Agent Interview: Anthony Agoglia And Tony Taylor
Norvax recently sat down with Anthony Agoglia of California’s Self Employed Insurance Group and Tony Taylor of Georgia-based Healthcare Marketing Incorporated to discuss technology, expanding your agency, and how and why you should partner with tech-savvy companies.
Norvax: Can you tell me a little bit about your agencies?
Anthony Agoglia: Self Employed Insurance Group are innovators and on the cutting-edge of online technology. We’re doing 100% online sales, basically from coast to coast. I sit at my desk in California and I sell in 9 different states. I’m going up to 12 different states across the country and can close in 4 or 5 different states in one day. There is no time wasted traveling from appointment to appointment, after completing a sale in Nevada , we can be pitching in Ohio , Alabama or wherever in seconds!
Tony Taylor: We’ve been in business for 31 years. We specialize in recruiting agents to sell health insurance to the self employed market and small group. Five years ago I was only licensed in two states, Georgia and Florida . Now I’m licensed in several different states and I have agents all the way out in the state of Washington down to south Florida .
Norvax: How are you currently using technology?
AA: We use web conferencing technology in an online sales system. AHCP has been huge supporters of what we’re doing. AHCP along with Peter Nauert and Mike Tendler are doing a 110% job in getting us quality products that we can custom build. That’s pretty much the key to what we’re doing. Not only are we using online technology, where I can get a client in front of their computer and on the phone at the same time to do a web conference, but we’re doing custom-built plans where the client picks the parts they want and leaves off the rest.
TT: We’re in the process of adding technology more and more every year. We’re just now doing electronic submission on applications online, and just got our own website a month ago. It’s already recruited agents for us.
Norvax: How is technology helping you grow your profits and expand your agencies?
AA: The aspect of being able to fully explain a program to a client and show it to them in writing – as opposed to being just a phone guy – gives them participation and ownership of their plan; it has doubled my business. It’s going gangbusters because people fully understand it; and they have a place to go back to and refer to it on my www.myinsurancenow.com website. It’s not like I walked out the door with all my materials. It’s all right there online for them 24/7. We’re taking a lot of the question marks out for the clients and even agents, and we love online tracking provided by our carriers and AHCP.
TT: Before when an agent would either call or write in and want some information on our products, we would have to mail them out a package. Of course that’s expensive to get a priority package to them. Now we simply can tell them to go online, or email them on how to go online and get contracted with us. It’s really cut down not only on the time but the administrative cost as well.
Since coming to work with Peter with America ’s Health Care Plans we’ve hired over 100 agents in about 4 months. It’s all because of this online platform and being able to go online and get contracted through American Select. Before it would have taken us two years to recruit that many agents, through the big paper process and the mercy of the US Postal service.
When I’m looking to partner with a company, I look at the rates, the commissions, and the electronic platform. Within that platform you want access to your commissions, your claims, from your policyholders to your pending cases, all through one website. We have that with America Health Care Plan.
Norvax: Anthony, you’re licensed in multiple states. Has purchasing internet leads played an important role in expanding?
AA: Absolutely! I use ProspectZone leads in conjunction with our own lead generating system (Lead Central) that SEIG put together. The bottom line is, and it’s true for any industry whether it’s insurance or not, that people who shop online buy online. It’s a proven fact at this point. So when I can get an internet lead, it gives me a lot of advantages. Number one, I know someone’s shopping online so they’re going to have a higher probability of buying online. Number two, I order leads by the state, instead of the zip code, because online I can be anywhere at any time. To anybody that has a computer I can sell insurance, which is the name of the game. And when you buy online leads, you already know they have one. And lastly, I can be presenting to a client in a matter of minutes from their initial inquiry, instead of days waiting to get to their home.
Selling online lets me be at my desk all day, not only to sell, but also to service existing clients with speed, as opposed to being stuck in a car for most of my day. My clients know that I usually get back to them within an hour, if not minutes, and that leads to client satisfaction and lots of referrals.
Norvax: You are both partnered with America’s Health Care Plans. They’re taking big steps to embrace technology. Why is that important?
AA: I think it’s important because the insurance industry needs to keep up with the technology of the times, and we need to do business in the same manner the clients desire to do business. And online is the way people are moving, more and more, to do all types of personal and business transactions. Mike Owens and AHCP recognized the importance of this early on and are not only keeping up with the times, but keeping us a step ahead.
TT: AHCP has the most simple technology for a new agent to come on board and submit his business right online. By the time he writes his first case, he can email the underwriter, he can monitor the progress of his business, his commissions. It’s a complete turn-key operation that is just a perfect franchise for an agent to get into the business. We’re just so excited about being with them it’s unbelievable. It’s like stepping up 20 years into the future compared to what we were doing in the past.
AA: AHCP has made enormous time and money investments, especially Peter Nauert and his whole group, to get online sales up and running when there were a lot of people, not that long ago, saying it couldn’t be done. Most agents and administrators were saying that people will never buy online and they need to “see an agent”, they need to have someone “at the kitchen table”. We’re proving them flat out, dead wrong. It’s definitely a different dynamic. Agents who want to do business online need to reset their thinking in how they’re selling insurance. But if they can make that switch over in their mind, change the style of what they do, and we help them with our online sales system, a whole world opens up that is growing every day.