The Insurance Dudes

Unlocking Insurance Success | Wisdom from the Expert Andy Neary PART 1

October 16, 2023 The Insurance Dudes: Craig Pretzinger & Jason Feltman Season 3 Episode 639
The Insurance Dudes
Unlocking Insurance Success | Wisdom from the Expert Andy Neary PART 1
Show Notes Transcript

Join us for another insightful episode, this time we have with us an insurance expert Andy Neary, with his enriched experience spanning over 15 years.

We take a deep dive into the challenges faced by insurance agents and discuss the need for a well-structured marketing strategy for your agency.

Andy gives his two cents about the importance of psychographics as well as the demographics and the positive impact truly understanding your prospects brings to you!

📻 tune in and learn the importance of Drive, Discipline, Consistency, and credibility in the world of insurance with Andy and the Insurance dudes. And set your agency up for success!


The Insurance Dudes are on a mission to find the best insurance agentsaround the country to find out how they are creating some of the top agencies. But they do not stop there, they also bring professionals from other industries for insights that can help agents take their agencies to the next level. 

The Insurance Dudes focus on your agency’s four pillars: Hiring, Training, Marketing and Motivation! We have to keep the sword sharp if we want our agencies to thrive. 

Insurance Dudes are leaders in their home, at their office and in their community. This podcast will keep you on track with like minded high performing agents while keeping entertained!

About Jason and Craig:

Both agents themselves, they both have scaled to around $10 million in premium.  After searching for years for a system to create predictability in their agencies, they developed the Telefunnel after their interviews with so many agents and business leaders.  

Taking several years, tons of trial and error, and hundreds of thousands of dollars on lead spend, they’ve optimized their agencies and teams to write tons of premium, consistently, and nearly on autopilot!

LEARN MORE BY Registering for TUESDAY’s LIVE CALL With The Insurance Dudes!

Bio of Andy Neary

Andy Neary is a former Professional Baseball Player, a two-time Iron Man finisher, business coach, and founder of Complete Game Consulting. Combining the skills and talents he used to compete in professional baseball and Ironman, Andy’s on a mission to help business and insurance professionals succeed in their careers and in life. He helps insurance professionals target the right audiences at the right time. His programs help people cultivate the “off-field” habits, mindset, and rituals that lead to all-star performances.

References:
Website: https://andyneary.com
Twitter -
https://twitter.com/ANearyinCO
Facebook -
https://www.facebook.com/AndyNeary333
Instagram -
https://www.instagram.com/andy_neary
LinkedIn -
https://www.linkedin.com/in/andyneary/

Andy Neary:

the wildest thing that has ever happened in my agency was trying to help a poor employee consumer get the health care they need at the right facility at the right provider. Unfortunately, I sent them to a place that was not covered by insurance. Little did I know I was absolutely putting the employee in a bad position until the day they showed up at my office cubicle to absolutely wring my neck. That was various moments in my career because I thought I was going above and beyond. But all I was doing was creating more problems for somebody who was let's be honest, living paycheck to paycheck and relying on my advice to to get the care they needed one of the lowest moments in my career. Hi, my name is Andy Neary. I am with complete game consulting in will kind of walk Wisconsin and I'm an insurance dude.

Craig Pretzinger:

Insurance dudes are on a mission to escape big handcuff by our agents.

Jason Feltman:

How? by uncovering the secrets to creating a predictable, consistent and profitable agency Sales Machine.

Craig Pretzinger:

I am Craig Pretzinger.

Jason Feltman:

I am Jason Feldman. We are agents. We are insurances. Oh,

Craig Pretzinger:

all right. All right, there we go. Well dive a little deeper into that. That's crazy. Man, somebody stormed in the office.

Andy Neary:

It was so I this is going back 15 plus years. And I was I had sold a health plan to a group here in Wisconsin before we moved to Colorado. And I knew there could be network issues, because they were looking from a cost savings. So we went with a specific plan. That helps save a little money. But it was an adjustment on the network of health health insurance, health care hospital providers. And I knew this couple needed help because they were seeing they were going to a certain facility that wasn't going to be covered. So I tried to help them steer them to another facility to help them make sure it's covered. Unfortunately, I steered them to another one that was not covered. It was something for their child. And I thought it was doing the right thing. But I wasn't. And yes, the father the dad ended up standing behind me in my cubicle one day and somehow somehow was able to walk his way into our office and man you fast forwards today, it probably would have would even be scarier with as much angst and stress that there is a society today.

Craig Pretzinger:

I don't know if they'd get in now. Yeah,

Andy Neary:

that's a good point.

Craig Pretzinger:

So this is way back, right? Yeah, this

Andy Neary:

is 2000. Probably.

Craig Pretzinger:

Oh, 8090809. So you were like 21.

Andy Neary:

Now I was 18. I would have been pushing 30. I was about I was about a good 10 trying to I was trying to I was trying to help you there. Now. I mean, I'm willing to admit when I'm wrong.

Jason Feltman:

Well, I think we've all had, unfortunately, stories like that where you know, whether or not we were early in the insurance career I I came in, man, I had only worked in an office for a little bit in an insurance office. And then I came in and I'm trying to, I took over an agency and I had to like pretend like I knew what was going on. I had zero clue at all. And yeah, steering people in the wrong direction was definitely happened a few times

Andy Neary:

by it. My issue is I used to be a horrible people pleaser. And I still have that from time to time. And I think what what happened in the past is I would want to help people so much. Yep, to help them avoid a problem. Or if I knew I had potentially created a problem. I'd go above and beyond to try to solve it. Yeah, but more often than not, it just created a bigger problem.

Craig Pretzinger:

Right. And it eliminates your ability to effectively do anything, right. You're spending all your time on all this. It locks

Andy Neary:

the office down micro crap. Yep. Yep. Yeah.

Jason Feltman:

Yeah. Have you done the DISC profile? years ago? Were you Hi. Yes. Yeah. Same here. It's so funny too. Because it's like, there's like a, like a dichotomy to that, right? It's like you're, you're such a people pleaser, and people like you and you're like your work. Like you get people to like you. You want people like us, you're willing to do anything. And but with that, there's a lack of honesty, too, because it's like, you're not willing to just say, like, no, or, I don't like that. Because, you know,

Andy Neary:

you think you're doing the right thing. Yeah. But you're not. And like you said it only negative it only hurts your credibility and trust. I talk about it. Now. You know, early in my career from a sales perspective, I always won the likability game. So prospects like me, they take meetings with me. I never I had a problem establishing the credibility to get hired early in my career, but I was a likable guy. So I always got caught in the friendzone with prospects and that's a bad place to be. Oh, yeah, you didn't push hard enough at the end, push aren't enough, they always they like, Yeah, they'll take meetings with you, but they're never take you seriously enough to hire you.

Craig Pretzinger:

Yeah, it's like, it's a balance. Right? You have to you have to make them like you, but not too much.

Andy Neary:

under percent. But you have to you it has to be mixed with credibility for sure. Yeah.

Craig Pretzinger:

Well, so in working with agents so often, like, how do you? What do you see out there?

Andy Neary:

With robots a big problem? I think there's a lot of advice. I talked to a lot of sales directors in this industry right now. And the biggest challenge they have is, their producers are good when they get referrals. It is so hard to find pure hunters these days. People wanting to go out and find their own business. It is a big challenge in the insurance industry right now.

Jason Feltman:

So do a lot of people want them like the agent to go find business?

Andy Neary:

Yeah, so you have a lot of agencies today that hire a producer, right? Yeah. And it's, let's face it, one of the reasons I my business exists is there's just a, there's a lack of training, there's a lack of good coaching in the industry, and reading a lot of agencies is higher producer, and it's almost like this, alright, go get them. And they want them to go find their own business rely on their own network. And what they're, what they're finding out is this producer they've hired is really good if you give them a lead or give them a referral. But to ask them to go find their own business. It's a challenge. There's not there's not a lot of producers who have that drive in that discipline to go find their new their own business.

Jason Feltman:

What do you feel about that? Because I'll tell you how I feel about that.

Andy Neary:

Yeah, go I'd love to hear your perspective. Yeah. The like,

Jason Feltman:

what business says hey, you know, I got this business, I'm not gonna get leads or anything, I'm just gonna You go get the lead and then you close the lead. Like, that's like, why not just start your you know, like no other industry does

Andy Neary:

that right? Yes, but you understand marketing my friend. A lot of this insurance ads gonna say it insurance I think is way behind the times on marketing. I agree with you.

Craig Pretzinger:

On technology 100%.

Andy Neary:

A good a good agency, right in 2023 should have a marketing strategy. You have to be constantly providing good leads for producers to go close, but they're not there rely happen. Man, I don't know I I've seen it for a long time. I, I call it the traditional insurance to step I see the marketing strategy in this industry being by a big list of leads, you have no idea if they're qualified or not, and then hammered them with phone calls. Versus what can we do from a marketing perspective, to create a lot of name recognition, a lot of brand recognition, but also create inbound leads for our producers? That's the goal. There's not a lot of that going on. Yeah, so

Jason Feltman:

crazy.

Craig Pretzinger:

And what about the pipeline? Do you think that agents have an understanding of what they how many quotes they need to do like so where PNC right? That's been our our world is the PNC world. I know that there's a lot of, you know, health care and life agents and all that listening to because it applies. But in the PNC world, the name of the game is quotes, right? We need quotes. And for many years, I had no, I had no understanding. And it's interesting because the math is very simple, right? But for some reason, it's not something that everybody talks about, or we figure out or, because it's so obvious, you don't even put it together. But it's very easy to determine if I want to write x i need to do why did you just fill it in?

Andy Neary:

Hunter because I had someone who was I was talking to somebody over the weekend about this? Had I gone to college knowing I was gonna get into insurance, right? Because very few of us got in is by design. I would have gotten two degrees, finance or finance, which I did, because you got to know numbers. Yeah. And I would have gotten a psychology degree because understanding the buyer is so key. But going back to your point about the math, this is a game of math, isn't it? I mean, if you want to if you know your numbers to hit the certain level of revenue you want to hit for the year is going to require X number of wins, right ao Rs. Just reverse engineer the math. Okay, so I need how many proposals then to generate that number of ao Rs. Cool, how many first meetings do I need to generate that number of proposals? And I tell producers at that point, throw away the sales number, the revenue number, throw away the proposal and just focus on the number of intro meetings you need. Or whether your KPI is quotes just float that is your KPI focus on nothing else. How

Craig Pretzinger:

come? I was just saying, How come how come why. Why do we want to look at that?

Andy Neary:

I think because too many producers in my opinion. Every year every January they sit down and they create a big sales goal right It's usually a revenue number of quarter of million dollars 300,000 500,000. Let's be honest, most of them do not have a plan of attack to get there. They just set a big number. And then the whole year, they sit there and they're at that number, right? And they after about three months, they start getting nervous. If they would just say, Hey, I know that if I get 30 quotes this year, or 50 quotes this year, I'm gonna hit that number. And all I do is I focus on that 30, or that 50, I think it makes the goal definitely more palatable, and more realistic. And as long as they pair it with an actual plan of action to get to those 30. Quote, right happen.

Craig Pretzinger:

It's like, they're only focused on the result, but not the standard requires,

Andy Neary:

what do they call that the leading indicators versus the lagging? Yeah, they're focused on the lagging without saying, Wait, but what are the leading indicators to get there?

Craig Pretzinger:

Would you get in a boat and look at and go, Okay, I want to go to Italy. So you take out the map, and all you do the whole time is stare at the map? Exactly. We'll get there. I'm looking right

Andy Neary:

at Italy. The winds blowing the right way, isn't it? Yes.

Jason Feltman:

Craig, I would not get in that boat with you. If you were. Listen, um, you are driving the boat to Italy across

Craig Pretzinger:

I am driving the boat to Italy. And I have map and I'm looking at Italy. I see Barcelona right here. Italy, Barcelona, Italy?

Andy Neary:

Well, there's our there's our first problem, we're not going to Barcelona.

Craig Pretzinger:

I know it's jokes, come on, take the same classes you guys did.

Jason Feltman:

Whatever. So this is, this is such a good topic, in the sense of, like, there's so much delusion. First off, I would have to say because of the recurring revenue and we have retention, like it's it's one of the only industries that we can actually not have some sort of way of acquiring business, because that is so important that we can actually not have that in place and still have a business most of the time. If you don't have a way to get sales, you don't have a business.

Andy Neary:

Thank you. So I would hug you if I could right now, because I need more agencies to hear that.

Jason Feltman:

You know what I think? And this is my opinion. And I'd like your take on it is I think that there are a lot of agents out there. And this is not going to be a popular comment, oh, no, oh, no, automatically losing losing viewers or whatever. But like, they're just employees, they're not business owners. And it's like time to like, take off, it's time to put on the big boy pants and become the business owner and realize that dude, if you want to like double your income, take out half your income this year, put it into marketing, and make it happen.

Andy Neary:

hundra. Yeah, I couldn't agree with you more. If we got more producers to think like entrepreneurs, even if they don't own the agency, they do much better. You're running your own business, it might just be under somebody else's roof. Right. But you're running your own business and to what you just said, you know, if you go into most agencies today, and let's what's the rule of thumb, 10% of your revenue should be spent on marketing. Most of them are probably spending two or 3%. Right? If that. And most producers here, here's where I think the problem starts. And that 10% I think is low. And I agree. I agree. Yeah. But I think another challenge problem that's been creating the industry and I was a recipient of this at one time when I was a producer is a lot of these producers get hired with these huge salaries to your guarantees. So they come out of the gate comfortable. And they might even be handed a book of business. So to your point, because we're an industry that is so recurring revenue rich, you have producers getting hired, and I put air quotes around producers, because let's be honest, they're not really a producer. Right? There come a day one, they're comfortable with a salary and service revenue coming in from existing business. They were hated. How are you going to incent that producer to go out and build a great book of business? It's difficult if they don't have the drive or the discipline. Right? Because there's no pain. There's no pain. There's no pain from day one.

Craig Pretzinger:

Yeah, look at it. Where's the pain? The pain is doing work. So hey, over here, I'm making money. I don't care. Yeah, right. I mean, that's not everybody. But if you're not entrepreneurial, seems like

Andy Neary:

yep. I had I have a friend of mine who runs an agency in Indiana and I love how he views it. He says when I hire producers, Andy, I view them as intrapreneurs right now. They're they don't own their business. I do but they're entrepreneurs. And if Sunday they came to me and said, hey, you know, thank you for what you've done for me. I'm now gonna go start my own agency. He's like, I couldn't be prouder of them.

Craig Pretzinger:

Hmm. intrapreneur that's a Patrick bet David word.

Andy Neary:

Oh, yeah. He's been on here. Has he really? Yeah. Now I feel honored.

Craig Pretzinger:

to Jason. He got mad at Jason. Wow. Yeah.

Jason Feltman:

I love that you're shocked and it's probably because of Craig's Barcelona comment that we could get him on, but that's okay.

Andy Neary:

And you made them a I really?

Craig Pretzinger:

I am familiar with the fact that Barcelona is the capitals. Okay. I didn't know that. I didn't Google it.

Andy Neary:

I just saw a video on YouTube this morning with Pat Patrick bet David. He was on somebody else's podcast and the thumbnail said, Patrick bet David may have just gone too far. So I'm curious to what he said in the video. Oh,

Craig Pretzinger:

that's Barkat is Oh, it's beautiful. That is good.

Andy Neary:

That's awesome. Congratulations for you guys to get you guys to have guests like that on the show. Again, I'm honored to even be

Craig Pretzinger:

here. It's been a while. But yeah, he was a good one. He was fun.

Jason Feltman:

He was fun. Yeah, good, dude. Super cool. I love this topic. Because we run we run a program where we help agents get their, their sales agents leads. Awesome. So what we've seen, I mean, there's, there's two types of agents that come into this, those who understand, hey, you got to spend a little bit and like, you know, make make it flow fill the pipeline, it takes a little bit of time. And that's the wet and those agents are the ones that just blow up like are selling a ton. I mean, then we still have some that are smaller operations, but like, they feel the pain a little bit for a while. And then Dude, that's when they fill the pipeline, and then the consistency happens, but you got to invest.

Andy Neary:

Yeah, I couldn't agree more. You know, when we work, we take a little different angle from coaching and training with producers, we really focus on a message. I tell people, I think the core pillars of a good marketing strategy. And in our industry, insert the word prospecting for marketing, right? Yeah, you got to know four things. Who are you talking to? What are you saying to them? How are you saying it? Where are you saying it? You have a clear picture of what you're doing with those four things, and you apply the work to it. Whether you do it or you help somebody help you do it with leaves, you're gonna do well, as long as you stay consistent, but the word you just use JSON consistency. That's where people struggle. Is are you willing to get up? I just put a post about this out this afternoon. Are you willing to get up every day and do the boring Shi T every single day?

Jason Feltman:

Yep. Nope. Yep. It's just like working out. Like who? It's like the crazy people at the beginning of the year, that workout for a week, start feeling the pain, which of course, you always go backwards, it's a lot more pain, and a lot of breaking down and muscles and it sucks and no

Craig Pretzinger:

results.

Jason Feltman:

Were like the will the results that you're getting are horrible. Yeah,

Craig Pretzinger:

your feedback, your instant gratification is,

Jason Feltman:

hey, you're in pain, you're in a worse spot than when you started working out. You know,

Andy Neary:

I tell I tell our clients when they hire us, about 90 days in after doing what we teach you, you're gonna say this near you guys full of crap. You're gonna think like, this doesn't work. But then all of a sudden, something's go, right? No, I don't lead with that. But when we start working with them, I'm like, it takes time. This takes patience. And you're gonna hit that point where you don't believe it's working. And then all of a sudden you get that one sign is and then another, and then another. And before you know it, you have that hockey stick effect. And we've seen it with our clients is that 90 day mark, they kind of start questioning and then all of a sudden, it's like, Ah, I get it. And then they take off. Have you read the dip? I have not.

Craig Pretzinger:

It's a little boil. It's cool. It's called the dip. And I can't remember the author's name now. It was around here somewhere. I don't know where it is. But we talked about that a lot. Because it's you, you get the thing because you want the results and you're super excited. And you start doing it, but nothing happens. So either Either you give up and eject right or or you keep going but it's still it takes a while before the hockey stick happens, right? And that's the dip. Like, right? Typically, we give up on things right before we're about to break through. And you know, this I mean, you've coached people. So you see, you know, if they, when they drop off, they were right there, right. And they were probably in the most pain that they've been in the whole time. But it was just about to happen. And we see it. We see it a lot. It just depends if it's not a good fit or whatever. They don't want to do the work right because you have to do the work you have to put in you have to understand how the thing flows. It's it takes time. Like Like you said so How do you How have you now? Now understanding the concept or the understanding of the dip? How do you navigate that with your clients? And what would you say to anybody that is starting something and, and maybe not seeing those immediate results? You know,

Andy Neary:

I think it comes down to starts with it starts with what is your weekly plan? You know, when it comes to the what activities are you doing from a prospecting perspective, and what we what we try to coach our clients to do is, you know, the three of us have all been taught how to create, let's call it linear awareness, right? Cold calling. I know how to call one prospect at a time. That's what I was taught early on, right? I've got I can I can email one prospect at a time, I was taught how to go door to door and industrial parks, right, I can knock on one door at a time. Today with all the technology and the tools we have, you got to create exponential awareness with it, which is what can I do to get one message in front of many prospects at one time, right email newsletters, email campaigns, social media content, public speaking, webinars, whatever it is podcasts. If you mix the exponential with the linear activity you're doing, you will create activity you almost can't not I really believe that. But But But what is that plan of action every single week, because here is what happens if you don't have a plan. If you don't have a plan, you will always resort back to what's easiest. And believe it or not picking up the phone and dialing is easy. You may not get any results. But at least you can check off those 25 calls you made right. And so what we really try to get them dialed in on is that weekly plan what are you doing every week? Yes, you still have to pick up the phone send out some messages directly to prospects but how are you mixing the exponential awareness in there to create the credibility and the recognition and if you do that every single week, you will create activity for yourself in the in the in the icing on the cake is when you start creating inbound activity when somebody actually reaches out to you because they're getting your emails or your social media contact

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