Adapting To Change In Product, Service And Tech
Q.How have your initiatives as a next generation leader been of benefit to your producers? What challenges have you faced in implementing them?
Our focus for the past 10 years has been to add value in ways that help cause the insurance transaction to happen. Several of those initiatives have been to strengthen our underwriting process, create a first-class lead generation process, and to constantly bring new sales ideas to our partner producers.
Challenges? It takes a lot of trial and error as well as increased capital to create a first-class lead gen process. There are many regulatory issues involved in marketing directly to clients—that has been challenging at times. Historically, The Milner Group has a great reputation for underwriting. We have simply added to our existing platform to increase our success with large case underwriting. As with a lot of older businesses that are “stuck in their ways,” there have definitely been some roadblocks and some turnover within our staff that has been hard to overcome. In some situations, we have had to replace certain staff members with new staff that is open to our new culture of growth.
Technology, for both our staff and the producers we work with. We’ve implemented multiple technologies that allow our staff to quote, underwrite, or process business so coverage is in place as quickly and efficiently as possible. We also provide a wealth of tools for the producers we work with to be able to quote and submit business easily.
Cost is often a factor, but adoption and usage are consistently a challenge.
Q.How has your “fresh perspective” helped you forge new relationships with younger producers?
Producers feel as though we are partnering with them, and both of us have skin in the game. By going a step further in generating leads for the final expense producer, as well as working closer with the clients of the traditional producer, these agents understand that we are truly listening to their needs in today’s marketplace.
There are young producers??
Q.What does your agency do to help agents looking to retire? What have you done to ensure their clients are continuing to be served?
This is a project that is still in process and has not been fully implemented. Our goal is to connect younger successful advisors with our retiring advisors. We do have the resources internally to help what we refer to as “orphan clients” and have done this for decades, but we are working on a more formal process as this topic is very relevant to our agency.
We typically try to match up a retiring producer with another agent in their market and location. Art Jetter & Company works with a large number of agents and agencies in all 50 states, so we’re often able to put them in contact with a quality producer who will take good care of their clients.
Q.What in your agency is appreciated as still “Time Honored” and what has been embraced by agents as “New and Improved?”
Our core values have not changed through the decades, and we believe these have kept us honest (and in business): Integrity, Accountability, Urgency, and Accessibility. While the industry’s practical needs may adjust, operating with integrity and showing our customer’s a sense of urgency will always be pertinent. We can offer new technologies, additional phone support, provide leads and sales tools, but if we don’t have a moral compass and aren’t tapped into to our customer base—it’s all for naught. Our producers indicate that while they do appreciate any new offerings we’ve put together (high end customer service support, drop ticket fulfillment, lead generation, etc.), they are willing to try it because of our reputation over the years. New ideas are built on the expertise we’ve maintained in the industry, and if it weren’t for the generations before us—we might not have the platform to try new concepts today.
We’re still family owned and hold true to our values that were put in place more than 40 years ago. The producers and carriers we work with, as well as our staff, value our honesty, integrity, and knowledge.
We have always provided all lines of insurance and have specialists in each market.
This seems to be working well, as we’re having record growth in both revenue and staff, and just purchased a new building to double our size.
We’re always searching for new tools and technology to help the producers we work with be successful and provide the best service to their clients.