What should you expect from your BGA?
Allegis Advisor Group
If you are looking to change BGAs, ask yourself these questions and then interview the prospective BGA.
As independent life producers, I am sure you have all seen the good, bad and the ugly when it comes to your experiences in dealing with brokerage general agents. They have many names: independent marketing organizations, field marketing organizations, BGAs, etc., and they all have the same goal in mind — write your business with us.
But we should ask ourselves, what can they provide me other than some comp and blindly blasting out industry information and hoping it applies to your practice? They all offer the same premise, but what should you expect from a good marketing agency?
From my experience, everybody is different. I focus mostly on timely information, accurate information, honest information, access to most every carrier, good compensation (not at the expense of solid relationships) and spectacular service.
BGAs should offer advice when requested and solutions that fit your client particularly; they should be able to assist you on difficult sales calls and provide you with any sales material you may need. In addition, the producer should be able to take the application and trust that his BGA will take care of the rest until the policy is issued.
One of the largest benefits is being able to hear from your BGA about a program or new policy that fits your market before you hear about it from another individual. Information, competitive compensation and great service should be a starting point when interviewing prospective BGAs.
Keep in mind that you are their client and should be treated as such. They should be willing to go the extra mile consistently and be a business facilitator, not a barrier.
To expand, I believe that a BGA must be proactive in their approach. That does not mean just blindly forwarding quotes, product updates and new product specifications. The key is that they understand your practice and how/if you position various insurance products. Instead of just placing you on an email blast list, a BGA who knows your business can provide custom recommendations, updates and sales ideas.
One who takes the time to get to know you (and provides all of the prerequisites discussed above) is truly a valuable business partner.
If you are looking to change BGAs, ask yourself these questions and then interview the prospective BGA. Ask them about carriers, compensation, service, systems and, most importantly, how they plan to be your partner in your practice and help you to grow and produce more business.
Once you have established these parameters, you are on your way to a productive relationship and can focus on who you got into business for in the first place, your clients.
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