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2023 Will Devastate 'New' Normal

Industry and economic firestorms require urgency mindset

If you think 2022 was a challenge, 2023 will totally devastate any perception of normal. Economic turbulence and uncertain policies are firebombing stabilization, especially among insurance sales.

firefighters attack blaze
Major industry changes will require new urgency in sales and marketing.

Insurers are increasing prices, fleeing states, and limiting coverages just to stay solvent. In California, AIG and Chubb announced they are not renewing many home coverages because of wildfire claims losses and government policies. Geico closed brick-and-mortar offices in California, and even taxpayer funded state insurance programs tripled costs to homeowners.

High claim risk and two years of $1 billion-plus hurricane losses are squeezing insurers out of Florida, too. Many are closing doors, stopping coverage, and being very selective about coverages.

Across the nation, auto prices increased about 25%, homes appreciated faster as inventory dwindled, and other factors skewed the game. Name it: inflation, wage increases, scarcity – they all add pressure and chaos that analysts say will last at least another year.

Yet, all the turmoil may be a boon to insurance agents.

As consumers see skyrocketing premiums, the whole country will be compelled to shop this year. Everybody will be looking for better deals.

Agent jobs also will change dramatically with more emphasis on closing sales and keeping clients. Successful agents will need new mindsets to meet challenges.

Good for agents?

For agents who take on the challenges, there’s no better time to sell insurance. They will see more people and write more business this year than ever before.

Customers today aren’t so loyal. Each price increase will trigger more shopping and comparing. People will change policies like yesterday’s underwear. Acquiring new customers will be the only way agents can create volume and make money.

This requires a major mind shift from what many agents have today. They must understand the new dynamics and adapt game plans, or they’ll see their big book of retained business quickly melt to nothing.

With high volatility levels and shorter product cycles, agents who embrace the chaos will thrive. When everything’s on fire and customers are shifting and shopping, agents who adapt and close deals will do well.

Marketing is a lifeline

To capture leads that turn into sales, agent marketing must be more than a Yellow Page ad.

The challenge to generating leads is scaling up smiling handshake meetings and personal referrals. People buy from people they know, like, and trust. Yet, in a numbers game like sales and marketing, more contacts and more connections mean more opportunities and more leads.

The discipline and expertise of marketing becomes a crucial lifeline to keep the sales boat floating.

Newer agents must expedite their likability and veteran agents must spread wider nets. Stronger marketing strategies increase impressions and reinforce name recognition. Good marketing will demonstrate you are likeable and trustworthy, and it will create leads.

Direct mail is effective scaling up those connections and making them personal.

When mailer envelopes are handwritten or when greeting cards are hand-addressed and hand-signed, recipients enjoy a personal, emotional connection to the sender. Open rates on handwritten mail are significantly higher than junk mail with a label. It becomes personal. You become likeable.

Direct mail represents connections to real people who have real interest. It continues to be very successful because it not only expedites contacts but when done correctly inspires responses.

However, quick response to direct-mail leads is critical. Slow response loses sales.

Phone calls from marketing represent eight to 14 previous impressions a person receives about you before deciding to call. The motivation to call may be driven by other factors that you may not be aware of – and should know – but getting the call is golden.

Keeping the conversation going is mining the gold. Don’t hang up.

Closing Inbound Calls

Direct mail combined with other marketing media creates a compelling network of prospect “touches” that keep many agents busy with inbound calls. However, agents must be able to close those calls to get their marketing value.

If you’re not closing at least 25% of your inbound calls, there’s a problem. Think what could happen if you could close a third to a half of them?


Free webinar reveals how to adapt lead generation and marketing to win in 2023

Craig Williams Coaching and Olde School Marketing will present a special free webinar Jan. 10 on adapting leads and marketing to win in 2023. In cooperation with Joseph Puckett of Craig Williams Coaching, the webinar will explore techniques and tactics to put yourself and your team in position to continue to WIN profitably and maximize your monthly and annual compensation in your agency.

Puckett joined forces with Craig Williams and helped grow his agency to a powerhouse generating $40 million in annual premium. They co-founded Craig Williams Coaching to help other agents generate more than 100 sold policies per month.

Olde School Marketing VP Makaila Goines and Chief Strategy Officer Peter Pace also will add to the webinar discussing specific marketing strategies that generate leads and how to handle them.

Check out the first in a series of free training webinars to share insights from leaders on growing in the new world.

Register Now to Grow

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