Is your agency built on sinking sand?

By Jason Hornung

Jason Hornung Agency, Inc


All successful businesses find ways to leverage automated systems for their prospecting and marketing, and it's no different in the insurance business.

I started my first office scratch with a captive company back in 2003, having never sold insurance before. In fact, I was recruited by a district manager from my old job hocking cell phones from a mall kiosk. He sold me by simply saying I would easily be making $250,000 a year within three to five years. Who, at 23, wouldn't jump on that in a heartbeat?

During agency training, very little time was spent on marketing. I think we had two, maybe three days devoted to what I now know is the most crucial aspect of any business. All they taught us is what I call the "Old School Agency Formula," which goes like this:
    1. Find a great office location
    2. Do your project 100 percent
    3. Build some centers of influence
    4. Do some door knocking — especially for commercial
    5. Send some company approved mailers each month
    6. And ask everyone you write for referrals
Being young and green, I didn't know any better so I dove head first into this system. And let me tell you, it does produce results. The downside is that all of these things are so time consuming that it's nearly impossible to keep up with them for a prolonged period of time.

I made it about three years working 70+ hour weeks before I was spent.

Back in 2003, Internet leads were really just coming onto the scene and I had shunned them because at the time I actually hated the Internet! But after exhausting myself running the Old School Agency Formula for three years, I had nowhere else to turn but the Internet lead companies.

What I thought would make my life easier actually became even more of a nightmare. I spent so much time on the phone and over email trying to chase people down with quotes. I was spending $10 or more per lead so I'd call over and over and over again until I actually got the person on the phone.

Unless I had the lowest price by a lot, people would just be completely ticked off at me for calling and emailing so much on top of all the others who were doing the same.

All the negativity really bothered me and sent me into a funk. I hated going to work, I was bitter with my family and overall just miserable. My office was suffering and sales started declining.

That's when I realized that I was building my office on sinking sand. And if you are doing anything that I just described, you are too.

You see, all of these "traditional" methods of marketing for insurance really only work when you spend a concerted amount of consistent activity toward them. Once you stop, they stop. That's no way to build a successful business.

All successful businesses find ways to leverage automated systems for their prospecting and marketing, and it's no different in the insurance business.

Fortunately, today it's easier than ever before to do that online. Once you have your prospecting and marketing systems automated on the Internet, your business will be built on an unshakeable foundation. And you'll be able to have the freedom that you were looking for out of your business in the first place.