“Fun is like life insurance; the older you get, the more it costs,” says Frank McKinney. Many people don’t understand the nuts and bolts of insurance. When you consider the different types of insurance, criteria for pricing and multitude of coverages and options, it’s no wonder so many people decide to forgo insurance altogether. As an insurance agent or broker, you are the best person to explain to a potential customer how insurance works and if it is appropriate for his or her specific situation. The challenge for an insurance agent is convincing a prospective customer to pick up the phone and call.
So if you are looking to take on additional business and grow your existing clientele, you may need some new avenues of lead generation. That’s why we have created the list below. While the list below is specifically geared towards insurance agents and brokers, many of these items can be used by business professionals in any industry. Many of these ideas are simply best practice, common-sense tools that are often overlooked. The key to each of these items is not just to implement them, but to use them well and follow up consistently with each opportunity. This will ensure the maximum return on your investment. For more marketing tips, check out our latest post “5 insurance agency marketing tips you should know”
1. Be Great at What You Do
The best way to get referrals is organically. The first step towards reaping referrals is to excel at what you do. If you provide a needed service with quality customer care, you will have happy customers that are happy to sing your praises. The second step to growing referrals is the one that’s most commonly missed—asking for them. Many business owners are reluctant to ask their customers for referrals, but this is an important step to growing your business. If you believe in the service you provide, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your clients if there are people they know that they would be happy to send your way. Offer a worthwhile product with great customer service and don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. These two basic steps help grow leads in any industry.
2. Purchase Leads
If you find that organic growth is not moving at the pace you would like, you can also purchase leads. You should use caution when using this method and do your research. Some purchased leads can be more work than they are worth. Research referral sources and the seller’s methodology. You want to obtain quality leads that are worth the time and effort you have to invest to convert them into customers. You should also make sure that you have the resources to follow up on bulk purchased leads. Your staff should be sufficient to follow up on a large number of leads. Otherwise you may find you don’t have adequate resources to make good on your investment.
3. Invest Time in Growing Organic Partnerships
If you are an insurance agent, you have many partnership opportunities. For instance, a financial advisor may have many of their clients that do not have adequate insurance, while you may have many clients that do not have proper investment guidance. This is a perfect partnership opportunity. You can each become referral sources for each other. There are many other business positions that can thrive from organic referral sources. Any professional that works with the public may be a good source of new leads. The best way to make this type of partnership successful is to make sure your partners excel in their respective positions and that you each utilize opportunities to refer to each other.
4. Get Involved in Networking
While organic opportunities feel more natural, there are lots of advantages to strategic networking. There are many networking options for working professionals in all industries. Groups like Meetup and BNI offer you the chance to meet other professionals and network together in order to maximize referrals. Some groups require membership fees and dues while others are free. Look at which groups suit your personality and needs and then get out there and join.
5. Invest in Advertising
Advertising includes a number of avenues and when done correctly can be leveraged to increase your business and revenue. Consider advertising in the newspaper, local magazines, industry specific publications and online. Some of the most popular advertising outlets for companies today are those found on the internet.
6. Use Social Media Regularly
You can use social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to promote yourself and your business. Social media is an excellent way to broadcast your business and services to a wide group of prospective customers. If you choose to utilize social media, you need to make sure that it is a platform to improve your businesses visibility in a positive way. You need to monitor and post regularly. Make sure that you have the resources to invest in promoting your brand consistently before using these resources.
The base of any good referral or lead conversion is confident and consistent service. Be the best at what you do and then don’t be shy about advertising. Examine your resources and then strategically implement the best lead generation opportunities for your business. You can increase your leads and customer base with a little bit of legwork and a lot of consistent follow up.