Earlier this month, the Straits Times ran an article about how property agents were starting to become Uber driver. One of the drivers interviewed in the article shared that he hands out his real estate business card to the passengers he picks up, thus opening up business opportunities during the process.
That got us thinking. Could insurance agents actually turn to Uber as a way to create their own business opportunity, while concurrently earning for themselves some side-line income by ferrying passengers? More importantly, would it actually work?
Uber For Entrepreneurship
Leveraging on Uber to create business opportunity elsewhere is not entirely new. Forbes ran an article last year about how an Uber driver in San Francisco turned his Uber ride into a mobile showroom for his jewellery business.
The business owner/Uber driver best describes it by saying this.
“It’s a salesman’s dream. I have 10 minutes to make an impression. Would that happen if I went door-to-door? Or if I bought tiny online ads? My way, I get quality time with quality leads. Best of all, I’m being paid as I do it. It’s like Uber is providing a base salary before I make any jewelry sales.”
Likewise, insurance agents are currently seen as salespeople competing with one another to convince people to buy insurance products from them. Often, however, street canvassing is frown upon by most people.
We would not presume that every passenger would be receptive to having a discussion on finance matter whenever they get onto an Uber taxi driven by an agent. Agent/driver would need to engage customers in a non-intrusive manner, unlike how they sometimes behave on the streets.
Overly aggressive agents/drivers who do not respect their passenger wishes not to be bombarded with insurance sales pitch during a ride will ultimately receive bad ratings and be booted out of the taxi system, just like any other drivers.
However, we dare say that engaging customers this way would be much more effective than street canvassing under the pretext of getting people to fill in a survey.
How Insurance Agents Stand To Gain
Financial advice can be consumed and enjoyed even without a product being purchased. A good agent/driver will be able to dish out quality advice that can be appreciated by his passengers even if they do not buy anything from him (yet). Further business opportunities can be derived if the passenger passes on the contact to someone else in need.
Many insurance agents are taught by their agency to go out and seek sales opportunity using whatever means possible. Most agents do not enjoy any base pay and only get paid whenever they close a sale, and not when they dish out quality advice. This sometimes leads to pushy sales agenda, where agents try to close sales so as to earn their keep for the time that they have spent with their clients.
Driving Uber while dishing out advice solves some of these problems. It allows agents to earn a basic pay for ferrying passengers while providing them with opportunities to share more about their financial advisory service during the process. Not every passenger may turn into a business lead, but a good advisor/driver would surely be able to build up his network over the long run.
Would such a strategy actually have a chance of working for insurance agents? Or will it end up being a disaster for both consumers and agents? Share with us your thoughts on Facebook.
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