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The Connected Business of Insurance

Data and Download: How to Make Your Agency Stand Out in Today’s Digital World

December 14, 2017

by Jason Cass
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“It’s not those who are the strongest but those who adapt who will be the ones who survive.”

To be able to adapt, you have to see things that are not there and things that others are not able to see. All those things are built on data.

Data is vital. It is not something that can be taken for granted any longer and it’s one of the ingredients to a great customer experience.

Data is everything; and for your agency to be anything, it has to make all decisions going forward using data. Your agency’s ROI on data is that your business will still be here in five years.

The agencies that will make it from here on out will have to do so by setting themselves apart.

In the past we used to set ourselves apart with great marketing, advertising and branding. It was the way that we stood out from everyone else. People noticed us and then came to see us for their business.

With more and more competitors and so much competition for consumers’ attention, it’s harder to make your business stand out. It’s to the point now where businesses are going to great lengths to stand out but consumers are expecting something different and something more.

So how can you stand out?

Quit trying to convince people you might be different and get your clients to tell everyone you are different. We chase prospects with our marketing dollars. But on prospects, there’s only a 30% close ratio. Why not build a system where your clients tell everyone how great your business is? Because with referrals, you’re more apt to have a close ratio of 70%. Sounds awesome right?

How do I do it?  Glad you asked.

You have to start by thinking beyond advertising, marketing and branding, and think of everything that comes after.

How good is your:

Sales process?
Quoting process?
Follow-up process?
Proposing process?
Onboarding process?
Cross-selling process?
Referral process?

All of these things are what makes you stand out in today’s world. Notice they have they all have the word “process” in them.

Process: A series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.

Each of these processes must be done precisely the same way every time. The best way to make this happen is through the use of automation. And the main ingredient to automation is data!

One huge way to utilize data.

Every prospect and client touchpoint needs to be documented for data purposes. Download of all policy data needs to be utilized in the agency management system (AMS). The AMS is the sole common denominator to making this work and the AMS is nothing without data.

You have to download everything you can from your insurers. At The Insurance Alliance, we have a 98.9% fully downloaded AMS. We utilize all insurer downloads on Personal Lines and Commercial Lines. Data that is in your AMS right now is for you and your staff to use but soon it will be used by the client. If you want your clients to come to you rather than their insurers’ websites, then you will need to provide a service option that allows clients to access their data from your AMS.

Then get a mobile app that integrates with your AMS and allows clients to see and access their data when and how they want. You can’t do this if the data is not in the system. And if the data is not in the system, you might be out of business soon.

And it’s not just me saying this, it’s what clients demand.

Are you fully taking advantage of your download opportunities? If not, review your Connections Report in IVANS Exchange.

Jason Cass is the owner of The Insurance Alliance and co-founder of Grow Program. He’s been in the insurance business since 2002 and began advocating for independent insurance agents with industry providers so they too can rise with the tide. He is the charismatic host of Agent’s Influence, a podcast that gives voice to the industry, and also the author of “Customer Service is Just Foreplay,” an Amazon best-seller. Outside of his passion for the independent insurance industry, he is a dedicated father and husband, and an active Centralia community member.

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