Compared to other areas, the health insurance industry offers greater opportunities for entrepreneurs and self-motivated individuals. It's easier to get in and get established. It's also much easier to start generating revenue and profits. Hard to believe? Take a look at this comparison of what it would take to open a Subway shop and an Allstate office.
|Initial cost||$70,000 to $220,000 (plus $12,500 franchise fee and 8% royalty)||$50,000|
|Ramp-up||6-9 months||3-6 months|
|Operating burden||Employees, advertising, signage, rent, etc.||Employees, advertising, signage, rent, etc.|
|ROI wait||At least 1-2 years||Up to 2 years|
Now, compare that with how little it costs to start up your own health insurance agency:
1. Licensing course, test and fees: $400
2. Setting up a home office: $1,000
3. Phone and Internet connection: $100
Most agents can have their office up and running just days after getting their license and smart agents can start seeing a return on investment (ROI) in less than 90 days. There is a downside to this low barrier to entry, however. Because it's easier for new agents to enter the market, competition can be that much stronger.
An increasing online market
Another important feature of today's health insurance industry is that consumers are now going online to shop for health insurance in ever-increasing numbers. In fact, the Pew Center released a study in January 2009 that reported that nearly 75 percent of adult Americans now use the Internet.
But this actually offers an even bigger opportunity. Unlike Subway franchises and, to a lesser extent, Allstate agencies, you don't have to spend thousands of dollars looking for a prime location.
The Internet is the great equalizer. The Web empowers one-agent shops to compete with larger offices for the fast-growing online health insurance market -- if you have the right tools and resources. Sales automation technology, such as quote engines, e-mail autoresponders, lead management systems and a 24/7 Web site, lets you put off hiring additional help. Beginning agents can now run a 50-applications-per-month office out of their homes... by themselves.
In addition to saving money on rent and unnecessary payroll, the Internet also lowers your marketing costs. By harnessing the power of the Internet, you can more easily connect directly with the health insurance shoppers you're targeting.
How? Simple -- with qualified Internet-generated leads.
- Reduce marketing costs. No more "gambling" on direct mail or advertising campaigns. You just pay for the results: leads.
- Skip the wait. When you launch a traditional marketing campaign, you usually have to wait days or weeks before the calls start flowing in. With Internet-generated leads, you can start talking to prospects immediately. You'll be able to focus more time on selling and closing deals.
But even with leads, you're going to face competition. Top producers have learned from experience what they need to do with their leads to ensure the highest conversion rates and sales. This series of articles explores the seven most effective methods used by top producers... so you can immediately close more leads and submit more applications.
Stay tuned to Producersweb.com as they introduce my seven tactics. I recommend applying a single tactic at once, and building on your success throughout time.
- Tactic 1: Speed Kills
- Tactic 2: Get and Give Quality
- Tactic 3: Persistence Pays
- Tactic 4: Do Stray From The Pack
- Tactic 5: Understand What Really Counts
- Tactic 6: Never Stop Testing and Tracking
- Tactic 7: Automate So You Can Close More
Can't wait? You can request the full 15-page report here: http://www.producersweb.com/r/NOR
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