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25 Ways to Grow Your Independent Agency in 2013

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  • DRONES WEBINAR TAKES FLIGHT JUNE 22nd – Learn about insurance issues involving drones May 31, 2016
    Drones AKA Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Presented by John Eubank, CPCU, ARM and Bill Wilson, CPCU, ARM Wednesday, June 22, 2016 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET One of the fastest evolving insurance issues in recent years involves drones. From a non-issue to the presence of millions of hobby and commercial drones, this exposure has taken … Continue reading →
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  • New Resource Area Now Available in the Virtual University May 25, 2016
    Earlier this year, the Big I board approved development of a new area in the Big IVirtual University (VU) to provide members with information about finding, hiring and developing new talent for their agencies. This area is now live in the VU and will continue to expand as we curate more resources. We invite you … Continue reading →
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  • How to be A Superhero for Personal Lines Clients May 25, 2016
    Most of your personal lines clients don’t need you to be faster than a speeding bullet or to leap tall buildings in a single bound. However, they do need smart insurance protection, and there’s one area in which they are particularly vulnerable: JEWELRY. If you’re protecting your clients’ jewelry collections with their HO/renters insurance policies, … Contin […]
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  • Close More Sales with MiddleOak Coverage Checklists May 25, 2016
    Getting clients to think about comparing things other than coverage limits and price is difficult. Even when it seems like they are taking everything into account, you often are not sure that they even “get it.” Since making the intangible tangible is what we do all the time, we offer two checklists to help your … Continue reading →
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  • Turning Your Retirement Questions Into Answers May 12, 2016
    Having trouble deciding which retirement plan is right for you or your agency? Big “I” Retirement Services is here to help you choose which plan best meets your circumstances. We’ve worked with more than 1,000 agencies to help them achieve their retirement goals.   IIABA Support   With over 25 years in the retirement business, … Continue reading → […]
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  • 3 Ways to Compensate Personal Lines Producers May 6, 2016
    Contributed Article by Jacquelyn Connelly, Senior Editor of IA Magazine. If you’re like most independent agencies, you’ve got commercial lines producer compensation down to a science. But chances are you can’t say the same about personal lines. Al Diamond, president of Agency Consulting Group, Inc., works with myriad agencies on the issue of personal lines … […]
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  • How to Build a Relationship with an Online Buyer Through TrustedChoice.com April 19, 2016
    Category: Trusted Choice® ​ goo·gle – /’goog(Ə)l/ verb – google; 3rd person present: googles; past tense: googled; past participle: googled; gerund or present participle: googling search for information about (someone or something) on the Internet using the search engine Google. “I recently googled my 7th grade teacher and found his current e-mail address”   […]
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  • Big “I” Markets – An Inside Look at April 2015 NFIP Changes March 11, 2015
    By Cassie Masone – Selective Insurance Company, Vice President of Flood Operations Selective Flood Releases Bulletin on HFIAA Changes The tides are changing. Due to increasing catastrophic events and resultant rising expenses, Congress has passed numerous updates to help stabilize the National Flood Insurance Program over the last several years, including re […]
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  • Big “I” Markets – Webinars February 25, 2015
    Competing with Direct Sales & Captive Agency Insurers in Personal (and Commercial) Lines March 25, 2015; 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time $79 – Click here to register. Are you tired of all the insurance commercials that shout “Price! Price! Price!”? Are you sick of the silly claim that someone’s exposures to loss can be … Continue reading →
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  • Big “I” Markets – Hot and Cold HomeScanSM February 25, 2015
    The sound of water running all the time or a sudden increase in the water bill can indicate a plumbing leak. Signs of mold or mildew smell in an area that doesn’t get wet, spongy floors or walls, a sagging roof or cracked foundations can be plumbing or exterior water getting in where it’s not … Continue reading →
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By guest blogger Alan L. Shulman
As the calendar flips to 2013, growth-minded independents must decide how to build their agencies over the upcoming year. The options are endless, and they straddle both the physical and digital worlds. Here are 25 ideas for growth. There are plenty more, as well.

Personnel
Establish a full- or part-time position tasked with managing the agency’s digital and traditional marketing programs. Hire a marketing major straight out of college, or reassign a sales-driven CSR with solid communication skills.
Add an inexperienced producer. Hire an aggressive greenhorn or attract a skilled salesperson from another industry and teach them the business.
Open a sales-only office in a neighborhood or town where you want to grow. Perform most service functions through your main office or a company service center.
Buy a local agency and roll its book of business into yours — or maintain it as a separate operation.

Web and Social Marketing
Evaluate the contemporary nature of your agency website. Update its appearance and content as needed. Consider adding visitor-centric features like real-time personal lines rating and all-hours client service.
Establish a viable and continuous social media presence on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Post creative and interesting content that leads back to your website.
Have every agency producer activate a LinkedIn profile, post meaningful updates, and explore the network for viable new business leads.
Record brief informational and promotional videos, and post them on your own YouTube channel.
Don’t confuse random social networking posts with actual marketing. It’s merely a feel good activity that takes scarce time away from more productive efforts.

In-Office Marketing
Promote personal lines sales to commercial lines-only accounts, particularly to your top clients and their management teams. This adds business and helps keep rival agents at bay.
Offer flood insurance to every eligible homeowner and commercial property insured.
Establish an actively monitored program to promote personal lines CSR lead identification, cross-selling and upselling. Feature direct mail/email/social media campaigns to attract “missing” auto and homeowners policies.
Routinely request referrals and testimonials from quality insureds.
Systematically re-solicit desirable lost policies and failed new business proposals.
Run contests between CSRs and producers to see which group uncovers more salable leads.
Organize a renewal review program for personal and small commercial lines. Use print and web-based client-completed surveys, in addition to face-to-face and voice-to-voice reviews.
Start or expand your financial services department. Cross-sell life insurance to every salable insured, and offer retirement planning to baby boomers.

Additional Marketing
Promote umbrella policies to new personal lines prospects. This sells umbrellas plus gathers marketing information on the person’s underlying policies.
Open the doors of new commercial lines prospects with undersold but important contracts like cyber-liability, data breech and flood.
Match up viable commercial target markets with specialized programs and policies. Engage and attract prospects in conjunction with supportive carriers and managing general agencies.
Take full advantage of company co-op advertising programs. Don’t waste this generous subsidy.

About Alan L. Shulman
Shulman is the publisher of Agency Ideas, a subscription-only sales and marketing newsletter. He is also the author of the many tools posted on the Agency Ideas Instant Download Store. Phone: 800-724-1435. Email: alan@agencyideas.com. Website: www.agencyideas.com.

“Thisarticle is reprinted with permission from Insurance Journal. Copyright 2012Insurance Journal.”

Andrew McElhannon is the Member Services Coordinator for the Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia www.iiag.org, and can be contacted at: amcelhannon@iiag.org or b y phone at 770-458-0093, x.110, or 800-878-6487.


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