Time is money. If you are a preferred personal lines insurance agency, you understand that concept very well. So then why have you or your staff become professional “voters?” Here is how to pre-qualify your prospects to help you grow your agency more profitably and quickly.
– Stop quoting just anyone who wants a quote. Does your advertising say, “Call for a free quote?” Does anyone “charge” to do a quote? What you're really saying is that the only value you and your agency brings to the table is checking to see if you have a cheaper price. Change your advertising.
– Do fewer quotes-get a higher “close” ratio. What's your agencies “close” ratio? You will not want to know this unless you're concerned about how much time you and your staff is wasting. Out of 100 quotes done, if you're closing 40% or 40, maybe you're thinking that's pretty good! You do not get paid to quote, so maybe you should not be willing to quote everyone who calls. But what if you closed 80%? You would have had more time to spend properly analyzing the risk and educating the right prospects rather than wasting time doing quotes for prospects you should not want to have as clients.
– Other professionals pre-qualify prospects. Attorneys, Doctors and CPA's for example do not do business with just anyone. The last attorney I deal with was only willing to talk to me because a friend of his had referred me. Doctors qualify you by the insurance you carry or your ailment. CPA's qualify you based on your “net worth.” As an “Insurance Professional”, why do you take “all comers?”
So- who should you disqualify?
– The prospect wants to write one policy. Agents tend to think that the first policy will get their “foot in the door.” You “plan” to write the other policies later. Writing one policy is not in your or your clients' best interest. If you only write one policy for a client, the likelihood that you will keep that policy for more than six months or a year is very small. Commission is coming down. The cost of client acquisition is going up. You will not make a profit on that one policy. It's costing you money to do business that way. One client has 3-5 personal insurance policies on average. You need to be writing at least 3 to keep that client for multiple years to grow your business. With all the account discounts available from carriers and the potential for coverage gaps, why would a prospect not want to place all of their business with you right away if they understand this?
There is additional information on pre-qualifying prospects in my next article. Hope you will consider changing how you do business to improve your business.