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  • Writer's picturemckenzie.rabenn

Shattering Glass Ceilings in Big Country

Hitting Chairman's Circle and Ambassador Club are impressive accomplishments. Doing it while raising two kids on your own is another thing entirely. Agent Melanie Hardy shares how holding others accountable and having solid processes in place helped her reach the top.

OTG: Tell our readers a little about how you came to find yourself as an agent.

MH: My husband is in the military, so we moved all over for his career. I could never be super picky about my jobs, I just took whatever I could find because we never were in one place for very long. We moved to North Carolina in 2016 after being stationed in Japan and I wanted to find something I really enjoyed. I ended up landing a job as a team member and I fell in love with helping people. Early on I got the attention of our sales leader. For two years, he tried to convince me to become an agent. I finally agreed but only under the stipulation that I be an agent back in my hometown of Abilene, TX. The Sales Leader in North Carolina connected me with the Sales Leader in Abilene who said it would be at least a few years before the agent in the town retired. Much to my surprise, I got a phone call about a month later that the agency in my hometown had a spot with my name on it. The next few months were a blur. I moved home in June 2019 and opened my agency in August 2019. In the meantime, my husband was promoted to California so I spent the first three years in agency as a single mom. A lot of people assume I had to work a ton of extra hours to have the amount of success we had, but I did not have the option. All of my business was written between the hours of 8:30-5:30.

OTG: What are you strategies to grow your P&C book of business?

MH: We have really diverse marketing tactics. A lot of people say to use three marketing tactics but I think you really have to use at least five. Here is what we use in our office:

1) I purchase a LOT of internet leads, we have at least 20 internet leads a day

2) Event marketing in our county

3) Paid search

4) Social media (I have a marketing manager that handles all of my social media. He utilizes reels instead of static posts which has been huge for our engagement)

5) Local SEO and Google reviews

OTG: How do you hold your team accountable to their production goals?

MH: My team must accomplish one of the following every single day: write eight raw new quotes; write two households; or make 100 outbound phone calls. I monitor that through our CRM. I don’t expect them to come in and write referral business though. I give my team members quality leads. As they build relationships with clients, they are able to work referrals.

I really hold the internet lead companies accountable to make sure they are quality leads and negotiate with them if I’m not seeing the results I want. After working through some kinks in the beginning, our return has been great. My biggest advice is to track the leads you are paying for and communicate with these companies if you’re not seeing the quality of leads you were looking for; they really value working with agents in our company.

OTG: When onboarding new customers, how do you make sure your team focuses on financial services? What is your process?

MH: We have a focus on muti-lining during the first conversation. We believe having some coverage in place for life insurance is a segue into a bigger conversation at their new customer appointment. After an initial conversation, we send a personalized thank you card to every new customer. Then by 45 days once everything has been issued, we reach out to schedule a new customer appointment where we make sure all of their needs are being met through needs based conversations.

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