Want to triple your top line revenue? In five years?
Dumb question? Maybe.
I know you can do it because I’ve seen plenty of agents and brokers do just that with the right marketing tools and strategy. They’ve taken average insurance agency revenue numbers and turned them into increased revenue and constant growth.
By the time you’ve finished reading this, you’ll understand that it can be done. (Because I’ll show you the math, and it’s hard to argue with math.)
But, triple in five? That can’t be easy, right? Right.
Tripling means that you’re absolutely focused. You’re committed. And you’re willing to invest in the tools that make it easy. So I need you to be focused, committed, and willing to invest in your business. If you’re good with that, let’s get started.
(And at the end of this blog, I’m going to give you a planning tool that thousands of agencies and brokerages have already used to help them plan their growth.)
First of all, aggressive growth requires planning and strategy. We ALL agree on that, right?
Rapid Growth for Insurance Agencies and Brokerages: Acquire, Optimize, and Retain
Do agents really think they’ll “bump” into rapid revenue increases? Do they just hope for the best and come up with excuses when goals are not achieved? More often than not, when asked why they have no growth strategy, agents and brokers reply one of two ways:
- “We want to, but…we just don’t seem to have the time.’
- “We want to, but we don’t know how.”
With the right guidance and powerful marketing tools, growing your business and increasing your insurance agency profit margin isn’t difficult. I’ll show you how to get it done without taking up all your time.
The key to rapid growth must be obsessively focusing on new customer acquisition, right? Wrong. Customer acquisition matters. But, in a retail insurance agency, obsessive attention to acquisition can be detrimental. That’s why you have to pay attention to additional key elements: building strong relationships with your existing customers and maximizing their value.
New customer acquisition can’t be ignored. If you’re an insurance agent with an average book of business, it’s unavoidable. But there’s a big problem if you go overboard with customer acquisition. Not only is it the most expensive of the three growth strategies, it’s wildly inefficient.
New customer costs are still high in insurance because the industry has fallen behind. Insurance agencies and brokerages have been slow to adopt the digital technologies that today’s insurance shoppers demand.
Your customers want simplicity, on-demand availability, and nearly instant gratification. They also demand transparent pricing, value, and services that are relevant to their lifestyles. With the right branding, you can transform customers’ perceptions that the insurance business is outdated and out of touch.
With Agency Revolution’s Attract™, we help you build your brand using modern websites with built-in marketing and other marketing tools.
If you don’t take care of the next two items, you’re bringing new customers to an inefficient business model. You’ll be providing less value than you could and you won’t be able to maximize customers’ lifetime value.
Revenue per customer is a number that should go up every year for an efficiently run insurance business. Whether you want to segment it by class of business or aggregate it, you must commit to consistent increases every year.
Whether you write more policies per customer or attract customers with more needs and larger budgets, you must optimize your revenue with every customer.
Your two most lucrative tools for optimizing your revenue per customer are cross-selling and upselling.
- Cross-selling is selling new services or products to existing customers. A current customer with only homeowners insurance is a prime example: There’s a good chance they also have a car and other investments you can help protect.
- Upselling is increasing the value of a single sales interaction. Upselling works because your customer is already in buying mode and is likely open to increased coverage or additional services.
One of the easiest ways to optimize your revenue per customer is with Agency Revolution’s Fuse™. You can have the right conversations at the right time via easy account rounding, automated email campaigns, and increased efficiency that helps you make the most of your existing book of business.
Customer retention strategies that keep customers on the books provide your agency or brokerage with a fantastic resource of viable leads via referrals. Customers who give referrals are happy with your products and services, so they are perfect candidates for cross-selling, upselling, and other revenue drivers.
If your customer retention numbers are not in the high 90s, you’re missing golden opportunities to grow your business. Get to work wowing your current customers and strengthening your those relationships.
By the Numbers: How to Jump-Start Your Growth
First, you need to know where you stand according to the numbers.
If you don’t know them, you’re not alone! Far too many agents don’t run their business like a business. It’s not that they can’t or won’t — they are probably stretched too thin to focus on anything but daily operations.
The average insurance agent is often uncomfortable with the unavoidable truth of “the numbers.” They are uncomfortable with sales reviews and other evaluations because they don’t know what to expect, and the results fluctuate wildly.
Here’s the thing: Insurance agents who experience consistent growth have a plan of action that is driven by some key factors. They measure their lead generation efforts and their sales goals — and they know where they stand today, this week, and this month.
These agents quantify and dissect every sale with every customer to uncover important clues that point the way to more growth and revenue. They find that their attention to detail regarding “the numbers” leads to more success in ways that only counting the money ever could
Let’s start with an example: Say you’ve got a million-dollar revenue agency, but your growth this year was flat.
Here are hypothetical numbers for a low- or no-growth agency:
- 86% retention rate
- 14% customer acquisition rate (in other words, you lost 14 out of every hundred clients—and that you got 14 more to replace them)
- Revenue per client is the same as it was a year ago
You’ll be the same size in a year that you are today. If things don’t change you’ll be in the same boat in three years, five years, and so forth. Not a bright future, is it?
Let’s create the future you deserve.
We’ll bump your retention and your new client acquisition by a modest three points — to 89% and 17%, respectively. And we’ll boost your revenue per client by 5 points.
What happens? At the end of one year, you’ll add $113,000. Maintain that pace, and your by your fifth year, you’ll add an extra $707,953.
Modest bumps, compounded over time — but we’re just getting started! We’re committed to real growth, right? So, let’s bump you up one more time.
Another (fairly modest) four points for retention and three points for new client acquisition. Now, you’re up to a not-embarrassing 93% retention and 20$ new client acquisition.
This is a bit more aggressive – but when you get some reliable nurturing and cross sell campaigns, it’s within reach. Let’s push your revenue per customer up another 10 points. (In this case, you’re getting another $33 dollars per client per year.)
BOOM! Now you’ve added just a tick under a quarter-million in new revenue (in year one!) and, at the end of five years, your (little) million-dollar agency is a $2,967,260 revenue agency. ($2,740 less than triple —sorry!)
If doubling in five years is more your speed, it can be even easier. Follow the formula: 5-4-5. Boost retention 5 points, new client growth by 4, and rev-per-client by 5. In this case, 91% retention, 18% new client growth and 5% growth in revenue per customer.
Here’s some guidance for getting started:
- To start your plan, you must start with your own numbers. (My friend, Dan Sullivan, often says, “All progress starts with telling the truth.” If you don’t know your precise numbers, don’t let that road block your planning process. Start with what you know, to the best of your knowledge.)
- Create two scenarios for growth like you saw above: a “realistic” growth scenario, and a reach-for-the-sky scenario.
- While you’re analyzing numbers and putting together a game plan, share them with your team. Teams love to win, so make sure they know the score and the next play.
You may think that calculating those numbers required complex computation and a sophisticated spreadsheet. Nope. It took me seconds with Agency Revolution’s Growth Analyzer. It’s just one of the tools Agency Revolution provides to help insurance agencies and brokerages grow their business.
It has frustrated us for years that agents and brokers lacked an easy way to analyze and track their business growth. The Growth Analyzer solves that problem. For agents and brokers, it is the easiest and most powerful way to start, guide, and inspire your run for the revenue.