William Mobley studied business with a concentration in marketing and a minor in digital arts at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. He was working as a branch manager for Sherwin Williams on the automotive side when he was approached by a State Farm recruiter on LinkedIn.
“I thought it might be a scam,” Mobley remembers, laughing. “The recruiter explained how I could become an agent and open my own business. It sounded like a very lucrative opportunity.” He was interested, so he took a few assessment tests to see if he was fit for the job. After he was accepted, he first learned all about State Farm and then interviewed with a business plan in hand, explaining why he was the best choice for opening a new agency.
Mobley had plenty of experience running and building a team from working at Sherwin Williams. He knew how to create a great culture so people wanted to work with him. This all came through in his interview, after which he was paired with a mentor.
Usually, new State Farm agents work with a seasoned agent for 18 months before being considered for an agency. However, Mobley got lucky. Even though he had no experience working with another agency, he was able to skip the standard process and open an agency right away.
“I was ready to work with another agent and humble myself and do what I needed to do, but God had other plans,” he says. “The recruiters really liked me and wanted me to go through the program in Atlanta so I moved. My girlfriend became a director at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, too, and we got married a year later.”
For Mobley, who had never even stepped foot in an insurance agent’s office, there was a learning curve on day one. He had to learn systems and how to train his three-person team, but he never lost faith in the process. His team sold 14 policies that first month and they have grown steadily ever since.
“I had a book of business from State Farm, but I was new to Georgia, so a month in I started buying leads,” Mobley explains. “My cousin is a Farmers agent in Nashville. He’d mentioned SmartFinancial to me, so when someone reached out from SmartFinancial, I listened and began testing the waters.”
Mobley began buying live-transfer calls, three a day to be exact. And he kept at it. He also started buying data leads after seeing results. With calls, he has a solid 17% close and with shared data leads he’s at 7%.
“We expect to break even with these leads while banking on residuals,” he explains.
The agency has a system in place for handling the insurance calls and leads properly. When they answer phones, they start a dialogue while confirming information in a conversational way. “I always keep asking them general questions to discover questions I have, like, ‘What got you looking to change insurers outside of price?’ ‘Do you rent or own your home?’ These questions help me see if there are opportunities outside of auto insurance. I can also offer all the discounts that apply.”
Mobley also has an automated follow-up system that prompts texts, calls and emails. There are several touch points until a lead is x-dated for a follow-up come renewal. The warm transfer calls are treated differently because a conversation has already been had. However, if the lead is not moving forward the day of the call, a few more contacts are made before ceasing contact until renewal.
“If they don’t answer the phone, text or email, I usually stop for a week. I don’t want to be too aggressive but I want to be accessible to the customer,” he explains.
If the growth at Mobley’s agency continues, he hopes to expand beyond property and casualty to focus also on life and health insurance. “We want to be great at what we are doing now and build from there, step by step,” he says.
4 Golden Insurance Sales Tips from William Mobley
- Money can’t buy good team members. Create a great culture and team otherwise people come and go. It’s important to retain a team that trusts and believes in your goals.
- Know your products and be aware of changes. Communicate with customers before they start being inquisitive. You should know more than they do.
- Have a great process in place for the team to follow. I have some of it down on paper from the business plan I had to write, even though it changed once I actually started. If you’re working with another agent, you’ll probably want to do what they do.
- Make sure your team is adequately trained.