Owning and operating your own business is challenging, and running an insurance agency is no exception. Whatever type of insurance your agency specializes in, it is important to work to continuously grow your client base and profits. To stay competitive in the insurance world, businesses must find ways to outshine the competition and to provide one of a kind service. Here are five tips for growing your insurance agency into a successful and reputable business.
Get More Education
While becoming an insurance agent generally requires a minimum of a high school diploma and an insurance license, those who have the most success in the field pursue higher education. Obtaining an advanced degree is particularly beneficial for those who own their own agencies, as a variety of degrees such as business and marketing provide a wealth of practical information to entrepreneurs.
Even insurance agents with the busiest of schedules can pursue higher education by taking evening classes or insurance courses online. When it comes to running an insurance agency, there’s no such thing as too much education. A master’s degree in law, for example, will not only cultivate valuable legal expertise, but will also give your agency extra credibility. Clients will be more willing to trust an agency that is run by knowledgeable and educated individuals.
Improve Marketing Techniques
Insurance can be a tough business, particularly because most agencies provide similar packages at comparable prices. Finding a way to make your agency stand out from the crowd can mean the difference between operating a thriving business and becoming just one of the many available insurance companies. One of the best things you can do to improve your marketing strategy is to take a hard look at your agency’s website. Consumers are increasingly making purchasing decisions based on a company’s Web presence, and making a positive online impression can make all the difference.
According to the Harvard Business Review, the most important thing to remember when giving your website a facelift is to keep it simple. Consumers are more likely to purchase a policy if the decision-making process is simple and straightforward. It is also important to remember that great customer service can go a long way, both online and in person. Let your customers know that you care about providing them with coverage that will protect them and their family members by sending thank you cards, offering discounts to loyal customers and going out of your way to meet specific needs.
Widen Customer Base
Growing your client base is something that must be done with careful research and planning, as constantly attracting new customers is essential to your agency’s success. Start with identifying the needs of your clients by conducting in-depth research. What are the greatest concerns of individuals who are buying policies from your agency? Answering questions such as this one is crucial to building the trust of your existing clients and drawing the attention of new ones.
Social media is a powerful way to reach out to your existing client base and to encourage your customers to spread the word. According to the Huffington Post, when it comes to social media outreach, quality is always more important than quantity. Make your social media presence about providing valuable information and being available to answer questions. Building the trust of a few clients is the first step toward expanding your customer base and establishing your company as a reputable agency.
Cultivate Positive Business Relationships
Getting your agency’s name out there goes beyond attracting more clients. In the insurance world, making connections with other business professionals is crucial to growing your agency and building its reputation. Attend as many insurance related seminars and conferences as possible, and make a point to introduce yourself to other professionals such as financial planners, mortgage brokers and fellow agents. This kind of proactive networking will increase your chances of getting the steady stream of valuable referrals your agency needs to grow.
Improve Policy Options
While simplicity is an important factor in marketing your business, clients still want to know they have options. Reevaluate your available policies, and consider how you may expand. For example, you may want to become a multi-line agency, offering a wide range of coverage, to include property, life, auto and health insurance. It is helpful to advertise the wide range of policies your agency offers and to offer discounts for those who add multiple policies. Reach out to your customers to let them know that they can add renter’s insurance onto an existing auto policy at very little cost. Improving the quality and quantity of policies you offer will give customers more reasons to keep coming back.
You’ve worked hard to build your insurance agency to where it is today, and by applying these principles, you can continue to have success.