How to Prospect Small Business Owners

Topics: Agent Resources

The process of transforming a high quality prospect into a client can depend drastically on the prospect’s industry, business size, and personality. As an independent insurance agent, it’s your job to navigate through all of these factors to find a winning selling strategy. So here are five ways you can win over a small business prospect for small business insurance agents.

Start with a Positive Relationship

In our article 5 Marketing Tools Every Agent Needs in their Toolkit, we brought up some excellent marketing tools and techniques that agents can use to write more business. One of those tools is social media management tools, which allow you to create and implement a social media marketing strategy across multiple social channels (including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn).

Using social media to start a positive, non-sales-related relationship with your prospects is an excellent way to build trust and mutual respect. Facebook is a great place to connect with small business prospects because they’re already there looking for their own potential customers. Twitter is an excellent way to share educational and informative articles or discuss the news of the day. And LinkedIn is a one-stop-shop for all things business, which is especially perfect for starting a conversation about a prospect’s business and insurance needs.

Bond on a Personal LevelStrong relationships are the foundation for future sales and agency growth.

Once you capture a prospect’s attention through social media or another marketing campaign, it’s time to start a lasting relationship that will see your partnership through the good and bad times. As an agent, you want to make sure that whether your clients are enjoying a great year in their business or they’re having a bit of a hard time in their personal life, that you’re still their go-to person for small business insurance. Bonding over mutual interests and passions is a tried-and-true sales method. And with small business insurance it’s even more important than in some other sales fields. It’s no surprise that many successful agents are pretty good golfers, or that they have a stack of fun branded marketing materials to give out each season. These are the things that can seal a business partnership that lasts a lifetime.

Educate, Don’t Sell

Last week we wrote a post on Why Successful Agents Don’t Sell to their Prospects, but we’re going to bring it up again because educating (and not selling) is a really effective way for agents to earn and keep small business clients. In some selling spaces, like in a retail store or on the phone with a utility service provider, a selling experience is expected by the customer. But in a B2B selling space, an entirely different experience is expected by your potential clients.

Instead of feeling as though they’ve been won over, small business prospects want to feel as though they made the decision for themselves. And that’s why it’s so important for agents to provide education and information that allows prospects to come to their own conclusion—that you (and your product) are what’s best for their business.

Let the Prospect Take the Lead

Physical and digital environment is incredibly important for making your sales goals. And just as you wouldn’t try to sell a luxury sports coupe to someone looking at an economy sedan, finding the right product for your small business prospects is integral to meeting your annual goals.

Now, if your customer ought to be looking at a product that far exceeds what they think they need, educate the client and let them make the decision. But in all cases, remember that clients know their business better than anyone. And that they’ll be more willing to work with you if they feel that you understand and trust their decision-making.

Add Value to their Business

Add value to earn your client's trust, respect, and business.

Winning over a small business prospect is not the same as with a larger company. The budget is tighter, the stakes are higher, and the owner is likely still in the thick of it all in terms of purchasing and major decision-making. That means that a successful independent insurance agent will need to add value to the prospect’s business in order to make the sale.

The competition in the field has never been more competitive, and as many companies go digital, independent agents will need new and inventive ways to earn and keep small business accounts. Great ways to add value include educating customers on relevant industry developments and offering quality solutions to their main concerns.

This material can be delivered through an email marketing campaign, social media marketing campaign, or as a flyer or white paper. If leveraged correctly, marketing materials and creative assets can be used as a powerful lead generation tool that will help small business insurance agents write more business.

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