Who Doesn't Sell
Story by Corey Dahl
Want to do business with agent Brian Greenberg? Drop that telephone. Don’t bother blocking out an afternoon appointment. No need to Google Map his office.
Greenberg’s clients can find him (or, at least, his services) on-line, 24/7, at CompassQuote.com and TrueBlueLifeInsurance.com.
There, customers can learn about life insurance products, compare
quotes and fill out an application — without ever coming into contact with another human being.
In fact Greenberg hardly speaks to, let alone sees, any of the hundreds of clients he serves each year. And that’s fine by him.
“I made the MDRT this year and I didn’t meet with one client,”
the 36-year-old Phoenix-based producer says. “I didn’t have to
drive to any appointments, go to anyone’s house, convince anyone
they needed life insurance.”
Greenberg is one of a growing number of agents and carriers ven-
turing into online sales and turning long-held life insurance sales
beliefs on their head. Chief among them? The idea that potential life
insurance buyers need to be goaded by an agent.
“I don’t believe insurance should be sold,” Greenberg says. “I
believe insurance should be bought.”
Greenberg didn’t always think that way. He worked as a tradition-
al agent with MetLife right out of college and did well for himself.
“It was a good experience,” he says. “I was a good agent.”
But Greenberg still suffered his fair share of client objections and
dead-end sales. “It was a lot of rejection, a lot of trying to convince
people to buy life insurance,” he says. “You ended up just trying to
get in front of people, no matter what, even if they weren’t inter-
Photography by Brandon Sullivan
ested in life insurance.”
Certain there was a better way, he set out in 2003 to create a
website that would let customers come to him. Greenberg took
CompuLife quote software and, with his web skills, customized it
to boost user-friendliness and collect additional info.
The result? CompassQuote.com and TrueBlueLifeInsurance.
com, which have sold roughly 1,400 policies in the last three years.
Greenberg says the sites’ success is due to a couple of things:
a constant focus on search engine optimization (90 percent of his
clients find him through search) and a lack of sales trickery. For example, Greenberg built his site so prospects don’t have to enter any
contact information in order to get an insurance quote — a notable
distinction from the lead generators disguised as online quote tools
offered by other agencies and carriers.
“They can get all the information they need, and they don’t have
to be contacted by anybody,” he says. “I didn’t want to use the site
to just collect email addresses and contact people later. I wanted to
be the polar opposite. I wanted to be the ethical and honest guy.”
And the invisible one, too. Once prospects run a quote on one
of Greenberg’s sites, they can select their desired product and start
filling out the application right then. The mostly complete form is
then shipped to the customer, who is contacted by a paramedical
examiner to set up an appointment. The client keeps track of the
entire purchase process from an online dashboard, and in an aver-
age of three weeks, he or she is covered — usually without ever
coming into contact with Greenberg.
That’s the point, says Greenberg, who stays in touch with existing clients using occasional emails but does little to try to up-sell them on other products. “My goal is to issue life insurance as
quickly as possible, without any agent interaction” he says. “It’s