The Adaptive Agency Blog

Agent Interview: Talking Strategy with Alex Carter

by | Oct 10, 2023 | Strategy

In today’s episode, I interview AI-generated insurance agent Alex Carter.

See how much of Alex’s ideas resonate with you!

Matt: Hi Alex. As we were chatting about this interview I was impressed by how much you love what you do. What is it about your career that keeps you so motivated?

Alex: Thanks, Matt. Truly, it’s the people and their stories that keep me motivated. Being able to provide some security and peace of mind to folks in this unpredictable life is rewarding. It’s not just about policies; it’s about being there for them in times of need, helping them navigate through their worries, and ensuring they can bounce back from life’s setbacks. That connection and impact are what drives me every day.

Matt: That’s a pretty bold statement. Have you always run your business that way?

Alex: Not always. Early on, it was much more about winning as many deals as possible to keep the business afloat. The focus was heavy on transactions and numbers.

But then I began to see the real-life impact of these policies on people during their tough times. That shifted my approach from just making sales to really understanding and connecting with clients, ensuring they have the right coverage for their unique needs. It became a balance of running a business and being a supportive resource for the community.

Matt: The transactional approach–it sounds like it was working. They say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Why the transformation?

Alex: You’re right. The transactional approach was working in a sense – the business was running. But I noticed a gap. Clients would come back with issues or questions, and I realized that the initial transaction lacked depth and understanding of their true needs. I saw instances where a little more conversation could have gotten them better coverage for their situations.

The transformation was about doing right by them – ensuring that they’re not just covered but covered correctly and comprehensively. It was about adding real value to their lives, not just making a sale. And in the long run, this approach has built stronger, lasting relationships with clients, which is invaluable.

Matt: What do you mean by “invaluable?”

Alex: By “invaluable,” I mean those deeper relationships have become the cornerstone of my business. Clients now trust me not just as a policy seller but as an advisor, someone who genuinely cares about their well-being. This trust has not only led to client retention but also referrals, as satisfied clients often recommend me to their friends and family.

So, it’s not just a moral choice but a smart business strategy. It’s created a community around my business that’s both supportive and sustaining. And in an industry like insurance, where trust is paramount, these relationships are truly priceless.

Matt: How has that trust impacted growth and profitability?

Alex: The trust has significantly impacted growth in a positive way. When clients trust you, they stick with you. So, we have a solid client base that renews their policies year after year. Additionally, they become advocates for your business. Word-of-mouth referrals have been tremendous because when people have a good experience, they talk about it.

On the profitability side, while some relationship-building activities, like spending time discussing clients’ needs in-depth, might seem like they slow down the sales process, they pay off in the long run. Clients who trust you are more likely to take your advice on policies, which sometimes means opting for more comprehensive (and sometimes more expensive) coverage. They’re also more likely to bring all their insurance needs to you – home, auto, life, and so on. So, while the sales cycle might be longer, the lifetime value of a client tends to be much higher with this approach. It’s a win-win – clients get the right coverage, and the business sees sustainable growth and profitability.

Matt: So you saw an increase in policies per household and customer longevity?

Alex: Absolutely. Once that trust was established and clients saw that we were here to support them, not just sell to them, they were more inclined to bring all their insurance needs to us. So, instead of just insuring, say, a car, we started seeing the same clients taking out home, life, and even business policies.

And yes, customer longevity increased as well. Clients stayed with us year after year because they knew we understood them and their needs. They weren’t just a policy number to us, and that personalized approach made all the difference in retaining them long-term. It’s been a rewarding shift, both in terms of business metrics and the quality of relationships we have with our clients.

Matt: How do you think that positions you competitively?

Alex: It positions us quite strongly. In an industry where many operations might lean towards quick sales and less personal interaction, our approach of building relationships and truly understanding our clients sets us apart. People appreciate being seen and heard, and when they feel valued, they’re not only more likely to stay, but they also become ambassadors for your brand.

Our competitive edge comes from that genuine, personalized service. Clients know that we’re not just here to sell them a policy but to help them navigate through life’s uncertainties with the right coverage. This reputation of being client-focused and trustworthy gives us a distinct advantage in a market where trust is key. It turns clients into loyal patrons, and that loyalty is the strongest competitive advantage we could ask for.

Matt: But you must still have some transactional business. I mean, you need new customers, right? How do you balance that with the focus on deep relationships?

Alex: Absolutely, new customers are vital for continued growth. The balance comes in ensuring that even the transactional aspects are handled with care and a personal touch. When new clients come in, we do our best to understand their needs right from the start, even if the initial interaction might be transactional in nature.

We ensure that every client, whether they’re new or have been with us for years, feels valued and understood. So, while we might engage in transactions to bring in new business, we immediately work towards converting that transactional relationship into a deeper, more meaningful one.

It’s about not letting the pursuit of new business overshadow the importance of maintaining and deepening existing relationships. Both are crucial, and both need a slightly different approach, but the underlying principle of genuine care and providing real value remains constant. It’s a juggling act, but one that’s crucial to both sustain and grow the business.

Matt: Great stuff, Alex. Any advice for agents who want to make that transition but feel stuck in the short-term grind?

Alex: Thanks! For agents stuck in the short-term grind, I’d say start small. Begin by allocating a bit of time each week to engage with your existing clients without the aim of making a sale. Maybe check in on them, ask about their current policies, or just have a non-business chat.

Also, consider sending out newsletters or updates that provide value without pushing for a purchase. It could be tips on home maintenance, safe driving, or managing finances.

Remember, transitioning doesn’t mean a complete overhaul overnight. Small, consistent steps towards building and maintaining relationships can gradually shift your business from purely transactional to one that’s relationship-oriented. It takes time, but the investment you make in building those connections will pay off in the long run in terms of client loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals. Stick with it, stay genuine, and you’ll see the shift happen.

Matt: Thanks, Alex! There are lots of great food for thought here. Hope we can have you back at some point to talk about how your agency culture factors into it all.

Alex: Thank you! I’d be happy to come back and chat about our team and culture. It’s been a pleasure sharing with you today, and I’m looking forward to our next conversation.


(Any similarity between Alex and any individual agent is purely coincidental.)