Abram Interstate Insurance Services, Inc., CMGA

Helping Independent Insurance Agents Since 1996

101 Tips for your Insurance Agency for Sales & Marketing – Part 2

Published on August 14, 2014

101 Sales & Marketing Ideas for Agencies Part 2 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.

34 – Target Marketing
Smart call – target certain industries/client sizes/etc. and tell them exactly why you’ve identified them as benefiting from what you have to offer. Prospects can be more receptive. – Brad Tamulski, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners

35 – Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is more than tweeting/posting and running; it is roll-up-your-sleeves interactive work that builds solid relationships and reputations. – Tammy Elizabeth Southin, social media marketing consultant

36 – Show You Care
Show your customers you care by helping them when they’re in trouble, responding quickly and effectively to complaints, or providing sympathetic feedback. It’s up to you to build a symmetrical feedback loop of appreciation and understanding. – Aimee Woodall, The Black Sheep Agency

37 – Clients in Common
Find out from each of your key clients who their attorney and CPA is, and then contact those professionals and let them know you have the same good clients in common. It gets the attorney and CPA to send you more referrals because their clients use you. – Catherine Oak, Oak & Associates

38 – Video Testimonials
Collect mini-video testimonials. Identify your happiest and most influential insureds. Ask them for a brief video testimonial you can tactfully use. A 6-second Vine or 15-second Instagram video recorded on your smartphone can be fun for your insured and for you. Use them online for marketing purposes and display them in-person when actively selling. – Alan Shulman, www.AgencyIdeas.com

39 – Bigger Footprint
You have a license to sell insurance throughout your state, or more. Then do it. One of my clients shot from 95 contractors to 2,000 in four years. Her small town location did not dictate a small town marketing plan. – Michael Jans, Agency Revolution

40 – Email
Use email marketing to cross sell. – Laird Rixford, Insurance Technologies Corp.

41 – Decide Once and For All
Average marketing will flow from the unconscious decision to be “OK” with an average agency. Great marketing will flow from the decision to be great. Insanely great marketing will flow from the decision to be insanely great. It’s up to you, cowboy. – Michael Jans, Agency Revolution

42 – Go Out of Your Way
Going out of your way to help a customer will likely benefit you in terms of customer retention and word-of-mouth. But it’s also just a genuinely good thing to do – and that’s worth something, too. – Aimee Woodall, The Black Sheep Agency

43 – Buyer’s Remorse Review
What do you do when you discover that your personal or commercial prospect’s policies just renewed? One response is to target their post-sale period of uncertainty and offer to provide a “buyer’s remorse review.” Your prompt second opinion can open an unsure prospect’s mind to many valid criticisms. – Alan Shulman, www.AgencyIdeas.com

44 – Free Coffee
We have a promotion on our website that offers a $5 Starbucks giftcard for referring a friend to our agency. – Trident Insurance Agency

45 – Build a Community
There is strength in numbers. Look for people who are excited about the work you do and highlight them. Create an ambassador program to get even more people involved. You’ll suddenly find your brand popping up in more places: in conversations, blog posts and “Best Company” lists. – Aimee Woodall, The Black Sheep Agency

46 – Dissatisfaction Surveys
What’s wrong with your insurance? Don’t use the same old “let me quote” approach when soliciting commercial lines. Instead, employ a business “dissatisfaction survey” to differentiate yourself and to let the buyer vent about what’s wrong with his current insurance program. When you know exactly what bugs him, you can provide a custom solution. – Alan Shulman, www.AgencyIdeas.com

47 – Turn to Training
The industry’s nonprofit organizations are a rich source of training and education. The CPCU Society, ceu.com, AIMS Society, and NAPSLO are a few of the national organizations that offer specialized classes in property/casualty insurance. Local associations and affiliates also are helpful and even more accessible. – Sharon Emek, Work At Home Vintage Employees (WAHVE)

48 – Featured Partners
We feature prospective clients and existing clients’ companies on our “partners” page for cross referrals. – Trident Insurance Agency

49 – Email Drips
Set up email drips in an automated agency marketing system to automatically follow up on every prospect over a period of time. This will help keep your agency in front of the consumer without you having to remember to do the follow up. – Laird Rixford, Insurance Technologies Corp.

50 – Shopping Carts
We have our president’s picture on shopping carts! We advertise our agency at the local grocery stores. – Trident Insurance Agency

51 – Reduce Redundancy
Maintain your records and solidify your data with data download. – Real Time/Download Campaign co-chair Joyce Sigler, Jones & Wenner Insurance Agency

52 – Consider Your Audience
It’s all about the customer experience. Think about their experience and what they’re going through. Gather feedback. Consider what they like and what they don’t like. Try and fix the things they don’t like. Use their recommendations and concerns to change your company’s tactics or direction. Your customers will appreciate it. – Aimee Woodall, The Black Sheep Agency

53 – Real Time Saves Real $$$$ 
Implementing real-time functions in your agency saves time and money. A typical agency with four CSRs each doing 15 transactions per day via real time (versus a company website) will save 90 days of CSR time and $14,400 annually, according to surveys. – Real Time/Download Campaign co-chair Stuart Durland, Seely & Durland Insurance

54 – Be Quick
Be quick and responsive to a client’s need. When I get a referral or an Internet lead, I try to make contact right away. – Anonymous

55 – Soft Stalking
If a prospect is not responding, begin following their company on Twitter and Facebook and participate. It’s surprising how many business-owners and CEOs actually check to see their new likes and followers. This is particularly true of smaller companies. It’s just another way to get your name in front of them without asking to personally connect on social media with someone you’ve never met, which can be creepy. – Julie Tinney, Insurance Journal

56 – Virtual Connections
Use your existing technology to give producers immediate system access while they’re working remotely. Two technologies built into Windows make it as secure to connect to the office server from across the country as from across the hallway: virtual private networks (VPNs) and remote desktop protocol (RDP). – Frank Sentner, Work At Home Vintage Employees (WAHVE)

57 – Online Banking 
Use online banking to streamline processes. Sending and receiving funds electronically, transferring funds between accounts, scheduling direct deposit of payroll, and creating wire transfers are all ways to be more efficient as an agency. Bankers familiar with insurance agencies can help develop programs to create an efficient process in managing agency funds and accounts. – Mary Grazen, InsurBanc, a division of Connecticut Community Bank N.A.

58 – Varied Methods
If you put all your time and energy into social media, you may end up ignoring the potential customers who aren’t on social media. Embrace a variety of marketing methods to succeed, including everything from face-to-face interaction to grassroots tactics. – Aimee Woodall, The Black Sheep Agency

59 – Set Up Knowledge Transfer
Experienced workers are valuable sources of insurance expertise. Before they retire (and 10,000 Americans hit retirement age every day) and take their institutional knowledge with them, set them up as mentors for newer and younger producers and employees in your agency. – Sharon Emek, Ph.D., Work At Home Vintage Employees (WAHVE)

60 – Real People
Delete your Facebook, delete your Twitter, meet real people, sell insurance. – Josh Carlson, Wells Media Group

61 – Listen Carefully
Listening to clients’ concerns and answering their insurance questions thoroughly is extremely important in maintaining mutual trust. The client trusts that you are looking out for their best interests and that you are providing them with expert industry advice. – Trident Insurance Agency

62 – Be the First to Know 
If you are tired that your agency’s not getting data before your customers do, encourage your carriers to initiate activity/notifications for real-time notifications and policy data. – Real Time/Download Campaign co-chair Joyce Sigler, Jones & Wenner Insurance Agency

63 – Become an Expert
Encourage your producers to develop an expertise on an industry group or technical niche, and become the go-to person in the marketplace. Enhance the reputation by participating in national events, publishing articles and hosting seminars on the subject. – Laura Sherman, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners

64 – Carrier Help
Ask your carriers for content to use on your marketing materials, website, blogs or social media. They have a wealth of information to share about risk trends and industry changes, as well as claim examples/scenarios. Also, follow them on LinkedIn or Twitter, and you can share or re-Tweet any relevant information. – Valerie Foster, Monitor Liability Managers

65 – In-House Social Media
We have an in-house social marketing consultant that stays up-to-date with our blog and social media sites. They reach out to local businesses and post useful insurance tips that elicit calls to our agency for quotes. – Trident Insurance Agency

66 – Amplify Success
Rather than trying to accomplish all of your promotion goals at once, focus on growing over time. Once you gain recognition, whether it’s a mention from an important influencer on social media or a front-page story, you can use that to show more potential audiences why your brand matters. – Aimee Woodall, The Black Sheep Agency

 

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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