When Dan Clark started in the insurance business, carbon copiers were considered state of the art technology. So, what does a person who has dedicated more than 35 year to the business say to agents who view new technology as a threat to the independent agency business?

“I know some agents view the internet as a threat, but the ones that embrace the internet as a lead source and an effective tool to communicate with their current customers will be successful.”

And Dan should know. He’s held various positions from sales rep consulting to Distribution Manager to sales training. He says every position he's had has helped agents grow their business. Including his current role as Director of Agency Distribution Process.

“The one area which I have been recently focused on is better leveraging the virtual tools to more effectively communicate and train the agents on the Progressive products, offerings, and business solutions to grow their business.”

“Progressive offers numerous business solutions, products and offerings to help agents grow. The key is to specifically understand and identify which solution is best for you, as different agencies have different needs and goals.

“We have recently introduced live video chats, webinars and short videos to our agents. Live Video Chats have been especially well-received as Progressive Business Leaders participate.”

“Our products, business solutions and offerings are easily accessible for you through Knowledge on Demand, ForAgentsOnly.com and Brand Express.”

“We have focused on training our sales people to better understand the needs of the individual agencies and how our business solutions can assist for each individual agency. This is accomplished by gaining a deeper understanding of the agency, their workflows and long-term goals to advocate the solution that is best for their particular situation.“

Looking in From the Outside.

Dan touts the fact that he is, “Always taking an Agency perspective on things vs. an internal view. That really helps me to appreciate and understand just how complex managing an agency really is. It results in better decisions being made.“

Dan says that as enhancements are made to our products and offerings, changes are viewed from an agency experience perspective.

“We work very closely with our internal business groups to make sure the change or enhancement as seamless as possible for the agents “

A Bright Future.

So, what advice does a 35-year veteran of the insurance industry offer as advice to agents?

“The future of the independent agent channel is very strong, as they have the ability and expertise to provide the consultation and advice their customers are looking for.”

“Consumers may use the internet for information gathering but many still require the advice and consultation of a local agent once they gather this information to seek what coverages are best for them for their specific situation. This is especially true for consumers going through life event changes as well as small business owners. “

Dan says successful agents will continue to offer their customers and prospects advice and consultation on their insurance needs. He says that Progressive makes it easy, with resources including ForAgentsOnly.com and progressiveagent.com.

Have a question or comment for Dan, or any of our People Behind the Blue? Email us at pbb@progressive.com.