Mark Habib had originally wanted to be a doctor like his father. Now, he helps people insure their financial health as an agent with New York Life in Waltham, Massachusetts.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 Mark Habib, an agent in Waltham, Massachusetts. Here’s how his partnership with Precise has helped him maximize his skillset and become a leader among his peers.
PL: Tell us about yourself: Where are you from, how you got into the insurance industry, and your career path up to this point?
Mark: I was born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts, and eventually I went to college at UMass, Amherst. I originally studied biology because my father is a doctor, but I just wasn’t into it 100%.
Then about 12 years ago, I met Paul Moriarty, a recruiter from New York Life, at a career fair at my alma mater. I loved his pitch, so I went to Waltham, Massachusetts after graduating and started working in insurance. It was a risk because it was commission-based, but I was really excited about it.
PL: In your experience, how has the rise of the internet and related technologies — smartphones, social media, internet search, etc. — changed your insurance marketing and sales tactics?
M: I did really well over my first three years at New York Life, mostly because I was working my natural market of family and friends. As time went on, though, it started to get tougher, because I didn’t want to ask too many close friends about insurance.
One day, I noticed a co-worker printing out leads. I asked him what they were, and he told me that they were people looking for life insurance quotes. I thought, “I could do that.” It seemed simple enough. So I called the lead provider, met my first lead at the mall, and made $3,000 by the end of the day. I thought, “wow, that was easy!” With some more practice, I got pretty good at calling leads.
PL: What specific tactics were you using to generate leads before you partnered with Precise?
M: I’m a people person. I never have trouble meeting and connecting with clients and prospects. At the same time, however, I used to struggle with referrals. To be honest, I was about ready to give up on insurance until I started working with internet leads. They’ve been a godsend for me. I purchase about 15 leads a day and I call them in a very organized, structured way. In fact, I’ve heard that I utilize leads more than any other agent at New York Life.
PL: Why did you decide to purchase internet leads in the first place? Was it the recognition that this was an opportunity?
M: Knowing that I could be in charge completely changed my approach. I didn’t have to rely on somebody else; I could buy my own leads and make my own calls on my schedule. Precise gave me an opportunity to take complete control of my career.
It’s only been seven months, but I’ve absolutely loved working with Precise. They’re far and away the best and there are no issues with returning them. There are no caps and time restrictions. Likewise, if I have any issues at all I email Arthur, my account manager, and work everything out with him.
PL: What has motivated you to remain a customer of Precise?
M: The quality of the leads has really made all the difference. I actually just made Chairman’s Council for the first time. It’s an award that agents get after making over $250,000 in commissions in a year. I had never made that much money before, and it wouldn’t have happened without Precise Leads.
The ability to return a bad lead is also a great perk. The site is extremely user friendly. The people are nice. Arthur is easy to talk to. When I have an issue, I can text him and he’ll deal with it. It’s an easy company to work with.
PL: Other than making the Chairman’s Council, what other notable successes have you had since partnering with Precise?
M: Working with Precise has helped me maintain a better work-life balance. I have a baby now, so I don’t want to work on Saturdays anymore. Thanks to Precise, I consistently find better, more profitable leads, which, in turn, enables me to work less.
PL: Any advice to agents about purchasing leads, such as how many, when to buy, how to close more deals to boost ROI?
M: At its core, insurance is a numbers game. You want to get as many clients as possible, but you have to be consistent, as well. You have to call the clients when they ask you to call them. A lot of agents call me from different parts of New York Life about internet leads and I share that same advice with them.
I periodically check in on leads that are four or five years old just to see if anything has changed. I regularly close new deals that seemingly went cold years ago because a life event took place. You have to stick with it. You might pay $1,000 at first and make no money. You might also pay $1,000 and make $10,000 down the road. In time, you’ll make your money back.
I’d encourage agents to not stress over each individual lead. You have to get a handful, work them, and call them, call them, call them. There are going to be a bunch of hits here and there and ultimately, that one big hit will solidify your ROI.
A big thank you to Mark 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.