If you’re serious about building a new insurance agency from scratch, you’re in for a rewarding yet challenging first few years. Whether you work with aged leads or social media leads, your first three years in the business will test your resolve and lay the groundwork for your agency’s future.
Curious how you can make the most of such a great opportunity? Here are my recommended tactics for building your agency over the course of your first three years.
Tactics for the First 90 Days
Get Legal and Accounting Help
Before you get started selling insurance products, you must make sure your business is properly setup, licensed, and insured. There’s plenty of opportunity for mistakes, so it pays to get help. Invest in a good attorney and accountant to do things right the first time.
Prepare for Start-Up Costs
While it’s possible to start a home-based insurance agency for as little as $5,000, you should plan on more, perhaps as much as $20,000 to $50,000 depending on your particular circumstances. Not being prepared for upfront costs — such as lease deposits, operational costs, cash reserves — is the surest way to fail quickly.
Getting the ball rolling with your own insurance outfit isn’t like being a captive agent or a direct policy writer. It’s not the time for complacency. If a caveman doesn’t go out to hunt because he’s got a headache, he doesn’t eat. The early days of agency life aren’t so different.
Getting Carrier Appointments
As anyone familiar with the business knows, insurers won’t let just anyone sell their insurance products. Consider joining a managing general agency, cluster group, or an established insurance network. For those agents who can’t yet get direct appointments, these can be a good stepping stone.
Sell to Your Network
When it’s time to begin selling, start with your existing network of friends and family. It’s a tried and true way to get started in almost every services-based business. The policies you do write will give you the confidence to move on to bigger fish. And don’t forget to ask everyone you know for referrals.
Consider Buying a Book of Business
An existing book of business is one of the quickest ways to establish yourself and your new agency. A book of policies that renew annually or a book of clients likely to need more insurance coverage in the near term is best.
Tactics for Your First Year
Learn to Sell and Learn to Sell Well
From your first few policies through to your first year in business, your primary focus should be on selling effectively. If you haven’t had much insurance experience prior to opening your own agency, this is the time to hone your techniques and learn what works best for you. Don’t worry too much about efficiency yet. That comes later.
Get 100 Good Clients
This often takes a year or more in the business to achieve, but as quickly as you can, try to develop a roster of around 100 good clients. What makes a “good” client? A client who’s going to come back to you again and again for their insurance needs — when they start a family, when they buy a house, when they have a friend who needs insurance, and so on.
Diversify Your Prospect Pool
A diversified lead generation strategy can be a good plan when you have a new agency. You may find a particular lead source — whether it’s aged leads, internet leads, direct mail, or social media — really suits you. Without an open mind, you may have missed that opportunity.
Tactics for the First 3 Years
Refine Your Skills
In your first year, becoming an effective insurance salesperson is key. Beyond the first 12 months, shift your focus to selling more efficiently. Keep more detailed prospect records, track metrics, refine your script, improve your consultative and solution-based sales approaches, and get used to shifting between sales tactics on the fly.
Give It Your All
A strong work ethic is crucial in the first few years of an insurance agency’s life. Don’t expect a career to be given to you. You have to want it and you have work for it. However, after you get the ball rolling it does get easier.
Consider Aged Leads
If you haven’t included them in your prospecting strategy already, consider working with aged leads. An aged lead strategy can help you add growth to your business when you’ve otherwise hit a dry spot. The tactic offers a good ROI and forces you to be disciplined about using a systematic approach to selling. A good technique to know no matter your strategy.
If you are ready to dive in with aged leads, consider the high-quality aged leads available at the Aged Lead Store. You’ll find we have thousands of sortable leads ready to buy, whether your business is auto, life, health, or home insurance, mortgage refinance, or solar installation.