You just acquired an insurance agency, and you want to make the most of the acquisition including the following:
- Achieving a high retention
- Rounding out more accounts
- Winning referral business
Doing nothing is the worst thing you can do and may not result in the best return on investment (ROI). This is why it’s so important to have a strategy when dealing with your newly acquired accounts. First, always send out an intro letter to all of your newly acquired accounts. Let’s further investigate ways you can keep and grow this book of business rather than bleed your investment through attrition.
For these newly acquired accounts to have trust in you, you need to build your reputation and brand with these clients from the moment you acquire the book. The most important thing you can do is meet the largest clients in person. These are usually the accounts with more than a certain revenue amount per client, such as more than $1,000 in annual commissions. However, you must make this determination, as each book is different.
With a personal lines account, in this COVID environment, doing a zoom meeting is most ideal. Having them come to your office is fine, provided that you have made your office COVID safe, such as using plexiglass dividers at each desk that separate the staff and the client. Going to their residence is most ideal and a better option in a post-COVID environment. Meeting each of these clients in person is huge, because this is how great relationships can develop. For commercial lines clients, it’s best to visit them at their business. The largest client can be the most vulnerable account due to size; these accounts are also very desirable for other agencies to chase, and they will chase the most desirable accounts aggressively. It’s your job to beat them to the punch and protect your investment.
For accounts that are not among the “largest clients”, it’s best to reach these by phone and do a phone intro. Even leaving a voicemail and following it up with an email can demonstrate to the client that you are taking their account seriously. Have staff share all of these duties. Tag these accounts in your management system as newly acquired and tag them further after you have connected with them one way or another. This way, you can track who you have connected with and those you still need to contact.
Personal contact is huge, but it should not end there. Sending out regular newsletters, cross-sell marketing, community volunteering and constant social media marketing are all part of what it takes to run an agency effectively, but they are even more important when you have just acquired a book of business. Many agencies mistakenly believe that marketing is too costly, but when marketing is done right, it more than pays for itself. Remember that they have no clue who you are and that, if someone else is circling these accounts, especially a big account, you don’t have the privilege of being the incumbent without a quality marketing program.
Complacency is not a good idea with a newly acquired agency. It’s also not a good idea to hide the fact that the agency is now under new ownership. You are both losing out on rounding opportunities and referrals. This is how you can get your ROI to go further than the book you just paid for. Maintaining high retention, rounding accounts and winning referrals are part of being a smart businessperson. Doing nothing and missing out on maximizing these three revenue generators are truly missing out on what makes an acquisition a great investment.