Are there any industry secrets to the success of insurance agents? Do some people really just “have it” or do they have a winning strategy that anyone can plug into? If you’re an insurance agent reading this, you’re either looking to boost your business or you’re doing great but want to take it up another notch because that’s just what you do. If you fall into the latter category, you’re of a breed of insurance agents that sees no limits to your earning potential and you’re always reading up on ways to sharpen your skills so as to reach your ultimate goals. If you’re just starting out and want guidance these tips can work for you too. In fact, they may help you develop some great habits that are essential for insurance agents. One thing all successful insurance agents have in common is persistence in winning. Here are some great tasks you can work into your daily, monthly and seasonal routines to get your name out there:
- Self-assess: Give yourself an hour or two at the end of each week. Let yourself evaluate your business and your performance as well as the performance of your producers. Be honest with yourself here. This is the most effective way of seeing if you’ve met goals and setting new ones.
- Get online: Carve out at least two or three hours a week, dedicating that time to your Internet presence. Whether you’re working on a blog article for your website, creating a meme or posting outside articles on your LinkedIn and Facebook pages, keep active digitally. As most carriers and agencies inch towards binding online, social media is becoming an even more viable marketplace than traditional methods of insurance marketing.
- Return calls: How many clients do you neglect calling because your schedule spirals out of control? Customers appreciate it when you make time for them and they are more apt to stay with you if they feel appreciated. Not returning their call may not seem like a big deal to you but it could really make or break your relationship in the long-run. Same goes with prospects. No matter how unlikely they may seem, it’s worth reaching out to each and every person interested in buying insurance. You really never know where a conversation may take you.
- Visit claims: If you take a few minutes and contact clients who filed claims, it can make the world of difference. Sometimes, processing a claim can turn messy or it may take longer for the client to be reimbursed than they’d like. Being there for the client may be the difference between a maintained relationship and a lost one. Don’t ignore them and hope for the best. Be there, even during the worst of times.
- Generate Leads: You have to get insurance leads! You can’t let maintaining relationships take up all your time. If you don’t have the time or resources to market yourself outside of the community, buy insurance leads from a reputable source like SmartFinancial. When you’re contacting leads, don’t get frustrated if they are overly price-conscious. Take the time to really explain why they’d be paying the price you’re offering for coverage. Explain that if they ever have to file a claim, the quality of coverage will matter and there is more to their purchase than the price, which often reflects quality.
- Give back to the community: At least once a month, you should take part in one or another community activity. There are so many things you can do to stand out. As a prominent person in your community you can leverage your name (which is essentially your brand), in a way that the big-name carriers simply can’t. Some ways you can contribute include but are not limited to the following: Hold a bake sale for an important charity. Organize a toy drive for a local children’s hospital. There is nothing more disheartening than sick children and every town has them. If your town or a nearby town has a children’s hospital, you can set up a toy drive and videotape an event during which you present the toys to the children in the hospital. Not only will you be contributing to a good cause, but you’ll be warming the hearts of all your neighbors with videos of the event which you’ll post on social media.
- Write articles in a local paper (maybe about financial literacy). It shouldn’t be too hard to convince the editor of one of the free local papers to let you write an article once a month, giving people tips on how to safeguard their wealth or simply to prevent paying out of pocket for commonly occurring disasters. What a great way to become a voice of authority!
- Teach classes on personal finance. You can do this at the seniors center, a community center or a community college. Even if a handful of people sign up for the class, many people will see the class listing and your name as the expert in personal finance.
- Start a neighborhood watch program. Is crime a problem in your neighborhood? Even if you live in a relatively safe area, it’s always great to set up neighborhood safety network so that children know where they are and are not safe. One way to do this is to set up a neighborhood watch program. To do this, first recruit as many people in your neighborhood as you can. Then, set up a meeting with local law enforcement to create a list of top concerns and ideas on how to tackle the top safety concerns in your neighborhood. When you’re done recruiting and strategizing, you can create neighborhood watch signs to place in windows of safe houses. Hold monthly meetings with other members to compare notes on suspicious activities.
- Organize an event for your town, perhaps surrounding a holiday. How great would it be to have a Halloween parade? It may even be a safer alternative to trick or treating. Or maybe a parade for Veterans Day or Memorial Day? You would not only contribute to hours of fun, but your name will be mentioned everywhere. You can use all the press in local papers to your advantage too, if the reporters mention that you’re an insurance agent.
- Sponsor a recycling contest. It’s all about getting the word out about taking care of the environment (and insurance). Meanwhile, you’ll be broadcasting your name as a concerned neighbor (and insurance agent). You can buy targeted mailing lists from the post office, spend minimal amounts of money creating the marketing materials and reach virtually every person in your neighborhood with a simple mailer. Have the contest take place the first day of spring, for spring cleaning!
- Create a list of hotlines. Scour through the yellow and white pages and do some Internet research to come up with a great list for common disasters with numbers for first responders and the like. You can also cull a list of local plumbers and emergency service technicians who live in the area too, in case a neighbor has a burst pipe in the middle of the night. Your hotlines list can include everything from mental health and alcohol treatment hotlines to emergency medical call centers. Put some thought and heart into creating this compilation and laminate it. Your neighbors will appreciate all the work did for them and you may be on everyone’s fridges with your agency name and number on the list! Update this list every year. Use that neighborhood mailing list again!
- Create a local drunk driving announcement. Local radio spots are much more affordable than you’d think, and you may be able to express an important message that ties in with auto insurance, if that’s the product you sell. You may even be able to provide important stats on the cost of accidents based on your own book of businesses. These numbers will hit home and really resonate with your message. You’ll also be branding yourself as an insurance agent who is also a caring and concerned neighbor.
- Renovate the school playground. Help pay for new swings, a jungle gym and more. People care for their children above all else. There’s no better way to make a lasting impression on the parents in your neighborhood than in turning the local playground (whether it be at a school or town park) into something really special.
- Create a pamphlet on holiday safety for Halloween and the 4th of July. Give tips and advice on how to stay safe while trick or treating or simply driving on Halloween. Mention inspecting all candy and not eating unpackaged items, etc. Make sure to include numbers for poison control centers. On the other side of the same page, also cover fireworks safety for the 4th of July. The great thing about combining these two holidays is that it lengthens the shelf life of this great mailer because it targets a summer and then fall season. With any luck your agency name and number will remain in full view all year long if you laminate these and send them out to your neighborhood list.