23 Oct Agent Success Story: Adam Horowitz
As part of our commitment to helping agents grow their book of business, we are excited to share our first installment of an ongoing series focused on the agent experience (new and seasoned) with respect to Internet-generated leads. The following segment was taken from a conversation we had with one of our impressive young agent partners, Adam Horowitz over at Farmers Insurance in Tempe, Arizona.
Adam is a young, up-and-coming agent with a background in software sales after going to school at Arizona State University. We talked with Adam last week about some of the key factors driving his success. Below is what he told us.
Adam – Thanks for your time, and for being willing to share what it takes for a young agent to be successful starting a “scratch” book of business. To start off, tell us, what does your average workday look like?
I’ve been working with Farmers Insurance for almost a year now, and this is also my first year in the insurance industry, since I’m pretty fresh out of ASU. I started at Citrix Online, a software company, doing 150 cold calls a day, setting up webinars, demonstrating software.
Today, I’m an agency owner at Farmers, and one of the youngest in the district – about to turn 25. I’ve been trying to use Internet leads to my advantage, and working with a couple of different vendors. With ZipQuote, I’m taking on five auto and five home leads a day. I will go and quote them, then call, and then if I can’t get a hold of them, I‘ll text, email, mail – pretty much all points of contact. Since I’m purchasing the leads, I want to make the most of it.
From a lead generator’s perspective, what could we continue to do or do differently in the future to help you continue to succeed?
There are definitely some features I like about ZipQuote. I like the live chat feature, that’s definitely handy. I’ve had some pending refunds and declines, so it’s nice to have that live chat feature there to explain more. Since I’m doing the $5 standard leads, it’s definitely within reason. Obviously you don’t want to be refunding quality leads…I’ve tried to let people know if I’ve received a good lead, really evaluating it after a few months of working it. The thing I like about working Internet leads is that I can see how much money I’ve invested and what my return is. You can’t just put in $100 and expect it to work. You have to give it a real, honest effort.
Thanks for bringing this up. We are rolling out a new returns process the first part of October to make it much more seamless and much easier for all of you. Anything else you’d like to highlight about your experience with ZipQuote thus far?
Sure. Every company is going to have good and bad leads – that’s the nature of the game. Overall, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with everything including the customer service. After a six-month period I can look back and see how I’ve done compared to my investment, and go from there. I’ve definitely been really happy and want to invest in new leads. Right now I want to keep hammering out leads, and actually increase my daily volume. I also like the features that allow me to pause before 7 am or start at a certain time. I think with ZipQuote’s platform, there is more functionality regarding when exactly you want the leads to come in, which allows us to call them faster.
That’s great to hear, and thanks for the feedback. One thing that we hear a lot from agents is “how do agents who ‘like’ Internet leads make them work?” Could you walk us through the decision process of what you do when you’re starting to work an Internet lead?
Speed and timing is everything. The advantage with ZipQuote is that their auto leads integrate with our platform, SIMs, so it’s really quick to enter in the information and get a rate out. It takes me about 20 minutes to have a solid approximate quote. Then I’ll call the lead, and if I get them on the phone directly, I’ll say “Hi, this is Adam Horowitz with Farmers Insurance. I received an alert that you’re shopping for insurance on your ‘08 Dodge and ‘12 BMW, are those the correct vehicles?” At that point I’m trying to get them to verify if I have the correct info. And then I’ll share the price I calculated for them. It’s ideal to get the quote done before the call; for me, I like to have some valid numbers in front of me. Other carriers will get the lead information and call, and try to start the quote from there. That is something that could frustrate someone who just wanted to get a quote online, so I’m trying to eliminate the pain points for them by already having a quote ready. A lot of times it’s good to call later in the day once their phone stops ringing from all of the other agents’ calls.
If the consumer passes, what I can also do from here is add an “x-date.” I’ll actually save all of the leads that I get, because I can see their prior carrier and when they’re up for renewal again, so what I’ll do is file that away. Six months later, when they come up for renewal, I’ll quote them again to try and get them the second time. So really, it’s not a dead lead if they say no the first time.
What percentage of your customer acquisition efforts are comprised of Internet leads?
Right now, the majority of my book of business is Internet leads. Luckily, when I started off, I had a good-sized natural market, so I started off quoting friends and family to get comfortable. I definitely have a good amount of people I know in my book of business. But there’s more I could be doing, like event marketing, setting up a booth, getting organic leads that way, but right now my book of business is probably about 70% Internet leads.
Do you see a trend of agents including more Internet leads in their portfolio?
There’s definitely ways to be successful in this industry and do what you want to do without Internet leads, but everything I‘ve learned so far is about smart selling – and Internet leads is a big part of that formula.
I feel like it’s few and far between these days, the number of people that actually drop into the office and ask for coverage, because it’s so easy to go online or call and get a quick quote. I’m trying to use smart selling and Internet leads to my advantage. I’m not an expert yet, but based off of what I’ve seen, I think everyone should have Internet lead volume and a list of names that they will call.
Thanks for your time, Adam, and keep up the great work. We look forward to checking in with you in the near future. In closing, young agents like Adam are paving the way for a new generation of insurance professionals who are meeting modern, digital consumers where they are. The Internet is a competitive place, but it can be wildly fruitful if we can find a way to harness it. It’s not easy, but it’s certainly worth it. At ZipQuote, we are here to help.