How to grow an insurance agency:
• Use data to your advantage. Data and analytics help identify opportunities to grow your client list and overall premium.
• Upsell existing clients. Address client needs, and deepen those relationships.
• Increase your market access. Greater market access means more quotes, which equals more business.
• Join an insurance agency network to support your growth.
The best way to grow your insurance agency is get back to working on the business, instead of working in the business.
You’ve built a successful agency with great staff and clients — now you’re ready to take it to the next level.
But if you’re like many independent insurance agency owners, you may find yourself hitting a growth ceiling:
- The new business growth that once came easily has slowed.
- You know you need to keep selling, but you’re constantly getting pulled into the day-to-day work that comes with running a business.
- You know you will have staff retiring in the next couple years, but you’re not quite sure how to handle it.
- You know new agency tech and data analytics tools present an opportunity, but you don’t know where to start.
While it might seem especially challenging in today’s economy, it’s more important than ever to focus on growth.
Successfully Growing an Independent Agency
The best way to grow your insurance agency is get back to working on the business, instead of working in the business. Consider implementing these 4 strategies.
1. Use data to your advantage
Data is crucial when it comes to recognizing which types of policies are most profitable, where the greatest opportunities for upselling or cross-selling exist, which carriers are offering the best compensation, and more.
You may already be using data to your advantage in some capacity. If you’re keeping tabs on high renewal increases, cross-sell opportunities, or simply checking in to see which periods of the year are your highest volume, you’re off to a good start.
If you haven’t gone down the data-and-analytics path yet, don’t worry. Here are two reasons why you should consider leveraging data within your agency:
Uncover more opportunities.
Tapping into data and analytics helps with spotting clear opportunities to grow your client list and overall premium. It allows you to dive deep and recommend additional insurance policies or coverages based on what similar clients have also purchased.
Renaissance Alliance member agency principals leverage our dynamic reporting dashboards and Arno, a user-friendly mobile app that offers a quick and easy way to surface cross-sell opportunities right at your fingertips.
Set better goals and monitor your progress.
Access to easy-to-understand data helps with setting realistic, yet rewarding goals for your agency. For example, you can identify your top-performing carriers and set a goal to increase your sales with that carrier by 10 or 20% next quarter. From there, you can set up a dashboard to keep tabs on your progress throughout the quarter so you know how you’re progressing to your goal.
2. Upsell and expand existing clients
Building on the opportunities data can uncover, selling to existing clients is one of the most profitable ways to expand and grow your P&C insurance agency.
You already have the relationship established; the challenge at this point is to find opportunities to expand it. Here’s how to approach it:
Address client needs.
Insurance is often required by law for certain purchases. In other words, your clients need the products you’re offering. That said, the reality is that customers are often indifferent when it comes to insurance policies. To them, there’s very little difference between one policy to the next, which opens the door for you as the insurance agent to educate your clients and help them understand what coverage makes the most sense for them and their risk profile.
Look back at past conversations you’ve had with them and line up the new policies you pitch with what you’re confident they can benefit from.
Strengthen client relationships.
One of the best ways to build a positive relationship with your existing clients is to proactively reach out when policies are coming up on renewals, or when better plans or better rates come up. Prove to them that you genuinely do care about what’s best for them, and become their sounding board for insight and advice about new policies or services.
As an example, reach out to all of your commercial customers to try to write their personal policies. Or vice versa; try an e-mail and direct mail campaign to all personal lines customers advertising your ability to help with their business insurance if they own a company.
3. Increase your market access
Client acquisition and retention are both significant growth levers for an independent insurance agency, and insurance market access is an integral part of this growth.
If you don’t have access to the right markets, you won’t be able to provide as many products or quotes from different carriers to your clients as your competition, which can lead to clients switching agencies to hunt for a better deal. This is particularly true for independent agencies that have large personal lines businesses and are trying to grow their commercial lines business. Not having enough access to commercial products can be a major hurdle in creating the growth agencies are after.
Greater market access means more quotes, which means more business for your agency.
The most common way to increase market access for independent P&C insurance agencies is to partner with an insurance agency network like Renaissance Alliance. Renaissance members have access to over 45 standard carrier partners and an experienced team of placement experts to help you find the right markets for every piece of business. Renaissance is the largest agency partner for many carriers, which allows for better compensation for our members and underwriting flexibility to offer the best and most profitable options to you and your customers.
4. Consider joining an insurance agency network to support your growth
Joining an agency network is one of the best growth paths for independent agencies to take, if you join the right one. Many networks only offer increased market access and profit sharing, so you need to look carefully to find one that also focuses on helping your agency organically grow.
Renaissance Alliance works with independent P&C agency owners to grow your premium, maximize your revenue and increase the value of your agency. Through customized plans and extensive services, we provide agents the people and technology you need to thrive while protecting your independence.
Here are a few other benefits of joining an agency alliance to grow your agency:
- Maximize revenue: Increase market access, profit sharing, and commissions to boost your agency’s revenue.
- Increase close ratio: Use data-driven insights and an experienced placement team to your advantage.
- Improve client retention rate: Leverage your expertise to create custom programs for your clients and automate notifications when policies are approaching renewal.
- Increase productivity: Redirect your staff to other revenue-generating activities, rather than having them spend hours on day-to-day operational tasks.
Ready to accelerate your agency growth?
It’s hard enough for independent insurance agencies to compete with the large brokers and direct-to-consumer providers for clients. It’s going to be all the more difficult if you’re not focused on proactively growing your agency.
Let’s recap the 4 strategies we’ve covered:
- Use data to your advantage to spot growth opportunities and set realistic growth goals.
- Upsell to existing clients to expand your relationships and revenue.
- Increase your access to markets to improve the options you can offer to retain and win more customers.
- Join an insurance agency network to partner with other experts in the industry, connect with like-minded agency owners and free up your team to focus on revenue generating work.
If you’re interested in learning more about how an agency alliance can help you, get in touch with a Renaissance Alliance expert today.