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How to Fight Back and Win – An Allstate Agents’
Guide to Increased Quote Volume & ALI Success

Everyone knows what’s going on right now.  Corporate wants Auto and tons of it.  Fortunately rates have gotten into the “we have a fighting chance” range for the segments that Allstate is after.  So more times than not the major question presented to me is, “How do I find more good prospects to quote?”.

While there is no single answer (never be fooled into having just one way to get clients) an important point to remember is this: It’s always better for clients & prospects to believe they found you.
Just think about your own office. Are you most likely to close a prospect who calls you out of the blue or who your staff cold called out of the blue? There’s no contest; the prospect who calls you is most likely to produce new business for you.

Here’s what I mean:  you can yell from the roof tops, “I am the best agent in America, and can save you money!”  However, the reality of the situation is people are calloused to hearing that. It’s such a common message that it doesn’t even cross their radar when they hear it.

All they have to do is watch 5 minutes of TV or go to their favorite News or Media website to be pummeled with commercials saying the same thing.  What the best agents in the country have figured out is that if a client has the perception that they “found” the best, most professional agent (or agency) in their area then they are much more open to being quoted and much more like to be closed.

So the Key is the Place Yourself in Front of Them,
and Let Them Make the Decision to Call, Not Chasing Them Down.

In the golden olden days of Allstate, this was done with a Sears kiosk. Then later perhaps a blinking blue sign in front of your agency, or in some cases with a good yellow page ad.  Some agents even named there agencies “AAA1 Insurance” just to try to be at the front of the insurance section of the phone book.  However, now times have changed people are hustling to get home from work through dreaded rush hour, not looking for a sign on the corner that says “Auto Insurance”.  Neither are people willing to take the time to stop what they’re doing to look through a 6 inch think phone book with some injury attorney’s face on the front.

People Are Now Using the Internet as ‘the Yellow Pages’,
and 85% of Searches for Local Businesses (like Insurance Agents) Happen Through Google.

The good news is even though they are looking online to find and agent, they still want the security blanket of a professional looking out for them and being accessible within a reasonable distance from home.  There are several ways to accomplish this, but I have not found anything with the power of Google and more specifically the power of the Google Map from a recognition standpoint, which is why my staff and I have created the Allstate Agent Only Google Map Competition Crusher Program. But never mind that; I’m not here to sell, but to teach. You see, the key is not just to have a Google local listing, but to appear within the top 5 agencies on the first page of the map results.

The second and equally important point that I try to make to my clients is this.  You have to play the hand you are dealt.  What I mean is if Allstate wants to measure how well you tie a neck tie you better get good at a Double Windsor.

Right now, Allstate’s Measuring Stick of Choice is the ALI

This is definitely not the best way to measure an agency’s health, but for better or worse (mostly worse) corporate has adopted the method so complaining about it will only hurt you. It’s ok to still be mad about it. There’s certainly good reason. But while you’re mad about it, get busy doing something to stack the deck in your favor.

Your clients need to be massaged into filling out the survey advantageously.  Now you definitely have some clients that you can simply call and say “You’re going to get a survey soon. Please fill it out Extremely Satisfied.”, but there are some clients that will resent any form of upfront directive from you on the task.  So what you need to do is develop a way that over the next few months before the surveys go out you are customers believe they are coming to the conclusion on their own that “extremely satisfied” is the only way to describe your agency’s level of service to them.  The best bet is to get your staff to hear the complaints, deal with them as quickly as possible, and have them happy by the time the ALI survey shows up at their door. In addition, the phrase “The survey you’re going to receive is our report card, it’s only ranking us as an agency, not Allstate as a company, rates or claims, so please keep that in mind as you’re filling it out” will help soften the beachhead for much better results.

I know what you’re thinking “Easier said than done!”… Yes, it will not happen without some time and possibly a small investment (depending how much you outsource).  Basically, the verbiage you utilize in your “presurvey” calls can trigger that client to be responsive to fill out the survey on your behalf, without asking them directly to do so.

There you have it, one strategy for getting new business and one strategy for keeping the business and bonuses you’ve already earned.

David Neuenschwander is a nationally recognized marketing specialist helping Allstate Agents across the country thrive despite a tough economy and ever-increasing goofiness at the home office .