managing workflow selling commercial lines while working another job

Apr 13, 2019

  1. MyGenericName123
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    MyGenericName123 Expert

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    I know this question largely depends on what types of businesses you’re targeting but let’s talk general approaches.

    I’ll be selling commercial lines starting in May, and in the beginning I’ll continue to work my day job 8-4 m-f with some flexibility on hours.

    I’d love to hear about some of your early trials, tribulations, and successes selling commercial lines part time.

    I want to again thank the community for the wealth of information provided since I found this place. I look forward to providing some value for some of you down the line
     
  2. Markthebroker
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    Markthebroker Guru

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    How do you plan to sell to business owners working mostly non business hours?
     
  3. adjusterjack
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    adjusterjack Guru

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    You'll have to target businesses that are open evenings and weekends where the OWNER is likely to be present during those hours.

    When you start making your prospect list check your state's business records for the name of the owner so you can ask for him/her by name when you cold call.
     
  4. MyGenericName123
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    MyGenericName123 Expert

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    In the beginning I'll need to focus on businesses in which the owner is around late, early, or on weekends. With enough determination I'll get the job done.

    also, sick and personal day cold calling sessions FOR THE WIN!
    Thanks for the reply.

    I think early hours (6am-8am) provides a good opportunity to catch owners before their employees arrive. The same can be said for late hours (6pm-8pm) after their employees have left for the evening, but they are probably less likely to pick up the phone during after hours.

    That said, I agree with you that targeting companies in which the owner is around on weekends will be a strong approach.

    There's no doubt in my mind I'll figure out an approach that works and then once I quit my regular job to dive in full time... GAME ON!
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  5. Indiana_Adam
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    Indiana_Adam Guru

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    Are you doing just commercial or personal and commercial? I'd say if you can write personal lines as well, this could work. Shorter sales cycle, easier to prospect and quote. Plus, you throw in a life policy here and there, it could enable you to go full time sooner as the goal needs to be making insurance your focus ASAP.

    I was in your shoes about 5 years ago. I worked at an auto-dealership and tried to do P&C part time around my other work schedule and cross-sell. It was a miserable fail. If you don't have a family or are willing to sacrifice family time to pursue insurance, it can work. You will be working all the time. I made 0 progress until I went full time. You learn more and become a better agent by being immersed in it.

    Also, how will you get help from your agency principals/experienced agents? There are going to be questions and help needed throughout the entire process of prospecting, quoting, presenting, closing, and maintaining accounts.

    As for quoting, you are going to be handicapped. As you work through quotes, you will need to access your underwriters to help you use the correct class codes and answer various UW questions.

    Doing it part time will be very hard to build up a book large enough to leave your full time job. You would probably be better off just jumping in feet first and going full time. Maybe the principals can help by sending you walk-ins/call-ins that they either don't want, are too small, or just don't have time to handle. That would help you immensely and may provide enough income for you to go full-time right away. You could also talk to them about a monthly draw, similar to what dealerships offer. They pay you a monthly "salary" which is then paid back via your commissions. Anything you make beyond that you keep, though any shortages are carried over and eat into your commissions until you are back in the black.

    The few part-time agents I've known in my short career don't last long, especially in an industry with such a high attrition rate.
     
  6. MyGenericName123
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    MyGenericName123 Expert

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    Initially my plan was to most prospect personal lines because I felt as though I could work up a decent amount of clients while door knocking on weekends, and on evenings. And yes the ease of quoting is another appeal to personal in the beginning.

    Most of my sales experience is in B2B and my would be mentor has done very well in commercial and believes in leading with commercial and letting personal fall into line. I can see the reason for this type of approach, but the job will obviously complicate things.

    I'd like to do whatever it takes to get checks rolling in quickly, so that I'm able to leave my current job to work insurance full time.

    No family to speak of, which is why this is a good time to really immerse myself in a new industry.

    As for accessing my mentors and successful agents, I mean that's just something we will have to figure out. I'm talking with several agencies but have one in mind that I believe would be the best fit.

    It's an agency out of state that has worked with remote producers in the past, and the agency owner indicated that while its not an ideal situation, he's successfully worked through it with others.

    Have not discussed anything having to do with him handing me walk ins or anything of that nature, not expecting to be given anything. He knows how badly I want to go full time but he's also being realistic and telling me to not gamble everything I have.

    I have no doubt you learn exponentially more by being full time.

    As for a draw, its not been discussed and if I'm being honest... if I'm able to choose between getting a draw from a company that will very likely be significantly less patient with me as a result of the draw, and going into my own bank account to invest in myself, I'll take the latter. I feel like risk should be split between the two stakeholders.

    Any agency that brings on a part time producer who is already working a full time job is taking on substantial risk, both with time and monetary investment. I am sure the vast majority of part timers simply do not work out.

    I do have over 1 years living expenses saved up but it would be a real shame to blow through all of it. It took a long time to save it up, and because of the high attrition rates in insurance, this is already being viewed as a gamble - I don't want to compound the gamble by putting my entire stack on the line.

    Its always possible I could work full time and insurance on the side for a few months, but actively be seeking out part time employment that would allow for me to quit the 8-4 in order to focus more efforts on insurance.

    thanks for your reply!
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  7. Rob Lion
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    Rob Lion Guru

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    I Sell 100% Life and health products but it's still the same conversation, when i tried to work full time somewhere and part time in insurance i hated every second of my FT job and couldn't wait for the days where i'm my own boss, at the same time my insurance business literally suffered because of the hours i was working and left very little time to prospect. Insurance is a BUSINESS if you don't believe you can make it don't even bother doing it PT, i had nothing in my savings and 5k in credit card debt when i started seeing success.
     
    Rob Lion, Apr 23, 2019
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  8. MyGenericName123
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    MyGenericName123 Expert

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    Absolutely.

    I'm not discounting the value of immersing oneself in the business full time as opposed to part time, nor the fact that I’m in a better financial spot to take this on than many other people.

    Congrats on your success!
     
  9. newera
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    newera Expert

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    Best of luck...I tried and failed miserably years ago.
     
    newera, Apr 23, 2019
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  10. plainstrader
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    plainstrader New Member

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    Best of luck! I have always been full time and that still doesn't seem to be enough most days but anything is possible! Keep us updated on how things are going.
     
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