“How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” -Annie Dillard
This is true in our personal lives, and it extends into our professional lives as well. As an insurance agent, investing in and defining daily schedules for ourselves and our producers is one of the most important things we can do. Our processes, and our consistency in carrying them out, are some of the biggest indicators of whether or not we will be successful in growing and scaling our agencies.
This is not just EverQuote’s take on the subject. We’ve worked with thousands of successful insurance agents, almost all of whom have shared with us that consistency in an insurance agent’s daily schedule is something that must be in place before an agency could grow. What we’ve seen time and time again is this: top agents and their teams do certain things every single day that make them the best at what they do. (Tweet this!) They might employ different approaches or strategies, but still they have one thing in common: They all have a tested process and they stick to it.
Curious about what you should keep in mind and/or take action on every day? Read on!
An Insurance Agent’s Day-in-the-life: A Recommended Daily Activity Schedule For Agents & Producers
All agencies, no matter their size or if they have sales-specific producers or hybrid producers (who handle both sales and servicing customers), should base their daily activity schedules around generating sales opportunities. Start with leads you have the highest chance of closing .
- First, call any leads that came in overnight. When your producers arrive in the morning, they should make any leads that came in overnight top priority. These leads have the highest chance of closing, so they need your attention immediately. Hopefully, you will be the first to speak with them.
- Next, call leads as they come in. This is where sales-specific producers have an advantage: They can immediately capitalize on the benefits of speed-to-dial and call interested leads back quickly, increasing their chances of contact.
- Finally, handle any scheduled follow-up calls or emails as you continue to call leads that arrive throughout the day. That includes any leads you may have gotten recently, as well as calls from active customers, and callbacks—any lead that has real interest in your product.
- After taking care of your high-priority leads, call back any older leads that are still in the midst of your sales cycle (but that are not new arrivals).
- Then, call leads where you have confirmed the contact information but have not been able to reach the prospect.
- Finally, call your lowest-priority leads—those where a follow-up has been X-dated 30, 60, or 90 days out. Or reach out to older leads, where you’ve already completed the sales prospecting cycle but were not able to close them. For example, these could be leads generated from a mailer sent out months before, that you were initially not able to bind. Be conscious that if you’re going after older leads originally sourced from a lead vendor, the vendor may explicitly prohibit contacting their leads after a specific time period has passed (often 90+ days).
- Don’t forget to work your existing book of business–generating additional business from your existing book via follow-up (even automated text or email follow-ups) is a crucial part of any successful agent’s strategy. Your book is full of opportunities for upselling, cross-selling and generating referrals. Tracking dates of your customers’ important life events in your CRM can help you strategize the best time to follow-up with these customers.
Why This Daily Activity Schedule Works
As an insurance agent, this daily schedule prioritizes getting in touch with your warmest leads first. For agents who use EverQuote leads, doing so means they have the very best chance of putting themselves in front of potential customers who are actually looking for insurance products.
Everything moves in order of priority from there, so you’re continually focusing on your next-best opportunities to bind customers. Older leads, X-dated leads, and customers who need to be renewed get lower priority, but they’re still worked into your process so no one is forgotten.
17 Tips From Agents On How To Build A Successful Agency Every Day
- Force yourself to do prospecting work every day. Doing the hard work of making calls is a required part of an insurance agent’s or producer’s daily activity schedule.
- Have a CRM system in place and use it. Don’t be that agent who has a CRM but doesn’t actively use it. Your CRM is a lifeline to ensure you and your team follow up with every lead. Learn how it works and get in the habit of using it regularly.
- Review your systems to make sure they’re allowing you to focus on growth. Successful agents have strong systems in place, including a team with a support person, a producer for property and casualty agencies, and a focus on selling commercial/business/life policies. Your agency is only as successful as the systems you have created to sustain the kind of growth you are targeting.
- Learn what objections you (or your producers) are facing and figure out how to overcome them. One of EverQuote’s partner agents just called to tell us he has closed 100 raw, new auto leads (a little less than three weeks into the month) using only EverQuote leads or referrals from EverQuote leads. Why did that tactic work so well? Because he could overcome objections in the welcoming, the beginning, and the close.For example, when someone says, “I can’t talk right now,” you may respond with: “I’d be happy to schedule a time to talk with you later, but if I could save you over $500 a year on your auto insurance, isn’t that worth two minutes of your time?” If the answer is yes, the script goes right into, “Great, how many miles on average do you put on your [insert car] a year?” and so on.
What do you say when an insurance lead objects to your sales call? Instead of panicking, try the four sample scripts outlined in this guide.
- Follow up, follow up, follow up. Don’t let a day pass where you’re not in contact with a lead or have no plan to contact them. According to Marketing Donut, “different studies carried out at different times, in different places, by different market research companies over a number of years all reveal that 80% of non-routine sales occur only after at least five follow-ups.”
- Have a long-term mindset. Set a plan and stay committed to it, even as you complete your daily tasks, and stick to specific daily goals. For example, you might have a daily goal of making 30 calls per day or a process that includes sending a handwritten note to every lead along with their initial quote. It's crucial that your producers follow these procedures, so that over time you can assess their effectiveness in supporting your long-term goals.
- If you’re calling a lead, start every conversation by addressing the form they filled out. Always refer to the fact that the consumer took action first, like "Hi, this is [Name] from [Carrier Name]! I received the form you filled out for your [automobile make and model/home address/etc.]. I have your rate right here, and have just a couple questions to verify the information you provided. Sound good?” This tactic dramatically changes the conversation and removes the opportunity for consumers to say, "I didn't want a quote."
- Work to develop an effective drip campaign and referral-building process. Successful agents know that just because a lead doesn't bind today doesn't mean it won't tomorrow, next week, or in six months. Develop great relationships, and your book will grow exponentially.
- Inspire your staff. Every one-on-one conversation, team meeting, training experience, and even non-verbal communication (signs on walls, emails, etc.) are a chance to promote positive culture, review goals, and give credit for a job well done.
- Realize that not every lead will close immediately. The best agents reach out to everyone but are able to forecast which consumers they can close quickly vs. those who will need more time to make a decision. While some consumers will immediately purchase policies, the most successful agents tend to use EverQuote leads as a pipeline for the upcoming three to six months. Close the deals you can now, and "market" to the consumers you have in mind for the future, basically building out your pipeline with interested prospects.
- Track your dispositional data and percentages. Successful agents track at least the following KPIs: contacted/not contacted, quoted, sold/not sold. Tracking these helps you identify trends and make informed decisions about which marketing strategies are working well.
- Track your quote and bind rates. Successful agents also track the overall quote and bind rates for their agency on a monthly basis—and pay attention to these numbers every day. Knowing your productivity stats matters in this industry, because generally more activity means more quotes, and more quotes means more bound policies.
- Make a lot of calls—and quote on value, not price. One agency we work with (a one-producer, one-agent team) makes 100+ calls each day. When they speak with leads, they don’t focus on price—they focus on what their agency can offer in terms of savings, security, protection, etc.
- Hold your licensed sales producers (LSPs) accountable for consistently touching their leads. Don’t let a single day go by where you don’t check in with your producers to see how successful they were in hitting their goal numbers (in terms of daily/weekly/monthly KPIs).
- Monitor your cost per acquisition (CPA) constantly. What's one key metric many agents aren't tracking, but should be? The answer would probably be CPA, or how much it costs (on average) to acquire a customer. If your CPA is too high, it can cut directly into profits. If you aren't even tracking it, you’d have no idea if this is occurring at your agency.
- If you continually have trouble contacting a lead, try calling back throughout the week but at opposite times of the day. If a call comes in on a Tuesday morning, call back on Wednesday afternoon. For the rest of your call cadences, flip-flop when you call (in the morning or afternoon)—so you’re not reaching out at the same time every day.
- For hybrid producers, block off times specifically for calling and emailing. You can take a break from this structure if a lead comes across your desk, but blocking out this time helps you break up the day so you can focus your efforts and maximize your productivity.
How To Implement These Best Practices In Your Daily Schedule
You have 24 hours in a day, and if you’re a healthy person, you’re not going to be in the office for all of them! So implementing these daily must-dos may seem overwhelming at first. But the good news is that one of the hardest parts—figuring out what needs to be done—is taken care of! Now that you have this list, all you have to do is break it down and see how you can implement at least one new practice each week.
Some strategies to consider:
- Can you set an alert on your phone or Google Calendar to remind yourself to do a task at the same time every day until it becomes routine?
- Can your producers automate some tasks, so you only have to check in once a week?
- Can you take the necessary time to modify existing processes or scripts your team uses to fit these best practices—once and for all?
While it may take a little work to get started with these daily tasks, once you’ve done them a few times they will become a habit. After about a month or two, take a look at your KPIs and compare the results of your current process with what you were doing 30–60 days ago. If you’ve done it right, you should see an uptick in both productivity and growth (potentially leading to more quotes and more binds).
Ready to fill up your pipeline? Let’s talk.
Once you’ve established a daily schedule for agents and producers, you may be wondering how to supplement your leads when things are slower.
Why not try EverQuote?
We are an online insurance marketplace and lead generation service that connects agents like you to consumers shopping for auto, home, and life insurance. The service includes advanced targeting and dedicated customer support, among other user benefits.
“EverQuote has provided me with the best quality leads. Unlike any other vendor we have worked with, we’ve been able to quote the majority of the leads we have purchased from EverQuote. EverQuote has enabled us to connect with consumers who are truly intentful.”
—Amber R., an agent in West Virginia and one of many agents who recommend EverQuote.
With EverQuote, you have complete control over your leads. And you can even pause your account at any time with no consequences. Click here to schedule a tour of EverQuote’s tools with one of our experts.