Who is the Next Generation of Insurance Agencies?

by Pat Alexander on February 8, 2010 · 14 comments

The past few years I have talked about and been concerned about where the independent agency system goes from here. As long as I have been in the insurance business (1966) there has always been talk of doom and gloom for the independent agency. In my career this conversation has come up when there is a hard market, soft market, when banks began buying agencies and many other times.

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Over the past year I have attended a number of meetings where I have had the privilege to meet and hear some of the members of our future. In some cases I met these individuals via Facebook or Twitter before meeting them in person. Do they have some different and innovative ideas about their approach to the insurance agency business? Absolutely. Do they know insurance coverage? Absolutely. Am I impressed? Absolutely.

I hear from many agencies today and the owner and/or the staff that there is no time for using social media for their business. I strongly disagree with this. I believe this is very short-sighted thinking. The approach of those I have met that use social media is to re-think the current marketing model. Today’s young people have an open approach to everything they do. They learned information in a different way than we did. Therefore, they think it is important to educate their prospects and clients in a different way. As they have told me, it can be entertaining and educational too.

I don’t expect each of you to do a YouTube today or immediately setup a blog or Facebook page or join Twitter. However, I do expect each of you to keep an open mind and explore the possibilities. As I talk about in Best Practices, you must make a plan. You must communicate the plan, then you can are ready to implement and monitor your plan.

I encourage you to check out the Agents Council for Technology website. There is a lot of very helpful information on various aspects of technology issues related to insurance agencies. Of special note related to this post is Creating a Social Web Policy for Your Independent Agency.

Here are some examples of today’s movers and shakers in the independent agency system.

Rick Dinger of Crescenta Valley Insurance, La Crescenta, CA.
Website: Cresecenta Valley Insurance
Videos: Click on their video link – this is a must see.
Facebook: Crescenta Fan Page

Ashley Whitney of Harbor/Brenn Insurance Agencies, Petoskey, MI
Website: Harbor/Brenn Insurance Agencies
Blog: Harbor/Brenn
Facebook: Harbor/Brenn Insurance Agencies
Twitter: Harbor/Brenn

Chris Jordan of Atlanta Insurance Live
Website/Blog: Atlanta Insurance Live
Facebook: Atlanta Insurance Live
Twitter: TheChrisJordan

Check each of these out. Let us know your questions about social media and we will engage a variety of individuals to respond.

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  • Great Post, Pat!
    I remember when the discussion was, "World wide web, it is a fad".

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  • Oh I like this one. I had forgotten this as a discussion.
    My recent post Best Practices Documentation

  • Oh my! I'm very flattered to be included in this list. Thanks Pat!

  • You are so welcome. I think you are doing an awesome job using these various tools for your agency.

  • Pat,

    Great post. So many professionals in our field act as if the Internet is for Hacks… Like if you use the internet to Market your busines / Do business you aren't a respected professional of Insurance…

    What a Joke…
    My recent post I Hate This Life Insurance Question

    • Ryan, thanks for your comment. So true. Thanks for following our blog.

  • Jason Hoeppner

    Pat,
    Thanks for writing about this. Agencies need to realize (and many are!) that business as usual is a sure way to limit (or stop!) agency growth. Moreover, if they are looking for the next generation of talent in the insurance industry, they need to broaden their search into non-traditional areas.
    Regards,
    Jason

  • Jason, I totally agree with you. Someone recently told me they were so frustrated that they could not find qualified insurance staff. While I didn't suggest that they look outside the industry as they don't have a strong training program, I did suggest that they should be trying online posting such as Craig's List and Monster as opposed to their traditional newspaper ads. Thanks for your comments and for following our blog.

  • Now is the time to build the social media/internet foundation. If you want to listen to all the guys at your office that tell you it is stupid and a waste of time, let them go ahead and keep cold calling. Those of us who are "in the conversation" and are creating valuable content for our prospects until they are ready to buy will be the ones that have the most success in the coming years
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    • Dan, great comments. Thanks for following us and commenting.

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