Keeping the Pipeline Full: 3 Strategies for Growing Your Insurance Agency in 2020

Did your insurance agency experience growth in 2019? Growth success in 2020 concept. Businessman plan and increase of positive indicators in his business.If yes, by how much? An industry study by Marshberry shows that in 2018, the average organic growth rate of insurance agencies surveyed was just 5.3%. Today, the average organic agency growth rate is approximately 11% — somewhat of an improvement, yes, but still a big gap compared with high-growth agencies that are enjoying an impressive 19.5% rate. Today, business production that falls below the 10% mark can make it difficult for agencies to meet new business goals while retaining more of their current book of business.

There isn’t a single magic formula for organically driving agency growth. However, the following strategies can help you maintain a fuller sales pipeline in the new year.

Eliminate your monoline accounts. A significant way to experience immediate growth and bolster retention is to flag all monoline accounts and identify appropriate cross-selling opportunities. An article published by National Underwriter Property Casualty 360 reports that agents who have customers with both home and auto policies see on average a 92% retention rate, while auto and home accounts that are packaged with the same carrier and effective date can experience rates as high as 96%. While this strategy works well for property and casualty agents, life and health agents and financial advisers can also benefit by cross-selling relevant insurance and financial planning products.

Tip: Focus your marketing efforts on existing policyholders first.

Demonstrate customer appreciation. A particularly big issue in insurance is perceived indifference — a feeling that prospects and customers get when a business doesn’t seem to care about their attempts to purchase a product or service — and is the biggest reason customers choose one business over another. A good relationship is the foundation of agency growth and retention. Policyholders who have contact with their agent or broker (other than just at renewal time) are more likely to stick around and refer friends, family and business colleagues. Show customers you care by scheduling policy reviews and sending them regular information on risk management issues, updates on coverages, etc. Flag and follow up with prospects who have been sent quotes to see if you can answer questions or assist them in the decision-making process.

Tip: Think of different ways you can make a personal connection with prospects and customers.

Get your team involved. As a busy agent or broker, you can’t be everywhere at once. And while you can’t clone yourself, you can train your staff to take on a proactive marketing role in your agency. For example, a fully licensed CSR can continue to write policies while you’re taking advantage of strategic networking opportunities in the community or out on appointments. An unlicensed receptionist can help with marketing efforts such as cold calls and obtaining quote information while simultaneously fielding agency calls, setting appointments and receiving premium payments.

Tip: Motivate your team by setting agency goals and providing incentives. 

Organic growth happens when companies use their own resources to generate profit. Simply put, it’s about growing under your own steam rather than depending on outside influences.

It’s a new year. Make a commitment to pushing your agency beyond the 10% mark. 

Need to get continuing education credits completed? At FastrackCE, we make it easy for agents to focus more of their valuable time on growing their business by conveniently getting all of their CE credits completed in one place — including state-mandated courses such as ethics, flood, long-term care and annuity training. For more information, call 800-544-3605 or visit us at fastrackce.com.

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