According to AVP of Carrier Software, Kyle Lack, there are around 390,000 long-haul, interstate trucking companies in the U.S. today. As an agent, where and HOW should you begin to sort through that many prospects and figure out where you can find the most success and save you the most time?
Advice from a Veteran Truck Insurance Specialist and NATMI-certified Safety Director Buddy “Roy” Walls “Nobody is born to be a truck insurance agent, you have to do your homework.”
Here are 6 things you can do today to get more ROI out of your prospecting.
#1 Do your homework.
Before you ever pick up the phone, research the company you are working with, Pull a Snap VU Report, review the detailed information on their MCS 150, ISS Score, radius of operation, type of commodities hauled, type of trucks and cargo, understand their CSA Scores to better communicate with a prospect. Evaluate what this carrier looks like to see if they have a market that will be interested in that type of carrier. There is no sense in wasting their time if you don’t have market interested in insuring that type of carrier. Use that research to prospect companies that your available markets are aggressively wanting to underwrite. You want to go after opportunities that you think you have an 80% chance of closing with your underwriter.
#2 Start early.
A relationship doesn’t develop overnight. It takes time. At least 6 months prior to renewal, pull a SNAP-VU report and a detailed Insure-VU Underwriting Report, and actually understand the safety condition of a company. When you start the relationship early, it gives you an upper hand in positioning yourself against other brokers that are wanting to quote them as well. If there are issues with safety that need to be addressed prior to renewal, you will then have 6 months to help put them in a better position to get quoted with your market. Ultimately, this saves them money and builds trust with you.
#3 Bring solutions to the table.
According to Accenture, “The use of customer data to generate relevant, real-time usage- and behavior-based offers that help customers mitigate, manage, and recover from loss can help insurers build trust with customers. That’s the value advanced data analytics can deliver both to the insurance customer and to the insurer.”
Have SOMETHING in hand that you can provide for them that makes their life easier. Make sure that you understand the data you are reviewing so well that you can spot a violation that should be Data Q’d. Example, “I noticed that your MCS-150 filing is out of date.” “I noticed that you have 3 Basics in Alert Status, and here are your problem areas.” “I noticed you have a MUST Inspect ISS Score.” Provide information of value to the company, it gives you a lot of credibility. Have your Snap-VU report in hand; you may teach them something about their company they didn’t even know.
#4 Be realistic.
Let the potential client know up front what markets you are available to quote, and list them in order of preference. Don’t try to quote on a market that won’t be successful. If you have done your homework, you should know what markets will want your prospect. If possible, try to get the trucking company to send a letter to your underwriter assigning you as the broker of record for that specific market.
#5 Find a mentor
Have someone that you can ask a lot of questions, and someone that can lead by example. Learn from what the coach is teaching you. Success breeds success. Make sure your mentor is someone that is successful. Ask other producers “How much premium do you book?” “What size accounts do you target” “What type of accounts do you target that your insurance company underwriter has an appetite for?” Have your mentor introduce you to the underwriter. The underwriter obviously trusts the mentor, and that will go a long way in establishing a level of trust with your underwriter.
#6 Find a focus.
You can only feed so many sharks. Find a few, good aggressive markets. Use market analysis reports to determine who is writing business in certain geographic regions.
Most of our clients who implemented these procedures experienced higher return on investment and increase on premiums earned in just a few short months. Carrier Software offers a suite of prospecting, truck insurance marketing, and underwriting analysis tools. Visit our products page here.