Agents of trust

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Why independent agent Chad Kelly ranks Progressive at the top of his list

When Ohio-based independent agent Chad Kelly received a text from his daughter—a link to a gift she wanted for her upcoming birthday—he immediately began doing what he does best—weighing the item’s pros and cons.

“It only had three and a half stars and I thought, that’s no good,” Chad said. “So, I went ahead and ordered a similar product with a four-and-a-half-star rating. Yeah, it was more money, but four and a half stars says something.”

When it comes to comparing insurance carriers for his agency’s customers, Chad adopts the same star-rating mentality.

“About once a month, my team and I get together and talk about the overall value offering that each of our carriers have,” Chad said, noting they compare six key points in price, product offering, stability, claims service, customer services, and ease of doing business. “There’s nine insurance carriers that we can quote to customers, and Progressive has the highest of our internally generated star ratings.”

An agency built on trust

Chad, who is the owner of Kelly Insurance in Cuyahoga Valley, knows a well-known brand in the community, coupled with a trusted name like Progressive, makes the sales process easier. But, for Chad, there’s one point above everything else that quickly changes a customer’s perceptions about Progressive.

“Most of my staff also has Progressive for their own personal insurance—myself included,” he said. “When we tell our customers that it’s the one insurance company that we trust to put our own business with, more often than not, they respond more favorably to that.”

Chad wants his customers to feel confident that they’re with a company that’s “for people like them,” which is why he often chooses Progressive. He knows that their 80 years of experience, along with their leadership and expertise in auto, commercial, and recreational lines, will meet customers’ needs for the long haul.

Tools to help his business grow

Just like Chad’s customers rely on him for excellent support and guidance, Chad knows he can turn to Progressive for resources to help his customers and his business thrive.

“Basically, if we have an idea to attract customers that are a good fit for Progressive, I feel like our sales rep is always willing to help make it happen,” Chad said.

One of the key tools Chad has leaned on in the past is the co-branded merchandise items, which his agency uses for local events around his community.

“We did a couple motorcycles rallies and gave out those microfiber cloths for your lenses and glasses,” he said. “We feel that we would rather give something away that the customer would have a hard time parting with.”

Another powerful tool Chad referenced was Progressive’s Agency Growth Series, which brings real-world business solutions to agents through informative talks with business leaders or subject matter experts from Progressive. The program is constantly evolving and covers a wide array of topics such as hiring the right agents, consumer behavior economics, life events and retention marketing, and more.

“Most agents identify themselves as being in the service culture, like we’re here to be responsive to what the customer needs,” he said. “But [through the Growth Series] they’re challenging us to also embrace a learning culture as well.”

As far as other tools are concerned, Chad said he spends about a third of his day quoting as well as looking at CrossSell and ReQuote reports on Progressive’s comprehensive agency website, “We also use Agent Rewards, and their free Continuing Education classes as well,” he added.

A partnership designed to foster growth

Chad mentioned that he and his agency mirror Progressive’s mission, vision and core values. It’s this integrity and connection to the brand that creates the symbiotic relationship with the brand.

“Truth be told, I think what customers really want is value,” Chad said.

Which is why Chad is so focused on quality insurance for his customers. “It’s not about dollars and cents,” he said. It all comes back to the neighbors, co-workers, family members, and residents who Chad’s agency writes policies for daily.

“I’ve always been a fan of if you do the right thing for the customer, the dollars and cents will take care of themselves,” said Chad.

Start rewarding yourself by partnering with the #1 personal auto insurer in the independent agency channel.

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