ACG - Agency Consulting Group

The PIPELINE

A national monthly newsletter for agency principals dedicated to agency management topic

GROWING YOUR AGENCY BY ADDING NEW CLIENTS

How do you get new clients? If you are like most independent agents, most of your clients come to you by word-of-mouth from other clients. These clients are invaluable because they already know OF you and the contact is for them to get to know you personally. If you get along and they like and trust you and if you can solve their problems, a relationship can begin that will likely end with them purchasing insurance from you.

If that is a satisfactory growth rate for you, you need go no further. Out of every 1000 clients you will get five to ten unsolicited referrals depending on how close your relationship is with your existing clients. The closer the relationship, the more referrals you will get. If you never see your clients and only speak to them when they have a problem, you might get fewer unsolicited referrals.

Unfortunately, the direct writers continue to advertise and market heavily for YOUR clients to try them out for potentially lower premiums. Younger people shop on line more than ever before, (although, happily, most of them still want to buy from a trusted advisor). And if the only exposure they have to you is the receipt of a renewal policy and bill with growing premiums annually, the taste they have in their mouths about their experience with you is price-driven and negative. It leads them to answer “Why Not?” when solicited by other agents or direct writers to allow them to quote.

Agents who have closer, personal relationships with their customers based on trust and the security that the agent is there to help and protect them have much less trouble with price-shopping other insurance providers (the clients assume they will remarket to get them fair pricing annually).

But if you have not been growing the way you want through word-of-mouth unsolicited referrals, there are ways to alter your marketing to actually GENERATE CUSTOMERS.

The simplest way is to create proactive referrals – ask your customers to refer their friends and business associates. Many agents are reluctant to ask clients for referrals, believing that the request breaks some sort of bond of professionalism. Agency Consulting Group, Inc. clients who have solicited referrals for many years have no such compunction, knowing that their clients are happy to share their services with the clients’ friends but simply have never considered doing so. Believe it or not the clients normally believe that you are too busy to take on new clients. Paraphrasing ‘Field of Dreams’, “If you ask them, they will refer.”

Link here to read, “Active Referral Programs” elsewhere in this issue of the PIPELINE.

The other way to grow your customer base is to actively market for new clients. Believe it or not 80% of all agencies never solicit clients, even when they have new, unique or different forms of coverage available. The agencies that actually market, get new clients in direct proportion to the number of times they contact prospects annually. If your marketing effort is a single-shot mail, email, or advertising piece, you will get minimal results. If your marketing efforts involves as many as four or five contacts each year, your closing rate increases. If you follow up every marketing piece with direct client contact (visits), your closing rate jumps dramatically.

Obviously, the more exposure you have to each prospect, the better chance there is of forming a relationship. Familiarization may be formed through frequent prospect exposure to you and to your agency and your products. But RELATIONSHIPS ARE FORMED FACE-TO-FACE, not by mail, email, social media or by phone.

So if you acknowledge that a multi-stage marketing program to a homogeneous target market group with frequent contacts by you or by your producers makes sense as a tool to grow new customers for your agency, why haven’t you done it already?

The answer is simple – IT IS TOO HARD TO IDENTIFY TARGET MARKETS FOR WHICH YOU HAVE THE RIGHT PRODUCTS, SUFFICIENT PROSPECTS, MARKETING MATERIAL, A METHOD FOR CONTACTING THE PROSPECTS AND THE DISCIPLINE AND MANAGEMENT TO BE SURE THE PROCESS IS ACTUALLY CARRIED THROUGH TO ITS LOGICAL CONCLUSION!!

But, what if a system were designed that would address ALL of the aforementioned steps and issues so that all that was left was for you to actually see the prospects that were being generated and marketed regularly?

That system now exists in Monday Morning Markets (www.mondaymorningmarkets.com), a unique marketing system, AT NO COST TO THE AGENCIES, that put over 700 special programs on your website, with Featured Programs that have willing carriers who will show you and your prospects how the special programs can benefit the end customer. The Program Managers will have private PSV’s (Product Knowledge Videos) available only to you to teach you the unique underwriting, rating and coverage features that allow you to present the programs to your clients. You will have PKV’s (Product Knowledge Videos) on your website that shows your clients and prospects how the program would benefit them. Referrals come directly to you to propose and sell the programs supported by the Program Managers and their carriers. YOU NO LONGER HAVE CARRIER LIMITATIONS.

And, if you believe in the Proactive Marketing discussed earlier in this article, Agency Consulting Group, Inc. can provide you the details of the Asset Protection Model of relationship selling to show you and your producers how to contact prospects and to manage those contacts to create new clients for your agency (at additional cost – call us at 800 779 2430 for more information about the APM).

If you don’t have the facility to generate the leads needed to market the Special Programs in your area, Agency Consulting Group, Inc. will generate the contact information to provide you a list of all prospects for the selected Special Programs (at additional cost). Call us at 800 779 2430 with your selected Special Programs after you have registered for your EXCLUSIVE territory for Monday Morning Markets and we’ll price the prospect lists for you.

If you don’t have the facility to create and deliver the marketing programs, AgenciesOnLine (www.agenciesonline.biz) can both create and send the marketing segments based on the timing you select to give you or your producers a steady flow of contacts to be made to familiarize your prospects with you, with your agency and with the Special Program.

This integrated program lead by Monday Morning Markets gives you all the facilities you need to keep productively very busy contacting targeted prospects in your marketing area with Special Programs sufficiently frequently to give you a steady flow of new business year after year. All you need to do is IMPLEMENT.

If you are ready to end the excuses rampant in our industry about why you can’t grow and get on to the business of growing, go to www.MondayMorningMarkets.com and register to see if your territory is available and then call us at 856 779 2430 and we’ll discuss how to trigger a marketing program for you with the tools and facilities already available to us.