Selling insurance can be complicated, and sometimes getting ahead takes more than just knowing about your products. After all, if you’re an independent agent, you’re also a small business owner, so you have to know how to keep your business growing. One really useful way to make sure you’re doing this is to conduct a SWOT analysis, or an analysis that determines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to your agency.
What is a SWOT analysis?
SWOT analyses are used by many business owners in all industries to find ways to improve their businesses and sell more products or services. These analyses require that you look at four categories that relate to your business: its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Doing so will give you a better understanding of the internal workings of your organization, as well as a better understanding of how you compare to your competition.
To conduct a SWOT analysis, you’ll need to take a good look at your business and do some serious brainstorming, and then put everything down in writing. The best way to do this is to create a grid divided into four quadrants headed “strengths,” “weaknesses,” “opportunities,” and “threats,” with your finalized ideas in the appropriate category. So what should you be thinking about for each of these categories?
Your business’ strengths include the things you feel set your agency apart from other firms, as well as things like:
- All of the obvious positive aspects of your business, like its financial strength, its location, and its size. For example, if you are the only agency in town, you might have very little direct competition in your area, so make that work for you.
- Positive aspects that might take a little more creativity to see. For example, if you feel like your market is limited to local private homeowners and small businesses, remember that having a limited number of clients and selling a limited number of products can make you more focused and knowledgeable.
- Any collaborative efforts between other insurance agencies and your own. For example, you might belong to a pool of independently owned insurance agencies in the same city that offer customers a variety of coverage options from which to choose. This collaborative relationship can be beneficial for all parties involved, giving clients excellent choices while allowing them to deal with fewer agents overall.
A SWOT analysis doesn’t only focus on the strengths of your agency: you also need to take a close look at the weaknesses of your agency. These weaknesses might not necessarily be negative aspects of your business; rather, you should be thinking about factors that might need improvement in order for you to increase sales. For example:
- If you have not been in business very long, or if your company is new to the area, you might have trouble bringing in clients, so you will need to present more information about the services you offer that set you apart from agencies with a longer history.
- You should also include any weaknesses related to products and pricing, so you can be open and honest about these issues with your customers, and they can understand exactly what they are getting.
- You should also address any weaknesses regarding your agency’s structure, such as staffing levels or lack of office space.
Your SWOT analysis should look at strengths and weaknesses (or the internal factors that influence your business), but it should also look at external factors: the opportunities and threats facing your business. First, take a look at any opportunities that are present in the market. For example, are there any new companies moving into your area that you could sell to? Are competing agencies closing or retiring soon?
Your SWOT analysis should also include notable events in the market that could affect your agency in a positive or negative way.
Next, you’ll need to take a look at the other external factors that can affect your business: any real or perceived threats to your business that could decrease sales. Your SWOT analysis should include any factors that could affect your agency’s sales and the steps you can take to counteract them.
- Threats can come in the form of a changing marketplace: for example, a new highway bypassing your town and cutting into the residential area you serve could be detrimental to sales if it causes some of your customers to move out of town.
- But threats can also come in the form of a good old-fashioned competitor: a competitor opening up across town might be a more serious threat than a change in customer demographics.
If you’re an insurance agent looking to boost your sales, using a SWOT analysis to determine how you can improve your business and sell more insurance policies is a great step to take. Remember, doing a SWOT analysis entails considering all the positive and negative factors related to your agency that could affect sales, but this is done to get a better understanding of how to improve your business, not as a form of self-criticism. Your analysis can be as simple or complex as you need it to be, and should only take a few minutes of your time. It is simply meant to help you identify issues that might affect your business, and find ways to resolve these issues, so you can increase both revenue and customer satisfaction.
After you have taken the time to conduct a SWOT analysis, you can then begin focusing on how you can bring in more leads and what needs to be done to do so. In the meantime, if you need to grow your customer base, Benepath can help. We offer exclusive leads who are ready to buy – all you have to do is tell us when you are available to work with them. Benepath will provide you with better tools, more guidance, unsurpassed sales training, and techniques from the most successful agents and trainers in the industry, not to mention the best leads available. To get more information, fill out the form above, or call 866-368-0377.