From the rise of internet direct marketers to the growing number of uninsured middle market consumers, the threats and challenges we face in the insurance industry are huge.
Technology is changing so fast that many agents have trouble keeping up. Being successful in today's environment requires us to think outside the box. We have to create what we call "Insurance 2.0." In the past few years, agents have told us they have the same problems:
- They don't know how to establish a web presence
- They feel it's too late to start growing that presence
- They're too busy with paperwork to grow their business
- They feel like they're getting left behind
Solving these problems is crucial as more big-box competitors look to enter the direct sales market. Walmart, Costco, Amazon, maybe even social media giants like Facebook...these are the companies we could be competing against in the future. Some agents and BGAs have already figured this out and planned their next steps. They're the ones who've already: (1) built a strong web presence and (2) diversified their product offerings. How have they managed to do this? And why should you do the same?
Challenge: Build a Web Presence
A web presence can do more than bring you online leads. When built correctly, it can also bring prospects straight to your brick-and-mortar doorstep. Take this example from LIMRA's 2014 annual distribution conference. The opening general session speaker was Mark Hug, Executive Vice President, Product & Marketing for Prudential Individual Life Insurance. At the conference, he pulled out his smart phone and did a search using the phrase, "Find me a lawyer." Seconds later, he had three local results. When he searched using the phrase "I need to buy life insurance," the search brought up three generic articles with no local agents. Why? Because insurance agents, by and large, aren't building a smart web presence.
"We can't experiment any more. We need to disrupt!"
If you're focused on selling online rather than in person, you already know how important your web presence is. It's even more important when competing against retail giants like Amazon or Costco. For example, let's imagine a busy mom who stayed up late because she's worried about her child and their financial future. Offices and retail stores are closed, so she goes online to look for information about life insurance. Who is she going to find? If she has questions, whose website will answer them quickly and easily? It's going to be an independent agent who took the time to build a presence with quality content that gives her the answers she needs. Even big-box retailers aren't going to be able to complete with the specialized knowledge and experience you bring as an agent.
Challenge: Diversify Product Offerings
The second challenge forward-thinking agents face is diversifying their product offerings. Why? Let's say there's an independent life insurance agent who partnered with a BGA to offer disability and long-term care. Let's say that agent cross-sells these products on his or her website, asking questions that get clients and prospects thinking. Now, let's go back to the busy mom in the example above--when she finds this agent's website (because he or she has built a smart web presence!), she's going to realize that she needs more than life insurance to protect her family's future, income, and retirement. The statistics say she'll do more online research. She may even check back with that big-box retailer. But if she can get everything she needs from that first agent, who will she choose? In the end, the consumer is looking for value. That doesn't necessarily mean products, pricing, underwriting, or service. In this example, value means the ability to solve multiple problems at once on the consumer's schedule. That's what a 21st Century Producer has to offer. That's how Insurance 2.0 is going to work. Thriving in this hyper-competitive atmosphere is possible. It takes cooperation, partnership, and technological savvy. We've been seeing these trends shape up for years now, and we want to bring you the solutions you need to stay competitive. That's why we created Insureio.
Insureio is the first and only client management software system built by and for life insurance agents. We designed it to give our clients and partners the technological advantage they need in this challenging marketplace. It can:
- track leads and sales opportunities
- minimize non-revenue-generating tasks, like paperwork
- automate marketing, lead generation, and sales functions
- provide built-in quoting and field underwriting tools
- offer one-click data transfer to forms and applications
Insurance 2.0 is a reality that requires us to be adaptable. Insureio gives you the flexibility to work online using cloud technology. You can quote clients on the fly, track and send marketing emails, automate client correspondence, and more. In the coming months, Insureio will also offer personalized e-marketing websites, bringing Insurance 2.0 full circle. You'll be able to use Insureio's technology to create and build a strong web presence, and partner with us for the product solutions you need. Together, Insureio and Pinney Insurance will bring you everything you need to succeed as a 21st Century Producer.