So you want to sell insurance in the public sector? Welcome to the world of public entities! Glad you decided to join us. As of 2020, there are more than _____ cities and counties in the United States—each municipality in need of insurance that protects them from a variety of exposures.
Automobile. Property and casualty. Worker’s Compensation. Emerging risks. For more than three decades, my father, Bob Saville, has worked with incumbent insurance agents to update expiring paperwork, ensuring the cities, counties, schools, utilities and other public entities receive the right coverage at competitive prices. I’ve joined this journey in recent years.
What if you’re new to the public sector? Perhaps you’re an independent insurance agent in search of an extra revenue stream in public sector insurance. Or you have strong relationships in local government, and want to approach these contacts about insuring their municipalities.
Where to start? Right here. Here are some tips that will get you started. It doesn’t matter if you want to sell insurance part-time or full-time. Review our list then give me a call to get started. Ready?
SHAKE SOME HANDS
Whether in-person or virtually, it’s important to be active in your community.
Join the local chamber of commerce. Sponsor a Little League team. Introduce yourself to decision-makers: the local municipality’s city clerk, city manager, risk manager, etc.
Stop by city hall. Get as much background information as possible. For example:
- When does the policy end?
- What is the premium?
- Who is the decision-maker?
- What is their contact information?
You can get this information on your own. Or, call us. We have a list of nationwide contacts, emails and other information.
DON’T OVERLOOK ANYBODY
Don’t just aim to meet people with fancy titles and big offices. The assistant or secretary that answers the phone is just as important. These gatekeepers see everyone that enters the office. They know who’s meeting with whom, for how long, and what was said in the lobby after the meeting.
They may be the employee completing the back office work to make the deal happen. Simply put, you’re in an advantageous position if they help you out. So don’t walk by and simply nod your head.
Be nice to everyone you meet because you never know who they can turn into. Treat all of them like they’re your biggest supporter. You never know who you next best friend will be. I wish I would have done it more in college.
–Carson Saville, Saville Public Entity
Organize tibbets of information in a spreadsheet—whether it’s a Google Doc, Evernote file or a document you store on your smartphone. Use this to keep up with birthdays, important dates and other tidbits of information that help you stay on top of all your new municipal contacts.
WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER
By now, you realize we’re here to make sure local agents don’t make mistakes. But we also want to ensure you look like you know what you’re doing. We want insurance agents to make one trip to a government office, ask for the right information then leave. Look professional. It’s never a good look to have to stop by five times, each time with new questions and requests. If you’re not sure what questions to ask, give me a call.
For example, if your city had a big insurance claim, or they’re doing something involving insurance, you better be at the next council meeting so you’re on the minutes and people can see your name or your local agency.
Let me know: “Insurance is what I do. I’m here if you need me.” I’ve done this multiple times to get started in a community. It’s much better than walking up to someone and saying, ‘Hey, my name is Carson. Buy my insurance.’ ”
Selling insurance in the public sector is not only exciting, but lucrative to insurance agents that are savvy enough to build local relationships. In many cases, cities and counties will award local insurance agents with business as long as their proposals are 5-10 percent within non-local agents. Why? Local dollars are spent locally—from taxes to staff members. And there’s no better time to start building your book of business.