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July 11, 2013

Ramping Up Retention

3 min read

Topic: Insurance Agency Management Insurance Agency Growth Strategies Start an Agency Grow an Agency

We are in the business of selling insurance, right?  So, who is the easiest person to sell insurance to?  An existing customer of course.

But in the day-to-day running of our insurance agencies we are so busy selling insurance to new customers we often forget that we have to resell our existing customers at least once a year too.  How can we increase the chances of that?  Here are some proven methods:

               1.  Nurture the heck out of them.  If a customer is just a transaction to you this won’t make sense.  But if they represent a relationship that you want to last a long time you need to talk to them.  A lot.  There are many ways to do this.  And it can be largely automated.  But you must do it. 

               2.  Don’t take them for granted.  This seems obvious, but I think we do take customers for granted.  All the time.  And they think so too!  To avoid this see #1 above.  But perhaps more importantly let them know how much they mean to you.  Say thank you!  Say it in as many ways as you can think of and as many times as you interact with them.  For example, do you thank someone for calling to turn in a claim and giving you the opportunity to be of service?  Do you thank them when they complain and give you the opportunity to improve? 

               3.  Sell them more policies.  We all know this one right?  The more policies they have with you the longer they stay.  So, do you have a systematic approach to account rounding?  I’ll bet you don’t!  Do you ask for additional business multiple times a year in your non-personal contacts (email, billing, etc.)?  Does your staff ask to quote life insurance, umbrella policies, health insurance every time you talk to a customer?  I’ll bet they don’t!  But they should.  Do you quote every line of business you sell every time you sell anything?  Do you tell every business customer how competitive you are in personal insurance and vice versa? 

               4.   Re quote them at every renewal.   This is closely related to #2.  If you don’t offer multiple quotes every single renewal you are making a huge mistake.  In the first place, if you’re an independent agent your strength is in choice.  If you offer no choice you have given your strength away!  Also, when you give choices they don’t need to talk to other agents right?  Look, it’s work.  I get it.  But if you want to be successful long term in anything you need to earn your money.  Comparative raters make it easy.  There really is no excuse. 

               5.  Join OAA!  Really, I’m not kidding here.  Customers today demand lots of choices.  Most insurance carriers demand lots of premium.  How does a small agency balance that?  OAA helps because as a group we satisfy the carriers and the agency can offer lots more choices.   If you’re not a member, let us visit with you about this.  Maybe it’s not right for you.  But how do you know unless you check it out?

Retention. It’s not sexy, but it’s one of the most important things you need to focus on to grow a successful agency.