How many times have you said to yourself "How do I get more leads without paying for them?" It's the never ending question that plagues insurance agents. You want your business to grow and don't know how to get more clients calling you. The reality is, if you're servicing your existing clients properly, they will do the marketing for you. Calling, mailing, emailing and even door knocking (yes some agents still do this) are all forms of outbound marketing. It's time to review your strategy.
How will your existing clients market for you, you ask? It's a process of nurturing them and educating them. Keep in touch with them, inform them of new products and services you offer. In essence, be their teacher. And what does this do for you? It lets your clients know that you're keeping abreast of market trends and products. You're coming to them with the latest in industry news and solutions. Bringing your A game to the table resonates with clients.
Word of mouth and influencers are two forms of marketing. But the reality is, they're both the same. Influencers typically work online and via social media. Word of mouth extends into the digital space and offline as well. If you take care of your clients, they become your influencers and spread the word that you are THE agent to work with.
Building your brand and your credibility comes from within. If you exemplify professionalism, integrity and wisdom, your clients will talk about you.
Another key component to this, is to focus on additional sales with your existing client base. Offering one type of insurance can be limiting, so if you feel you can take on new products, by all means do it! You don't have to offer every insurance product known to man; however, if you can assist your clients with an array of solutions, you'll have your own, private army doing your marketing for you.
Referral marketing is big in this industry and everyone asks for referrals. If your clients talk about you, they'll send referrals without you ever having to ask for them. They're doing the marketing work for you.
Incorporate inbound marketing with your outbound marketing strategy to allow your client base to grow. That means sending them informative pieces, and it doesn't have to be solely insurance-based. Including articles about retirement, nursing homes, social security and even protecting them from identity theft are all ways to enlighten your clients. The more you focus on attention and sales within your existing client base, the more you'll get in return.
Examples of what you should do on your website:
Tell visitors what you do and how you can help them. If they come to your site and have no idea what services you provide, they’re going to go to the next site in their Google search. Be clear and concise. And in order for visitors to find you, your web developer must have search engine optimization (SEO) including header tags (H1) in place. Otherwsie, your prospects will never find you or read about you.
When it comes to financial planning, we all could use a little help. The importance of saving (not only for a rainy day) but for higher education costs, retirement and even possible illness and long-term care are crucial.
Not all of us are star pupils when it comes to the financially fit class, but with the right tools and some planning, you can assist your clients, and help them save for the future.
If your clients are asking you about long-term care, disability insurance and life insurance, you can be the one to assist them if you’re already writing Medicare Supplement policies for them. If you’ve already established a rapport and a good relationship with your clients, it’s only logical to offer to help them with other needs they may have.
If your clients are saddled with credit card debt, this convenient tool will help them figure out how long it will take to pay off that balance, and find financial peace. The stress of revolving debt is something no one wants, and this tool will put them on the right track to eliminating that debt.
If your clients are still in the workforce and have yet to retire, this calculator asks for some basic math and will give them a plan in the making to realize their retirement dreams. There are even tools to help them figure out how long their money will last once they’re no longer working. This one allows you to enter the proposed withdrawal amounts and will calculate how long your client has before their money runs out.
Investing in life insurance is not just smart, it can be very cost effective. Clients with young children and without the resources to provide for their children, should something happen, are best-served by investing in life insurance. Clients often ask “How do I know if I have enough life insurance?” This tool will calculate your client’s needs and his/her spouse’s needs as well.
Many people wonder if they need DI, and if they can afford it, then yes. It not only provides monies at a critical time of need, but offers peace of mind knowing that if something should happen, they’ll have a way to cover their day-to-day expenses. This tool can help you show your client the costs for disability insurance and how much they’ll be able to afford.
“Money is what makes the world go ‘round”, as they say. And it’d be fantastic if we didn’t have to have it, use it, or worry about it. As daunting as it may seem to try and create a fiscal plan that fits your clients’ needs, it is indeed do-able. And with the right tools, you can make it happen for them.
Help your clients get fiscally fit, and help them prepare for their retirement and long-term needs.
By Carolyn Portanova
First off, the biggest source for networking and referrals comes right from your own circle of family and friends and your existing clientele. You've heard the old story "he told someone, then she told someone" and on and on it goes. Networking and referrals do not have to be daunting. In fact, it can be quite easy to build your customer base, if you're willing to work at your goal and put forth some effort.
Some of the absolute basics in getting repeat business or referrals is deeply rooted in how an advisor approaches his business and treats his existing clients. People want to be heard, they want to be acknowledged and they want to be understood. They also want to be treated with respect, kindness, fairness and be appreciated. That's just human nature.
We have people say to us "Selling insurance isn't as easy as I thought it would be. How do I grow my business?"
The golden rule is this: if you know your products, treat clients with fairness, respect and acknowledge them, they will in turn recommend you to their family, friends and peers. It's really as simple as that. If you follow up with a client two months after writing a Medicare Supplement policy for them, just to check in and make sure they're happy with their plan and their premium, that speaks volumes about who you are as an advisor to them. After all, they are looking to you for answers. This follow-up is the perfect time to ask additional discovery questions as well. "How's your health?" "Have you thought about life insurance?" "Is there someone in your family who could benefit from long-term care insurance?" These are all ways of making the client feel important, without trying to push a specific product on them. It also shows them that you have a broad knowledge on the topic of senior health products, and want to ensure they are well taken care of. And if you need assistance recommending a product, you can certainly look to us to help you. That is why we're here, after all.
Kindness goes a LONG way.
When you listen to people, you acknowledge their concerns, and you show interest in their well-being, you in turn are paving the groundwork for future clients. The next time you write a piece of business, tell your client that you're going to follow up with them in two months (and be sure to create that follow-up task in your CRM, so you're reminded to do so). Explain to them that you want them to be happy with the services you've provided, and want to be sure you've addressed all of their needs. Seniors change all the time. They move, they retire, they become ill, they have grandchildren. Life is never static, and neither should your philosophy be on growing your business. And if your small client base is happy with you, they will in turn speak highly of you. And before you know it, you will have clients calling you.....and not the other way around.
By Carolyn Portanova
I just left an hour+ meeting with the Regional Vice President of a large insurance company. Boring, you may think. Nope, you’d be wrong. It was anything but boring. This gentleman has been in the insurance industry for 20 years and he just knew how to relate to people. All people. All six of us in the conference room. One woman was 50, one gentleman was 71, another was 50, two guys were 32, and me (I’m 46 ).
How not to be boring.
Meetings in a board room can be long, full of metrics and numbers, culminating with endless industry jargon that flies around the room like meaningless banter. Not this meeting. Yes, there were facts and figures spouted off, and how we are striving to bump our numbers up. But it was also a meeting that involved everyone. Everyone had a chance to speak up, to ask questions, to give their opinion and to be heard. How often does that happen? I suppose often enough, but many times we tend to listen and not speak up, for fear of not being understood.
How did he relate to each of us?
His ability to tell stories. That’s how. He had the uncanny ability to relate to each of us by sharing a story. One woman related to him because she’d met him before at a conference. One guy related to him because he’s a fly fisherman from Montana. I related to him because he carried two phones (an iPhone and a Samsung) and likes technology . My boss related to him because he’s been in the insurance industry for many, many years.
How do we become understood?
We relate to people on a personal level. A familiar level. Through personal experiences. This Regional Vice President lives in Florida. He had fabulous stories about sunny, private beaches and catching sailfish and showing us pictures, and $15 lobster specials at his local pub. Who can’t relate to a fishing story on some level? He was a master storyteller. One that parlayed his personal experiences into his job responsibilities. He connected with each of us on some personal level. And in turn what happened? We each contributed. We each spoke up and shared our views, our concerns and our questions. He understood each of us.
It’s magic when that happens.
By Carolyn Portanova
Carolyn Portanova is the Director of Marketing at The Brokerage Resource and has been with the firm since 2012.