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New commercial insurance agents often run into common insurance agent mistakes that hold them back from closing some deals, building quality relationships with customers, and running an efficient business. But if you’re aware of what not to do as you’re starting out, you can better position your insurance agency to grow.
In particular, new commercial insurance agents generally want to avoid mistakes like:
- Relying Solely on Paid Leads
- Expecting Quick Organic Marketing Results
- Not Understanding Your Target Market
- Moving on to the Next Sale Too Quickly
- Relying on Outdated Systems/Processes
In this article, we’ll explore these insurance agent mistakes in more detail so you can try to avoid them.
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Relying Solely on Paid Leads
A common new insurance agent mistake is relying solely on paid leads. Buying lists of leads can be a mistake in many ways. For one, you don’t necessarily know the quality of the leads you’re getting. Even if you get a list of contacts who haven’t already been bombarded by other salespeople, and assuming they’re in the market for insurance, they still might not be a good fit. A list full of executives’ contact information at large businesses might not help a new commercial insurance agent starting off with small business policies.
Plus, paid leads can come with a slew of privacy and compliance/legal issues, such as if the people on the list were misled into giving away their contact information. Even if that’s more on the company selling the leads, you probably don’t want to insert yourself into that type of issue, especially when you’re just starting out as a new commercial insurance agent.
You also don’t necessarily want to rely too much on paid leads in terms of paid advertising, like through social media or search engines. These certainly can be valuable channels, and odds are you’ll want to try them out, but you probably don’t want to exclusively rely on these types of leads. That’s because you have less control in these situations.
If a certain type of business owner you’re marketing to becomes more in-demand among other insurance agents, for example, social media sites may raise the cost per impression or cost per click. So, if you don’t have any alternative lead generation channels, you can end up in a scenario where you simply don’t have enough budget to go after as many leads as you’d like.
Expecting Quick Organic Marketing Results
Since you don’t want to make the insurance agent mistake of relying solely on paid leads, you likely will dive into other ways to market your business, such as blogging and getting active on social media. However, it’s very important to realize that marketing tends to take time, especially content marketing where you’re going after an organic audience who grow to trust your brand and eventually buy from you.
“The online world moves quickly, so many marketers also expect quick results from their online content campaigns. While there are certainly exceptions, in most cases, seeing an impact from content marketing takes time,” explains Fractl, a content marketing agency.
The specific amount of time it can take for you to see marketing results depends on several factors, ranging from your audience to marketing skills. But, as Fractl notes, you can generally expect to see content marketing results within six months. So, don’t get discouraged if you’re not getting a ton of new business as soon as you post a blog article. Do so in coordination with other strategies, like creating pay-per-click search ads, knowing that you’re also diversifying your marketing by building up your blog meanwhile.
Not Understanding Your Target Market
Another insurance agent mistake to avoid is not understanding your target market. As mentioned, that can be an issue when it comes to going after paid leads, but it can also make a big difference with your organic marketing. If you’re creating blog posts or email newsletters, you don’t want to be talking about issues like hiring challenges if you’re primarily reaching solopreneurs. Or, if you’re reaching restaurant owners, you probably don’t need to get too deep into what’s happening in banking, for example.
When you’re just starting out, you might not know exactly who your ideal customers will be, but the sooner you can figure this out, the better. Consider:
- What markets you already know: If you’re into tech, for example, perhaps you can go after startups in this space.
- Who you’re getting as leads: As you initially pull in leads, pay close attention to their characteristics, such as their industry and size.
- Who your ideal customer is: If you’re not getting leads that match your ideal customer, such as if you want to sell general liability policies to small retail businesses, see how you can adjust your marketing to better appeal to your target market.
Moving on to the Next Sale Too Quickly
Once you start to get leads who turn into customers, you don’t want to make the insurance agent mistake of moving on to the next sale too quickly. While you certainly want to keep reaching out to prospects and grow your business, you don’t want to overlook those you’ve already sold to.
Be sure to dedicate some time to your existing customers so that you can build relationships with them, which in turn can lead to benefits like more referrals and clients who expand from their initial policies to add more coverage.
For example, you may want to focus on areas like onboarding. Aim to help new customers feel welcome and comfortable with their policies. Take time to answer any questions and make sure they understand things like what their policies cover, how to make payments and how to submit claims if necessary.
You also might want to add new customers on social media if you aren’t already connected. That way you can casually keep in touch, even if it’s something as simple as retweeting a story they share or liking a LinkedIn post of theirs.
Relying on Outdated Systems/Processes
Lastly, those new to the commercial insurance industry should avoid the insurance agent mistake of relying on outdated systems and processes. You generally don’t want to track all your leads on paper, for example, or require customers to call you to get quotes. With the rise of InsurTech, along with many other types of non-industry-specific software, there are so many great tools to choose from that help you automate, digitize and streamline more of your work. That can free up time so you can focus more on areas like building relationships with new customers.
In particular, new insurance agents can turn to Wheelhouse to help run their businesses efficiently and convert more leads into customers. Wheelhouse enables you to become a digital insurance agent, such as by providing leads with the ability to generate their own bindable quotes online, 24/7. You can also access a wide range of features that help you grow, such as by easily copying existing quotes to then provide cross-selling opportunities across multiple product lines. That way, instead of just limiting sales to an area like general liability, you can also encourage new customers to consider areas like cyber insurance.
Overall, you’re bound to make insurance agent mistakes from time to time, but if you can try to avoid these five as much as possible, you can set yourself up for success.