When Edward Seidl left the corporate world to start his own insurance agency, he knew he needed new lead generation tactics to succeed.
Thanks to our unique commitment to quality, agent support, and value-driven service, Precise has been able to build strong, long-term relationships with leaders and innovators throughout the insurance industry. In our Precise Spotlight series, we want to showcase some of these outstanding partners for our readers. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or an up-and-coming agent, we hope that their wealth of experience and sustained successes will guide you as you work to realize your own business goals.
For our latest installment, we spoke with Edward Seidl. After nearly three decades in insurance, Ed opened his own office in Leavenworth, Kansas a year ago, where he represents Farm Bureau Financial Services. Making the transition from the corporate insurance world to his own agency required new lead generation methods — including internet leads. Now, he credits Precise as a major contributor to his success.
Precise Leads: How did you get into insurance? What was your career path?
Edward Seidl: I spent nearly 28 years in insurance with a few different companies, where I handled everything from personal lines and commercial underwriting to claims. Last year, I decided to switch gears and start my own business here in Kansas City as a Farm Bureau agent. Farm Bureau was the second corporate company I worked for and I most like the way they settle claims — I feel they’re very fair. So, when I decided to represent a company, I decided to represent Farm Bureau.
PL: In your experience, how has the rise of internet-related technologies, such as internet search, mobile, and social media, changed your insurance sales and marketing tactics?
ES: I was a little hesitant about the online revolution at first. I’m 51, so I’m a slow adopter. However, I have found that the internet is the way of the future. It’s how people shop for insurance now, so I learned to embrace it and have been successful in doing so.
My duties at the agency have changed recently, so I needed a lead generation source that enabled me to find and sign up prospects while giving me the flexibility to run my current book of business, as well. Internet leads, the type I choose to work at least, have helped me strike that balance.
PL: What tactics were you using to generate lead before you partnered with Precise?
ES: Like a lot of agents, I found clients in what I like to call a “warm market” — family, friends, people I knew in the community. I still rely on them because I don’t think that agents should limit themselves to a single lead source. You need to have a diverse pool of prospects, and you can’t have that without a diverse pool of sources.
I tried other internet lead providers at first, but I primarily use Precise now because their leads fit into my workflow really well. About six months ago, I took over a book of business that’s kept me quite busy. Before I was awarded that book, I could stop in the middle of a text or an email and call a lead immediately. I can’t do that now because I have some clients who might need my help at a moment’s notice. I can’t tell my clients to come back. That’s not how I run my office.
Fortunately, the homeowner leads from Precise aren’t as time-sensitive. They’re not looking for an answer right away, so I can take care of an existing client and then get back to them. It also helps that Precise filters the leads so I only get prospects with the right risk profile for my company.
PL: What made you purchase internet leads in the first place?
ES: It’s pretty simple: I wanted to increase my lead generation activity. You can’t stop at family and friends; you need to find people who are actively seeking insurance. If someone takes the time to fill out a questionnaire online, it’s clear that they’re interested in exploring their options, and if you can deliver value you are putting yourself in a good position for success. Your hit ratio is going to be much higher if you’re working with people who’ve already expressed interest than if you’re cold-calling someone who might not need or even want insurance.
PL: You mentioned the homeowner insurance leads from Precise. Is that what has motivated you to remain a customer of Precise?
ES: Yes. I personally think they’re your best product, particularly for my needs. Precise provides us with leads that match our underwriting guidelines. We look for people with good financial histories and we’ve been consistently satisfied with your ability to find the right prospects for us.
PL: Can you talk about any notable success and positive impacts since partnering with Precise?
ES: Michelle Tackett is my Account Manager. She’s always been hands-on and responsive. This is a frustrating business when you’re first starting but she always has new ideas and helps me diversify as my needs change. I give her a lot of credit.
PL: Any advice for agents purchasing leads, how to close more deals, etc.?
ES: Work with a lead generation company that has the leads you want. If your company targets people with high-end homes and excellent credit, find a company that gives you those types of leads. You’ll only waste money if you don’t.
You should also take some time to consider your schedule. If you can’t drop everything to talk to a lead, then auto insurance leads are probably not for you, because you’ll probably be the third or fourth caller by the time you can contact them. Find leads that work on your timeline.
Above all else, just play to your strengths. If you’re great with life insurance, find life insurance leads. If you’re great with P&C, prioritize P&C leads. If you know what you’re good at and commit to it, you’ll last as long in insurance as I have.A big thank you to Edward for taking the time to sit down with Precise and share his experiences as an insurance agent! We truly appreciate his partnership and contribution to the Spotlight series. Be sure to keep an eye out for more stories of hard work, opportunity, and success from Precise agents.