BIG NEWS: New Partnership with Indium!

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two Ohio companies – Indium and Secured Advantage – are partnering to support independent insurance agents in securing better market access, increase revenue and business growth.

Both companies were founded by independent insurance agents who are passionate about improving insurance operations and supporting other independent agents by solving industry problems they have experienced first-hand.

Indium is a market access network that offers the most agent-friendly partnership agreements in the industry, along with solutions for agency growth, profitability, staff development, and perpetuation.

“Indium is always looking for strategic partners in the marketplace and Secured Advantage has a unique value proposition to independent agents,” said Chad Eddy, CEO of Indium. “This is a complementary service to our agents as well. As two companies founded by agents for agents, it only makes sense we work together to provide greater value to the independent agency channel.”

Secured Advantage is a partnership of independent agencies that allows each member to enjoy the benefits of a large operation – like contingency sharing, workplace benefits, and financial services – while retaining their own identity and remaining independent.

“Partnering with Indium provides expanded market access to our members from a first-class organization,” said Ted Rusinoff, National Sales Director at Secured Advantage. “We always look for new ways to enhance the independence of members, and Indium’s business model will accomplish that for everyone involved.”

The two organizations are excited to creating additional value for agents in the independent agency channel. For more information, contact Scott Richards. 


About Indium

Indium (originally MarketSource Agency Network, LLC) was founded in 2005 out of the Ohio Insurance Agents Association (OIA). Everything Indium does is meant to challenge the established model of insurance, giving Indie Agents™ an edge now and in the future. In staying true to our founding principles, Indium is a leading market access provider whose focus is to facilitate enhanced revenue and profitable growth opportunities for our independent agency partners. We are still owned and directed by independent agents, and we support agency partners across the country who have placed over $50 million in written premium with our carrier partners. For more information, visit www.goindium.com/go-indie.

How Did They Find Me?

A few weeks back, we discussed the common threads that run through the various clients an agency has and how to use that information to your advantage. This week, we’ll be digging even deeper to discover where they’re coming from in the first place and how you can apply that knowledge to better target new potential clients and grow your agency even more.

One of the most important things you can do is to track where your clients are coming from right from the start. Start by asking new clients “How did you hear of us?” and record what they say. Comparing these answers can give you a clearer idea of which advertising and marketing tactics are working for you (and which aren’t) while also facilitating the growth of your relationship with your new client.

Many agencies use multiple marketing strategies to attract new customers; tracking how your customers got to you tells you which of those strategies are working.

Let’s say, for example, you see an influx of new customers during baseball season, whereas there are far fewer new clients coming in during football season. You may look at this and assume this means that your banner in the outfield was more effective that the ad you placed in the football program. However, making this kind of assumption without seeking out the data to back it up may cause you to miss the true cause to your springtime success: the family with a son on the baseball team who have been saying nice things about your services.

If you don’t know how your clients are finding you, start asking! Don’t be afraid to ask current customers as well, as their reasons may point you toward ways to target new customers that have been proven to work for you. All in all, business success is based on the measuring, analyzing, and adjusting of feedback. When you take the time to draw out all the facts and consider them and how they relate to each other, you may be amazed at what you find!


Next Steps

At this point, we’ve tackled the importance of knowing who your customer is, what they buy from you, what they have in common with each other, and how they got to you

. For many, that information is enough; they’ve decided that what they have is all that they want, and they are happy to keep that going at a steady, unchanging pace. Perhaps there’s even a sign on the principal’s desk that reads, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Others, however, may find that their agency is not quite where they want it to be. Maybe this even means a change of direction in order to reach the success they have want for their future. If this is where you see yourself and your agency, we encourage you to take the time to consider the questions we’ve presented in this blog series. If you’re looking to take the next step towards growing your agency, contact David Levy for expert-level coaching in how to put all you’ve learned about your clients into action.

What Do my Customers Have in Common?

…besides having the best agent in town? More than you may think!

Often times, we find that agents have not taken time to consider how this idea applies to them, but more often than not, at least one common thread runs through an agency’s clients. When you look at your own book, what do you find your clients have in common? Perhaps many of them go to the same church or have kids that play sports with your kids. Whatever they are, try to find the common threads that run through your book.

A while back, an agency hired me (Ted) to help them better understand the differences between the books of their seven office locations. Many of these locations resided in towns of similar size and populations, and each of them had been a separate acquisition over the last 30 years of the agency’s history. After some digging, the client and I found that there were about 500 motorcycle policies across their seven offices, but more than 300 of those had been written out of a single office. There was a simple reason for it: the retired principal of that office had been a long-time member of a motorcycle club, and he’d done a good job of letting folks know what he did for a living.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to go buy a Harley to get more clients. However, it does illustrate how knowing the common threads that run between your clients can help use that information to draw in new clients. Business relationships often originate from attending events we’re interested in, staying active in groups and organizations, and engaging in other social gatherings. Therefore, keeping yourself involved in groups and events outside of work offers you an easy way to connect with others and nourish the growth of your business.

Being able to answer this key question about your clients allows you to better meet your clients’ needs, find more of them to engage, and even help anticipate what they may need next!

In two weeks from now, we will take this question a step further and discuss how you can dig a little deeper to discover exactly what has drawn your clients to you… Stay tuned!

What Do People Buy From Me?

A few weeks ago, we challenged you to consider who your customers are—their age range, average income, insurance needs, and more. Today, we’ll dive a little deeper into learning your customer base by helping you determine what exactly people buy from you.

If you were to look at your agency’s book, which types of needs would you see your agency meeting most frequently? Would you find that most people have bought their home and auto insurance from you, or is your agency more focused on small, commercial-type risks? Perhaps an even better question to ask is “What do people buy from me first?” Additionally, you should have a strong grasp on what your current carrier partners provide for you to sell. Knowing the limits set by your carrier partners can help you narrow down the field of potential clients to those you can actually cater to, allowing you to better focus on your true potential clients without wasting time on those you won’t be able to serve. Knowing what your customers can buy from you and what they buy first can help you target new customers; knowing all of what your customers buy from you can facilitate the process of turning a single-policy customer into one that purchases insurance solely from your agency.

To put this all into perspective, let’s say your agency is known for providing policies to young drivers. While the purchase of auto insurance for a teen may be all a family is looking for initially, you may find that later on, many of your clients who started with coverage for their teen drivers quickly became customers for all of their auto insurance needs. Understanding these statistics can help you develop a relationship with them so that down the road they will see you as a trustworthy and helpful resource. Thus, you can cater to the upcoming needs of the clients you already have. In turn, you can continue to build on the name you’ve already created for yourself to show those not yet in your books that you can serve them as well.

Growing an agency should be deliberate, predictable, and sustainable, and seeking to build up relationships with your clients by presenting yourself as a resource to them—rather than a solution to a single problem of theirs—will encourage them to return to you with their future needs. Therefore, knowing what customers are interested in buying from you at the start allows you to take the first step toward developing a relationship with them and meeting even more of their needs down the road.

Next time, we’ll address the importance of understanding what your clients all have in common with one another and how you can put yourself in a position to draw in more customers based on what you find!