Calculating Commission Rates as an Independent Insurance Agent

Commissions are the lifeblood of insurance agents. They are what ultimately determines how much you earn, especially if you’re an independent agent.  Almost all insurance agents earn a commission of some sort, though how they are earned and at what rate can vary greatly. There are a number of different factors that go into determining what commissions an insurance agent earns.  Below is a description of calculating commission rates as an independent insurance agent. 

How Insurance Commissions Work 

The first thing to understand is how commissions work for independent insurance agents versus captive agents.  Captive agents work directly on staff for an insurance carrier. Their job is to sell the various insurance products that that carrier sells.  Their compensation is determined in a few different ways. They typically earn a base salary and benefits, and can earn more money through commissions based on their sales and renewals.  Independent agents, by contrast, work for themselves and must contract with individual insurance carriers to be able to sell their products. This gives them extra freedom in terms of being able to offer only the insurance products they want from a variety of different carriers instead of just one.  Commission rates are typically higher for independent insurance agents, though they don’t have the stability of a base salary or benefits.  

What Determines the Commission? 

For independent insurance agents, commissions are based around the premium that’s charged for the insurance policy. The standard rate is what’s called the base commission. It’s essentially a straight percentage of what the total premium for the insurance policy is.  For example, if the standard rate is 10% and the total annual premium for the insurance policy is $1,000, independent insurance agents will earn $100 in commission for selling that policy.  How much the standard rate will be will vary based on a number of factors — the policy type, the risk level and the amount of coverage selected, among other things. In addition, some insurance carriers will pay different commission percentages than others. 

How Are Commissions Paid? 

Independent insurance agents are paid their commissions in two main ways.   The first is called a residual. In this form of payment, independent insurance agents receive a commission when they sell a new insurance policy. Then, they’ll receive another commission payment every time that the policy is renewed.  The initial commission typically is a higher percentage than the renewal commission. This type of commission structure is commonly used for auto and health insurance policies, which have annual or bi-annual renewal periods.  The advantage of this type of commission is that it helps to contribute to an independent insurance agent’s short- and long-term income.   The other method of commission payment is called upfront. For this type, a commission payment is issued at the time that a new policy is sold.   This type of commission payout is used commonly for annuities and life insurance, as they don’t have the typical renewal period as the other policies. While the upfront commission doesn’t typically provide consistent long-term income, it does provide a more substantial payment at the time of sale.  Independent insurance agents can make a solid business out of either commission structure. 

How to Calculate Your Commission Rate 

To calculate your commission rate as an independent insurance agent, you need to gather all the information that’s provided to you by the insurance carriers with which you work.  First, you’ll need to determine what your base rate commission is from each of the insurance companies you work with. This should be provided to you on a rate sheet by each.  Next, determine whether you have an override. This is additional commission you might be paid for marketing and/or overhead. Override may not be typical for independent insurance agents, though, especially if you’re just starting out.  Finally, you can use all of this information to calculate what your commission rate will be. Take your base commission and multiply that by the premium that’s paid on the insurance policy you sold.  If you have an override, multiply that amount by the premium as well. Take the amounts of both of those calculations and add them together to get the final amount you will earn in commission.  This same basic formula can be used for every insurance policy you sell from any insurance carrier. Keep in mind, though, that what the different inputs will be — i.e., the base rate, premium, etc. — may vary based on each individual insurance carrier with which you work.   By knowing how to calculate commission rates as an independent insurance agent, you can understand how your compensation works and can even more effectively and efficiently sell the different insurance products you offer. 

Discover the Good Life

At Good Life Insurance Associates, our experienced insurance sales associates are here to provide support and training for both new and experienced agents. To learn more about us, remember to explore our business support services. Or, to speak with a member of our team about your journey to becoming an independent agent, contact us today!

Email Marketing Tips for Independent Insurance Agents

Marketing is essential for any independent insurance agent. Coming up with a solid outreach plan is vital if you want to attract new customers, upsell current customers and establish yourself as an expert in your field.  Marketing plans can be challenging and expensive to execute. Luckily, email marketing provides an effective, efficient and affordable way to reach more people.  Below are some top email marketing tips for independent insurance agents. 

Build a Solid List 

If you want your email marketing efforts to be successful, you’re going to first need to build a solid list of people who you’re going to send your messages to. Intuit Mailchimp says that the industry has an open rate that averages just 21.36%. In addition, a little more than 2% of the people who receive your emails will click on a link that you include in the message.  What this means is that you’re going to need a large list of people who you can email if you want to get a good response. A large part of email marketing, after all, is a numbers game.  To this point, you should create multiple ways that you can add people to your email marketing list. Any time that you interact with a current customer or a prospect, you should be collecting their email.  You can also add a contact form to your website that requires people to enter their email to get more information from you.  Another great idea is to offer exclusive content to people who give you their email address. For example, you can create a short ebook where you discuss the top things people should consider before they buy auto insurance. Then, require visitors to your website to enter their email address so they can get the downloadable ebook as a PDF file. 

Separate Your List 

While you certainly need to build a hefty email list for email campaigns, you shouldn’t just spam the same message to everyone on your list. Instead, you need to create multiple email lists from your one master list so that you can send targeted email campaigns.   For instance, one of your lists could be current customers. To this list, you can send information about how they can save by bundling coverage, new ways that they can connect with you, and other tips and tricks on how they can get the most out of your insurance coverage.  Another list can be prospects who have specifically requested information about a particular type of insurance product, such as auto or home. Then, you can send targeted emails to this list that provide information about these two products that you offer.  By segmenting your email list and sending targeted campaigns, you’ll be increasing the chances that the recipients will open your email and interact with you. 

Use Email Marketing Software 

The great part about email marketing today is there are a lot of great software options that help you create, send and track the progress of email marketing campaigns. Many of these options offer free versions at first, with a fee that you’ll pay based off the number of subscribers, number of emails sent or other factors.  Mailchimp, Constant Contact and ConvertKit are among the most popular choices, though there are certainly plenty more. Using email marketing software will allow you to easily create in-depth marketing campaigns that look professional.  Most importantly, the software makes it easy to manage your email lists and track the success of your individual campaigns. By tracking the main statistics of the campaign, you’ll be able to make tweaks to your approach, design and layout, and/or messaging to increase your effectiveness. 

Add Value 

Perhaps the most important aspect of your email marketing campaigns is the content itself. Make sure that your email marketing doesn’t sound too salesy or focus only on closing new clients.  The best way to engage with your audience is to educate them. You should view yourself as the teacher and the people on your email lists as your students.  While nearly everyone purchases insurance of some kind, it’s still a mystery to many. Your role is to provide clear and basic explanations as to how the insurance products you offer work, what people should consider and how they can benefit from different aspects.  Some of the most effective insurance-based content you can provide are basic explanations, such as “Auto Insurance 101,” or tips and tricks. If you approach your email marketing content from a “news you can use” standpoint, you’ll likely have more success reaching your audience and getting them to interact with you. 

Discover the Good Life

At Good Life Insurance Associates, our experienced insurance sales associates are here to provide support and training for both new and experienced agents. To learn more about us, remember to explore our business support services. Or, to speak with a member of our team about your journey to becoming an independent agent, contact us today!

Leveraging AI as an Insurance Agent

Artificial intelligence used to be a far-away, alien-like concept. Things have changed considerably in recent years, as AI has made its way into various aspects of life, making certain things much easier and more effective for businesses to accomplish.  Leveraging AI as an insurance agent is perhaps one of the smartest things you can do in 2024 to set yourself and your business up for both short-term and long-term success.  Below are some of the top ways that you can do so. 

Streamline Operations 

There are many powerful aspects of AI, but perhaps one of the most powerful aspects is the ability to streamline operations. Chatbots powered by AI can handle many tasks at once that used to consume a lot of time and manual effort before.  For instance, these chatbots can help you qualify leads, handle initial customer inquiries and even guide prospective customers through your application process. You can use algorithms that utilize machine learning to analyze a wealth of data so that you can personalize insurance quotes while also recommending coverage options to people who apply.  What all of this does is free yourself and your agents from having to handle these tasks, allowing you to focus more on customer interactions and other complex tasks that require your hands-on attention. 

Personalize Customer Interactions 

There are many ways in which AI can help you personalize customer interactions.  Chatbots, like mentioned before, can offer customer support around the clock, allowing customers to get answers to questions whenever they might have them — even if you or your agents are asleep. These chatbots can even help customers start the claims process and then send the basic information onto your agents and adjusters so they get moved along the chain faster and in a more efficient manner.  In addition, AI has the ability to analyze interactions that your customers have with you and your agency’s offerings to identify any potential areas where they might be dissatisfied. This, in turn, allows you to intervene proactively to improve the experience and, in the process, improve retention. 

Improve Sales and Marketing ROI 

AI enables companies big and small integrate data-driven processes for a variety of business areas. For independent insurance agents, this can be particularly valuable for sales and marketing efforts.  You can use AI to analyze your customer data so you can identify their preferences and patterns, which could then enable you to create marketing campaigns that are highly targeted and very personalized.  In doing so, you’ll be more likely to reach the right customers at the opportune time with the perfect products that they need. Tools that are powered by AI can help you predict what your customers might need, and when they might need it, so that you can suggest relevant products to them.  All of this helps you maximize the ROI of your sales and marketing efforts, which are often one of the largest expenses your business will have. 

Reduce Operating Costs 

Independent insurance agents spend a lot of money on manual tasks such as data entry. These are essential business tasks, of course, but all insurance agents would rather allocate the money that it costs to complete those tasks elsewhere.  AI can do just that — and so much more. Automation tools can handle data entry, as well as other manual tasks such as monitoring and refilling office supplies, and checking various insurance policies.   This doesn’t just reduce costs associated with manual work, it allows insurance agents to spend their time and money in other areas that have a higher ROI. When humans don’t have to worry about these tasks and more, they can focus on interacting with customers, doing business outreach and spending time where it matters most. 

Generate Digital Content 

A large part of building trust among current and prospective customers — which leads to retention and new customer acquisition — includes posting content online. It’s become necessary today for independent insurance agents to have a robust website and social media pages.  When you’re able to establish yourself as an expert in your field, people are more likely to turn to you when they have insurance needs. You can also use social media platforms to engage with the community and show how you give back.  The challenge with all this digital content is that it takes a lot of time to create. And if you’re not a great writer, creating blog content, articles and studies may be difficult for you.  This is one area that you can definitely put AI to great use. Tools such as ChatGPT can help you identify topics that would be relevant for blogs, as well as the appropriate keywords you should target.  At the same time, these tools can also actually generate the content for you. In this way, all you would need to do is read through the content once it’s created to personalize it more to you if need be and ensure that everything is accurate.  

Discover the Good Life

At Good Life Insurance Associates, our experienced insurance sales associates are here to provide support and training for both new and experienced agents. To learn more about us, remember to explore our business support services. Or, to speak with a member of our team about your journey to becoming an independent agent, contact us today!

Six Tips for Retaining Insurance Clients

Insurance carriers and independent agents spend so much time and attention on acquiring new clients. However, just as much attention — if not more — should be paid to retaining current clients.  Acquiring new clients has become increasingly expensive in recent years, as competition has exploded in the market. For instance, a recent study revealed that it costs anywhere from seven to nine times as much to acquire a new insurance client than it does to retain one.   This makes retaining clients one of the most cost-effective ways to grow your business. Below are six tips for retaining insurance clients. 

Create an Extensive Onboarding Process

The onboarding process is the first experience your clients will get with you after signing a contract. This makes it one of the most important times in your relationship.  By prioritizing this part of the relationship, you’ll be investing in future growth prospects with your clients. It’s a great opportunity to educate your clients on all the products you offer, and not necessarily just the ones they have purchased.  You can also start to build trust during the onboarding process, which leads to your clients coming back to you if they have future insurance needs.

Constantly Communicate

If you want to retain clients, you need to always stay in touch with them. Clients don’t want to feel like you sold them a product and then disappeared. They want to feel as if you’re always looking out for their best interests.  Constantly communicating in a positive way can help your clients feel appreciated, which is a key factor in retention. Make sure that you are celebrating their special occasions, including their birthdays and any other special milestones that you know about.  While it’s vital to reach out around policy renewal time, it shouldn’t be the only time that you communicate with your current clients.

Remove the Friction

There are many potential pain points that your clients will face. Unfortunately, those pain points might be different for every one of your clients.  By removing all the friction that exists that prevents your clients from doing what they need to do in an efficient and pain-free way, you’ll be ensuring that they have a great customer experience.  The only way that you’ll be able to do this effectively, though, is by understanding the typical journey and experience of your customers.   Create a customer journey map so you can see how a customer gets from Point A to Point Z in every way that they would interact with you, your company and the products they purchase. Create individual customer personas, too, so that you can see how the journey might differ for the many types of customers you have.  When you have this information and data in hand, you’ll be better prepared to improve the process from start to finish.

Consistently Gather Feedback

Customer feedback is one of the most valuable resources you have as an independent insurance agent. If you aren’t able to accurately identify the areas where you might be falling short, where you’re excelling and what new things you could offer, it will be challenging to retain insurance clients for the long-term.  Many companies today integrate what are known as VoC, or voice of customer, programs. Gartner research reports that companies that use these programs end up spending 25% less to retain customers than companies that don’t.  These are formal programs for gathering and then applying feedback from customers across all departments. Digital tools make it very simple to reach out to customers in multiple ways to gather feedback, then bring it all together in one place so you can properly analyze it.  By implementing changes and adjustments based on this feedback, you’ll be fine-tuning your operation based on how your customers feel.

Cross-Sell

You can create immense value for you and your insurance clients by cross-selling and up-selling. The more products a client buys from you, the more likely they are to remain with your agency for the long-term.  From your perspective, cross-selling and up-selling is a very cost-effective way to generate more revenue. It involves marketing other policies that you have to clients who are already in your database.  A great way to do this is to pay attention to your clients’ changing needs. If you know that one of your auto insurance clients are buying a new house, for instance, you can up-sell home insurance to them.   Form your clients’ perspective, cross-selling actually benefits them, too. They can gain significant discounts and savings by purchasing more than one policy from you. Plus, they can consolidate bills by purchasing multiple products from one agent.

Offer Customizable Policies

You can stand out from other insurance agents by offering customizable policies. By tailoring insurance policies to each individual client, you’ll be gaining trust and respect from your clients right from the beginning of your relationship.  They’ll feel heard and appreciated when you only sell them what they need, and/or cater an insurance policy to whatever unique needs they might have. In doing this, you’ll be developing clients who are more likely to remain loyal to you over the long-term. 

Discover the Good Life

At Good Life Insurance Associates, our experienced insurance sales associates are here to provide support and training for both new and experienced agents. To learn more about us, remember to explore our business support services. Or, to speak with a member of our team about your journey to becoming an independent agent, contact us today!

10 Ways to Perfect Your Insurance Agent Elevator Pitch

You only have a limited amount of time to grab someone’s attention when you’re marketing them your insurance services. In fact, the Neilson Normal Group has reported that, on average, you only have 10 seconds to do so before you’ve lost them.  With so much of success as an independent insurance agent revolving around attracting new customers, capturing their attention as quickly and effectively as possible is key. Below are 10 ways that you can perfect your insurance agent elevator pitch. Develop Knowledge If you want to set yourself apart from the competition, you must be very knowledgeable about the products and services you sell. While you can certainly create an elevator pitch off basic top-line talking points, you won’t be able to get to the root of what matters to people unless you’re fully familiarized with all the details.  It’s important to dig at least a little deeper than the surface when you’re making your elevator pitch, especially since so many insurance policies — and so many insurance agents — are similar. 

Know Who You’re Pitching To

While your elevator pitch will have the same basic substance no matter who you’re pitching to, understanding your particular audience will help you craft the message specifically to them. How you pitch to a young newly-married couple with no children should be much different than how you pitch to a retired couple with adult children. 

Highlight Key Points

An elevator pitch should be a relatively quick spiel you give to draw people in to learn more. It shouldn’t be a full-fledged presentation on every product and service you offer.  To that end, it’s important to highlight key points. This should include why what you offer is different and/or unique, how it can benefit the customer, why they should choose your company and what they can do if they want to learn more. 

Decide on a CTA

Every elevator pitch needs a CTA, or a call to action. It’s not simply an information session, though you’ll certainly be educating the people with whom you speak. The action you could ask them to take would be to receive a quote, schedule an appointment for more information or more. 

Craft Your Pitch

Once you have all the above information laid out, you can sit down and craft your insurance agent elevator pitch. You want to write all those ideas down into a succinct message that you’re confident you can deliver in a strong, passionate and friendly manner.  When you’re writing your pitch, your goal should be for it to last about 30 seconds. It can be a little longer or shorter than that, but 30 seconds is the ideal time. 

Take Your Time

That 30 seconds will go by quickly, and you likely have a lot of information to fit in. But, make sure to take your time when you’re delivering your pitch so that people can understand you. Speak in a slow, calm and clear voice so you don’t have to repeat yourself.   If you feel as though you’re rushing to get through your pitch, it may be too long. 

Be Confident and Conversational

It’s important to come across as confident and conversational when you’re delivering your insurance agent elevator pitch. You want to sound like you know what you’re talking about but aren’t a know-it-all.  At the same time, you want to be able to connect with your potential customers and engender trust within them. This will open up the possibility for further conversation beyond your pitch, which can lead to a conversion. 

Smile

Even though you may have a million things running through your head, it’s important to make solid eye contact and smile at the people you’re talking to. If you’re giving your pitch over the phone, still try to smile. You’ll be surprised that the tone of your voice will actually match up with the smile on your face, and you’ll sound friendly and genuine to those on the other end of the line. 

Practice Your Pitch

Practice makes perfect, as with anything in life. So, once you’re confident that the content of your pitch is down and your approach is right, practice it over and over again. You can do this in front of a mirror, or on a phone pretending to make a call.  It’s also a good idea to deliver your pitch to other agents in your office, family, friends, colleagues and others. Doing so will allow you to test out your pitch on real people and get feedback that could be quite valuable. 

Test and Refine Your Pitch

Now, it’s time to start actually delivering your pitch. Keep in mind that at no time will you be truly unsuccessful in your pitch if you listen to the feedback that people are giving you.  Are they telling you something about the products and services you’re pitching? Are they responding poorly to the time of day you’re reaching out or the mode through which you’re reaching out? Is there something about the way you’re pitching your message?  Pay attention to all of this, as rejections can be just as valuable as conversions sometimes. Then, tweak your insurance agent elevator pitch based on this feedback, and improve your outcomes.

Discover the Good Life

At Good Life Insurance Associates, our experienced insurance sales associates are here to provide support and training for both new and experienced agents. To learn more about us, remember to explore our business support services. Or, to speak with a member of our team about your journey to becoming an independent agent, contact us today!

Growing Insurance Industries in 2024

It’s important for all insurance agents to stay on top of emerging trends in the industry. This is especially true for independent agents, though, who are in charge of their own destiny.  There are many growing insurance industries in 2024 and many emerging trends that will shape and reshape the way independent agents operate this year and beyond. Below are some of those top trends. 

Digital Transformation 

We are well into the digital age, yet technology continues to transform life as we know it on a daily basis. Many people think of digital transformation happening on a large scale and not a small one.  In this regard, you may think that this transformation is only affecting large insurance carriers and firms, but that’s not true. Independent agents can see a wealth of benefits by embracing technological tools to make their job easier.  These tools can enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of many processes, but specifically how sales are done at the independent level. When data is used properly, it can be extremely powerful in driving how processes can be created, refined and employed.  Independent agents are able to gain an edge in the market by offering insurance products that are more tailored to individual clients, which helps them stand out. 

Artificial Intelligence 

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is perhaps the single technological tool that got the most attention last year, and that should continue to have the biggest impact this year. Again, it’s a tool that has been made available to everyday people through programs such as ChatGPT, which the masses can use.  Independent insurance agents can learn and harness the power of AI by integrating it into online chatbots, email automation and even content creation for blogs and social media posts.  AI can become an all-powerful technological assistant for independent insurance agents who often need a lot of help but can’t afford to hire it. 

Risk Mitigation 

With climate change becoming more pronounced, weather is becoming more extreme around the country. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for instance, reported that in 2023, there were 25 climate or weather “disasters” that each caused at least $1 billion in losses.  While some parts of the country were responsible for a large portion of those events, no area seems immune from them anymore. This is causing a shift in the insurance landscape, as carriers are doing all they can to mitigate these potential losses.  For independent agents, the effect can be seen with new insurance product solutions, additional discounts and even educational materials that are meant as a way to help prevent losses.  These have always been available in the commercial market, but are starting to become available in the personal side, too. This means independent agents may be able to offer their customers innovative and unique products and discounts that will have risk mitigation baked into them. 

Changing Customer Demographic 

The next new generation that enters adulthood brings with it many changes — in terms of how they live, how they interact with people and what they prefer. That is nothing new, but Gen Z is perhaps one of the most unique generations in centuries.  The people in this generation don’t know what it’s like to live without cellphones. They grew up with high-powered technology in their hands, and that has changed the way they approach life  Everything is at their fingertips at all times, but they desire human interactions and connections at the same time. For an independent insurance agent, this means it’s essential to embrace digital technology tools for marketing and onboarding, but emphasizes how important it is to still make a one-on-one connection with customers.  Remember that members of Gen Z are the ones starting families, purchasing their first home and entering the job market. They may not be your biggest customers now in terms of dollars spent, but they could be with you the longest. 

New Products 

One major growing sector in the insurance industry is usage-based insurance. This is something that Gen Z has seemed to desire greatly — almost a pay-as-you-use-it insurance coverage.  For instance, this type of auto insurance would include a monthly base rate plus an additional per-mile rate. This means that customers would pay based on how many miles they drive in a month.   This is the next advancement in rewarding drivers based on their driving habits. Many major auto insurance carriers already offer discounts for this, allowing customers to install a tracking device in their car or on their phones that monitors how they drive.  Usage-based insurance takes this one step further, actually charging people for only the miles they drive.   For independent insurance agents, this is a great new product that they can offer their customers. It also rewards agents by providing them with a trove of data on their policyholders that can lead to future sales. 

Discover the Good Life

At Good Life Insurance Associates, our experienced insurance sales associates are here to provide support and training for both new and experienced agents. To learn more about us, remember to explore our business support services. Or, to speak with a member of our team about your journey to becoming an independent agent, contact us today!

Online Marketing Strategies for Independent Insurance Agents

Marketing has always been an essential component of success for independent insurance agents. In the last few years, how agents market themselves has changed dramatically.  An industry that was once defined by mailers, brochures, telemarketing and billboards has now transitioned to digital means. Today, independent insurance agents have the luxury of marketing themselves online, with many of these avenues free or at least inexpensive.  Below are some online marketing strategies that independent insurance agents should follow. 

Convert Visitors to Clients 

A well-designed website is a great marketing tool in and of itself. Consumers often use the internet as their first point of contact with a business with which they are unfamiliar, which makes your insurance website a crucial tool for providing information about you, your agency and the products you offer.  Your website doesn’t have to be just a passive marketing tool, though. You can collect high-quality information about potential customers through various forms.  Agents should set up contact forms where people can input their basic information to receive a call from you about the products you offer. You can also provide them with downloadable materials once they fill out this form. And, you can take it a step further and create a weekly email newsletter that is sent to everyone who signs up.  In these ways, you can use your website as a tool to convert website visitors into paying clients. 

Be Active on Social Media 

Designing a basic and functional website that looks good is a relatively minimal investment, compared to some other marketing avenues. Social media is even better in this regard, as it costs you nothing to set up a profile, build it out and start connecting with people.  Once you have your website designed and launched, make sure to create social media profiles on the platforms that make the most sense to you, which should be based on where your target audience spends its time. Drop links to these social media accounts on your website so that people can easily find you.  Then, make sure that you are active on the platform. Post there a few times a week, so that people see that you’re active, as they’re more likely to engage with you if you are.  Your posts don’t have to be obviously “salesy,” either. They can be as simple as photos of you in the office, messages about things going on in your community and even educational materials about insurance products you offer.  Active social media profiles help engender trust among your prospective clients. 

Create Digital Content 

A big part of converting prospects into clients is gaining their trust. And a great way to do that is to position yourself as an expert in your field. If people believe that you know what you’re talking about, they’re more likely to purchase insurance products from you rather than someone else.  One of the most effective ways to do that today is to create digital content that you post on your website and link to on your social media pages. This content shouldn’t push the insurance products you sell. Instead, it should educate your prospective clients about various topics that relate to insurance.  For instance, you might write a blog post about the top five things drivers should consider as they’re shopping for auto insurance. Then, at the end of this post, you can drop in a short message about how you offer auto insurance and would love the opportunity to talk to people more about it.  This digital content can serve as the backbone of your online marketing strategy. Just make sure that you post it consistently and cover a wide variety of topics that relate to the products you sell. 

Don’t Forget Search Engine Optimization 

Whether you’re found online depends a lot about how well you handle Search Engine Optimization, better known as SEO. When your website has good SEO, it’s more likely that your webpage will appear near the top of search engine results.  This is crucial, as most people who search for terms online will only click on the first few results that pop up.  Content will go a long way in boosting your SEO, as search engines consider it to be high-quality and relevant. There are many other components to SEO, including keywords, how user friendly your site is, the metadata you use on your pages and the external and internal links to and from your site.  You could do some of this SEO work on your own, but if you find that you’re struggling to figure it out, or if you’re having trouble ranking high in search engine results, then you might consider hiring the help of an SEO company. 

Discover the Good Life

Doing your own marketing can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be when you have the right support. At Good Life Insurance Associates, our experienced insurance sales associates are here to provide support and training for both new and experienced agents. To learn more about us, remember to explore our business support services. Or, to speak with a member of our team about your journey to becoming an independent agent, contact us today!

10 Networking Tips for Insurance Agents

Selling insurance is as much about building relationships in the local community as it is about offering the best products. When people trust who they’re working with, they’re more likely to not only purchase insurance policies from them but also stick with them for the long term.  Networking is one of the best ways to build these relationships. It’s especially important for independent insurance agents, who don’t have the backing and support of large insurance carriers.  Below are 10 networking tips for insurance agents.

Create Networking Goals

Many people dive head-first into networking without really having a plan for what they’re going to do, how they’re going to do it, and even what, specifically, they want to get out of it. You should approach networking like any other business endeavor.  Create a plan, include measurable KPIs, and track your progress toward your goals. This will allow you to assess what is working, what is not and how you might be able to adjust to be more successful. 

Join Local Business Groups

A key to success in selling insurance is making in-roads with leaders of your local community. Business owners are very often seen as some of the most trustworthy members of the community, and their long-time customers value their opinion.  When you get to know other business owners in your community, you’re increasing your chances at gaining referrals. In addition, you’ll be learning the ropes of the community and business in general, which can only help further your agency. 

Volunteer

A great way to become known in your community is to volunteer. You can attend local clean-ups of parks and public places. You can volunteer at a food bank or for a local youth sports organization.  When you put yourself out there, not only are you serving a great purpose for the community, but you are engendering trust in the people around you. If people begin to recognize you, they are more likely to come to you for their insurance needs. 

‘Buy Local’

When you purchase supplies or services for your business, do your best to do it from other local companies. This helps to boost your local economy, and can also lead to great relationships with these business owners.  You can take this a step further and frequent local restaurants and bars. When you spend your money locally, other people take notice and try to return the favor. 

Attend Insurance-Specific Events

At the same time, it’s a great idea to attend insurance-related events such as seminars and trade shows. You can learn a lot when you attend these events, plus you can meet a lot of people who are in the same position as you are.  These connections could prove extremely valuable to you, as you exchange tips, ideas and maybe even collaborate on projects in the future.

Remember People’s Names

You can make a really big impression on people when you remember their names. It can be easy to forget someone’s name when you are meeting many people in a short amount of time at networking events or when you’re out and about, but this is a very important aspect of networking.  Pay attention to a person when they introduce themselves. Make eye contact and repeat their name in your head when they say it. Come up with clever ways to associate their name with their face so if you see them again, you can smile and say hello to them with their name.

Create a Strong Social Media Presence

A significant amount of networking today can, and should, happen online. This all starts by building out a strong presence on the social media platforms that make the most sense to you.  Depending on what type of insurance products you sell, and who your target audience is, this could include Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter), TikTok and more.   Consumers do so much research about a business online before making a purchase decision that it’s essential for you to have a strong presence there.

Create Memorable Marketing Materials

Marketing materials come in all shapes and sizes. It can be anything from a logo to a slogan to business cards. Whatever you decide to do, make it memorable.  When people leave your website or social media page, or leave a networking event with your business card in hand, you want them to remember you. Make an impression by creating memorable marketing materials.

Don’t Push Products

No matter how you’re networking, it’s important that you don’t always push your products onto people. Sales are obviously your ultimate end goal, but the people you’re networking with shouldn’t feel as though that’s all you care about.  Display empathy and compassion to people, and turn the conversation to how you can help them when it’s appropriate.

Never Stop Networking

Networking isn’t something with a start and stop time. It isn’t something that you only do in “formal” settings such as an event or get-together.  There are elements of networking that you should be doing at all times. Even when you’re talking with current clients, you can network in a way that can lead to them purchasing additional products or referring new clients to you.  If networking is always on your mind, then it’ll be easier for you to do consistently. 

Discover the Good Life

We understand that networking can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be when you have the right support. At Good Life Insurance Associates, our experienced insurance sales associates are here to provide support and training for both new and experienced agents. To learn more about us, remember to explore our business support services. Or, to speak with a member of our team about your journey to becoming an independent agent, contact us today!

Tips for Young or Inexperienced Insurance Agents

Starting a career as an independent insurance agent is exciting. The benefits that come with running your own business are endless, as are the possibilities of success. At the same time, it can be very challenging to succeed as a young or inexperienced insurance agent. Yet, by following some tried-and-true tips of the industry, you can put yourself in the best position to achieve all you want to achieve. Here are some of the top tips for young or inexperienced insurance agents.

Network

Much of the insurance business revolves around building relationships. Whether it’s with your clients, colleagues or others in your business community, establishing solid relationships is key to finding success in the industry. One of the best ways that you can build solid relationships as a young or inexperienced insurance agent is to network. You do this by joining formal networking groups such as your local business association, an insurance-specific group or even a young professionals group. It’s a good idea to join multiple groups, in fact, as this will allow you to meet as many diverse people as possible. In addition, it’s important to engrave yourself as part of the local community. You can do this by volunteering at local events, joining a local community board and much more. Networking helps to build your brand, and gives you more opportunities to meet prospective clients and gain referrals from those you meet.

Focus Goals on Behaviors

Goal-setting is a crucial part of success in any business. Many times, though, goals are set around the “end-game.” In other words, a goal might be to reach a certain revenue number or open a certain number of new accounts. Young or inexperienced insurance agents need to start a little more basic than that, and they can do this by focusing their goals on the behaviors that will get them to their “end-game” goals. For instance, set goals for how many cold calls you’re going to make in a day, how many new connections you make on LinkedIn each week or how many new people you’re going to meet at a networking event. Focusing on the behaviors that drive the conversions will help you actually achieve your goals.

Get Comfortable with Rejection

Like any sales position, rejection is just a big part of the game for insurance agents. In fact, you’re going to be rejected a lot more than you’re going to be successful in converting prospects into clients — and that’s OK. It’s important to get comfortable with rejection if you want to be a successful insurance agent. Doing so will take time and practice, but anyone can do it. One way to do this is to not view rejection as a complete failure. Instead, use it as a learning experience that you can build on over time. When a prospect says “no thank you,” ask them why. You may be able to glean valuable information from what they say that you can then use to improve your sales pitch, your business model or the products you’re offering. Getting comfortable with rejection will help you persevere and keep picking up the phone when you receive no after no. Eventually, if you keep at it, you’ll start hearing some yeses.

Identify Your Target Audience

When you’re just starting out as an insurance agent, it’s so important to hone in on what you want to sell and who you want to sell it to. Are you going to focus on auto and home insurance, or do you prefer life insurance? There are so many different insurance products to choose from that it can get confusing if you don’t start small and grow. By approaching insurance sales this way, you’ll be able to become very knowledgeable about all the ins and outs of the products you’re selling, essentially becoming an expert in your field. What this also does is allow you to identify your target audience, which is a vital aspect of sales. By identifying the people who are most likely to purchase your products, you’ll be able to cater your branding, marketing and sales efforts directly to them. Creating a customer persona for your target audience will make it even easier to understand who these people are and what makes them tick. When you put in the appropriate time and effort into identifying your target audience upfront, you’ll actually be reducing the amount of work you’ll need to do later, since your entire sales process will be streamlined. This is something that all insurance agents should do, whether they’re young and inexperienced or have been in the industry for many years.

Discover the Good Life

We understand that all of this information can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be when you have the right support. At Good Life Insurance Associates, our experienced insurance sales associates are here to provide support and training for both new and experienced agents. To learn more about us, remember to explore our business support services. Or, to speak with a member of our team about your journey to becoming an independent agent, contact us today!

Tips for Generating More Local Insurance Leads

Generating local insurance leads is a vital part of building a profitable and sustainable insurance business. Without leads, after all, it will be hard to consistently attract new clients, which will make it hard for your business to survive over time. While this is an essential aspect of any insurance business, generating leads is also very challenging. Below are some tips for how you can generate more local insurance leads that can lead to a bigger client base.

Brand Yourself in the Community

If you want people in your local community to notice you and turn to you when they have insurance needs, you’ll need to make yourself known in the community. Marketing and advertising will help in this regard, but you can also brand yourself by being active in the community. You can do this by volunteering at local events or at local food pantries and other service events. You can join business and community networking groups. Or, you can sponsor a local youth sports team. There are countless different ways that you can brand yourself in your local community, so get creative about how you do it.

Create a Referral Plan

Referrals can be some of the greatest leads you’ll receive. They are considered high quality because they typically come from someone that a prospective client trusts. For instance, when a satisfied client refers someone else to your business, they likely have already told that other person all the great things you’ve done for them. This makes the job of converting a lot easier for you. While they are among the highest-quality of leads, referrals aren’t easy to generate. You can sit back and hope that they’ll come your way, but to really have leads come in this way, you need to create a plan. One example is creating a rewards program for current clients who refer a new client to you. This could come in the form of a reduced monthly premium or other rewards that are a benefit to them. The better incentives you provide, the more likely you’ll get referrals.

Go Digital

The internet has made branding and marketing easier today than it ever has been. You can reach your target audience in more effective and efficient ways today, meeting people where they are. To do this, you need to first build out a solid online presence. This should include a well-designed website that provides not just all your information and what you sell, but also positions you as an expert in your field. A great way to do this is to write a blog where you provide tips and guidance on insurance-related items. In addition, you should create social media pages on all the platforms that make sense to you. Instagram, Facebook and X — formerly known as Twitter — are a great place to start, and you may also consider TikTok depending on your target audience. It only takes a minimal investment to create a good-looking website and active social media pages, and the impact can be enormous. And once you have a solid presence established, you can initiate digital advertising campaigns on search engines and social media platforms to generate solid leads.

Don’t Forget Tried-and-True Marketing

While a lot of the focus on marketing and advertising today is on digital means, it’s also a good idea to not forget about the classic marketing avenues. This could prove to be especially important if your target audience is older and not as digitally-savvy as younger generations. You can generate solid leads through advertisements in local newspapers, on billboards and even on TV or radio. Printed mailers sent directly to people’s homes is also a great way to stay top-of-mind when people may have an insurance need. You can either send out generic mailers to a massive list, or you can send specially-targeted mailers to smaller lists. For instance, you can scan marriage announcements or new home sales and send mailers to these people with the products you’re offering that can help them in their new life situation.

Host Educational Events

After you’ve established yourself and your business, you can also generate leads by hosting educational events for the community. You can invite a select number of prospects to a luncheon event, where you provide them with a free meal in exchange for educating them about a specific insurance product that you sell that could help them. This could be a great opportunity to generate new leads because you’ll get to meet and talk with new people in person. If you make a good impression on them, they could serve as good referral sources, even if they don’t purchase an insurance product from you.

Discover the Good Life

We understand that all of this information can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be when you have the right support. At Good Life Insurance Associates, our experienced insurance sales associates are here to provide support and training for both new and experienced agents. To learn more about us, remember to explore our business support services. Or, to speak with a member of our team about your journey to becoming an independent agent, contact us today!