I recently visited one of our agencies to get better acquainted with their operations.  When I asked about their marketing program the owner told me, “We’re just order takers!” He elaborated on the market they are in and that they just write the business that comes to them.

This is a very common strategy among many independent insurance agents.

As I have been thinking about this over the last few days I read a story about Kevin Durant, the NBA Thunder superstar. Asked about his amazing performance this season Durant said:

“I'm not one of those guys that predetermines anything. I just go off how the game is played and the different schemes teams are throwing at me and just be aggressive that way.”


Durant’s comment reminded me of how the world’s greatest musicians can play riffs on the basics of music and make the result sound inspired. Superstar athletes obviously can do the same. The key, I think, is mastery of the basics. 

Without mastery of the basics though, does just letting what happens happen make sense as a marketing and agency growth strategy? I don’t think so. And the statistics bear me out. We have helped create about 125 independent agencies over the last 13 years. When I compare the results of those who were intentional in their marketing, as opposed to those whose strategy was to be an order taker, the results are about 3 to 1.

On average, agencies with intentional marketing efforts out grew the ‘order takers’ by 300 percent over the same period. 

Genius, prodigy or superstar players like Kevin Durant can take what comes and make gold out of it. The rest of us—experience and data suggest—need a plan!

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