People are still driving and businesses are opening back up. As always, people need car insurance. While unemployment is high, however, people are busy trying to find ways to save as much money as they can. As you well know, many carriers are offering reduced rates during the pandemic. Drivers are also driving less. What can you offer at a time when drivers want lower insurance rates and complete coverage all in one package?
In the coming months, you may meet more car insurance shoppers than ever -- but you’ll be pressed to offer the best rates you can. Brace yourself for selling based on price and working hard to make shoppers see what kind of value you offer as their advocate.
During this tough time of social distancing, you’re one step ahead if you can really let your personality shine through in video chats and by writing crisp as well as lively emails and text messages to prospects. Here are the top 5 ways you can boost your exposure to shoppers and increase your auto insurance sales in the coming months.
Make Friends at Car Dealerships
Some car dealerships have insurance agents working onsite, but most do not. There’s also the service department at dealerships, where there is sure to be pretty decent traffic due to maintenance issues car owners simply can’t shake off. In some areas the practice of running an insurance agency out of a dealership is unheard of, but it begs the question, Can I make insurance sales from a car dealership? Well, you technically very well could. But these days, due to the coronavirus, there’s limited traffic at car dealership lots and you’d have to consider what the rent would be, if the dealership would even permit it. It would be a good idea to weigh the pros and cons (and crunch the numbers) before making such a big leap. There are no guarantees! Not every person who comes into a dealership will be open to buying insurance from you while some very well may be.
At the very least, making a visit to the dealership to establish a relationship with the manager is a very good idea. The advantages are boundless if the dealership is open to working with you. It’s definitely worth a shot and may cost you very little to set up your business cards or postcards for car owners to consider your services. Make sure to call ahead and schedule a convenient time to meet, even if it’s via video chat.
Make Friends at Bustling Garages and Auto Body Shops
Pretty much anywhere that services cars should be where you make friends, but auto body shops and mechanics’ garages are where you’ll find people who may very well see a rate hike in the near future due to an accident. Or, they were involved in an accident that wasn’t their fault and their insurer gave them the runaround with the claims process. These folks will look for a new insurer.
Sometimes, customers at these types of shops have not been in an accident. They are responsible car owners who would rather not pay dealership prices when it comes to oil changes and small repairs. Some folks expect fresh paint after the five-year fade. Regardless of why these folks visit, they are car owners. Make yourself visible and accessible to them and you should expect some fresh business.
Make Friends with Tire Store Owners
Who hasn’t had to replace tires? But who actually pays $1000 to buy them at the dealership? Most folks have a local tire store they visit when it’s time to buy new brakes or replace tires with worn tread. Some people even have their oil changes done at tires stores. With so many services to offer drivers, tire stores are a great place to find car owners and sell some auto insurance. Just as mentioned in the previous two tips, you’ve got to meet with the folks who run these stores and begin developing important relationships that will open doors for you.
Buy Auto Insurance Leads that Work
If you want to quote people who need no convincing, buy auto insurance leads. While you may not always make the sale, at least you’ll be speaking with people who are shopping for the right product. And worse comes to worse, you may not sell a policy but may get a referral.
If you are willing to pay a bit more, you can even get a hot lead on the phone while they are in the process of shopping for insurance. There are no marketing costs on your part, no postcards or business cards necessary. The lead provider does all the marketing and footwork for you. You just make the call and the necessary follow up calls that it may take to convince the shopper to buy from you.
Although speaking to a shopper who immediately wants a quote may sound tough, it’s the way people are doing business these days. You may not like selling based on price, but most people are looking for the best deals available. They always have been but even more so now that unemployment has skyrocketed due to the coronavirus pandemic. People are working within tight budgets when it comes to the most basic needs, insurance included.
Find all the discounts you can for your prospects and see what kinds of special deals are available for drivers who are facing hard times. Basically, come prepared to offer the lowest rates you can and convincingly explain why they should buy from you, even if you are unable to beat the competition’s rates.
Grow Your Social Media Presence
Now that some insurance companies are able to offer quotes on Facebook, why can’t you? If you’ve been avoiding growing your Facebook presence in the past, you may want to reconsider your grudge against technology encroaching on the way business was done per usual. If it weren’t for the internet, there would be no business at all right now!
If coronavirus has not forced you to get online, we don’t know what will. But, if you’ve been scoping out what’s happening, you’ll notice that Gen Xers, millennials and Gen Zers are and have been conducting most of their business over the internet. And frankly, you should be too. There’s no bucking the trend any longer, in a world where a handshake may be the kiss of death. You can start by building a simple website, even if you buy a click-and-drag one from SquareSpace or GoDaddy, even WordPress. Many of these services have existing templates so you need to have little to no computer skills beyond moving stuff around.
Even if you have to pay someone to help you get started, there’s little excuse for not having a barebones website. It’s much more valuable these days than a storefront. Here’s more about building a successful agent website.
After you’ve established that website, you’ll want to sign up a business page with the usual suspects: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoogleMyBusiness and even Pinterest. If you can, write at least a blog a week. Address community concerns. Get connected on community Google, Facebook and Twitter pages. Begin reviewing local businesses and ask them to do the same for you.
Your career as an insurance agent is about relationships, even during these strange times, which is why you went into the business of selling insurance in the first place. Nothing’s really changed. You just have to take your relationships online! Here’s more on building a social media presence for your insurance business.