Growth is a crucial aspect for any business, including insurance agencies. Stay small and risk getting swamped by larger competition who can use economies of scale to their advantage. You don’t have to be the biggest fish in your pond, but it pays not to be the tiniest minnow, either.
If your little operation is ready for a growth spurt, try these five ways of growing your insurance agency to ensure your survival and increase your profitability.
1. Reevaluate your goals and adjust them accordingly.
Developing new goals each year is important to keep your business moving forward and if your aim is to grow, you should have goals specific to that. You can set goals to bring on new customers, hire more staff, open a new branch or increase your revenue by a certain percentage; anything that involves your operation getting bigger.
And they don’t only need to be annual goals, either. You can go even shorter and have per-quarter goals to reach. While you are going to want to strive to reach a certain sales goal, it is a good idea to focus on what you can really control, including the number of sales calls you make, the number of community events you participate in and the number of emails you send out.
Obviously, as with all goals, you will also need to assess your progress as you work toward them. As your business grows, continue to adjust your goals so you’re always aspiring to new heights.
2. Invest in sales training.
An insurance agent is a salesperson. Therefore, if you haven’t already, you should get your agents some sales training. You may be able to find training opportunities through the industry associations you belong to or by other means. Even if your staff has had this type of training before, sometimes a refresher can be helpful.
One of the ways this type of training can help your staff to sell better is by teaching them how to overcome objections, which can derail a sales conversation quickly. By having replies to common objections ready to go, your agents can keep the conversation running smoothly rather than getting flustered and potentially having it shut down.
The more sales you can make, the more customers you bring on board, the more revenue you generate, the more staff you can hire, etc. It is a worthwhile investment if you want your agency to take a step up.
3. Update and upgrade your marketing.
If you think you’ve tried everything that you can think of in terms of marketing, try holding a brainstorming session with your staff. You never know who is going to have an amazing idea and the ones out there dealing with leads and customers on a day-to-day basis often have first-hand knowledge of what they are interested in.
Or, you could consider bringing in a third party marketing agency who can look at your agency with an outsider’s perspective and make suggestions you may have never considered. This allows you to stay nimble as you grow because you can increase and decrease your services with them if necessary until you reach a point where you can have your own in-house marketing department if you want.
It also pays to perform some market research so you know where your potential customers can be found. Conducting some surveys with your existing clients will show you how they found out about your agency and where they prefer to congregate online so you can point your marketing efforts there.
And don’t forget that along with prospecting for new clients and closing new accounts with your leads, one of the best ways to get a good ROI on your marketing is to take care of your current clients. Look for ways to stay in touch with them and keep them on board as lifetime clients.
4. Hire top talent.
Easier said than done, but hiring top talent today prepares you for growth tomorrow. You can use your small status as a selling point to attract talented people by promising them more leeway than they would get a larger and more rigidly structured business. Agility counts for a lot to people who covet their freedom.
A high performer isn’t just a small boost for your company, they can be up to 400% more productive than average employees, so they are worth their weight in gold. With a great company culture and the right hiring strategy, you can snag your agency one of these top performers.
To do this, your agency needs to be an attractive place to work and have an employee value proposition that promises and delivers a good working environment, tangible rewards, opportunity for advancement and challenging, but rewarding work. Don’t forget that your current and former employees are the best source of information about what it’s like to work at your agency. Sites like Glassdoor are an important source of information for talented people looking for work.
5. Get a comprehensive agency management system.
If you want to take your agency to the next level, perhaps the best way to do that is by employing an agency management system that can help you communicate with all customers and lead and, keep you organized, scalable and ready for growth.
As many as seven out of 10 agencies have moved their operations onto the cloud and many of them are exploring the possibilities of blockchain. If you are tardy in adopting technology, you may find your agency getting left behind. An agency management system can help you move onto the cloud, making you more agile and ready to take advantage of growth opportunities.
Good agency management software will allow you to run multiple offices or agencies, meaning it can grow with your business. Software that provides you with full accounting capabilities means everything is centralized, including producer commissions.
If you are ready to grow your agency and step into the big leagues, Evo Agency Management software gives you the scalability to go from small to medium to as big as you want. No matter how many locations you grow to, Evo can help you get there because it has been tailored to be flexible, easy-to-use, secure, user friendly and customer-oriented. Please visit us and book a demo today.