The Economy, Your Insurance Agency, and Fishing

9thJun. × ’09

I visited a new insurance agency customer of ours a week or so ago, and was happy to find him in his office putting together a bunch of quotes.  All that activity reminded me of something an insurance agent said to me almost two decades ago:  “You catch a lot more fish when the seas are roiling than when the waters are calm.”  But that begs the question, whose fish are you catching?  I spent a few minutes on the phone yesterday with an insurance company executive friend of mine who confirmed her company is concerned about flagging retention.

You catch more fish when the seas are roiling...

You catch more fish when the seas are roiling...

And that brings me back around to our new agency customer.  I worry about new agencies, it’s always tough starting a new business.  But over the last few weeks I’ve decided that this may be a better time than most to start a new agency.  New insurance agencies have a distinct advantage over established agencies in this economy – they don’t have to defend against defection of current customers.  The fish caught by new agents were dislocated from their former habitat by by the turbulent waves of this economy.

So good for new agents.  The moral of this story for established insurance agents is, that now more than ever, you need to be in contact with your customers.  That’s the only way to know if you are at risk of losing an account.  If you have been putting off sending e-newsletters, or implementing a legitimate annual review program, now is the time to end your procrastination.  And, if your customer development has applicability for developing prospects, then use it for that dual purpose.  After all, there are plenty of fish swimming outside your agency that belong to somebody else today and could be your customers tomorrow.

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