Last month I attended the second annual InsureTech Connect conference. The brightest and most forward-thinking individuals in our industry gathered in Las Vegas.
Much has been written about the state of disruption in insurance, and what the future could hold. There were many cool new companies with innovative ideas.
But, no one defined what disruption is and what the independent agency should do to adapt. It can be simplified into three things.
1. Disruption is about engagement.
Are you reaching prospects through 20th century channels or 21st century channels?
YouTube reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year olds than any cable network. Yet, agents will still spend money advertising with companies who were once yellow pages.
How fast you respond to prospects has a direct correlation to closing percentage. How often you communicate with clients has a direct influence on your retention. It also affects the client's mortality rate, or the average time a client stays with you.
I know it's impossible to call every prospect within minutes. But, it is not impossible to contact them. Automate your initial communication to prospects. Use a client nurturing program like AgencyBuzz.
2. Disruption is about ease of use.
The technology in your agency should make it easy for producers to connect to clients and vice versa. Technology that is user friendly and allows the producer to focus on the client is the key.
Check your technology. Is it easy to use or creating snags in customer service? Is it advancing as consumer trends unfold? Or is it keeping you tied to the past? For example, think VCR versus streaming.
Additionally, your website should be an extension of your agency. It is not a business card.
On your website, clients should find answers to common questions about insurance. Provide contact forms for service or quoting. They need to be able to reach you when they need to.
When in doubt, make it easy for customers.
3. Disruption is about data.
What is your client mortality rate? What is your click to open ratio? What is your cost per acquisition? By producer? By marketing source?
Today we have tools that measure all types of things about our business. But, we must remember we are in a relationship business. The most important things to measure have to do with the relationship.
Think about the data points that pertain to the client relationship.
- How much does it cost for us to start a relationship (Or, acquisition cost)?
- How long do we keep a relationship (Or, client mortality rate)?
- How fast are we reaching out to our prospects?
- How often do we communicated with our clients?
- Does the message we send out resonate with our audience (or, click to open ratio)?
- How much revenue does each relationship bring the agency?
The industry is not being disrupted. It is better stated the industry is being updated. Insurance will always be a relationship business, no matter how many times ads on TV try to make it a commodity.
If you want to stay relevant and continue to have value to your clients, disrupt the way you engage clients. Disrupt the way they can connect with you. Disrupt the information you use to analyze the value of that relationship.
About the Author
As Vice President of Sales, Don Hobdy Jr. is responsible for ITC's revenue growth through product sales and strategic partnerships. While he doesn't promote any one sales philosophy to his team, he does incorporate a range of techniques from Sandler to Challenger in his methodology. Don, a licensed P&C agent, travels the country speaking to agents on digital marketing and agency efficiency as well as teaching continuing education classes. When he's not on the road, he enjoys firing up his smoker to cook amazing bar-b-que, watching his Dallas Cowboys, writing, and taking his three kids to amusement parks around the country.More Content by Don Hobdy Jr.