For career-changer Michael Quinn, believe it or not, the transition to the insurance industry from his occupation as a speech-language pathologist makes perfect sense.
The 43-year-old owner of LifeInsuranceBlog.net, hosted by WordPress, says he didn’t want to go the traditional route of first becoming a captive agent with a single company before launching his independent practice.
Instead, Quinn has held onto his speech-pathology license even though he got his agent’s license a few years ago and has signed on with a brokerage that would assist him in starting up a technology-driven solo insurance practice. His game plan is to taper off his previous business as his new one takes off.
“I skipped the captive route,” Quinn said in a recent phone interview. “I knew I had to become educated on my own, and I signed up with a brokerage that focuses on the future of life insurance sales. So far, I love it. Becoming a progressive, next-generation agent really interests me.”
That future-focused brokerage, Pinney Insurance Center Inc., is a national distributor with thousands of agents, roughly 60 carriers and a focus on digitally automated tech. For example, Pinney has partnered with DataRaptor Technologies Inc. to offer one of the first customer relationship management software platforms designed by and for insurance agents. Pinney also offers quoting, marketing and drop-ticket processing tools.
Based in Orlando, Fla., Quinn holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in communicative disorders from the University of Central Florida, Orlando. His wife, Joann, a teacher who also got her degree from UCF, is his business partner.
“We opened a private practice 10 years ago and were a family therapy business, and we’ve transitioned to a family insurance business. We split it up and she focuses on the Medigap side and I focus on the life insurance side. The first website I developed was our Medicare supplement site, reMEDIGAP.com, which I handed off to Joann, and now I handle the life insurance at LifeInsuranceBlog.net,” he said.
LifeInsuranceBlog.net’s “About Us” page says that Web users who use the site to compare rates will not be subjected to having their information sold to dozens of agents that won’t stop calling. Quinn said during the phone interview that he seeks to provide a hassle-free life insurance application process.
Potential clients may be searching for information about a health condition or facing a high-risk situation such as cancer or diabetes when they come across the articles about acquiring insurance that Quinn has written for his website. On the site, he offers a ‘get a free quote’ feature, and then he goes through the initial quote process with the leads who have come to him.
“There’s not a pushiness,” Quinn said. “It’s about providing people information, and it’s very easy for them to request help. There are no high pressure sales whatsoever.”
Ultimately, aside from referrals, any new leads that Michael Quinn gets are based on his ability to maintain a well optimized, working website. Joann Quinn’s Medigap site is similarly designed to be low pressure, but for some reason that he can’t explain, there are more “tire kickers” on the life insurance side than on the Medigap side of their family business, he said.
‘It’s not like buying a TV at Best Buy’
Either way, people who have requested a quote are sent a once-a-day follow-up email during the sales process.
“The quote is only the first step,” Quinn said. “It’s not like buying a TV at Best Buy. With life insurance, you have different health classes. They may select the preferred-plus health class, but if they have diabetes, they won’t qualify for that rate. Then we’ll have to have a phone conversation about matching the best plan for their condition, and I’m looking at any number of companies.”