Matt Naimoli, the Co-Founder of G&N Insurance, grew your company’s revenue from $1.4 million in 2014 to $3.3 million in 2017, a 144% increase, and to around $4 million in 2018.
G&N Insurance provides auto and home insurance lines.
In this interview with Eversprint‘s Malcolm Lui, Matt shares how he and his team accelerated their high value sales by:
- Building strategic referral partners who can refer home buyers in need of insurance to close a transaction: real estate lawyers, lenders, and agents.
- Hiring the right people and building a culture of fun, doing what it takes, and finding ways to help.
- Having a well working partnership with his co-founder Zack.
Malcolm Lui: Welcome to the High Value Sales Show of Eversprint.com. I'm Malcolm Lui, the Managing Member of Eversprint, and today we're speaking with Matt Naimoli, the Co-Founder of G&N Insurance, a provider of auto and home insurance lines. Welcome to the show Matt.
Matt Naimoli: Well thank you. Appreciate it.
Malcolm Lui: Matt, you grew your company's revenue from $1.4 million in 2014 to $3.3 million in 2017, a 144% increase, and in 2018 you hit around $4 million. Before we talk about how you grew your company so fast, can you briefly share what your company does beyond my quick intro, and how your company differs from the competition?
Matt Naimoli: Sure. Yes briefly speaking were insurance brokerage. So we help consumers find the best home and auto insurance plans almost like Kayak AECOM for four four flights. We do it for auto and home insurance so we go out and shop 20 different insurance companies and we find the best fit for product and price for our consumers. That's that's really what we do and what separates us is really the our niche focus the focus that we and we'll probably jump into this more later. But our focus on at what point in the client lifecycle is it makes sense for us to be introduced and the proactive nature of our research and communication to our clients is different from the industry standard
Malcolm Lui: Well WHAT ARE WE JUMP do that now. How are you doing business differently than your competitors
Matt Naimoli: Yeah. So I guess there's two kind of different forms of differentiation. The first is what we're known for and our brand and I think it's really challenging especially today with all the noise to really differentiate and kind of create a storyline and a brand that that consumers and clients and referral partners can associate with or think of when they think of whatever product that you that you offer. And in art in our sense what's really worked for us over the years is to be hyper focused on a niche in our niches homebuyers. So we we sell home and auto insurance but we really really focus in on individuals who are purchasing real estate that is the moment in their life. We want to be introduced. They need insurance at that moment to insure the new property they're purchasing. They all have the vehicles for the most part. So we're introduced to them by their lending loan officers realtors attorneys the trusted advisers that are in their world helping them get to closing and where their insurance arm that helps ensure the property their cars umbrella and other lines that they need. So really by hyper focusing on that moment in the client lifecycle we separate ourselves from other agencies there's thirty five or forty thousand agencies in the country but there's very very very few if any that design their entire business structure people process around that one moment in the client lifecycle. Most agencies are generalists and they will love to insure anyone and everything. We've been very very careful in making sure that our brand and our process is really catered to the home buyer and that's it. So if you have a million dollar insurance policy that you pay every year and you are you have a thousand employees you're a massive company and Fortune 5000 company or something.
Matt Naimoli: We're not your fit. We're not going to be there. You're the best option for you might have the products for you. But we certainly don't have the expertise and experience in the process we know or best in the world. And that's helping home homebuyers get to closing. So that's really kind of key to success and the differentiates differentiation side when it comes to how well what what we're focused on and where we're headed. The other piece is the service side the actual engagement what the experience looks like for the client. And just briefly said like our industry is very reactive. If you are if you have to deal with insurance it's probably not a good reason. You know you either have to pay for a bill or you're filing a claim which is unfortunate or you need to make changes. And so most insurance companies or do a pretty good job at when you need them. They'll answer the phone and they'll help you with what you need but very few if any focused on doing proactive research and communication whether it's pre renewal before your policies come up for renewal engaging with you and having really strong conversations about risk management risk basically essentially managing your risk moving forward making sure you're with the best insurance company that you're making sure nothing in your life changed things like that. And most insurance companies just don't ever focus on that component. Just because the capacity because of bandwidth because of that's how it's always been done. And so we found a lot of success with improving and increasing retention of referrals through making sure that that level of service is at a whole another whole nother stage whole of level
Malcolm Lui: Right now when you said before you're helping homebuyers get the closing. Can you be a bit more specific as that when you enter into the discussion is it
Matt Naimoli: Yeah.
Malcolm Lui: Before
Matt Naimoli: Yeah. And when you own a home buyer and when someone's looking to purchase a property they have to put an offer on the property right and they use their realtor to do so. They've probably been pre-approved by their lender and maybe they've talked to their attorney a little bit about the property they're considering they put an offer that the seller might go back and forth they accept the offer initially and then the PNAS the purchase and sale agreement is signed at that moment when it's settled and signed the real two really hands hands that relationship off to be managed by the lending institution and the lender and loan officer the processor and they are the ones to say OK we need your W-2 statements we need proof of income we need all types of documents and forms in order for us to clear your loan to close in time for the sale. And one of those elements one of those things that they need is an insurance binder which is essentially a one page document that says you know John Smith is purchasing 123 Main Street and they have insurance effective on this date so that if the house burns down the next day the bank knows that will be rebuilt to its initial standard by the insurance company. And that's why the insurance is an essential component of the buying process which is why we've we've managed to build hundreds if not thousands of relationships with lenders and realtors and attorneys there's really the go to resource on the insurance side so that there's no hiccups or issues that fall through the gaps
Malcolm Lui: Now what kind of hiccups can fall through the gap gaps. I'm not super familiar with that but this process that you have outlined I mean can't I just find an insurance buy insurance finder
Matt Naimoli: Yeah
Malcolm Lui: Anywhere
Matt Naimoli: Yeah. So I mean for the most part like you know 50 or 60 percent of the time probably be OK. Like you could probably call whomever you have your car insurance with and they could work on it. But what we find is that whoever they're working with traditionally it's just not their forte it's not there it's not really their focus not necessarily what they want to be doing a lot of times you call an entity to file a claim and the same person is filing a claim it's hailing service transactions and also issuing new policies. So it's not really at the forefront or top priority and so what happens is that in these transactions Time is of the essence. You can't have bottlenecks and the more bottlenecks there are the more pain there is and the greater likelihood of deals blowing up because specific time lines are not met. And so speed convenience accessibility is critical. A lot of times if someone just calls up whoever they have insurance with it might take a couple days to get quotes. It might take three or four days to get the insurance binder it might find the processor at the bank might find out that the binder is completely incorrect. The mortgagee clauses listed the loan numbers not right. The formatting is incorrect and then might have to go back and forth for days to get that done. It's not always the case but it happens enough with high volume lending institutions where they really value speed convenience accessibility. It's much more about taking a C minus experience and moving it to an A plus. And that being our value proposition versus you can't go get insurance unless you work with us. I mean
Malcolm Lui: Yep. So the insurers binders really as a short term policy. And then you really have the relationship now you roll it into an ongoing
Matt Naimoli: Yeah
Malcolm Lui: Insurance policy
Matt Naimoli: We right there. Their home insurance. And we send the binder the bank we write their auto insurance because it always makes sense to combine. Almost always we write their umbrella policy which extends above and beyond. And sometimes we write the life if they're a small business owner we'll help them with that. And the flood insurance and other things that money. That's the other piece. Like flood insurance sometimes it's required now for the purchase of the property and last thing you want is to get the closing and find out that you meet that that the bank required flood insurance and no one found out that they needed it for last minute. So yeah I mean the introduction is made at the home purchase but our relationship with our client goes for years and years and years. It's just that that's when we want to be introduced. That's when the clients must know sticky
Malcolm Lui: Right
Matt Naimoli: They're trying to they're trying to protect their one of the most important assets of their life and they're trusting us to do so. So that's a much stronger relationship the stronger way to start a relationship than someone buying their first car when they're 22 or renting their first apartment.
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. I mean you have to say for me insurance is a commodity product and you know my car insurance at one point I said take the time to see there's a better deal out there and yeah I would appreciate if someone else did that for me. But after a while I kind of stopped doing that because it just wasn't I wasn't able to find a better deal than what I already had. I'm just gonna take that pay the bill now as opposed to shop around
Matt Naimoli: Yeah I think you know I think the big brands like Geico they spend billions of dollars at commoditization the product that intentionally. They look at it as OK well we'll you know we'll pound it and everyone's head in the country that this is something that you have to have. Just don't don't overpay for it. And unfortunately the consumer is what we found. Most people have no idea what type of protection they have or the significance of their protection and when they're buying property it's kind of brought to light the importance of this type of protection because they're thinking about Oh wow. It's not just when I'm driving around and my car gets damaged it's you know if I if I have a pool and my my children you know if my children's friends are over and they fall into the pool and they hurt themselves for trampoline or if my house burns down and all my stuff is destroyed and all these considerations that they've never really had before. So it's a good moment to really educate people and that carries right into the auto insurance like that's part of the conversation.
Matt Naimoli: It's like if you you're driving down the street and you hit somebody by accident it's not your fault. But like you rear end somebody you're found at fault by the insurance company and they're a dentist and they can't work for the next 30 years because now they can't do their operation. Well what's happening. Well they're gonna go after your policy and most insurance policies don't have enough protection. And if it doesn't it falls on the on the on the at fault party the driver you. And what happens well you don't have the assets to fork over your your wages for the next 20 or 30 years or garnished. And that's that's that's how it happens and unfortunately it doesn't happen frequent enough that the public is really brought to light of the importance but when it does happen it's catastrophic. So not to diverge but that's the kind of importance of the stuff we're doing and so we need to make sure that we have a moment in the life cycle the client where they're interested in learning about the importance not just saving money
Malcolm Lui: Right.
Matt Naimoli: That the money saving thing is automatic. We write for 20 insurance companies we're always going to find a very competitive policy and package we're never going to overcharge someone but one out of 10 people have an umbrella policy 10 out of 10 people should have an umbrella policy that costs ten dollars more a month of 20 dollars more a month for a million dollars and liability protection and 80 percent people don't even know what that is. That's that that's the issue that Geico is created for the for the general public
Malcolm Lui: Right. Right. You know they had the marketing dollars to spend to get that
Matt Naimoli: Yeah
Malcolm Lui: Message out. Now each kind of touch about this a touch upon this already. But maybe we can revisit the ones that answered this question but when you grew your sales from one point four million in 2014 to four million and around to around 4 million in 2018. What were the drivers of this growth. The three drivers of this growth
Matt Naimoli: Yeah. The number one thing is is relationships. I mean in today's day and age everyone's talking about technology everyone's talking about automation and was I want I am my song about lead generation digital Facebook everything and we are big into all of that. We are certainly very focused on leveraging software and technology to make the client experience better and simplify and speed up the internal processes that the agency runs on. However it does not take take the place or substitute the power of relationships. And in our in our business the thing that's always fueled our growth has been high quality referrals not just Leeds for Leeds sake. Mostly the insurance companies get close three or four percent. We close at 71 percent and it's because the qualified leads that come in the door coming from trusted advisers within our niche. So the reason why we are able to really move fast is that we just continue to pound our niche really focusing on the home buyer sphere and the top lend the top loan officers the top realtors the top attorneys in Massachusetts and New England got to know us. We spent time with them we figured out what their pain points where we figured out what their business was like how they got business we ask them tons of questions we went out with them we connected.
Matt Naimoli: We became friends we strategize and helping them grow their business and invested in them. In terms of introductions that were strategic for them to help them move forward and in return we got their business. They were for all their clients to us or a majority of them. And so you know this year for example will insure 6 percent of all the homes purchased in Massachusetts and that's a big number. And the only reason we we're gonna get there is because years and years of compound effect from relationship building and I think that's an art. The networking people talk about networking all the time and then you get to go network you go go build relationships but there's very limited resources out there when it comes to educating sales professionals or business owners on how to best network the process the steps 1 to 7 on how to actually go from where you are now to having eight hundred or five hundred referral partners I love referring you because those referrals are so much gold that these aren't shoppers These aren't people that are calling you and calling 10 other places they're trusting you and that's that's really what's available to fuel our growth and continue to move the company forward
Malcolm Lui: Ok. So number one relationships is there. Number
Matt Naimoli: Mm hmm.
Malcolm Lui: Two and a number three
Matt Naimoli: I mean for us culture has been really important because what we do internally is certainly going to reflect externally with our clients our retention is super high with our current clients and a major reason obviously our process is sound but our people are just exceptional and we're really careful about you know making sure that we are surrounding ourselves with. People who are fitting our core values are. We have three core values that are we have fun together we do whatever it takes we find ways to help. And if you don't fit those three core values you're just not a good fit for the team does mean you're not a good person. It just means you're not a good fit for GNN and we safeguard those really re and we protect those like like like our family. And as a result we only surround ourselves with really solid people looking to help one another we enjoy having fun and do whatever it takes for the client and their and their colleagues and that reflects really struggled so positively on our clients. It really does cascade all the way through. We were best places to work in Boston by the Boston Business Journal two years ago and that was probably the most proud moment we've had is because we was not one of those like you can just send in money and win an award it was literally you know voted by all the employees. And so I think that's a big piece of the successes that we've been able to surround ourselves with great people with core values that share our own
Malcolm Lui: Ok. So number one relationships number two. Culture. So would you wrap people into this number two. Or is there
Matt Naimoli: Yeah.
Malcolm Lui: A third
Matt Naimoli: I
Malcolm Lui: Category
Matt Naimoli: Think I think that I think people and culture is a synonym
Malcolm Lui: Like
Matt Naimoli: I look at those as synonyms and I think culture is just a reflection of the people you have. So I think those are the same. You know if there's a third you know our partnership you know Zach is Zach and I are 50/50 partners and you know I think that partnerships can be really challenging. I think that we have certainly had our challenges but. And a lot of times partnerships don't work. You know we do it. We know the statistics behind that. Both in both in personal life and marriage as well as professional speaking with businesses. Our partnership is very strong. It's founded in constant communication deep levels of respect and a shared vision. And I think those are the three things that are really fuel our partnerships so that it becomes a one plus one equals five. It's not a one plus one equals two in some cases the one to one one plus one equals one point six. In our case it's one plus one equals five and we do a good job at making sure that we separate our responsibilities. We both have very passionate. We both are enthusiastic and optimistic for the future but we both have very specific skill sets that distinguish one another and we make sure that we align our activities and responsibility and accountability within the company to our skill set and we make sure that we're constantly talking to each other and keeping each other up to date. But we're not making every single decision with one another. I would just wouldn't be efficient wouldn't allow us to move quick enough. So
Malcolm Lui: Right
Matt Naimoli: Those are the three things I think relationships is definitely number one. That's been the top of the funnel right. And if any business needs the top of the funnel it's strong and that's relationships and strategic referral partnerships to be exact. Number two is our culture and our people and number three is our strength of our partnership.
Malcolm Lui: Right. So what do you do and what does that do. How do you separate that.
Matt Naimoli: Yeah I mean we're both we're both for many years we were both creating new relationships new strategic referral partner relationships. So we still maintain a lot of those relationships we still on a weekly basis. We have our own personal scorecard where we need to make sure we engage with our top 20 referral partners because they're generating 70 percent of the business. That's just that's the way it is right. And so we make sure that the two of us divide and conquer and stay top of mind with these people through phone calls and EMS and LinkedIn messages and in-person coffees and strategy meetings and goal setting goal setting lunches et cetera just whatever it might whatever it takes to make sure that that that relationship is super strong where top of mind but where we separate is that Zach is is more in charge of the marketing department. He and I are both doing a lot of things when it comes to marketing creating the content going out seminars doing a lot of presentations etc. But he's the one is actually managing the marketing team. So the content calendars the strategy behind our story brand making sure that our consistency is in place we need to hire we have a full time videographer on staff we have a full time editor we have a full time social media strategy just like these are positions that are typical in an ad in an ad world or a marketing world not typical for an insurance agency. I'm probably the only agency in the country that has a full time videographer on staff
Malcolm Lui: Right.
Matt Naimoli: Because we really believe in the power of social media the power of video at combating locally or any other entity. Geico can't compete with us locally because we are in the news feed of who we want to be and we can target market specific individuals we want to see our brand every single day. And so he's really in charge of making sure that that moves 40 does a phenomenal job at it. And I'm more in charge of growth so I'm more focused on managing our sales team is essentially made managing our our sales manager our outside sales teams that are a little bit different than the inside team our business development manager. So really growth increasing revenue increase in sales making sure that our you know our strategy is in line and we're hitting our metrics on a weekly basis that line up to our annual goals. Service falls under Zach as well and our service manager runs up to him. So we just try to try to separate ourselves a little bit from one another when it comes to some of the decisions need to be made. But anything that's big a strategy or vision related stuff or things that incorporate and impact the entire team we're both going to be involved. Yeah the other pieces that we have is really strong leadership team our leadership team is is is an extension of us and really they're the ones that allow us to elevate out of the business and really think about next steps and what type of strategy we need to impart
Malcolm Lui: Right. Got it. So for back to relationships their strategic referral partners to share a bit of details about the art of your relationship building and how you go about networking and maybe
Matt Naimoli: Sure
Malcolm Lui: Share a little bit as well about. How an insurance broker. Can be helpful to. Attorney Know not quite sure seeing what
Matt Naimoli: Yeah.
Malcolm Lui: Kind of how you can help. How can be a two way mutually beneficial relationship so you can share some ideas
Matt Naimoli: Sure.
Malcolm Lui: On that.
Matt Naimoli: Sure. Yeah. So first before I forget. I mean we if it's helpful to you and any of your listeners we also we run a podcast called babble on. It's just it's a gift you know a bottle bobbleheads we ran into Babylon was our slogan for a long time and really all it is focused on is this this topic it's really helping helping networking strategy helping generate new business through referrals and relationships and so we go into in-depth every week on that stuff and so if you ever want to listen to it it's a it's something that might you know you might be able to take and apply later on but you got to be more specific. It's I think too many professionals in all our in all industries think about think about networking and referral partners as to a street and just what you just said. Like a two way street. How do I if they're going to refer me. How do I refer them if I'm referring 100 other people. I wouldn't wouldn't I just go be a loan officer. Wouldn't it why why would I still be in it. How could I possibly do that. And that's what keeps people from expanding and scaling networking and what we realize over the years is that we're just looking at it early on we're looking at the wrong way. We're looking at it like we fought what we knew was value to them opposed to really identifying and questioning first. So our first you know our first step in the process is really identifying who we want to be and this is what we coach a lot of our clients a lot of agency owners that we talked to and we speak across the country at different conferences and we talk about this is like the first step is making sure that you know who you're going to go target too many people just go out and network and try to say hey here's who I am to everyone and anything.
Matt Naimoli: It's really important to be targeted right off the bat because not every relationship is going to be equally important or valuable to you. If someone's doing a realtor is doing one deal a year versus a loan officer who's doing 600 and you're you care about quantity you need to focus on making sure you spend time with the six hundred and so I think it's an obvious statement but it's something that many people miss. So as first off is identifying who you really want to go to Target for partnerships. And the second is determining really what's a win what's a win going into this meeting with this individual. Assuming you've secured a meeting a coffee a lunch or whatever and a specific strategies on how to best get that meeting get that coffee. Well we'll go into now but assuming you get that meeting determine what's a win before even going into the meeting. Get your mindset right. Too many people just go right in the meeting so excited to meet the other person so excited to tell them about themselves and how they can help and a lot that they don't understand. They don't walk out of the meeting at the end saying yes I capitalize.
Matt Naimoli: I know exactly what I was going to do and I and I won. So getting and getting that mindset right off the bat then it's a matter of mastering the meeting. And that's an art form. But it's also a process and I think this is where there's a will there's really no training and education out there is how to best run a one on one meeting with a new potential referral partner. No matter what industry you're in and it's interesting what we did for the first couple of years as we came in guns blazing. We really came in saying here's who we are here's all the value we offer here's our speed here's our carrier access here's our pricing model here's all these. This is why we can really help you. How does that sound. And by the end like their Stonewall they're just they're exhausted because we've been talking for a half hour and some back and forth and yada yada. But then you leave the meeting you like I think I think that went well and you don't get referrals or you get one and it might be it will really change the game for us is leading with questions leading with interest and really figuring out what does this person see as value. And can I then go and accomplish it for them and offer it to them opposed to assuming anything Dead Aid is the last thing we go into meetings with. Now we have eight to 10 questions that are strategically positioned to make sure that these people are are really we're uncovering everything about them the pain they may have in their business how they get their leads where they get all their business from what they would love to do more that they have more time what what would they punt tomorrow if they could but they just can't seem to do so.
Matt Naimoli: You know what they do for social media and marketing how how they drip on their existing clients so on and so forth. All of this is uncovering what's important to them what their world looks like. Because if then you can position by removing pain or creating opportunity or making strategic introductions you win and the last piece is just creating agreements. So if they've told you exactly what works what they love what what would be really helpful to them what their pain is and then we positions that if we do X would you consider working with us moving forward. They say absolutely you're going to do something for me to help build my business maybe in a strategic in or a workshop on how to better manage process design or team building exercises or you going to come in and talk to my team about about culture whatever it might be who knows where we're unemotional about it they're going to tell us what matters. But if you're going to do that for me of course I'm going to introduce my clients there's no other insurance agent is doing that for me. And so that's how we've secured so many relationships and been able to scale oppose just being your mind guy I'm your guy
Malcolm Lui: Ok.
Matt Naimoli: Kind of
Malcolm Lui: So
Matt Naimoli: A relationship
Malcolm Lui: So can you share how you can help an attorney
Matt Naimoli: Yeah so in Massachusetts attorneys are critical in the closing transaction. So there they are. There is a separation between the title work and the actual closing. Every state's a little different in how they do that. Attorneys in our state. They all their business is driven by real estate agents and lenders. Well all of our business is driven by real estate professionals and lenders. So it's easy for us to position strategic introductions because if I tell if I meet a new attorney and a new closing attorney a real estate attorney and I say to them Hey Jim. You know I might come across four deals this year. I'm happy to refer you on one of them. Great. Thanks Matt. Awesome. But if I go to Jim and say Jim I know a thousand real estate agents hundreds of loan officers I do workshops across the country specifically for helping these types of individuals win. I've got programs for realtors and no other insurance agency does. I can help you know tons of different view. Would that be of value to you if I made some strategic introductions because if I introduce you to a strong real estate team that you don't currently work with who do 50 to 60 transactions this year and you get half of them that's twenty five versus the one that I could have offered that I come across I come across randomly. So with the the attorneys we do a really good job at making sure that we introduce realtors and lenders to them and be the connector of sorts which strengthens that relationship. All in all
Malcolm Lui: Right now. How does it work. Time wise for you to do the connections. This could potentially be a full time job.
Matt Naimoli: Yeah I mean you know like anything else as you continue to scale the business if you are caught up and still doing all the day to day there's no possible way. Everyone had ceilings in any industry. And the only way to break through those ceilings is to delegate and elevate. And in our case what's been one thing we've been focused on we love selling but we stopped selling in 2015. We knew that we knew that we were good at it but we were holding ourselves back in growth because we were still involved in the quoting of policies and selling. So over the years we've been able to elevate ourselves to the point where for many years from 2015 the two thousand eighteen really those three years all we were doing was business development and then leading managing and holding accountable our managers. So you know there's a lot of culture components there those leadership strategic relationships vision etc. A majority of the time was really spent connecting people making intros via email is fine. It's not necessarily have to be in-person connections sending people digital messages and foot and voice texts and face time messages and such. It just allows us to leverage technology to make intros much quicker and intros aren't necessarily all the people want to. I mean that's a good example that I gave you but some people like like loan officer who is really struggling with managing the pipeline might have a really inefficient process. Well we've perfected our process design in a way the agency that could be replicated in any business. And so we might sit down and they say that's their pain point. Then we might offer Hey why don't we meet for half hour I have a call or zoom call or whatever and we'll discuss how you can change your process and tweak it so that it's more of an accountability measure and much more efficient for you. And
Malcolm Lui: Mark
Matt Naimoli: That might be enough
Malcolm Lui: Right now how do you keep in touch with these guys and how often you keep in touch with them.
Matt Naimoli: Yeah good question. So as I mentioned before our top 20 partners we're talking or connecting with in some form or fashion once a week give you a great example. Yesterday I had ten that I'm in charge of that I'm responsible for and within five minutes I was done and I left every one of them a different voice text that allowed me to just send the text right off of that all voice related and I was just last. Yes. I was just checking in to see if they're on track for their quarterly goals because they each have a quarterly goal that I'm aware of because I asked in December effective April 1st that they need to accomplish. And I just say hey real quick Jim I just want to check in with you. You told me about your April 1 goal you I know what it is here it is. I just want to check if you're on track and if you're not let me know I want to help whatever I can do to help. And it took five minutes six minutes in total I checked with all ten six of them got back to me right off the bat. So thank you one of which actually had an action item so it's another half hour on that one. But most of them are just really appreciative to hear from me. That's super effective with your top level partners. Now we've got hundreds of others who refer us once a week once a month once a quarter once a year.
Matt Naimoli: Social media works. It just does. We have a huge following on social probably the number one following in the country and it comes insurance agencies. We did blogging for two years with our videographer where we had a full time blog that the weekly episode. We do a ton of creative fun content and video online. We never talk about insurance because that's not something people want to hear about. They're not going to want to consume that and that's all we care about them consuming it. The more they engage with us and watch our content the more our stuff is going to flow to the top of their news feed. So all we care about on the social side is to be prudent presenting motivational educational or entertaining content so that people are thinking about us when they think of insurance and that works. There's no there's no substitution for doing a damn good job internally and we haven't really talked about that nor nor does it mean it's not really a topic. But if you're not doing a great job internally and your people aren't executing at a very high level on a consistent basis your brand is tarnished pretty quickly your reputation goes down the drain. I don't care what business you're in what you're selling service or product and there's no substitution for that. So there's got to be great people and an awesome process. They're really good product and good pricing to support it.
Malcolm Lui: Right. So you're saying for the five hundred other referral partners you have the ones who aren't in your top 20 you're not reaching out to them directly so much. It's more of a social media group
Matt Naimoli: Yeah there's
Malcolm Lui: Type marketing.
Matt Naimoli: A lot of engagement on social like so Zach. Zach and his team you know they have to do 100 plus engagements a week. You know it could just be commenting on a post that is an engagement. It could be quick and it could be a quick voice text from time to time. It's not set in stone like it is with the top 20 but we are connecting with everyone every week and by creating and posting to couple of times a day on different platforms whether it be linked in videos or our Facebook messages or Instagram posts or whatever. We're staying top of mind in their new speed. If they have a success that they share on online on social we're sharing their success as well. We're just promoting them and boosting them up. And so it's an ongoing basis. It's like but it's not as it's not as measured in from my guy. Here are the five hundred people and we're going to make sure we contact every one of them.
Malcolm Lui: Right.
Matt Naimoli: Yeah it's just higher level engagement with those who are doing a heavier volume.
Malcolm Lui: Right. And just to to circle back a little bit. You said you were your top 20 partners. You connect with them. How often at once a week every week or is this once
Matt Naimoli: Yeah
Malcolm Lui: A quarter
Matt Naimoli: Once a week
Malcolm Lui: Okay.
Matt Naimoli: Once a week
Malcolm Lui: So. So
Matt Naimoli: It could be a quick voice text. It could be
Malcolm Lui: Ok
Matt Naimoli: From you know once a while could be a more in-depth
Malcolm Lui: Ok
Matt Naimoli: Coffee or lunch.
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. So you know one week check on their quality growth. You're a quarterly goals. You know what you can talk about next week.
Matt Naimoli: Well when I left yesterday after one gentleman who we didn't talk about the quality calls but just a good example. I said Hey Rick I saw. I noticed on you posted a video yesterday of your son skiing with nose poles. He's flying down the mountain. Absolutely carving up the mountain and snow and you can't even keep up with him like how you plan on keeping up with him and two years from now. I love to know how often you guys go. Do you see him being a big skier down the road. Hit me back. I just think that it is these are these are people who we've built relationships with I mean the relationships are founded in business but their friendships too. I mean these are people who we know them really well. And if we're just talking about business it's a big mess. It gets boring. So yeah. It's very personal it's very it's very vulnerable it's very. The more personal the more topical you can be the better.
Malcolm Lui: Right.
Matt Naimoli: And it's more interesting too it's more authentic. I actually care about that. Like his goals I really care about too. But in the day like I'm really interested in him and him being a great father and taking his son skiing down the mountain and how good his son is becoming an eight year old. Like I'm really interested in I'm and proud that he's doing such a good job. You know and so that's the kind of stuff that's going to resonate well it's the stuff he cares about hearing about to
Malcolm Lui: Right. Yeah. You said that you keep in touch with your top 20 reform partners more often than I keep in touch with my best friends.
Matt Naimoli: Well it it it works. And if you don't it's easy to fall off. I just did a video yesterday or we did our podcast yesterday released yesterday specifically about that. It's like what happens with people is that if we do a really good job with networking all the behaviors that lead to the intended results the desired results the behavior stop because we get so busy with all the inbound referrals and leads and sales and so what happens is three or four months down the road we're curious why our lead generation has dropped our referrals have dropped off. That's because we stop doing the behaviors. And so for us what matters so much is tracking a few very specific tangible measurable numbers every week. And one of those is our top 20 engagements. If we always do that we'll always be good
Malcolm Lui: Right.
Matt Naimoli: Even if we don't create more relationships which is impossible because that's another metric you know
Malcolm Lui: Right. For 2019. Let's talk a little bit about what your plans are for 2019 and let's just imagine that we're having a discussion a year from now. What would you have to have seen happen in your business over the past one year for you to be happy with your company's progress in particular. What's the number one problem you have now that needs to be there needs to be eliminated the number one opportunity you want to capture. And the biggest strength you have that you want to maximize further
Matt Naimoli: That's a great question Malcolm. So you know our business is coming up in January on 10 years and we are more than ever focused on driving revenue qualified clients that are going to be really sticky and stay with us for many years. But we have been more focused as of late trying to be more profitable because the more profitable we can be the more we can reinvest in our team. The more we can you know just just be a stronger business in general and growth organic growth is costly because it takes a ton of people and labor hours in order to fund that. And so what we've really been focused on the last year and moving forward is efficiencies and leveraging technology to be more efficient of course but also making sure that any waste in our process is eliminated. If we have things that can be removed not people but just steps in the process. Great if we can leverage more virtual assistants we will we have eight right now in the Philippines and we'll probably get more but they're going to help us with a lot of the back end data stuff that allows our current staff internally to elevate their game and do more proactive steps with our clients. So being more profitable is really the end all be all goal as a business in order to do so. We need to continue to be to to become more efficient internally. So if you fast forward a year you know our growth rate if we can maintain at 20 percent you're in the next year we're happy with that. In the past we've been higher but we've also been less profitable. If we can be at 20 percent we're still outpacing the market by 6 6 acts in our business and we'll be a lot more profitable than we are now. The past few years. And it allows us to redeploy a lot of resources internally to just continue to thrive. That answers your question
Malcolm Lui: It does. So there's a couple of ways of being more profitable right. One weighs on the cost side. You can you can reduce your costs but the amount of profit increasing that is finite. He can only squeeze out so much costs and then the other way is to get more get more commissions right. Whether it be from your existing clients or new clients.
Matt Naimoli: Yes.
Malcolm Lui: Which way are you focusing on towns like
Matt Naimoli: All all
Malcolm Lui: Ok
Matt Naimoli: Yeah. No I mean just having to be specific. I mean we we didn't sell life insurance for many years to our clients. We've got over twelve or thirteen thousand homeowners that to pay our pay their insurance premiums to us every single year. And they're gonna continue. They all need life insurance. Most of them do with disability and whatnot. And so we're gonna be we have already started and we're going to be offering life insurance to every one of them. That's going to drive up our life per client for sure we're leveraging virtual assistants who are leveraging the service center functionality at different insurance carriers to reduce future like ours are our set costs associated with payroll have always been a certain a certain number for the number of clients we've had. We can reduce that significantly by just leveraging outsourcing and making sure that our carriers are doing a little bit more of the heavy lifting when it comes to the reactive based expected transactional type of work that the team that the clients need. That'll help us be just more profitable internally. So we will have to hire as frequent as we have in the past. And then and then lastly like we've just improved a lot of our internal sales processes so that all of our metrics like our number of policies per client premium per client sales cycle times shrunk everything is improving so that we know we can get more on our line every single client. And lastly our our business development functions that generate more leads are just more targeted. Our business manager is just a hyper focusing on the top top top top partners who can really be better are and networking events.
Malcolm Lui: Right now do you find the leads and your partners are pretty steady. Is oftentimes the thing about referrals is that you're your kind of comes whenever they come. You can't really flip a switch and turn it on turn off or dial it up further
Matt Naimoli: Yeah I mean I think you know if we had five or six referral partners it would be a little little bit more up and down because we get such volume from such a high number of individuals who are all doing the exact same thing which is helping homebuyers. We're really tied a lot more to the real estate market. So I would say that December January February and March are our slowest months where we're probably doing about 70 percent of what we'll do the rest of the year whereas quarters 2 3 and 4 are very strong because they're tied to the real estate market the way we look at is there a really good year in Massachusetts sixty thousand homes will be sold a really really bad bad year would be forty. And those that are selling 40 versus the 60 are going to be a lot of the same individuals. So if we're networking and connecting with those people and still maintaining good relationships they're going to refer us regardless. We're not going to feel a huge hit one way or the other.
Malcolm Lui: Right. Okay. Now you mentioned before your you have your you're selling to 12000 13000 homeowners how many of them would need life insurance. How are you going to go about offering that to
Matt Naimoli: Multitude of options. I mean we where there's a little bit of passive base stuff you can do on renewal every single year. Their policies come up for renewal. We all are just going to build it in as a component of the existing process of engagement so that we're connecting with them to discuss their current policies and weaknesses and opportunities in their plan. Well this is a potential opportunity for them to increase coverage and do something they haven't done in the past or check something off the list. The To Do list that they've had for a while on this front end on a sales end. We're onboarding 60 to 80 new clients a week. They're all homeowners and so in the onboarding process there's a lot of different components where we're asking them to review us online. We're asking for referrals or doing a bunch of things so we're just gonna build that in as hey here's proposals for a million dollar 30 year term get Jimmy you have good health and your non tobacco non non-smoker. If you're interested in this you won't discuss more. Let us know. We attach the proposals to make it really easy and then engagement so far. Early tests have shown that's really worked well. It just made it really easy for people to say yes this is something I've been meaning to get around you. I bought my house three years ago and I've really been meaning to get around to doing this. I just haven't. It's an easy kind of shift because we're already helping them with insurance and so it's
Malcolm Lui: Eddie
Matt Naimoli: Not you know songs or something completely out of the ordinary.
Malcolm Lui: Right. How about in terms of your past customers. You do much marketing to the ones who stopped in business with the
Matt Naimoli: Those who may have left yeah we have X state campaigns we have cancel it no prior prior insured campaigns where winners reach outs there's voice voicemail dropped there's text messaging campaigns there's outbound calls or scheduling software we use just do a lot of heavy volume low touch just to drum up opportunities and from time to time we get to request and revisit them. For us if growth on the front end wasn't as hard it was harder. I think we would spend more and more time engaging with clients and left. But if you think about it it's like chasing I'm not going to. This isn't an equal comparison fair comparison but chasing a girlfriend that left. Yeah opposed to searching one that really wants to be with you. It's kind of like somewhat similar. It's like they left you for a specific reason. And yes you can win them back but your efforts are almost better suited for those who are looking for your help moving forward never closing and 71 percent quote to close ratio on the front end with new homebuyers and we're closing at maybe 10 or 15 percent with people who used to insure with us and they left us because I don't know any reason Geico they sold their house whatever. I would much rather our team allocate their time and resources towards the 70 percent versus the 10.
Malcolm Lui: Sure
Matt Naimoli: But but it is important to still engage in touch and let them know we're here and if they're interested we're gonna quote them because we actually quote them. There's a good chance they'll move back but not going to over exert ourselves.
Malcolm Lui: Sure. Well what's nice about the the people who used to do business with. But you're not doing business with you anymore is that you already have their contact information right. You have
Matt Naimoli: Sure.
Malcolm Lui: Details
Matt Naimoli: Yep.
Malcolm Lui: So that in today's day and age the marginal cost to reach out to them can be very low.
Matt Naimoli: Very low very
Malcolm Lui: Yeah.
Matt Naimoli: Low. So we have virtual assistants doing a lot of that work just to just you know if they're reaching out to 100 people and 10 people get back and 4 people want quotes and two people move forward. It's worth it.
Malcolm Lui: Now what about the thirty nine percent who don't buy policies from you. What you guys do with them.
Matt Naimoli: So there are there are other campaigns we run that are quoted not sold. So these are people who we quoted business for auto home umbrella whatever and they just didn't move forward. They're still all their information is still in our system and we run campaigns very very similar to those who used to be with us who no longer are very similar. So we're sending them a lot of different forms of communication too especially on their renewal next year if they went with another carrier and another option. We're connecting with them again. There's not as much of the traditional sales process or outbound kind of lead gen process in the industry in our industry is very much that's like heavy heavy heavy volume lead gen to get a few people interested and then you connect with a couple and then. And and that's a model that we've never really run towards even though we we encourage that internally to run those campaigns because we are going to get some low hanging fruit but we're just so much focused on on the people who need what we offer and are referred by a trusted adviser at this moment sales cycle time goes from like two and a half weeks to two days. And it's it's crazy. It's like there's so much of it there's so much opportunity that we're not even capturing. So to put any really amount of effort elsewhere it seems kind of foolish.
Malcolm Lui: Yep yep I can see that now. I guess I kind of goes in line in line with what your answer would be for my next question. I took a look at your your online footprint. I'm not seeing any paper slick ads that you're running right now at least on the tools that I have on not being in Yahoo and Google and not really seeing a huge amount of SEO related traffic going to your site. What are your thoughts on that paper click
Matt Naimoli: Well
Malcolm Lui: Ads and SEO
Matt Naimoli: Yeah I think you know hey if someone's looking for auto our home insurance and are going on Google or any type of search engine for that matter we're if we wanted to compete on that it's one of the most expensive words on all of Google is auto insurance or insurance. So we'd be spending a ton of money just to get that person. Couple problems with that. We never have as much money as Geico. Most people are searching more for auto insurance and that's not necessarily who we want to attract. We want to track the person buying the home because that's what our process really supports internally. And if they're the type of person who are shopping online to look for what we offer they're probably going to be the type of person that continues to do that. And if we win and we say them a hundred bucks and they move over their policy is great. They're happy. Chances are they're going to continue that behavior and next year they're going to do the same thing in the following year they're going to do the same thing or at least they're going to try a couple of times. And that isn't necessarily the type of relationship we want to have with our clients. When clients that really value the coverage that professional outbound proactive Research Communication the engagement the experience all in all. And so those who are searching online for better options. Geico can have them. I mean they can pay for them and they will pay for them. And that's great. That's that's their net. That's what they focus on. It's just that that's such an expensive way to attract the wrong type of client for us. So
Malcolm Lui: Yeah.
Matt Naimoli: We just. It just hasn't been it hasn't been the direction we wanted to head in but we know other businesses that have grown super fast with that kind of implementation especially those who had a lot of capital to pull
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. Well I suppose if you took on a lifetime value perspective. Right. Yes you might be paying a lot for the initial customer acquisition but they make it all back in the back end. Right.
Matt Naimoli: Assuming assuming you keep the client you know personal lines insurance you're making like four hundred dollars in revenue if you get the client. There's a lot of costs associated with the first year so typically you're not you're not profitable on a client for three or four years
Malcolm Lui: Right.
Matt Naimoli: Assuming all all payroll and costs and everything associated with getting that client and then onboarding them. So they have to be on the business for seven or eight years in order to really turn a profit. And so if the type of person that really shops around and moves around a lot like you're not going to be we're not going be profitable on it. Whereas like maybe a commercial with a large commercial shop that just focuses on massive clients that they want to get one client a quarter the ROIC makes a lot of sense. Now that might as well
Malcolm Lui: Yeah I imagine that the calculation to assess the value of a client can be a bit complicated if you sell them. If the you're getting them on board on one product gives you the opportunity to sell them other things right.
Matt Naimoli: Very
Malcolm Lui: Right.
Matt Naimoli: Challenging
Malcolm Lui: Right.
Matt Naimoli: To quantify that. Yeah. And it's you know at what point at what point you want to just be the best in the world at one thing and say you know what. We're not going to be the greatest at all these other things and I don't think we're the greatest but a lot of stuff. I think that we have a lot of ways to improve in other areas. But you know I'd rather just be known as like the number one go to insurance entity when we're buying popular buying property
Malcolm Lui: Yeah.
Matt Naimoli: And that's it. And then we can layer other services down the road for sure let's do it. And we are. But you know it's really hard to just strengthen brand. If you're giving more than one message
Malcolm Lui: Yep yep I hear you. It gets a bit complicated if your messages are not
Matt Naimoli: Yeah
Malcolm Lui: Supportive of each other. All right three final questions for you. If GNN insurance had a billboard in Massachusetts on one of the freeways a turnpike that are moving quickly. Well what would be that billboard message and it has to be SB brief and to the point right. Because people only have six seconds to sell before they drive by it.
Matt Naimoli: Yeah. Yeah. No. That's that's a great cause will definitely be bobbleheads. If you did to two of us and bobbleheads and Apollo you said something along the lines of you know the kayak of home home insurance or homebuyers to to kind of capture the essence of what we do and as short as possible is simplest message.
Malcolm Lui: Right
Matt Naimoli: You know kayak for homebuyers.
Malcolm Lui: Right.
Matt Naimoli: Yeah
Malcolm Lui: Right. Kayak for homebuyers insurance.
Matt Naimoli: Yeah. Insurance. Kayak insurance for home buyer or something along those lines.
Malcolm Lui: Yeah
Matt Naimoli: But make sure that people understand that you know the value of offering options and shopping for them opposed to them doing all the work and then obviously you know the homebuyers being the niche.
Malcolm Lui: Right. And the last two questions. Who are your ideal clients and what's the best way for them to contact your company
Matt Naimoli: Yeah your clients are those that are purchasing real estate. I mean that's it's simple as simple as it could be. Those are the clients that are going to value our service. They're the ones we're built for internally and they're the ones who are going to find the best value in working with us. The best way to find us is to go on our Web site which is ensure with GM gold Nancy I'm sure with GM dot com and we've made it really simple for people to start the process there and a lot of people like to call us and are our contact information is on the web. So our entire team and everything else so we can start the process online by uploading documents and making it super simple or reaching out via a phone or email and you know our lead coordinator runs with it
Malcolm Lui: You also mentioned a video blog which I think if he doesn't have people can check that out
Matt Naimoli: Yeah. So in Babylon BBB l o n Babylon is the name of our podcast. It's also the name of our vlog and we run it through Facebook. We have a youtube channel as well but it's really through historically has been through GNN. We created a separate entity called Babylon to really help insurance agencies across the country like ours do exactly what you've done in Massachusetts. And so a lot of moving forward a lot of the vlog will be focused on helping other business owners across the country really amplify their revenue increase their result improve their results and do what we've really done here in Massachusetts. And so bottom line is really formed to do that but the podcast and the material we put out are all straight tangible tips on how to improve marketing and improve branding how to better network and drive in leads and build relationships. And so I think a lot of people that we've gotten a lot of feedback positive feedback from people outside the industry because it's universal topics that we go over and tips and strategies. It doesn't have anything necessarily to do with insurance
Malcolm Lui: Awesome
Matt Naimoli: Yeah.
Malcolm Lui: Man
Matt Naimoli: Well
Malcolm Lui: It's
Matt Naimoli: Thanks
Malcolm Lui: An awesome.
Matt Naimoli: Malcolm.
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. It's great having you on my show today. Really enjoy hearing how you agree a company so fast.
Matt Naimoli: Yeah. Thank you for having us and highlighting and appreciate the interest in what you're doing is obviously is great. You're you're creating the content and you're putting it out there for a lot of people to benefit from
Malcolm Lui: It's a win win win win right. It's a
Matt Naimoli: Yeah
Malcolm Lui: Win for my audience. Win for your audience. It's a win for our businesses as well. I think it's a good thing to do.
Matt Naimoli: Cool. Why. It's really nice for nothing else nice. This is and allowed me to get to know you a little better.
Malcolm Lui: Yep same here.
Malcolm Lui: We've been speaking with Matt Naimoli, the Co-Founder of G&N Insurance, about his company's rapid growth. For interviews with other fast growing, high value sales companies, or to learn how we can accelerate your firm's high value sales through automation, visit Eversprint.com.
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