The following blog post was written by Podium, a tool to help you connect with your customers on an even greater level. Podium’s suite of messaging tools will empower you to deliver the convenience that today’s customers expect, all by connecting on the channels they prefer.
Independent insurance agents and brokers swim in a vast big ocean. You can be a big fish or one of the millions of small fish. Make yourself one of the biggest fish in the sea by learning how to source clients more effectively than your competition.
In this post, we’ll share some of the techniques you can use to set yourself apart. Source better leads that you can use to catapult yourself to the top agent in your region and state. The only thing stopping you is learning how to find leads that convert to sales. Also, be sure to review our Definitive Guide on Selling Insurance.
You Are Responsible For Your Success
Insurance agents are responsible for their leads. It’s completely up to you to find your sales leads. You may receive a few leads generated from a corporate website that the company sends your way, but you’ll find that these aren’t enough to bring you true success. They may not even be enough to keep you in business.
Insurance leads are not given to you. They are not easily found either and there is no class when preparing for licensure that tells you how to source good leads. Leads for insurance are often paid for by purchasing lists. This can be costly and you may find that the lists are cold by the time you get them.
New insurance agents often turn to cold calling, which is not the most productive or effective way to spend your time. Cold calling is a method that has been often taught and used, but it can be grueling and time-consuming. As a result, many agents give up before they get a true start in the insurance agency.
It’s hard work to call each phone number on a list and it can be demoralizing. Most people don’t answer their phones anymore. The few who do answer will not want to talk to you. There is a better way!
5 Better Ways to Lead Generation
1. Touch your leads daily.
This simply means that you are constantly on the lookout for leads. Creating relationships within your community that can lead to new clients that bring you new business. This can lead to premium renewals that create residual income. New insurance agents don’t have a residual income yet, but it should be your primary goal.
Residual income is how you build wealth over many years of new sales compounded on top of recurring, or residual, income. Consistently producing agents can easily retire with a sizable nest egg that continues to pay them in residual payments long beyond retirement. Top sales agents can earn over a million dollars per year by building consistent residual income each year. The only way to do this is to touch your leads daily.
Sponsor a softball team, get your name on bumper stickers that clients place on their cars. Be seen in the community by being involved in clubs such as Rotary, Lions, and Kiwanis Clubs in your city. In this way, you are touching the lives of people in your community and they hear your name. Eventually, they feel that they know you. People do business with people they know. It’s a matter of trust. Use this to your advantage.
2. Choose a Niche.
Become an expert in a specific niche. For example, an agent who specializes in agricultural insurance plans will be able to focus his energy on his target audience. This tells you where to network, who you should be talking to, and even where advertising dollars are better spent. Rather than buying a list that is filled with names and email addresses that may no longer be any good and are far too wide-reaching, focus on a piece of the pie that you can own in your area.
When you are the expert that people turn to, they will recommend you to their friends and family. Answering questions with confidence will set you apart from those who don’t know the answers and need to ‘get back to you another time. Know the answer right then and there and you can close the deal. “Come by my office on Monday and let’s get you covered for that.”
3. Good Old-fashioned Prospecting.
You need to get in touch with newly opened businesses, people who’ve just moved to town (get your card in local welcoming kits), and reading your local paper for potential leads. When you see a new business in town, visit them. Get out in the community and talk to your current clients and ask them for leads. Don’t be afraid to ask people to refer someone to you. They understand how you earn a living.
Go the extra mile to get to know people and meet them in person. Introduce yourself as a new neighbor and friend who also happens to be the leading authority for business insurance in your area (or whatever niche you’ve chosen to focus on). They’ll be impressed with your personal touch. Creating that relationship may not pay off immediately, cultivate these ties within your community because they will think of you when their current insurer raises rates or does a poor job with a claim. Plant seeds and water them.
4. Forge Relationships with Business Partners.
When you build ties with other businesses in your community, especially those who might be part of your overall niche, you can often share leads or advertising costs. Tractor sales lots are great places to partner with if your niche insurance is farm equipment, for example.
These partnerships for advertising are sometimes called ‘piggyback advertising’ because they share costs and leads. Sometimes they offer a discount such as “buy a new tractor and bring in this ad to receive $20 off your yearly premium” to help both businesses. You can be very creative with these types of advertising and lead generation funnels.
5. Use Social Media.
We saved this one for last, not because it was the least important, but because we wanted to cover it in greater detail. It may be 5th on the list but it should be the top priority on your list. There are some things that you should do if you aren’t familiar with social media.
First of all, join social media sites and get familiar with them. Watch how others in your industry are using social media and how many followers they have. Are they successful? If so, ask yourself why and try to utilize what is contributing to their success. Here’s what we suggest:
Choose the best platforms for your niche. We recommend Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. These can expose you to large audiences if utilized effectively. Do some research and see where your audience is, then get on that platform. Try to focus on no more than three platforms. It can be too difficult to maintain more than that.
Learn how to use hashtags (#) and keywords to create advertising and content that Google analytics will find when it crawls the web looking for content. This can make your posts searchable when people are looking for “insurance agents near me” and Google can say, “here’s an agent on Facebook near you.”
Hashtags and keywords will help bring those people to you, and the best part is that social media is free. When you master the art of writing content, such as blogs, small ads, or photos with captions, you will bring traffic to your social media pages, and then people will ask you questions.
Answer leads swiftly! This is why you only want 2 or 3 social media accounts. You must be able to respond to them quickly. The biggest mistake you can make is to have a question on social media that goes unresponded to. Others will be able to see your unresponsiveness, which will prevent trust.
Consider learning everything that you can about using social media to generate leads by offering free things such as downloadable pamphlets and ebooks. These are funnels that help you find people interested in insurance, get their email addresses and reach out to them. Create an email campaign or hire someone to put it together for you so that your emails are professionally written and designed to bring clients to you. You can reach thousands and thousands of people in the time it used to take to make a few phone calls that led to nothing.
Never Stop Learning
We’ve given you some great tools to start with and to grow into as well. The social media world changes and grows constantly. Google Analytics does the same thing. Be willing to learn and be flexible. If you continue to grow with the tools that make marketing easier, you’ll reach more people. Leads are based on numbers. Increase your numbers of contacts and you’ll increase your leads.
When you increase your leads, you’ll increase your sales of insurance products. Your residual income will follow. Sales in insurance are fought for. You are competing with other agents for clients. New insurance agents are often discouraged too easily because getting those first leads can be difficult. The only thing stopping you is you. Cold calling doesn’t need to be your life. Get started following this game plan today.