In a recent interview, Rainbow International® Franchise Consultant Craig Gjelsten revealed four ways a restoration or glass repair contractor can connect with insurance agents and adjusters.
Connecting with agents
Be Persistent—Getting that first job could take weeks or even months of regular contact with the agent and his office. Making a phone call or sending a letter or email just won’t do, says Gjelsten. This means addressing the agents, CSRs and office personnel (i.e. the gatekeepers) in person. You’re seeking a quality relationship with the company.
Be Nice and Maintain a Positive Attitude—The ultimate goal is to make a connection with an agent, but it’s unlikely you will be able to waltz into an office and schedule a meeting. According to Gjelsten, don’t underestimate the influence of the customer service representatives and office managers. If they warm up to you, they can only help you achieve your goal. Treat everybody in the office as a potential referral source.
It’s important to note that not all insurance carriers’ agents deal with claims. Before going to an office, take the time to learn about the company’s structure and practices to ensure your time is well spent.
Connecting with adjusters
Many adjusters work from home or out of an office that you, as a business owner looking for contracts, may not be able to access. For this reason, a different approach is needed.
Join Associations & Attend Conferences—the Honorable Order of the Blue Goose and the Western Loss Association are some of the largest member organizations for insurance industry professionals. Conferences such as the PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference also present marketing and public relations opportunities for your business. There are numerous regional/local associations, trade shows and conferences you can join and attend to get to know these professionals and increase brand awareness.
Offer Continuing Education Classes—Continuing Education (CE) classes give your business a captive audience of insurance professionals and allows you the opportunity to establish your competency and credibility. Insurance professionals require a certain amount of CE credit hours to maintain their licenses. By offering these classes, you are providing a value-added service to them, helping to solidify your relationship.
Sustaining The Relationship
Communication and consistency are key component to maintaining your relationship with insurance carriers, agents and adjusters. Listed below are a few tips suggested by Gjelsten:
- Let the agent know you are working with his client.
- Be flexible with your estimates when working with an adjuster.
- Always under promise and over deliver—the policyholder’s satisfaction is essential.
- Keep the adjuster/agent apprised of the progress of claims on a continual basis. Once the job is complete, follow-up with job description details and include before and after photos.
- Confirm that the end result is acceptable to all parties.
- Show your appreciation. You can’t say “Thank you” too many times or in too many ways.
Remember that insurance carriers and agents recommend your company to their clients. The insurance company puts its reputation on the line and it cannot afford a vocal, unhappy customer: it impedes the sale of new insurance policies and renewal of existing ones. This is why 1) you must lay the ground work to establish trust, and 2) it takes a conscientious effort to maintain a relationship and to prove that your business is prepared to satisfy their clients.
Finally, joining a franchise is another way to add your restoration business to insurance providers’ preferred vendor lists, as many franchise companies already work with major insurance carriers on a national level. To learn more about restoration or glass repair franchise opportunities though Rainbow International and Glass Doctor®, visit www.leadingtheserviceindustry.com or call 1 (866) 696-1504.