Case Studies

How Sonny Gurney Grew his Agency

Episode Summary

Sonny Gurney has built an impressive insurance career over nearly two decades, transitioning from selling life insurance to Medicare and growing his agency from just 4 to over 200 agents. His journey highlights the importance of finding the right brokerage partner and implementing proven systems to achieve rapid growth.

Sonny first started in the insurance industry back in 2003 selling life insurance policies and earning around $35,000 annually. After a decade in life insurance, he decided in 2013 to transition to selling health insurance and Medicare plans by joining a national Field Marketing Organization (FMO).

Right away, Sonny found success in his new field, writing 19 Medicare policies in his very first week. However, he soon realized a major downside - he did not own his book of business at this FMO. The policies belonged to the FMO, not to Sonny directly.

Eager to take control, Sonny moved to another local FMO. But after some time, he learned another tough reality - while he thought he owned his book, the contracts were actually under a Letter of Authorization (LOA). This meant all his commissions were being assigned to the FMO, not to Sonny.

It wasn't until 2018 that Sonny finally found the right brokerage partner that offered him the transparency and ownership he needed - The Brokerage Inc. He immediately appreciated that this brokerage enabled him to directly own his book of business. They also provided the resources and support he needed to start recruiting and training his own agents.

The Brokerage wasted no time helping Sonny scale up his agency. They flew him out to conduct three recruiting events alongside a local carrier. While the first event brought in two new agents, the next two saw no attendees due to partnering with the wrong carrier. But Sonny didn't let this early setback stop him. He recorded his presentations and doubled down on his recruiting efforts.

With the full support of The Brokerage behind him, Sonny went on to recruit over 100 new agents in 2019. And he kept growing - by 2020 he had over 200 agents working for him, achieving over 100% year-over-year growth.

According to Sonny, partnering with The Brokerage and utilizing their proven structure, systems, and resources allowed him to scale so quickly. As he says, without them he would not be where he is today.

So what are some of the keys that have enabled Sonny to expand his agency so rapidly?

- Leveraging brokerage resources like marketing funds and recruiting events to add 100+ agents per year
- Conducting extensive training for new agents on sales, presentations, and products
- Emphasizing goals, business structure, and succession planning from day one
- Following proven brokerage processes to duplicate success quickly
- Taking full advantage of all brokerage support and resources

Sonny's story demonstrates how partnering with the right brokerage can enable agents to rapidly grow their book year after year. For any agent looking to take their business to the next level, his experience provides invaluable lessons and insights.


(0:00:00) - First week, 23 appointments with health insurance and Medicare
(0:00:31) - Sonny Gurney started selling life insurance for a captive company
(0:07:30) - Mike started getting involved with Medicare and health insurance and started selling
(0:14:50) - When I got into doing life insurance, I was making $35,000
(0:19:53) - Can you talk in terms of what are you doing to help your brokers become onboarded
(0:22:56) - We teach new agents how to do a presentation before they get an appointment
(0:25:46) - Find out what your goals are when starting a new agency
(0:28:11) - Talk about how Medicare agents might be able to sell more products
(0:30:31) - How do you envision using the brokerage's services to help you sell more products
(0:32:09) - What advice would you give to agents about getting into the Medicare business
(0:36:31) - How is the brokerage helping you to grow your agency? Good question. Well, I can tell you today that
(0:38:13) - Mike: Sonny, thank you for being our guest today

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