GROWING YOUR AGENCY THE OLD FASHIONED WAY -- WITH NEW TOOLS
Conning and Company reports that 56% of all P&C insurance sold in the U.S. is sold through special markets – program business. And that percentage is growing annually. What we used to consider Excess and Surplus business, shunned by many agents as low margin, less secure and potentially offshore business has converted into Program Business written by AAA+ domestic carriers through program managers who understand their products thoroughly and act as the underwriter for the various carriers for these products.
For many years program managers struggled with how to distribute these products to the consumers who needed and would profit from being insured in a program. I’m sure your email in-basket, like mine, has been clogged every day with emails about programs that are interesting but not pertinent to our daily business needs. Then, months later, when we encounter someone who would be a perfect fit for a program we have a vague recollection of “someone” telling us about some kind of program that seemed to fit our client’s need. But, we don’t remember the program; or the program manager so we go to our standard carriers and provide the coverage needed by our clients. Not the best fit for the program in which the client resides, but it feeds our carriers and provides us standard carrier commission.
Now – remember the statistic I cited earlier in this article – 56% of the insurance business sold in the U.S. is sold through programs. These programs are designed for the businesses and individuals who are members of a program group. They have better, specialized coverages. They are underwritten by program managers who thoroughly understand the client risks. They “fit” the needs of the consumer better than the standard coverages offered by general carriers. Many programs are underwritten and sponsored by the very carriers with whom you place the clients normally – but with different coverage and rates.
And there is a vast difference between one of your clients asking you if you know anything about a program that their business group has touted to them and you marketing to ALL OF THE PROSPECTS IN YOUR AREA THAT FALL INTO THAT GROUP!!
Most agents claim that they solicit and compare to give their clients the BEST coverage available at a competitive cost. But is that true? And what happens when another agent (or direct market source) show them that they could get better coverage at lower cost through a specialty market? Shouldn’t you be plugged into those sources as well as to your standard carriers?
It would profit you to look at www.mondaymorningmarkets.com as a means for you to have access to over 700 specialty markets. You will always know WHO offers these products and will have access to those markets for your clients and for your prospects. And, best of all, there is no cost to sign up for this service that places these specialty programs in a special area on your website homepage and refers EVERY PROSPECT for these programs that sees them on your site TO YOUR AGENCY for the sale of the product. There is a 5-minute introductory video on the site and access to a webinar that explains the entire program.
But this article is meant to provide you a marketing vehicle to use Monday Morning Markets (or any similar type of program markets) to boost sales in your agency and to grow your business.
Many agents signing into Monday Morning Markets will do so simply to have these markets available through their websites. That passive approach will provide the markets to the agency but will result in minimal growth limited to the agency’s own clients and those prospects who search for a specialty program. However, “marketing”, by its own nature, is not a passive activity. Marketing requires “Activity”.
When we encounter any new product or delivery method (like Monday Morning Markets) the proper approach is to determine how best to use that method in an active marketing campaign.
The appropriate method of using Monday Morning Markets in agency marketing is to identify the prospects in the agency’s marketing area who would be best served by the featured specialty programs, the PKV’s (Product Knowledge Videos) featured in Monday Morning Markets.
A PKV is a video available on your website to anyone who wishes to view it that explains the unique features of the special market product that is highlighted on Monday Morning Markets. The prospect can view a 1-Minute Overview or a longer explanation of how that coverage can benefit the member of that program group. And, if the prospect wants more information or a quote, they are routed directly (and only) to YOUR AGENCY!
The only question is how best to get the members of that group to your website. And that’s where your marketing program begins.
1. Identify the prospect base.
For instance, among Monday Morning Markets featured programs are programs for Real Estate Agents E&O, for Accountants Professional Liability, and for Antique and Classic Auto Insurance. How easy would it be to evolve a list of all R.E. agents or all Accountants and Tax Professionals in your area and develop a campaign to acquaint them both with your agency and with the specialty program that would fit their exposure to a tee?
Your own client base is the prospect list for antique cars. How many of your own customers (like myself) has a classic or antique vehicle safely tucked away in his garage to be taken out on special occasions only. How are they insured now? Could you provide them a better program through Monday Morning Markets?
2. Develop a multi-touch marketing program using a link to the PKV in your own website as the conduit for getting the prospect interested in insuring with YOU.
3. Implement the program to the appropriate group of prospects several times each year to teach them and remind them of your uniqueness as an agency serving their needs.
Monday Morning Markets’s representation is exclusive. You will be the only agent within your territory to have Monday Morning Markets on your website and be authorized to market through Monday Morning Markets. You can market ANYWHERE. The exclusivity is for having the products available on their website. And it’s FREE to agents.
We recommend that you sign up while there are still territories available. We also recommend that you use this marketing tool to generate growth for your agency. There is NO COST associated with registration and minimal cost associated with the marketing of these products. Monday Morning Markets even has tools and help in designing marketing programs for you. www.mondaymorningmarkets.com is the website. After reviewing the site, link to the “Agencies” section at the top menu. Go to the bottom of the Agency Page or link on one of the many “Register Now” buttons and take the five minutes to register for your territory before they are all gone...