Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How Small Insurance Business is Currently Automated

Mike Wise covers the property and casualty insurance agency world as it relates to online business on his InsuraTech blog. I find the numbers he quotes in his Feb 14th posting about the penetration of automation period, and online business particularly, very interesting.

Here is what his post says...
  • Only 56% of agents have Web sites
  • Only 50% have agency management systems
  • Only 29% of agents use the Web for marketing and attracting business
I have no reason to question these numbers but I do wonder what the 27% difference between agents who have web sites and agents who use the web for marketing and attracting business means. How could you have a web site that was not meant to attract business? What would that website be for?

I can accept that they might be pretty poor websites that are not effective. They might even seem to be abandoned. Still, they have to be doing something.

Mike also asks "but do they have the technical expertise to do these things?"

This question goes way beyond insurance agents. Do many small business people have this expertise? I would say no. But I would also say it just doesn't matter.

I think the issue is not technical expertise, but interest in marketing and selling. I believe the tools exist to make this not a technical issue. When small business people focus on all the things they can't do they are missing all the things they can do.

Some of us love technology. But if your business is selling and servicing a non technology product or service you need to avoid becoming trapped in the technology detail.

Start by browsing to see how others - and not just those in your industry - are doing things. Look, listen and learn. Then try a few things, see how they work, make adjustments, and add a few more.

Focus on little victories on a regular basis and the accumulation of wins will put you way ahead of your competition.


GDI said...

great post duke !!!
very informative indeed...


Mike Wise said...

Duke, thanks for the reference. I think your assessment of the 27% delta is correct. Many folks "just have a Web site out there" but they don't see it as a bizdev play - as hard as that may seem to fathom for us on the other side. Hopefully, as agents network with each other, the good word will spread. I really believe an agency blog is the best thing they could do right now. I'll be writing about this shortly and would love to hear your take on the post. Thanks again!