Q: How long have you been in the insurance business?
A: I began as a captive insurance agent in 2/07. I began by selling supplemental insurance, including accident insurance, critical illness insurance, and life insurance in business situations. A few months later, I switched gears and became an independent agent. I am now self-employed while selling health and life insurance to individuals and families.
Q: What types of insurance do you sell?
A: I am appointed with MANY health and life insurance companies and have the ability to offer many more options to my clients. I represent almost every large insurance carrier in the state. If a client is declined from one company, there are still other companies that I can consider for. Clients love to have a choice. I feel that I can now "fit the person into the plan as opposed to the plan into the person." It's just more person-centered this way. I continue to sell accident and critical illness insurance, also.
Q: What is one of the secrets to your agency’s success?
A: I have quite a few.
It starts off with contacting your client immediately. I have a blackberry so it makes life MUCH easier. I receive the leads immediately. In most cases, they're still online.
Stay in front of the client...if it's going to take you a little while to get a response from an insurance company (i.e. doing a prescreen), let the client know with a simple phone call, saying "I didn't forget about you...I will let you know as soon as I know." If you call people at work and they can't talk at the moment, don't pressure them. Make sure they know your name and call-back #, find out what time is the best to call, and call them later that evening.
Stay organized. I have a pile of leads organized according to when they should be contacted again...today, this week, in the future. Sometimes people aren't able to buy right away. Just make sure to follow-up w/ them at a later date. (Also, I print out every lead and write my notes on the lead, itself, i.e. when I left a message for them, anything specifically related to that case, etc. It gets hard to remember everything about everyone at times!)
Make sure that the client will remember you also. Find that common ground that you can discuss on the initial phonecall. I've run into quite a few New Yorkers down here and I wind up having quite long telephone calls with potential clients that way. It definitely helps when closing a deal.
Lastly, always try to cross sell, especially if you are working w/ a young parents. Term life insurance (with return of premium) is a great and affordable option so they can financially protect their spouse and kids.
Q: Why do you use online leads?
A: Personally, I'm quite new to the Carolina's, so I don't have a large social network yet. With online leads, you find people who are interested in buying. All of my leads are within a 60 mile radius. On some occasions, people prefer to complete applications online (when applicable), as opposed to a face-to-face appointment, so I don't even need to leave the house. They know they can call me if they have any questions regarding the application...and they usually do!
Q: What is your #1 tip for managing online leads?
A: I have a few...call potential clients immediately. Stay organized. Be sure to follow up with people who aren't able to buy right away.
Q: What is your #1 tip for growing your business?
A: Be true to your yourself, your client, and your company. Be honest and trustworthy. Many people are leery of sales people to begin with. Help them make decisions by telling them the pros and cons. If someone can't afford what you're selling, it's not going to stay on the books for very long anyway. This will also enable you to get referrals from satisfied clients.
Q: Do you have any parting words of wisdom?
Kerry Kasotsky is based in Wilmington, NC, and has been a NetQuote user since August 2007. Thank you very much, Kerry, for your time and perspective!
A: Know your trade, have a heart, and help people make informed decisions. By doing this, I have already established close relationships with my clients..and have received quite a few referrals.