In his article Power of Consistency: 5 Rules, Eric Holtzclaw identifies five ways in which a lack of consistency causes companies and individuals to fall short of reaching their goals. Says Holtzclaw, “In my experience, consistency is a must as you build and grow your business.” We couldn’t agree more when it comes to what top insurance agents do daily.
Having worked with thousands of successful insurance agents, we’ve found that consistency is a hallmark of their practices. These growth-minded, winning agents do certain things every single day that help make them the best at what they do. (Tweet this!) They might have different approaches or strategies they employ, 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!
- Force yourself to do prospecting work every day. Calling prospects and doing the hard work of making calls day to day is a must-do in an insurance agent’s or producer’s daily activity schedule.
- Have a CRM system in place and use it. Don’t be an agent who has a CRM but doesn’t make it an active part of their business. Your CRM is a lifeline to help you and your team make sure you follow up with every lead, so 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 sell—they run agencies with 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 system 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.
Here’s a response to the common objection “I can’t talk right now.” For example: “I’d be happy to schedule a time to talk with you later but can you tell me, if I could save you over $500 a year on your auto insurance, is 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.”
- Work for the long term in your everyday tasks. Set a plan and stay committed to it in your daily tasks, and stick to specific daily goals for staff. For example, you may have a daily goal for your insurance producer to make 30 calls per day. Or, say your process includes sending a handwritten note to every lead along with their initial quote. It's crucial your producers follow this procedure, so, over time you can assess its effectiveness in supporting your long term goals.
- If you’re calling a lead, start every conversation by addressing the form they filled out. Say something simple that refers 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 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 they 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 who comes through is going to close immediately. The best agents reach out to everyone, but they can forecast consumers whom 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 who 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 or are not working.
- 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 successful 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. If you asked "what's one key metric many agents aren't tracking, but should be?" it 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. But if you aren't tracking your CPA you'd have no idea.
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 the task at the same time everyday until it becomes routine??
- Can your producers automate some of them into their schedules, so you only have to check in on them 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, you should take a look at your KPIs and compare the results of your current process with what you were doing 30–60 days ago. If done right you should be able to see an uptick in both productivity and growth (potentially including more quotes and more binds).