Life Insurance agents/ agencies are utilizing technology not only to produce new business but also to grow multi-state insurance agencies. In view of the current changes in the economy as a whole there is a myriad of displaced workers who are looking for new career opportunities as employers downsize in an effort to wait out the greatest job loss recession since the 1974-75 and the 1981-82 recessions hit. Small business owners are struggling to stay afloat as consumers tighten their spending habits. In view of all the businesses and retailers that have been forced to close there doors what better opportunity to consider a creative business concepts. Clearly you have several options when any sales oriented business slows, you can simply wait it out and complain about the lack of business or the loss of employment or you can investigate new ideas and put them into action. Those who think ahead of the curve will certainly be ready when the tide turns.
Insurance Selling Not for Everyone
Selling insurance is not easy and it has not been unscathed by the downward spiraling economy, overall insurance purchases are down by 23% for 2009. On a positive note the term life sales segment dropped only about 3% fairing much better than other forms of life insurance. LIMRA is forecasting a double-digit decline in sales this year followed by a double-digit recovery in 2010. Certainly selling insurance is not for the faint hearted, people scurry off when you tell them you sell insurance but for a few smart marketers the opportunity can still be very ripe. If you already sell insurance then you should definitely be incorporating technology in your current business plan, those who do will gain a viable advantage over those who fail to notice this opportunity. Statistics show that consumers are using the Internet for researching insurance product options and rates. Agents who learn how to harness the power of the internet too grab the interest of those prospects and develop simple systems to establish relationships for cross selling multi-line products across multiple states will have the potential for the most growth.
Building a National Agency with Technology
Sounds complicated and or expensive, but is it? All businesses usually have some cost involved for both start up and ongoing. Traditional agencies would need overhead expenses to cover a lease, equipment, advertising and a support staff. Obviously this can get expensive and may not be the best option in today’s market. The Virtual Agency is a business model built using technology combined with people to reduce investment overhead expense. The agency can still be developed utilizing traditional marketing methods like word of mouth, networking and for the tech savvy, Internet marketing. Unlike captive agents, just about every independent insurance agent is in some sort of hierarchy based on their position within the Agency or Marketing Organization. So do you see where this is going, an opportunity to sell a broad range of products direct to consumers as an independent agent and recruit other agents into your down-line across multiple states using technology and people. This can all be accomplished using a intelligent web-based platform that includes: customer relationship management, multi carrier quoting engine, underwriting guidelines for all carriers, transparent policy case management and electronic policy delivery to the carriers. Add to that the agent recruiting tools, Agent recruit management, web based sales training, automated licensing and appointments for agents, and hierarchy support system that assist you in managing your down line and commission reports you have a fully automated business system.
What does it take to be a Virtual Insurance Agent/ Agency?
Starting a virtual insurance agency will take some work, if it was easy everyone would already be doing it right? You need to have some basic computer skills be wiling to learn and be persistent. Every consumer won’t buy insurance from you on the first call and may require a lot of follow up, as well the recruiting can also be difficult since some licensed agents are eager to get on board but then never put forth the required effort to both sell and recruit however, for diligent agents this can be the most rewarding opportunity for both financial success and the ability to have more control over your career goals and time. Regardless of your aspirations the virtual agent opportunity can provide great income either for the part time agent or for those who want to build a multi-state agency. Building a virtual agency can support the independent agents effort to sell hundreds of policies per month. Top recruiters are currently selling hundreds of polices a month and accumulating over $20,000 in total commissions with a team of agents. Creating a website and utilizing a quote engine is also a important element of the virtual agency and can be essential in generating your own lead program for both your personal sales and agency leads for your down-line agents.
In summary look for a virtual agency program that supports your future growth including the opportunity for recruiting and growing your agency, provide good web based training, top carriers that consumers know and trust, no hidden cost or large deposits to get started, lead programs and lead discounts, affordable agent/agency websites and compensation tiers so that you have the opportunity to earn more as your production increases. The partnership between carriers and marketing organizations and agents is key to a successful virtual agency.
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