Times are chaotic and uncertain, and while we don’t have all the answers, we want to offer you some guidance to help you navigate this situation. Let’s take control and work together to minimize the impact on your business and come out on the other side stronger than ever.

The insurance industry is more competitive than ever before. Employers can work with brokers, PEOs, or direct-to-employer software when giving employees access to benefits and health insurance. If you still rely on in-person meetings and paper, how will you survive in an environment that has gone virtual seemingly overnight? In this week’s Broker Tool Belt, we share the 10 steps you can follow to win new business and make 2020 your most profitable year ever – from the safety of your home!

1. Set a Clear Goal and Track Progress

If you want your business to keep moving forward in 2020, developing new goals and tracking your performance on a regular basis is the key to success. The most effective way to look at growth in an insurance agency is by looking at the number of clients. Ask yourself, how many new businesses do you want to win this year? 

Forecast by looking at the businesses you won the previous year and increase it by a percentage you feel comfortable with. Keep in mind that the number you decide on needs to also push you to work hard towards your goal. It’s not supposed to be easy. For example, you have 50 clients, counting the 10 you won last year, and you decide you want to grow your agency by 25%. You will need to win 12.5 new businesses in 2020 to reach your goal.  

2. Understand Your Clients’ Needs

In recent years, millennials and baby boomers have taken over the workforce. Today, Gen Zers are growing in number and they already make up 20% of the total workforce. With unique demographic groups, different needs arise. Employers continue to rely on insurance brokers for expert advice, but they seek more help navigating the workplace. If you want to win new business, it’s important to understand the distinctive traits of the different generations and help employers personalize benefits. Ease has put together the 2020 SMB Benefits & Employee Insights Report with the national data, trends, and observations shaping the health insurance industry so you can design tailored benefits offerings for your clients.

3. Update Your Website

The way you present your agency plays a big role in your success. The insurance industry is a highly competitive environment and first impressions matter. If you haven’t updated your website for more than 3 years, it’s time to get the work done. Your agency’s website is going to be the first interaction many prospective clients have with your business. Update your design and combine it with flawless functionality. Make it clean and easy to use while keeping it professional. Try to break away from the repetitiveness present in the entire health insurance industry and make your agency stand out. 

4. Establish Your Social Media Presence

Social media is a multi-purpose marketing channel. Through your activity on the different social platforms, you can create and build relationships, but you can also generate leads and win new business. To start incorporating social media into your business model, open a profile on the most popular social media networks, we recommend starting with LinkedIn. Once your presence is established, set a frequency to publish. Consistency is key to generate engagement and build a meaningful relationship. Lastly, start implementing a plan for social selling. Find, connect, and nurture leads by providing value in an organic manner, letting prospects come to you instead of you interrupting their day with a cold call. 

5. Improve Your Sales Pitch

When reaching out to prospects, it’s important to resonate with them, point out “why you” and the service you provide is different from others, and tackle any concerns they might have. To accomplish this, your sales pitch should include:

  • Specific information you collected by doing research about each prospect.
  • The problem they are facing.
  • A plan of how your services will help them overcome that problem.
  • A picture of what success will look like for them.
  • A clear call to action. For example, share a landing page where they can request a custom quote. 

6. Focus on Qualified Leads

Not all prospects will be a good fit for your agency, while others may not be ready to use your services immediately. If you are wondering how you can make sure you are focusing your efforts on qualified leads, there is a wide variety of methods. For example, gather the information that relates to your selling process. If you capture leads through a form and you only sell group insurance, adding a field asking them what type of insurance they are looking for might be helpful. If you want to put in place a more structured process, you can start scoring your leads and create a lead scoring model for your agency.

7. Collect Testimonials and Ask for Referrals

Utilizing social proof as part of your marketing strategy is key to providing strong evidence of your agency’s success. After Open Enrollment, ask your clients about their experience and collect the testimonial in writing or video. In addition, create a referral program that rewards your most loyal clients. Referrals are one of the biggest drivers of revenue growth and, by establishing a formal program, you will be able to boost word of mouth.

8. Become a Thought Leader

If you want to edge out PEOs and DTEs, you need to establish your credibility and stand out. Demonstrate your expertise and start implementing a thought leadership strategy to position yourself as a leader in the insurance industry. Show your understanding of the various questions, roadblocks, and problems employers encounter at each stage. For example, start a weekly series in your blog, newsletter, or LinkedIn based on prospects and customers’ questions such as “Do I really need to offer vision and dental benefits?” or “How do I know if my company is ACA compliant?”. By providing informed recommendations and offering valuable information, employers will trust you and will choose the option that seems to “get” them.

9. Establish a Competitive Advantage

What if you could give your clients both the expertise of a great benefits advisor and innovative technology? By combining your advice with a benefits administration and HR software, you will gain an advantage over your competitors. Today, you have to drop off, collect, and send out paper forms to employers and carriers. Also, leaving blank fields or making mistakes on a form is very easy for an employer or employee. When you adopt a technology solution, you can say goodbye to paper, incomplete forms, and mistakes. Benefits administration and HR software will free up your time to win new business.

Technology eases benefits administration

Fifth Annual Guardian Workplace Benefit Study

10. Offer Services That Add Value to Your Clients 

PEOs and direct-to-employer software companies are known to offer customers additional services such as human resources services, compliance support, and payroll. If you want to win new business in 2020, offering only health plan coverage is not enough. Today, you need to offer your clients greater value beyond what is expected. If you want to edge out your competition, assist employers from hire to retire and start offering services such as HR tools, payroll, ACA compliance, and COBRA to fill the holes in your service.

Technology improves HR services

Fifth Annual Guardian Workplace Benefit Study

Final Thoughts

These are the 10 steps you can focus on to win new business, grow your agency, and make 2020 your most profitable year ever. To make it easier for you, we’ve created a curated and printable checklist that will give you the knowledge you need to successfully grow your agency step by step. You‘ll be able to track your growth and work towards building the insurance agency you always dreamt of. Download it now and get started!