Topics: Agent Resources
Growing your business as an independent insurance agent is challenging. It requires steadfast determination, creativity, and flexibility, especially in today’s changing industry. Successful agents in today’s evolving economy are changing the way they’ve done business before to move with the times.
In many cases, successful agents don’t sell to their prospects, but choose to use education and marketing instead to entice potential clients to come to them. According to a 2015 article from Forbes.com, consumers not only want to know the problems that a product can solve, but what relevant experts think of the product.
An educated and informed prospect will choose your business and your product because they understand its value. And when a client chooses to work with you because of the value you and your business bring to them, they’ll be more likely to stay on long term.
But what does it really mean to “educate” your prospects? It means that instead of hard selling yourself or your services to your prospects, you provide them with helpful information so they come to their own conclusions—that you are best positioned to serve their insurance needs.
For example, we recently posted an article titled, “The Rising Cost of Containing a Data Breach in the US.” Within the article, we explain that the cost of a data breach is rising rapidly in an increasingly complex digital world.
In order to educate our prospects (future AmTrust appointed agents), we provided a respected and trusted source of data, the IBM 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Overview by the Ponemon Institute.
In the content of the article, we provide the overview and implications of the study, but we also provided a link to the actual study so that agents can use it to their own advantage. In other words, we educate our prospects about a real-world issue that they are concerned about, and we add value by providing a resource they can share with their own clients and prospects.
One of the biggest challenges facing independent small business insurance agents is the competition between the traditional insurance sales model and a more digital model. With the rise of the internet and a younger generation of business owners, many agents are finding it hard to compete with digital sales models.
But there are a lot of ways in which a website just can’t compete with an independent agent. And that’s why it’s so important to be flexible with your selling model and to switch to a client-centric style instead of a metric-centric one. But what does that look like, exactly?
As a vacuum sales person, you know that you have the best product. So in order to show proof-of-concept to your customers, you take the amazing vacuum directly to your customer’s house and offer to do a demo on their carpet. The demo goes great, the client thinks the product is great, but they already have a perfectly fine vacuum and don’t need to buy yours.
As a vacuum sales person, you know that your product is great for (a) people with allergies, (b) people with a lot of carpet in their home, (c) people with pets, and (d) people with small children. In fact, this vacuum can pick up 95% of dirt and bacteria on carpet and has a bunch of attachments for cleaning hardwood floors, tile, and dusting.
You start by educating your customers on the dangers of bacteria and the prevalence of common allergens in carpet with a pamphlet circulation or an email campaign to those prospects that fit your criteria. You might even use a paid Facebook campaign targeting women of child-bearing age because you know they’re more likely to purchase your product.
At the very end of the email or pamphlet, you mention that your vacuum product can help solve this problem and that they can schedule a demo to learn more. In the first week of the campaign, you get 5 people who would like to schedule a demo. These are your Marketing Qualified Leads.
During the scheduling process, you provide basic information about the product including pricing, capability, and availability. Those who actually schedule an in-home demo are your Sales Qualified Leads.
Then, you take the vacuum to their house, mention that this product picks up 95% of dirt and bacteria and show them the dirty filter after vacuuming a small section of their carpet. You’ve proven the concept, they’re already comfortable with the price point (or they wouldn’t have scheduled), and it’s up to you to close the deal.
This is just one example, and selling insurance is a bit different than selling vacuums. But what we often see in all kinds of B2B and B2C sales is that qualified leads are more likely to buy than a cold lead because they’re confident that your product is the answer to their problem.
Instead of starting your cyber liability prospects off with a sell sheet, consider adding them to an email list or newsletter where they’ll learn the dangers facing today’s businesses. Educate them on the online risks their company is facing that they might not already be aware of. By offering this added value, you are earning trust, growing your reputation, and strengthening your relationship with your prospects.
Marketing qualified leads will come to you, so you can spend less time selling and more time winning over your prospects. And once a prospect understands your product and has bought in to your business, then as a sales qualified lead, you can move on with them to selling your product with the knowledge that they are already confident in your product and your business.
One of the best ways to grow your independent insurance agency is to have a great product. As an AmTrust appointed agent, you’ll have access to a full suite of insurance policies and a support team that has your back. Learn more about our business and what we have to offer, then join our team as an AmTrust appointed agent.