Earlier this year, both Google and Walmart moved into the property and casualty insurance space. Offering auto, home and other types of insurance policies, both companies entered into partnerships with insurers.
While this is concerning to an independent agent, you can compete effectively with the retail and Internet giants by maximizing your availability to clients, proactively building your online presence, and making your value as a local agent clear.
Maximize Your Availability
The internet is available 24 hours a day. While it isn’t possible for agents to be that available, it’s important to be as accessible as possible, and to make interactions as smooth as possible. Make sure you have a mobile-ready website, use electronic signature when possible, and consider weekend hours. If you have access to a web-based portal for your clients, make sure it’s set-up and available. By combining accessibility with your authentic local presence, you can offer something more that the big giants.
Be Proactive Online
Be sure that your agency is investing time and resources into competing online too. At the local level there are things you can do to be competitive that are unique to independent agents. Make sure to claim your local business pages at Google and other business listing directories. Leverage your authentic connection to your community in your social media posts, and ask for online reviews from your customers.
Show the Value of a Local Agent
As soon as a prospect comes into contact with your agency, they should get a sense of your difference and value right away. You’re more than a commodity. Good agents turn insurance into an experience by building a trusted relationship using a consultative approach and a personal touch. Plus, as an independent agent, you can also differentiate yourself from the mainstream with niche services and products.