What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

person Moses Lotulelei folder Mobile Apps, Other forum No Comments

Every kid is asked, “What do you want to  be when you grow up?” At times I thought I knew and then came to find out that  (no offense to high school teachers) high school teachers don’t make very much money.  Then I thought I wanted to be a movie producer and director. Ultimately I decided  on marketing—it was a field in which I could use my creativity, my sales abilities and my love for educating people all in one medium. The future is uncertain for all of us and nobody has a crystal ball to gaze into the future, but everyone can pivot until  you find the perfect fit. This is how successful businesses are developed. And yes, most successful businesses, or rather agencies, are developed, not founded. 

As I have looked around this industry, and talked to agents and agencies over the years, I see trends come and go. I see people trying to differentiate themselves, sometimes with silly  investments. Some work and some don’t. The insurance industry is currently in a state of transformation—the wave is coming. The question for you is: Will you be a disruptor or will you be a casualty of disruption? From 1995-2005, the music, photography and video rental industries were dramatically disrupted. From 2005-2015 it was print media, TV, travel, and ecommerce. The next wave of disruption has already started. We are in the midst of disruption in some of the largest industries in the world as insurance, financial services, retail, healthcare, and automotive are dramatically changing. If you don’t want to be a casualty you have to be thinking about, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” In other words, you have to be looking to the future. What does the next generation of agents expect and want? How do you take your knowledge and experience and turn it into a factor in the disruption cycle rather than an obsolete skill?

Experience + Technology = Winning Solution

Most people in these industries that are in the midst of change are scared, and to be honest  they should be. Blockbuster sure didn’t seem to be worried, nor think they would  go bankrupt, when they turned down the opportunity to buy Netflix for four million bucks. However, they also failed to realize that if they had combined their expertise of the video rental industry with  the newest technology in Netflix they would have been unstoppable and probably still around today. This analogy probably  sounds pretty similar to many insurance agencies today. You have all of the industry experience and knowledge of how insurance is sold—but that is only half  the solution in today’s technological age! You now have to combine that with the right technology in order to create the winning solution for both today and  the future. The right technology needs to fit in your pocket while providing 24/7 support, automation, sales acceleration features, data and mobility to your agents. Combine knowledgeable,  skilled insurance agents with technology and you will begin to see what I see everyday—agencies selling more efficiently, selling higher volumes, and dramatically growing their agent base because  the agent of the future wants to work for companies that arm them with the tools to succeed. 

True Mobile is the Future!

At  IXN we  believe in  the idea that  life insurance will  be both sold and bought  in the future. Agents are  an incredibly important part  of the sales process of both, especially when they are focused  on getting the client the right coverage.  Ultimately you have to find the right mix of  technology for your agency. Once you have the technological  and digital tools and the right training in place you will see exponential growth. At IXN we believe that mobile is the best way to do this. We see first hand everyday the benefits of putting the business of selling life insurance in the pocket of your agents. Through our mobile app platform I have seen agencies go from a handful of agents to over 1,200 in a matter of a few years. I have seen the application process go from an hour of filling out forms to a five minute quick and easy experience that  has an application dropped from an agents phone to the carrier.

This is the future of insurance sales and marketing. In today’s world I don’t care who you are—baby boomer, gen-x, millennial or whatever  generation you spawn from. If you go anywhere you take your phone with you. You don’t always take your laptop. I recently spoke with  an older agent who ended up at a dinner party with a bunch of younger millennials, none of whom had life insurance. There was a discussion about who worked where, which ultimately lead  to a discussion about life insurance and the need for it. Well, this agent was seasoned and had some good information, could talk to the levels of life insurance and the products that may  meet these young professionals’ needs. However, one of the millennials was interested in knowing cost. The agent pulled out his agency’s mobile app, ran a needs analysis, got a quote and ultimately  ended up submitting a case for life insurance that night—all from his mobile app on his phone—directly from the party. He closed a sale at the moment it was hot. He could not have done that without mobile technology; the power you need in your pocket 24/7. 

Adoption, Who’s Driving It?

One of the hardest parts of this equation is adoption. It seems easy, right? Give your agents the technological  tools they need and they will definitely catch the vision. Unfortunately it isn’t that easy. Some agents will engage and adopt  immediately, but your agents are humans and humans are creatures of habit.  They need you to help them bridge the technological gap. The mentality of “if we build it they will come” does  not always work. They don’t always adopt and come on their own. Here are some best practices I have seen  agencies do that help the agents adopt technology and success:

Webinars: Invite your agents into your virtual office and share your screen of your phone or computer—show them how it is done.

Regular email marketing campaigns: Make sure you and your agents are up to  date on the latest sales trends and technologies—and remind them.

Push  notification  campaigns: If you  have an agency mobile  app, interact with your agents via push notification. This will bypass their spam filters and not get lost in their weekend emails.

Social  media interaction: Be social, have fun. Show the agents what your day  looks like with short snippets, images and interaction that help them catch the vision.

YouTube tutorials: Most computers  nowadays have some  sort of screen recording  technology. You can make short tutorial videos and upload them to  YouTube and share them via your website and/or mobile app.

Dial  campaigns: Call your agents  individually. This is sometimes hard if you have a lot of agents. Pick some of your top agents and call two per day. This goes a long way.

Tutorial  automation, step by step  automated emails: If you have a CRM like we do there are oftentimes tools for creating  sequences or campaigns. We use Hubspot Sales CRM and we can create sequences that automatically go out at intervals. Keep it at the forefront of their minds.

Mailer  campaigns: Sometimes good  old fashioned snail mail is the way to get through.

Sales roadshows: This one can be time consuming,  but there are few substitutes  for looking someone in the eye and shaking their hand.

There  are countless  things you can  do to drive adoption and, while you may not have  time for all of them, make sure you incorporate your technology tools into your current programs as well as adopting some new ones. Agents will respond and it will help you drive adoption. Once you have a routine down the agents will expect it and it will become second nature to you. The technological revolution is finally upon us here in the insurance industry. It is nothing to be scared of at all, as it will make the insurance agent’s job that much more productive, efficient, and easy! Embrace technology and embrace future success.

This article was published by Broker World Magazine.

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