Agencies Are Getting Help These Days!


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Every agency I talk to these days wants help. 'How can we be better?' 'How can we stay in touch with the client?' 'How can we maintain accounts?' 'How can we write more business?' You might be wondering, 'How can I get help?'

There are plenty of resources! Local, state, and national insurance associations are willing to help with any issue. Automation vendors have lots of programs and are developing more to make insurance agencies successful. Insurance companies, too, are a great resource. And consulting groups are here to stay. I talk to at least 30 agency staff each day, and a day doesn't go by that I don't hear how a consulting group has helped some agency. Agencies are making sure they'll be here for a long time.


Whether at the local, state, or national level, insurance associations are wonderful. Don't be afraid to call them - they're there for you. If an association doesn't have the answer, they'll get it for you. Often associations already have what you need, such as education, errors and omission coverage, and marketing programs. Ask them! I'm not a member of any insurance association, but, whenever I call, someone is always willing to help me. Call them if you have any question!


At times just thinking about agency management systems is overwhelming. If you already have an automation system, contact the vendor if you need help. After all, that's why you purchased the system - to be able to work more efficiently. But often we purchase management systems to work for us and then find ourselves working for them. Make your agency management system work for you. Call automation vendors to get tips on saving more time. If you've had your system for a while, call anyway - there are probably things you still don't know about your system.


Insurance companies want you to write more business. If agencies are willing to write more business, then companies are willing to help even more. Call them! Insurance companies will help in many ways, such as marketing programs, financing, the purchase of automation systems, yearly renewal letters, account rounding resources, and special mailings. I'm sure I'm just scratching the surface. Tell them what you can do for them, and ask them specifically what they can do for you.


Consultants are here to stay, but you might be reluctant to use one. 'Why should I contact a consulting firm? ABC Co. used one two years ago, and nothing happened.' Ask ABC why they brought in the consulting firm, what the firm promised - increased efficiency, more business? - and what program or result the firm implemented. Finally, ask the most important question: How did ABC follow up on that program or result? It usually turns out that ABC implemented the consultant's program but didn't keep it going, so they never achieved the benefit. Some agencies don't like consulting firms, but I find that more and more agencies are taking this avenue. They can help you if you implement their programs and follow up!

Many resources are available to help you run your agency. Call a local, state, or national insurance association if you have a question. Contact automation vendors to learn how to make your agency management system work for you. Turn to your insurance companies. And consulting firms can help, too - just make sure to follow-up.

Grace Bauer helps insurance agencies put together customized procedural manuals to secure consistency, protect against errors and omissions, attain security, and increase efficiency. She can be reached at The Grace Bauer Group, P.O. Box 08121, Fort Myers, FL 33908, (800) 896-4226, fax (239) 489-1525, e-mail [email protected].
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