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As a new commercial insurance agent, there are several things you should know. And it’s important to have solid foundational knowledge on how to build your business. Knowing the ins and outs of insurance policies certainly sits at the core of what you do, but that knowledge alone won’t necessarily bring clients in the door. You also need to know how to operate in ways that enable you to attract and retain clients, thereby helping you grow your business.
In this guide, we’ll cover five common yet important things every new commercial insurance agent should know, covering the following areas:
- Digital operations
- Customer experience
- Working with small business owners
- Staying organized
If you’re looking for ways to get your new insurance career off the ground, we can help. Click the button below to learn more.
#1 Being a Digital Insurance Agent Is a Necessity
Forming strong relationships with clients is the first thing new insurance agents should know. It’s also a valuable part of building a commercial insurance business, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to in-person meetings and events. On the contrary, clients increasingly expect to be able to purchase insurance policies online, much as they do when shopping online in their personal lives. Similarly, business owners want to be able to research and compare their options for commercial insurance online. They also want to be able to communicate with agents through mediums like email, SMS, and online chat, rather than just talking on the phone or in person.
As such, new commercial insurance agents need to structure their businesses to offer digital insurance services. To do so, consider:
Using InsurTech Software
Using InsurTech software like Wheelhouse helps new commercial insurance agents become digital agents. You can easily provide bindable quotes from multiple carriers online, 24/7. Other InsurTech tools can help in areas like communicating with clients online or through mobile apps to answer policy questions.
Building an Online Presence
Part of being a digital insurance agent also means making it easy for clients to get in touch with you and learn more about commercial policies online. So, if you’ve yet to build out digital channels like a website, blog, social media profiles, etc., you likely want to get on that.
#2 Insurance Marketing Takes Time
As you build your online presence through digital marketing channels, you naturally want to see the policy purchases start rolling in. However, new insurance agents, especially those selling commercial policies, need to know that insurance marketing takes time.
In general, content marketing (i.e., creating materials like blog posts that add value to readers) takes around six to nine months to yield significant results, notes the Response Marketing Association. Even if you try a more direct method like social media advertising, it can still take time for you to figure out how to successfully run ads and for prospective buyers to make final purchasing decisions.
Overall, the B2B buying process tends to be far more complex than someone purchasing a new item of clothing on a whim. Business owners need to first take several steps, such as:
Identifying a need for commercial insurance
Content marketing can help business owners eventually realize that they need support, such as managing budget risk. Through your efforts (creating content, hosting webinars or workshops, posting on social media, etc.) business owners may learn they need new or different types of insurance coverage than they currently have. By making them aware of this, you increase the chances of them purchasing from you.
Comparing options for commercial insurance
Business owners may review materials on several insurance agents’ websites, as well as generating policy quotes before they’re ready to commit to a purchase. Including a tool that provides information about policies as well as allows them to request quotes on your site, you reduce the friction for business owners to gather information and increase the likelihood of them making a purchase.
Discussing purchasing with other investors/executives
A business owner may not be able to make a big decision like purchasing commercial insurance on their own. If they have other investors, or if they have other executives or even third-party business professionals that they rely on, they may need or want to discuss their options together. For example, a business owner may want to show any potential policy options to their lawyer.
#3 Customer Experience Can Make All the Difference
When your insurance marketing starts to take hold and you pull in more customers, remember to not get hooked solely by your new leads. Insurance agents should know that providing a great customer experience isimportant. By improving the experience of your current policyholders, you can make a huge impact on your overall business success.
For one, a great customer experience can lead to more renewals, thereby helping you secure more stable revenue streams. From there, satisfied clients may be more likely to leave you positive reviews and make referrals that help you easily gain new customers, so you don’t have to put as many resources into finding new insurance leads.
To provide a high-quality customer experience, focus on areas like:
Busy business owners don’t want to waste time dealing with complex purchasing protocols. New commercial insurance agents should make the buying and renewal processes as straightforward as possible, such as by using an aggregation tool to enable potential customers to easily compare rates.
A strong customer experience extends beyond the sales process. New commercial insurance agents also need to engage customers to make them feel valued, rather than just being a number in your roster of clients. So, for example, sending out email newsletters that provide helpful business advice without pushing policies could help customers appreciate you more long term.
Customers also want to be able to reach you or find the information they need on their own schedule. That means not just providing efficient transactions but also being available to answer client questions and give feedback in other ways. For example, you might create a robust FAQ section on your website so that business owners can easily get the information they need. Or, if they have more in-depth questions, you might want to offer to meet with clients, such as for a semi-annual review of their business and any related policy questions they may have.
#4 Small Businesses Shouldn’t Be Overlooked
Although it can be tempting to go after large deals with big businesses, don’t overlook small businesses. Agents should know that collectively, they can add up to make a major impact. Plus, from a numbers perspective, you’re more likely to find small business owners, so you might as well pick up these clients if you can.
Specifically, small businesses, defined as independent businesses with less than 500 employees, account for a whopping 99.9% of all US businesses, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). In total, there are over 30 million small businesses, notes the SBA. That means new commercial insurance agents have vast potential to reach these business owners.
Some insurance agents avoid targeting small businesses because they think it’s not worthwhile to go after smaller accounts and manage such a large number of clients. Yet technology like Wheelhouse makes it easy to write small business policies. The self-serve nature of the platform reduces agents’ workload while simplifying the process for small business owners.
#5 Staying Organized Supports Success
Lastly, new commercial insurance agents should know that staying organized helps you to continue growing. Without the right technology and processes, you might lose track of when clients are up for renewal, for example. Or, you might struggle to establish a day-to-day schedule that helps you accomplish your most important tasks.
“[B]eing organized eliminates the time suck that searching for lost items inevitably causes. Being organized allows you to spend more time focusing on the things that really matter to your business,” notes The Productivity Experts.
Some of the tools you can use to stay organized include:
- To-do lists (e.g, Amazing Marvin)
- Task management/project management software (e.g., Basecamp)
- Customer relationship management (CRM) systems (e.g., Salesforce)
As you dive into these five areas and build up your new insurance practice, you may also find that using InsurTech tools like Wheelhouse helps you stay organized. From easily managing your book of small business clients to automating more of the renewals process, Wheelhouse makes it easy for you to thrive as a new commercial insurance agent.