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Calendar-January2015The start of each year is a great time to take a moment and commit to taking your agency to the next level.

If you have not already done so, we suggest you seriously consider these top resolutions for this year. Committing to and pursuing them can make this year your best and most successful yet.

Know Your Numbers

There are a few critical numbers that drive the growth and profitability of your agency. Do you know those numbers on an annual/quarterly/monthly basis? If not, put in a system or process that ensures you will see them at least monthly. Your critical numbers may vary slightly, but they likely include:

  • Total Number of Clients
  • Average Premium per Client
  • Average Commission Rate
  • Quote-To-Close Ratio
  • Retention Ratio

If you know these numbers and take steps each month to consistently keep them at or above the prior month’s level, you’ll be amazed at the compounded impact over the course of the year.

Know Your Customers

If you’re like many of agents you probably take this one for granted. You know your clients well. You probably know the names of their children – they are likely even neighbors of yours. But it’s critical that you resolve to take this to the next level.

Spend some time this year getting to really know your customers’

  • Pain Points – If you’ve addressed their need for a home or auto insurance policy, what pain points still remain? Knowing that could lead you to offer other products, look for markets that offer other coverage options, or could lead you to offer other services or change your services. Banks have started offering the ability to deposit a check via a smartphone app so customers don’t have to drive to the bank. Even without an app, what pain points can you address by providing different hours, more payment options, or some other process change that really smooths out a current pain point?
  • Needs –  Is cost most important to them? You might be surprised how for most people that’s not the most important factor – and when you start to doubt that just look around for someone carrying or buying bottled water! Even if cost is a need – is it total cost or monthly cost? Can you offer alternatives that address that? If not cost, is it coverage? What coverages do they really need that you can help them get at an affordable price? Finally, is what they really need more or better advice? Is there a scalable way for you to offer more, and more tailored, advice to all your clients? Really knowing these needs – and reviewing them frequently – will help you improve your agency significantly in the eyes of your clients.

Know Your Markets

Whether you are considering entering into a relationship with a new carrier or evaluating your options with a market that you’ve known and worked with for decades, take some time this year with each one to be sure you really understand the options they have available on:

  • Products – You’d be surprised how many agents work with us that focus so much on just one of our products that they don’t take advantage of all of the ones we offer (Renters, Dwelling, MobileHome, Homeowners and Vacant).  Don’t assume you’re familiar with all they offer – make sure.
  • Coverages – Even within each of our products there are a wide range of coverages available. Whether it’s the ability to tailor coverage to be able to provide a place for an older, lower value home or optional coverages for home based businesses or small farms and ranches – there is a lot available to help you. Make sure you and your staff are familiar with those options. If you’d like a refresher on all iMGA has to offer – just call. We’ll be happy to help.
  • Compensation – Different markets offer wildly different commission rates for similar products at similar price points. Are you sure you know how much your being paid by each of your carriers and why? At iMGA we offer different commission levels depending on volume, so just a little more production with us could mean a big increase in pay for you. Some markets, like iMGA, also make it easy for you to charge and collect an agency fee when appropriate, which can make a significant difference in your agency income. Make sure you understand the details with all your markets.


These are just three resolutions – with some suggestions on how you can dig into each. But if you make them this year – and stick to them – you’ll see a dramatic improvement in your agency.

At iMGA we’re thrilled to work with agents who are constantly improving – and we’re happy to be a key part of helping them do that. If you are a Texas personal property insurance agent who doesn’t already work with iMGA and would like that kind of support, contact us.

Last night US forces found Osama bin Laden and he and several other of the people with him are now dead.

The brave, well-trained armed forces members who carried out this mission have our sincere gratitude.

For many years people assumed that Osama bin Laden was in a cave in Afghanistan somewhere. That was the conventional wisdom.

As usual – when it came to something really important – the conventional wisdom was wrong.

Fortunately our forces didn’t only listen to “everyone”. They did their own research, and instead of in a cave in Afghanistan, they found him in an estate in a high-end neighborhood in a city in Pakistan less than a mile from a military academy.

If they had listened to conventional wisdom he’d still be alive and well.

What conventional wisdom are you following in your agency?

When was the last time you really thought about what your agency considers the best way to provide a quote, submit a policy, prospect for customers, hire new personnel, etc.? How many of your procedures have you truly analyzed in the past few years?

Many of the activities we do each day are fine as-is. In some cases it’s completely reasonable to do some things the way they’ve always been done.

The huge opportunities, though, lie in finding the ones that we should change. Where customers, markets, and/or our own staff would be significantly better off with a small tweak. Best yet, those tweaks frequently make things easier on ourselves as well.

So, as we celebrate the justice reflected in yesterday’s departure of the planner and organizer of the death of thousands of innocents, take this moment to plan the extinction of some out-of-date conventional wisdom in your agency as well.

You’ll be glad you did.

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