What is your insurance agency business plan? Do you have one? Of course you do, but do you know how to execute it? Most agency owners have a plan, but does that include the execution stage? The part where you have assigned tasks for your employees to complete to help retain and grow your business?
Imagine you have a front door and a back door. The goal is that the front door stays wide open, but the back door stays shut. Closed tight.
Many agents focus on keeping the front door open and forget that the back door is open too. Sometimes they are losing more business than what is coming in, so your growth plan must include BOTH!
So when you hear the word GROWTH and Insurance Agency Business Plan you should be thinking of both. Service is ALWAYS easier than sales, and if you don’t force the sales, no one will ever step out of their comfort zone to sell. How do we get there? A lot of questions should be rolling around in your head. Here is how!
Outbound Call Guidelines
Outbound calls are an important aspect of agency growth. But to do outbound calls, they have to be planned. Talk to your team about strategies for outbound calling. What time of day is best?
Adjust it to where it works best for each team member. Block times according to availability. Have someone take an hour in the morning while the other answers service calls and the other in the afternoon, and switch it the next day, so a different person is calling in the morning.
Make it a requirement, not an option. It doesn’t always just have to be the salespeople, either. There was an agency that had their service team do this as well, and when they got a lead, they just passed it to the sales team (but you should give them an incentive for a lead passed or sold, as they got them on the phone and passed the call.)
Leave an open day for a catch-up, and allow them to use the day they prefer, BUT the team has to agree as the schedule is team-based.
“You will never find time for anything. You must make it.” –Charles Buxton
Time Blocking Example: Note Mondays and Fridays may need to be off days!!
|8-9||Prepare for Day||Prepare for Day||Prepare for Day||Prepare for Day||Prepare for Day|
|9-10||Employee A Outbound Calls||Employee B Outbound Calls||Employee A Outbound Calls||Employee B Outbound Calls||Makeup Day/Get caught up|
|10-11||Employee C Outbound Calls||Employee D Outbound Calls||Employee C Outbound Calls||Employee D Outbound Calls||Makeup Day/Get caught up|
|11-12||Policy Review Calls Employee A||Policy Review Calls Employee B||Policy Review Calls Employee C||Policy Review Calls Employee D||Makeup Day/Get caught up|
|12-1||Makeup Day/Get caught up|
|1-2||Employee B Outbound Calls||Employee A Outbound Calls||Employee B Outbound Calls||Employee A Outbound Calls||Makeup Day/Get caught up|
|2-3||Employee D Outbound Calls||Employee C Outbound Calls||Employee D Outbound Calls||Employee C Outbound Calls||Makeup Day/Get caught up|
|3-4||Employee A Outbound Calls||Employee B Outbound Calls||Employee A Outbound Calls||Employee B Outbound Calls||Makeup Day/Get caught up|
|4-5||Close down complete tasks, review tomorrow||Close down complete tasks, review tomorrow||Close down complete tasks, review tomorrow||Close down complete tasks, review tomorrow||Close down complete tasks, review next week|
YOUR BIGGEST ASSET is your CUSTOMERS. So WHY are we cold calling or paying for leads?????
Use the book you have to grow, these calls are warm calls to people you already have a relationship with. Use it. Call and build MORE rapport and get all of their business, not just some of it!
First, run lists for Cross Sales. There are an extensive amount of cross-sales you can do from your current book of business. THIS IS WHERE YOU START!
- Auto no Home
- Home no Auto
- Home and Auto no Umbrella
- Commercial policy with no personal lines policies
With these, you may have plenty of outbound calls for staff. Use time blocking to do these outbound calls, ask staff to keep track and report the number of calls they are doing per week (don’t do it per day, some days they may not do any), but in a week, they should be able to do quite a few.
Make a certain number of outbound calls required per week. Let’s say you decide 5 a day is fair. Making 25 calls a week is required.
Require staff to set dates for ALL quotes they do not sell. Set this for 5 months (for 6-month auto) and 11 months for 1-year auto or home policies) from the date, it was originally quoted.
Call the customer to see if they are still happy with the current carrier/agent/agency. Let them know you know the renewal may be coming up. They need to know you care about them and their policy and that you did not forget about them.
This is WOW Customer service and a perfect way to win over new clients.
Script: Agent: Hello Jane, this is XXX from XYZ Agency. We currently have your auto policy here at the agency, and I reviewed it for discounts. Do you rent or own your home?
- Answer A: Own, that is great; where is the home insurance? I just wanted to make you aware you can save $XXX a year by having your auto and home together with our agency. It will also give you peace of mind that all your insurance is in one place. I would love to quote it, and any other policy needs you to have to see if we can find more discounts and save you money. I would like to ask you a couple of questions. (Ask only the necessary, use websites like Zillow for house info.)
- Answer B: Rent, that’s great. Where is your renter’s insurance? I just wanted you to know that we can save you money by having those together. It will also give you peace of mind that you can call one place for questions and concerns. We have a great customer service team that is always here to help!
Sometimes clients leave. It happens, but are they expecting you to call them and invite them back? Probably not, so why not start now?
Run a list of those policies that were canceled in the last year. Use that list to call customers 5 months or 9 months after they leave (depending on the policy.)
Script: Agent: Hello Jane, this is XXXX from XYZ Agency. We used to have your insurance, I wanted to call and make sure you are satisfied with your new agent. I hope they are taking great care of you! We have changed some of our processes, and we wanted to follow up and update you with those changes and see if we can requote your insurance and “win you back”! We would love to redeem ourselves and show you our Wow customer service.
- Answer A: If NO, I understand now is not a good time. Can I set up a time that would work better for you?
- Answer B: Sure, Great I will just take a few minutes of your time, ask questions, thank the client, and give an expectation of when you will reach back out with a quote, even better set up an appointment
“Life is Growth and Growth Demands Change” -Virend Singh/Verusha Singh
Are leads worth the money? It depends. Are you starting in the right place? Once cross-sells, xdates, and winbacks are handled, and you have someone in your office doing outbound calls on those, then you can purchase leads.
Keep track of the leads! A lot of lead companies send leads to more than one agency. There is a strategy to those leads. You MUST call the lead immediately to even have a chance to bind.
Even if it is to call and introduce yourself, you have to build trust and rapport.
Script: Hello, my name is XXX from XYZ agency. I see that you are interested in XXX insurance. Let me ask you a couple of questions, it will take about 5 minutes. OR TEXT them. This is a new strategy and one that WORKS! Text Script: Hi, I am XXX from XYZ Agency. I see you are looking for XXX insurance. I am texting so I can get the information I need from you at YOUR convenience. Can I call you now?
- Answer A: If NO, say great, when would be a good time, you may need to call after hours, but if it gets the sale you need to make sure you mention that you are doing a one-time thing calling after hours because you want to take care of the client, but in the future, there will be self-service options they can use. (Determine whether your staff will do this. Usually, the producer will
- Answer B: Sure, Great I will just take a few minutes of your time, ask questions, thank the client and give an expectation of when you will reach back out with a quote. Even better, set up an appointment
How does retention work in your Insurance Agency Business Plan? If you do not have a team member or a team focused on retention alone, you are missing out. Your clients need to know your agency cares and that they aren’t just a number. Do birthday calls, claims follow-up calls, and, most importantly, policy review calls.
Birthday Call Script: Hello, this is XXX from XYZ Agency. I was calling you today to say “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”, We hope you are having a wonderful day!
Claims call script: Hello, this is XXX from XYZ Agency. I was calling you today to, first and foremost, make sure you are ok. I see in the system that you had an accident yesterday. Is everyone ok? LISTEN! I was just calling to check-in. Has the insurance company reached out to you yet? If they have not, they will be soon. If you don’t hear from them by 3 pm give me a call back at XXX-XXX-XXXX.
You can find way more ideas, retention, and content in our agency school.
Yearly Retention Review Calls
Retention calls are a bit more difficult. You must review the policy BEFORE calling. APP has a checklist you can use to review those policies and have everything ready before you call. A courtesy call is always a popular item for clients.
How many insurance companies actually call? I know that sparks fear in many agents, but we have had huge success with agencies making these calls. A once-a-year call from your agent may put them at ease and make them want to stay because no one else is doing it.
You don’t always have to call at the renewal if you are worried about them shopping. You can do it 90 days before. You are not trying to discuss price as much as trying to look for discounts and accuracy. Since the pandemic, many things have changed, and we need to ensure our clients’ insurance keeps up with their lifestyles.
Your insurance agency business plan needs to have many aspects to promote growth in your agency. It isn’t all just about those purchased leads and your producers, it encompasses ALL of your staff.
They all play a very big role in your insurance agency business plan designed for growth, but it isn’t only growing from new sales but it also grows by retaining as many policies as possible. Remember to keep the back door closed and the front door open.
Have staff that specializes in the front door (new sales) and have other staff members focused on keeping the back door shut (retention.) Work on making processes and procedures to accomplish your goal have processes everyone follows so your agency does everything the same way. I
It will make the agency look more professional even to clients. Be on the lookout, APP will have 10 processes agencies can’t live without, these will help get you started on your way to a ridiculously amazing agency!
Find our course on Retention here. Retention is a very important aspect of the insurance agency’s business plan and growth. Don’t leave it out!