Abram Interstate Insurance Services, Inc., CMGA

Helping Independent Insurance Agents Since 1996

101 Tips for Insurance Agencies for Sales & Marketing – Part 1

Published on August 7, 2014

101 Sales & Marketing Ideas for Agencies Part 1 of 3

From the Insurance Journal

Insurance Journal has listened to readers, spoken with experts, combed through columns and articles and even searched outside insurance circles to find the best sales and marketing tips for independent agencies today. Here are 101 ideas, in no particular order.

1 – Know Your Client
Be alert to details that matter to the client and recognize what makes every encounter with each client unique. Our brand promise, “Because You’re Different,” hinges on employees knowing their distinctive clients and sustaining a positive relationship. Tell your client things you are doing for them that they might not know about and make a point to ask them questions about their business. – Jackie Donnelly, Heffernan Insurance Brokers

2 – Link Up
Ask key commercial clients for their permission to include a link to their websites on your agency’s website. You can bet they will give you their OK and will probably appreciate your loyalty to them, which should help you bond with a long-term client. – Phil Tuccy, Insurance Group Consulting LLC

3 – Share Problems
Make the customer’s problem your problem. – Scott Mikkelsen, Mikkelsen, Kelly, & Kipp Insurance

4 – Mobile Friendly
Make your insurance website mobile-friendly so your customers on-the-go can easily access your information if they need it. – Laird Rixford, Insurance Technologies Corp.

5 – Customer’s Shoes
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Think: “If I were them, what questions would I ask?” – Scott Mikkelsen, Mikkelsen, Kelly, & Kipp Insurance

origin_147544232photo credit: BlueSunFlower via photopin cc 

6 – Referral Partnerships
Enter into a mutually beneficial agreement with a referral partner (i.e., accountant, car dealership) with the objective of sending each other hot leads. I gain a lot of new business using this approach. – Eric Lanzillotta, CBIA Insurance Agency Inc.

7 – Foot in the Door
For commercial insurance: Drop off a cookie in the shape of a foot to a prospective insured. The cookie should have a note attached that says, “Trying to get my foot in the door.” – Trisha Wright, The Hartford.

8 – Checklists
Use coverage and exposure checklists to increase sales. By doing the job of a professional insurance agent, you will also create a great reputation for yourself. – Chris Burand, Burand & Associates LLC

9 – Make Friends
Stop pushing product and price. Make friends and they will become your best clients. – Al Diamond, Agency Consulting Group Inc.

10 – Thank You
Send a handwritten thank you card to clients when they send you referrals and say the following, “The sincerest form of flattery to my agency is in a referral from you, our client. Thank you so much for your vote of confidence and we will take special care of your referral.” Then enclose two more of your business cards. – Catherine Oak, Oak & Associates

11 – Measurements
Measure customer sentiment with social media – not just negative, but positive, too. If your customers are singing you praises, use that to tell more people about your great customer service and get some real marketing mileage out of it. – Don Wolff, Astute Solutions

12 – Umbrellas
Sell increased limits on umbrella policies. Invite personal and small commercial lines umbrella insureds to increase their policy limits beyond $1 million. Many CSRs and producers write a small umbrella once – and then forget to suggest adding another million, or more, at renewal time. – Alan Shulman, www.AgencyIdeas.com

13 – Promote Your Website
Promote your website on all of your marketing. This could include business cards, brochures, emails and social media. Basically, anywhere you have your agency logo, your URL should be there, too. – Laird Rixford, Insurance Technologies Corp.

14 – Turn to Your State Association 
If you have an agency challenge, chances are that someone else has already faced it – and solved it. Turn to your state agents’ association for a broad range of solutions to problems you face as an agent or agency principal. – Sharon Emek, Work At Home Vintage Employees (WAHVE)

15 – Screen Share
It’s not always possible to get an in-person appointment. Using easy-to-use screenshare technology such as Join.me is a good way to share a presentation, or go through your website while you’ve got the prospect or client on the phone. – Julie Tinney, Insurance Journal

16 – Virtual Checks
Use remote deposit to electronically deposit checks without leaving the office. Remote deposit captures images of both sides of checks, analyzes them for image quality and authenticity, and automatically balances deposits before submission. That makes the bank available 24/7, saves time and money, and boosts security. Remote deposit does not require application software, and uses a scanner (typically provided by the bank) as well as a PC with an Internet connection. – Mary Grazen, InsurBanc, a division of Connecticut Community Bank N.A.

17 – Great Customer Service
It’s not a secret tactic, but it is the most effective one. When our agents provide customers with outstanding service, they show their appreciation by giving us referrals. – Trident Insurance Agency

18 – Give Them Something
Never leave your client or prospect empty-handed. Give them something useful and informative that will make them think of you every time they see it and use it. – Christopher J. Boggs, Academy of Insurance, www.IJAcademy.com

19 – Track New Business Appointments
New business production is the ultimate indicator of sales performance, but understanding meaningful activity may be the missing piece of your sales management platform. – Tommy McDonald, MarshBerry

20 – Website Design
A well-designed website will serve as the hub of all digital agency marketing. When done well, it can serve multiple purposes: customer service, education, sales, retention. – Laird Rixford, Insurance Technologies Corp.

21 – Tracking Metrics
Growing agencies have one thing in common: They track where every new piece of business is coming from, so they know which marketing efforts are paying off. They also track the number of policies per client, so they know whether they are building deeper relationships. – Jeff Yates, Agents Council for Technology

22 – X the Lingo
Get rid of lingo and find a way to talk to clients in words and phrases they can easily understand. – Anonymous

23 – Strategize
All marketing needs a strategy and a goal. You want to post a banner? Send an email to a list? Start a newsletter? Great. Why? – Anonymous

24 – Double Referrals
Create a referral program that rewards existing and new customers. This creates a win-win which is naturally what a referral should be. Dropbox and Uber have successful referral programs that award the existing customer and new customer with bonus storage and service credit when the new customer signs up. – Josh Carlson, Wells Media Group

25 – Believe in Your Brand
Passion is contagious. If you love where you work, shout it to the rooftops. Let others know why your agency is the best. You’ll be much more likely to generate genuine enthusiasm, which could drive more customers to use your services. – Aimee Woodall, The Black Sheep Agency

26 – Data Goldmine
For more than 20 years, agencies have had the most lucrative gold mine locked up in customer data. You may have 20 valuable nuggets of information about every client in your system: birthdays, claims, policies held, policies not held, ex-dates and so forth. So, if you’ve got 5,000 customers, you’ve got 100,000 pieces of information …that changes every single day. Technology exists to turn that “dead data” into a marketing goldmine. – Michael Jans, Agency Revolution

27 – Be in Position to See Opportunity
Work hard and try to put yourself in a position where, if luck strikes, you can see the opportunity and take advantage of it. – Mark Cuban, chairman of HDNet

28 – Drip Marketing
Use a consistent drip marketing campaign: Bring value by providing useful info or ideas. You will be (hopefully) top-of-mind when the need for services will arise. – Brad Tamulski, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners

29 – Unique Landing Pages
Use landing pages that are designed to match specific marketing campaigns (e.g., an email sent to auto insurance prospects should link to a landing page that discusses auto insurance and matches the design of the email). This will improve your conversion rate. – Laird Rixford, Insurance Technologies Corp.

30 – Social Media Content
Provide useful, engaging content on social media to attract new customers and retain relationships with existing ones. Always remember that social media is conversational. Never ignore anyone. Respond to all inquiries, comments, etc. – Valerie Foster, Monitor Liability Managers

31 – Community Like Its
Partner with a community charity on Facebook. Preferred Insurance Services is partnering with Pet Project Rescue in Minneapolis until the beginning of September in the hopes of garnering $500 for the non-profit. Preferred has committed to donating $1 to PPR for every new “like” it gets on its Facebook page between now and then. In just three weeks, Preferred doubled its fan base – and raised nearly $200 for PPR in the process. – Preferred Insurance Services

32 – Don’t Forget to Ask
Ask for the business. After showing value and laying out distinct advantages of a partnership, be clear about asking for business. You will either get it or find out remaining obstacles. – Brad Tamulski, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partner

33 – Community Involvement 
Savvy agencies and their employees are becoming increasingly involved in local causes to support their communities, and these efforts are generating new clients for them – clients who want to support businesses striving to make the community better. – Jeff Yates, Agents Council for Technology

 

Abram Interstate Insurance Services, Inc. is a California wholesale insurance broker (CMGA) that has licensing and expertise to place business in both admitted and non-admitted markets for personal lines insurance and commercial lines insurance in California and surrounding areas. 

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