Exclusive Agent vs Independent Agency: An Inside Point of View

exclusive agent vs independent agency
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What does separate an exclusive agent from the independent agent? 

In my job, I am allowed to visit with mortgage companies and realtors in an attempt to help drum up business for myself and my company.  At one particular visit, I was posed a question by a realtor owner and friend. He asked, “What separates your company, an exclusive Allstate agency, from the independent agency that also has Allstate?”  At that time, it was early in my insurance career and I didn’t have an answer for him. It was a legitimate question. What does separate my agency from the independent agency that has Allstate? 

Independent agencies generally have multiple insurance companies to choose from.

While there are some advantages to “choosing” your insurance, (which they generally choose for you), I believe exclusive agents have the distinct advantage of understanding our product to the fullest. You’ve heard the phrase, jack of all trades, master of none.  I can’t speak for every independent agency, but I can bet 90% know just enough about each company to make a deal, but not get you the best bang for your buck. For example, we had a doctor come in who had Allstate through another company in Abilene. As a courtesy, we sat down and did a review of his policy. We ended up saving him $700 a year without removing any coverage. He was shocked! This company had Allstate too! They should know! Guess what? They don’t. We also earned some other lines of business with this customer. 

If you are an independent agent reading this.

Don’t be upset, take this moment as an opportunity to better equip yourself. I have admittedly become a better agent because of a local State Farm agent. I’ve lost prospects to him in the past because he is a master at what he does. He offers quality service therefore he can make sales and create loyal customers. Through his example, I’ve become better at what I do. I am able to answer objections I once could not answer. I’ve been able to better my service to create my own loyal customer base. That’s what healthy competition should do. Competition should not make you bitter, it should make you better. Becoming a master of your industry can set you apart from the competition.  

This idea is analogous to fishing.  

There is a sea full of fishermen and women trying to catch the right fish.  But as saturated as the market is with those out catching fish, the sea is even more populated with fish to catch!  You simply have to position yourself in the right spot, and equip yourself with the right tools to be able to make the right catch!  If you can do these things, you will get yourself a keeper! The keeper being the loyal customer. The insurance industry is constantly changing. It’s up to us to equip ourselves and keep ourselves sharp.  Let competition drive you to become better. This is what will separate you from the other insurance companies in the field. Good luck! Great fishing!

Tate Ellison, Allstate Insurance AgentAbout The Author: Tate Ellison is a successful licensed sales producer for Sanders Insurance Agency in Abilene. He has served for 6 years in the insurance industry and has over 10 years of sales experience. He is also the host for vidcast Banter For Believers. Find Tate on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TateWithAllstate/

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