Insurance Sales Tips

Do Insurance Agents Need CRMs?

I do a lot of teaching each year and I often do some unofficial poling in my classes. I have asked recently “How many of you utilize a CRM?” More often than not there are very few hands raised. So my question to you is this; are you using a Client Relationship Manager (CRM) or are you acknowledging that you cannot really manage your sales (crm)?

Do you have a CRM or a crm!?

No matter how good you are at sales, you need a CRM to help you manage your sales process and client relationships. 

Navigating Today's Field Sales Culture - 3 Mobile CRM Must-haves

Field sales in today’s market looks very different then what it did years ago. Gone are the days of quietly strolling through neighborhoods knocking door-to door. Today’s field sales reps must battle multiple obstacles just to make their client visit on time. They are eating in their cars, making conference calls, setting appointments all while dealing with an incessant bombardment of texts and emails. Today’s field sales reps have become the ultimate multi-taskers.

In order to deal with this myriad of tasks, outside sales teams require the help of mobile sales management software to operate as a sort of swiss army knife. Now while a corkscrew or hoof cleaner might not be as necessary to field sales reps today as it was to their Swiss Army counterparts, the tool’s ease of use, robust design and great selection of features to tackle on the job problems (of which there are many for outside sales teams, as we shall now take a look at) make for a strong comparison with modern day mobile CRM.

Is your Insurance Agency (or Company) In A Race…To The Bottom?

We have almost 6,000 insurance carriers in the US. Over 2,500 are in the P&C market.

We also have over 35,000 agencies in statistics from two years ago. But to National Financial Partners Property & Casualty Insurance Services CEO Terrence Scali, that’s about 20,000 too many. Now I do not know if I agree with Scali completely on this but He does make some good points.

He feels that many agencies lack the level of professionalism needed to effectively service the needs of the consumer. Many agents are sale driven and not focused on the outcome; more focus is on the output.

I recently celebrated my 30th year as an independent insurance agent and was an agency owner for most of those 30 years. I sold my agency and have been affiliated with one of the top independent agencies in world. It has been an eye opener for me even with all of my experience prior to joining them. I had tried to do things that would set my agency apart from the competitors. Things that would be outside of the typical renewal review and I’ll send you a bill type of agent client relationship.

Digital Tools for Salespeople to Sell Effectively and Efficiently

As technology advances it changes how we sell. Over the past decade, we have experienced a lot of changes in the insurance industry and in the business world at large. People are buying different ways, companies are introducing digital only business transactions, marketing has become a large part of the consumer experience and so much more is happening. 

While agency owners and experts argue about the "correct" way to do business, I look at it this way. Technology is here, so let's take advantage of what we can in a way that's beneficial for us.  

I am not here to tell you your agency must sell this way or must adapt this strategy. The purpose of this blog is simple. To share tools that salespeople can adapt to their daily lives which will allow them to sell more effectively and efficiently.

How Insurance Agents can Brand themselves for the Competitive Advantage

What is your competitive advantage? Experience? Customer Service? Superior Knowledge? Great Markets? Great! Except all 500 of your closest competitors have those very same things. 

Believe it or not but your competitive advantage is you. 

Sure experience, knowledge, markets, etc. play a part in what makes you the agent you are, but all these equal, people are going to buy based on who they like and who they are comfortable with. People are going to buy based on the value of the experience. 

In order to win this battle and to outshine your competition, you will need to brand yourself. 

Don't worry, you do not need to be over the top or spend a lot of time and money branding yourself. The basics of branding which we will show you in this blog, are to help prospects get to know who you are and what to expect when buying from you. 

Determining What Is a Qualified Insurance Lead

...And the fight continues between marketing and sales!

When we were generating leads in our independent insurance agency one of the most common feedback items I got from my sales team was “Can’t we do a better job qualifying these leads?”

My first response was “That’s what you are for!”

My feeling was if we found a way to qualify leads the era of a sales person would be ending with their extinction. But they do have a point. Not everything that comes through your funnel is qualified. Some leads will never be and some will be, just not now.

5 Ways Texting Can Increase Sales For Insurance Agencies

Prepare yourself. You aren’t going to like what I’m about to say.

If your value proposition, your answer to why should someone do business with me, is “because I’m a trusted advisor and give great advice,” it’s not enough. You and 500 other producers within a 75-mile radius have excellent customer service, give professional trusted advice and have the best policies at the best prices.

Every agency markets themselves as the premiere insurance agency in the area. How do you cut through the noise? What are you doing to make working with you so easy that your market would be insane not to buy from you, and your current customers would be nuts to go somewhere else?

Adding business texting to your insurance agency is the easiest and fastest solution that will give you an edge over your competition and allow you to utilize an enterprise communication channel at a retail level.

Achieving Organizational Success through Sales Enablement

One thing I hear often is how businesses large and small struggle with having business goals that are aligned integrated and understood. When the agency I owned started to aggressively pursue inbound marketing and sales strategies we soon found out there was a disconnect between what we tried to do between our marketing and sales efforts.

Our marketing team was saying they had no idea what happened after their product was done and in use, be it a blog or an email or a web campaign. And the sales team was frustrated with the quality of the leads and if they were good targets for our solutions.

Now I realize in many businesses, especially smaller businesses there is no formal marketing and sales departments. But even if there are no departments there most certainly are the base functions of each. And frankly in today’s inbound and digital marketplace you may be better off not having a formal marketing team and sales team. Today it seems that it is more appropriate to have a blended function called Sales Enablement. It is the integration and common vision and goals of both functions.

Have you addressed the need to have a Sales Enablement strategy in place? In this blog we are going to discuss this requirement of organizational success and how to align sales and marketing to achieve this.

5 Powerful Strategies for Closing Insurance Sales

Next to finding prospects, closing the deal can be one of the hardest aspects of insurance sales. Learning from my experience working with the sales people in my last agency to my own personal experiences, I have found that there are some tactics that are powerful and some that simply do not work. 

Some of these strategies come from experiences that have made me confident doing business with others while the rest come from insurance producers who know how to close the deal. 

6 Ways to Add Value as an Insurance Agent in a Digital Age

You know that insurance and selling is mostly about adding value. Every expert says it, every conference has classes on it, and even in your own strategic planning there is some mention of how you add value. 

But have we become numb to what value really means? Are you adding more value than other agents around you or are you adding just enough value to stay in business?

I see many agents falling short because they assume being an advisor and a real person means you are adding value. Sure this is sometimes valuable to the consumer but look around you, there are 1000 other agents within a 30 mile radius that offer the same value as you. Not to mention another 100,000 online. 

Insurance agents have to move beyond the thinking that because they are the local agent that they are providing value. How consumers perceive value in 2018 has changed. Make sure your agency is meeting the needs of the consumers not just your assumptions of what the consumer wants.

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