Interesting business concept

Jan 6, 2007

  1. cod8825
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    cod8825 Expert

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    I know from reading information that most of you have posted that you state to many people seeking advice to find one aspect of insurance or financial services and focus on that.

    I believe that comes from a concept that more that you focus on one particular aspect the better you can become at that subject.

    When you think about the insurance business people go to a health agent for health coverage and sometimes life. A P&C agent for auto and homeowners, a financial advisor for life, investing and retirement.

    The problem is that there are few if any companies that you come into contact that look at all of the coverage to see if they work together, and if you are absolutely getting the best coverage for your dollars.

    I was wondering if it would be feasible and a good idea to combine agents and advisors from all of the fields to work together on one client. That is when a possible client is brought into an office the health agent looks at their coverage, P&C looks at auto and home and on and on and on.

    I think that you get the point. Everybody brought on board would realize that every client is a client of the firm and everybody would work together to help out the clients.

    I have much greater detail in my head but I like to keep explanations short for discussions. So what do you think I have rolled this idea in my head for a little while.

    Matt
     
  2. somarco
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    somarco That Medicare Guy

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    This has been tried before. Sometimes it works, often it does not.

    Merging P&C with life & health is challenging enough. Trying to put together a financial team takes time, patience and ingenuity.
     
  3. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    Your altruistic motives would come across as being a commission hound to clients:

    "Now that you're set on health I'll turn you over to Joe, he's out life expert, then Lisa - she's our financial expert, then Frank - he's our P&C expert." Most clients would not be happy.

    Imagine you take your old car in for an oil change. A very honest service station owner takes a look at it:

    You: "I just want an oil change."

    Owner: "Fine, but after that I'd like to have our brake expert look at your breaks. I can already see they need some work."

    You: "I'd actually just like the oil change."

    Owner: "How 'bout Steve looking at your transmission. We might be able to do some work on it that will save you thousands."

    You: "I'd really just like that oil change and get out of here."

    Owner: "I don't understand that. We have all these experts here and together we can really do a great job on your entire car."

    You: "Do me a favor and pull my car out of the bay and give me the keys."
     
  4. Frank Stastny
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    Frank Stastny Guru

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    John,

    I totally agree. People don't like to talk about insurance and I consider myself lucky just to get their undivided attention when talking about one policy, let alone two or three.

    I may be on a Med Supp appointment and just before leaving will mention LTC and leave them some information to look over. After letting some time go by so the client can get over the "hassle of talking about insurance" ( a lot of them see it that way) I will contact them and see if they are interested in going further with a LTC policy.

    The times I have sold both Med Supp and LTC in one appointment I can see the trepidation in the prospects eyes as they have to write a check for such a large amount of money.

    Getting additional policies one at a time over a period of time has always worked better for me. It also gives me more "contact time" with the client thus helping to build a stronger relationship and ultimately the clients trust.

    I believe it is important to stay in contact with clients on a regular basis. Let them hear from you often and not just to sell them more insurance. If you do this they will come to you when they need additional insurance, you won't have to go to them.
     
  5. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    I do a version of what Matt's talking about. I have three good friends in this industry and we trade referrals, but no money is exchanged. If a client of mine wants life insurance I have a friend I refer them to - same with auto and other insurance. Likewise they refer anyone looking for health to me. It doesn't happen as often as you'd think.
     
  6. midwestbroker
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    midwestbroker Guru

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    I tell people that if they have a question on any other type of product, to call me. If I do not have an answer, I probably know someone who does.

    I have people call me once in a while to ask questions about other lines (mostly individual health), and I typically kick it to an agent I know who does individual health as his primary line.
     
  7. cod8825
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    cod8825 Expert

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    John, Frank, and Midwest

    You all have very excellent points.

    Sometimes my wife tells me that I am too creative for my own good. I think the idea of creating strategic alliances with a good P&C agent and and maybe a good financial advisor would be good.
     
  8. maxreferrals
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    maxreferrals Expert

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    [I was wondering if it would be feasible and a good idea to combine agents and advisors from all of the fields to work together on one client.]


    Interesting premise. Even more interesting is the notion that "competing" businesses or interests work collectively, or together, for the benefit of the client.

    Problem is that self-interests, different ambitions and goals often prevent consistency in such actions.
     
  9. retread
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    retread Guru

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    All in one?

    Guys: if this is true and the advice is to specialize in one area, why is it that all the big dogs are becoming everything to everybody?

    Insurance companies are now selling financials and Brokers are now selling insurance... as a matter of fact, I enquired of MetLife, and they insisted I have my series 7 and 63 in addition to insurance license or they would not hire me. Same with several others.

    Look at the job opportunities... they are listed as "Financial Services (or Sales) Representatives". Usually do not see "Insurance Sales Agents" much any more.

    Intuitively, I agree with your comments. I think it would be best to concentrate on one speciality, but the trend does not agree. If this is so, will I be able to compete if I specialize?
     
  10. Frank Stastny
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    Frank Stastny Guru

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    The independent agents I know who are extremely successful are all specializing. I consider working in the "Senior Market", with Med Supp, LTC, Final Expense a single speciality.

    I have clients in the Chicago area that only sell LTC insurance and make a ton of money. Other clients of mine only sell Final Expense insurance. Many of them do it all over the internet and are very financially successful.

    I believe that I am better off specializing and knowing my market and the products extremely well than I am knowing a little about everything. It's like trying to do something part time. I have never known anyone who was extremely successful working part time at anything.

    One thought on the subject of titles. Why do people find it necessary to advertise for, or call themselves something other than "Insurance Agent" if that's who they really are or who they are looking for?

    "Financial Services (or Sales) Representatives" in my mind does not tell people that I sell insurance or that the ad is for an insurance agent. I would not answer that ad. That title could mean that I work in a bank, sell securities or anything else to do with peoples money. What is wrong with just plain "Insurance Agent". That's who I am and what I do.

    I know, it probably isn't "politically correct" any more, but then I'm probably not either.
     
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