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One Call Insurance

OneCall have been providing a wide range of insurance to customers in the UK since 1995

How I closed a contract with this £43M insurance firm

DATE

2012

COMPANY

OneCall Insurance

INDUSTRY

Insurance

Introduction

I was already in the game of building a breakdown recovery business but needed more work. Then I came across OneCall.
OneCall was founded September 1995 in Sheffield England, by Mr John Radford whom after working in the insurance industry for the last decade realised that service and price could be better. They offer many insurance products including breakdown. All car insurance customers get free breakdown cover.

Situation

To generate more income from my recovery business I needed to find more customers. As I was fairly new to this business I was unsure of which direction to go and which people to target.

The market looked a bit like this:

There were many insurance companies out there who used independent suppliers to pick up broken down vehicles. Scrap yards and garages also needed recovery trucks. Bodyshops. Other breakdown recovery providers (RAC, GreenFlag) also had a list of suppliers they used to keep their yearly paying members on the road.
When I started searching for work. It was clear as day, that most local body shops and repair garages already had people they used for recovery work. And that they would pay these recovery people barely anything.

It would be a challenge to get smaller companies to provide me with recovery work. There were many one man bands operating a truck, working for peanuts. If there was a tender available to win from a bigger supplier, it was the larger more established professional recovery companies that would usually win them.

The profit margins for nearly every single job I researched were terrible. Even from the RAC and GreenFlag. They were especially bad. But these “larger” recovery companies would still happily work for the RAC, because if they didn’t some other person would take up all the work instead. It was an industry full of shark infested waters.

I needed to come up with a strategy that would enable me to get regular high paying work with providers to build my business.

More about the situation 

Advertising online to get the business was also a pain. The multi-million pound insurance companies were dominating the spaces. Ranking for all the major keyword searches. And paying too much to advertise.

They could be paying out £150 to acquire a customer, but make £1200 in one year.

Many suppliers required a PAS-43

PAS 43 Certification is a piece of paper to say that you know what you are doing. Of course it costs to get it. Through training and fees for the sake of it.

Competition from other established firms

A lot of them had all the facilities in place. The staff, tools, amount of vehicles to handle jobs. Everything was already there for them to win the game. And to stop others from entering the market.

Challenges

Aside from being able to market the business and gain a contract. I would need to actually be able to service the customer too. So they could trust me and use me again and again.

Keeping in contact with suppliers

If I won a contract, it would be imperative that I kept in touch with a mole, to sell my story so they keep on using me.

Getting profitable work

It would be nearly impossible to get high paying work from the small minded motor industry. A lot of them don’t want to pay out for anything.

Out of hours calls

Sometimes people are standed at 3am and need your help. You can’t refuse easy money like that.

Actions

— I literally physically visited every single repair garage in the area. And I called even more to see if I could get recovery work from them. All 500 of them. Or to get a referral if they didn’t need anything themselves. Just to put my name out there.

— I contacted every single scrapyard in the area to see if I could also help them in some way. I contacted every single independent and major car dealer.

— I contacted every single insurance company, breakdown recovery providers like the RAC and their competitors to see if we could get on their list.

— Expanded website and used Google to find own independent customers.

— I advertised recovery services in all physical media and in professional industry magazines.

— I literally tried everything. Implemented call tracking phone numbers.

— I contacted every single owner of the Recovery Companies in the UK, to ask them how they did it? How did they get where they are today? The Professional Recovery Magazine gave me the contacts of all of them worth talking to.

Results

Through luck I landed a few major contracts. Which enabled me to also hire 3 drivers and 3 vehicles. Better still, the companies reached out to me, not the other way round.

– Companies discovered me through my story telling and advertising online. A phone call with me re-assured I could deliver on my promises. Trials of work began immediately.

– Landed a contract with a major chauffeur company

– Purchased £5K of equipment for £300, due to someone closing down their business.

– Got work with RAC through a contractor in emergency hours. I charged 3x normal prices, they were desperate.

– OneCall Insurance found me at 1am, they were desperate for a rescue person at that time. This turned into receiving regular work every week. All local jobs. I charged big money.

– Expanded to 3 vehicles. 3 drivers.

Let's build the future together

Yes, I want Glyn to join our team so we can work together like a pack of lions without fear – in order to dominate the competition and take our business to the next level.

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