Insurance News: Unobtrusive business model led to success!
PHOENIX, Arizona – Million Dollar Roundtable, the premier association for professionals in the financial and insurance field, has selected Phoenix-based life insurance agent Brian Greenberg to be a 2013 member. Only the top 1 percent of agents qualify for membership, which is based on sales volume and commissions. The organization also has a strict code of ethics.
Greenberg’s company, True Blue Life Insurance, began in an unusual way. He started his career working as a traditional agent for MetLife, setting up appointments and making in-person visits to potential customers in their homes. But he never felt comfortable making sales pitches.
“My theory is life insurance should never be sold. It should be bought,” he said.
While personal contact is considered a vital tool in many businesses, in the life insurance business, Greenberg was noticing something else.
Some people felt uncomfortable discussing their medical history and having their blood pressure taken by an insurance agent—requirements for getting the insurance. Others were squeamish about discussing their financial history and goals, especially if they had lost money. Obtaining insurance also required a lot of paperwork and time.
Being a computer-oriented guy in his 30s, Greenberg did what came naturally and in 2007, created his own online life insurance business, www.truebluelifeinsurance.com. He doesn’t have to try to convince people to buy life insurance anymore—if they’re shopping for it, they can use his site. People don’t have to discuss their prostate cancer or their failed investments face-to-face, or even over the phone.
Other companies sell insurance on the internet, but every one that Greenberg has seen follows the same pattern: they collect a little information, then they require a phone call, often attempting to upsell the customer. Greenberg doesn’t.
“I collect all the information I need online and send them the application right away. If they have a question, they can call me,” he said.
Some online insurance companies also require customers to sign a disclosure warning them that they might be contacted by several other types of insurance companies. Greenberg doesn’t give or sell his customers’ information to anyone.
Licensed in all 50 states, he partners with Efinancial as a wholesaler and lets his customers choose the company and the rate that suit them best. He even allows them to see the underwriting guidelines tables that insurance companies use, an unheard-of tactic in the industry.
Like other agents, Greenberg collects feedback from customers. But he takes the unusual step of posting the customer reviews on his site. Most are positive, with an average rating of 4.8 on a 1-to-5 scale.
Making customers happy by providing efficient, unobtrusive service is the reason Greenberg started his company, and keeping them satisfied is crucial in the heavily-regulated insurance business.
“I’ve got 50 licenses to maintain. If I had any complaints against me, I wouldn’t be able to keep them,” he said.
Thriving in a field where fewer than 20% of new agents are still in business after 4 years, Greenberg has found his niche with a business model that feels comfortable for both him and his customers: Don’t sell. Provide information, respect customers’ choices, and be efficient.