Play to Your Strengths as an Independent Agent

July 10, 2017
By: Voldico

More choices, better customer service, and expert guidance. Know how to market these strengths to acquire more customers and convert more leads.

Marketing yourself as a qualified independent insurance agent is one of the most important components to achieving success. 

As an independent agent, you have more to offer than online aggregators or direct-to-consumer agents. 

If you articulate and communicate the strengths and benefits of using an independent agent, you can win sales over your bigger competitors.

What Makes You a Better Choice 

The key emphasis here is value over price. 

Sure, you may score a lower-priced policy for your client, but your real strengths come from the additional value you provide as an independent agent in your local community.  

Here is a list of things to stress when closing a deal or converting a new lead: 

More Carrier Choices

As an independent agent, you are not tied to one carrier. You have the flexibility and freedom to look across multiple carriers to find the policy that works best for your client. 

You also have experience working with a variety of companies and have insight into their strengths and weaknesses.

Cost Savings

Though cost savings should not be your primary focus, you have the ability and skill to shop around to find the most coverage for the best price. 

Insurance companies that promise to drastically reduce rates in minutes may seem great at first, but an independent agent (like you) can save your customers time and money over the long hauk.

One-Stop Shopping

As an independent agent, you have the ability to review the rates and coverage options from several insurance carriers to help place policies that fit your clients' needs, at no additional cost.

You may also be able to take care of all coverage needs at once—making things easier for your clients. For example, if your client owns a small business, you can secure commercial insurance coverage in addition to taking care of their personal lines, like auto and home. There is no need for clients to contact multiple carriers.

Expert Advice

As an unbiased advocate for your clients, you provide advice on policy needs and selection. You are an expert in your industry and help your customers find solutions for their specific needs. 

There are lots of ways to obtain coverage, but would your client rather get a quote from a faceless online insurance provider or call a local agent who their friends, coworkers, and neighbors recommended?

Help With Claims

As an independent agent, you help clients file claims and answer questions as the claim is processed. The insurance industry is very complicated and there is a lot of technical jargon to navigate. 

As a trained and licensed professional, you manage the claim and help clients get fair settlements to cover any losses.

Risk Assessment 

Your industry experience means you know the questions to ask to reveal potential exposures. As an added benefit, you can review their current policy and point out exclusions that leave them vulnerable.

Working with your client face-to-face as a personal adviser, and taking the time to listen and understand individual concerns, can help the client understand risks and make them feel more confident and secure.

Customer Service 

When trying to call an online quote site or individual carrier, clients often reach an automated recording. You, on the other hand, are an actual person who can greet and assist them immediately. Customer service is a critical component of any small business. 

According to a recent survey, three out of four people use an agent to buy insurance, and many of them stay with the same agency for years. In other words, knowing your customers and providing excellent customer service and individualized care can benefit your agency for years to come. 

Community Member 

As a local business owner, place emphasis on giving back to the community. From sponsoring fundraisers and donating to local charities, to volunteering and serving as board members for non-profit organizations, you can give back to the community in many ways. Participating at the local level can make your clients feel good about their decision to do business with you.

Additionally, you have knowledge of the community and geographical area, which can help clients reduce their risks and protect their assets. For instance, would an insurance company in the South be as familiar with New England’s high water tables in the spring that increase flood risks or know to prevent ice dams by raking a roof? 

As an independent agent, you are a neighbor. You share an interest in the community where you live and understand the benefits and challenges of living in your locale. You are right around the corner, ready to help.

You have a lot to offer as an independent agent. Make sure your prospective customers know what makes you better than the competitors.