health insurance policies to businesses. It was a Farmers ad that sold Jason on the opportunity to make a lot of money in 2012. After a phone call, he was granted an interview three hours away from home, but he took advantage and drove down even though he had zero sales experience on his resume. After 12 hours of grueling interviews, Jason was 1 of 7 people chosen out of the 765 candidates who wanted to become agents. He was thrilled with the position, but it wasn’t easy starting out.
“Everyone had cell phones I realized,” he said. “I couldn’t make cold calls.” But nothing would stop Duree from reaching the top. Instead of giving up, he hit the summer streets in a t-shirt and shorts and began knocking on doors, giving free auto and home insurance quotes. “People thought I was crazy,” he says. “They wanted to know why I was giving car insurance quotes this way.” But it all worked out, and Duree got his first few clients, without any cold calls, just some good old-fashioned sales. He then broke records at Farmers for selling auto, home, and renters insurance. He even went on to get more certificates and sold health and life insurance, even though it’s unusual for an agent to sell all lines of insurance.
Currently, Duree only markets his commercial insurance but continues to sell all lines. It was at a Farmers Insurance convention that he met some team members from SmartFinancial (then Contactability). Duree learned that he could get leads and live transfer calls for business insurance from the insurance technology company. Duree and SmartFinancial have been partners ever since.
After Duree began working with SmartFinancial in July 2018, he’s been doing so well that he’s sticking with commercial lines. “I love the live transfers,” he says. “They are more expensive but they are worth it.” He’s sold 32 policies from live-transfer lead calls in eight months. “That’s ⅓ of my total production, and in half the time!” he explains. He’s happy, having just closed a deal on a church with an adjoining school and nursery. Why wouldn’t he be happy with a $90,000 policy and a $9,000 commission? Oh, and wait for it, there are 12 more deals in the pipeline. “They just close on their own time,” he explains. So he grins and waits.
When asked what the secret to his success is, Duree says he just looks at the numbers closely. He used to have other producers working for him, but he quickly learned that they weren’t making him much money. “I scaled down and decided to go it alone. No one’s working as hard as you are when you run an agency,” he says, explaining that he’s selling more than ever with SmartFinancial’s help and only one part-time assistant (not counting his dad).
Tips About Selling Commercial Insurance from Jason Duree of the Duree Agency
- Don't hire someone to use SmartFinancial to get leads for you. No one will be as good, successful, or care as much about the success rate as you. Doing it yourself will drastically improve your ROI.
- When selling commercial insurance and dealing with business owners, explain to them that you are part of "their" team. Your job is to be the insurance expert and keep them out of trouble and stay in business while making money. Anyone can buy insurance online. It has been branded as a commodity. Those policies are quick to fail, and when they do, the business is likely to feel the hurt.
- When talking to the customer, explain the policies to them the way you yourself interpret information. You will be able to best communicate to them the coverage highlights because you are speaking as a "real" person, not like a lawyer talking over their heads. Get on the same level as them and they will appreciate it.
- Put yourself in their shoes. If you were the business owner, what would be important to you in that business? What are the key features of that business? Focus on the key coverage of that specific business type because everything else is just fluff, and the customer knows it.
- Schedule 2 hours, twice a week, for commercial marketing. Call your commercial leads, and learn when they renew. Then, create yourself a monthly file of businesses that renew in each month (x-dates). Call them 2 months ahead of time to start the quoting business.
Contact Jason Duree: 636.294.7258