Most agents run themselves in circles trying to find leads--and that is totally normal. What happens, if you are selling optimally, is that you circle back to existing clients. When this starts happening often, it means you need to branch out, or else you’ll cap yourself off.
We always advise agents to get a foothold on communities that are a good distance away from the office as soon as possible. This is true for many reasons, including the fact that the outdated business model of working within a 5-mile radius has changed because of new technologies. However, it’s important to continue maximizing your efforts at home as well. We tell you how below.
Start Networking with Other Businesses in Your Area
Every business branches off into lots of leads if you open your eyes. Consider your accountant alone. All of his or her clients could be yours too. To make that wish come true, refer your existing clients to your accountant as tax season approaches and tell your clients to mention you. Your referrals will mean so much more than someone else’s, because you work in the personal finance sector. After bringing in a whole new crop of clients for your accountant, ask for the same courtesy from your accountant in return. You’ll be surprised how glad he or she will be to reciprocate the great gift you just gave. Giving is often the precursor of receiving.
Now, take that model and apply it to every person you know--existing clients or not. It doesn’t matter if that person is a real estate agent, a grocery store clerk, a teacher at the local school or the CEO of a company. Find a way to genuinely help that person professionally and ask for leads in exchange. Make a list of the people you know and start listing ways you can be of value to that person. Start attending local events to catch up with folks you haven’t talked to in a while to grow your list.
Cross Promote Your Business in a Blog
Now that you’ve gotten a few businesses to give you some attention, next thing you want to do is focus on getting mentioned on their website. First, offer them a guest blogging role on your website. They can write a relevant article for your blog and insert a link to their own products and services (backlinking). Ask if you can do the same on their website. Not only will you be creating backlinks to your own website you’ll also be visible to a whole new audience, which is miraculously filled with many potential leads.
Remember that the only people reading a business’s web pages are people interested in specific services. Some people will be entering their website based on searches while others will be existing clients. Let’s again say you are cross-promoting with your accountant. Consider writing an article about a tax-related insurance topic. For example, you can write about when and how to write off your car and auto insurance. Or, if you have a home business, how you can write off your rent or mortgage. In the article, offer a discount to your associate’s existing clientele.
You’ll be surprised by how many businesses are ready to jump in and help you after you’ve made yourself valuable to them. Sometimes, the connections made are obvious ones, other times, they can be surprising. Regardless, embrace them all because each one can propel you forward in a unique way.
It’s also not a secret that most consumers are pretty savvy at recognizing self-promotion. When a prospect reads something about you on a third party’s website, there’s more value in that mention because it’s not obviously written by you. People will trust it more because it’s not self-serving, or so they think.
Cross Promote on Social Media
Now, promote the blog articles you and your connection are writing on your respective social media channels, especially Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You can also post photographs or videos of you socializing with one another (yes, put a face behind your brands) or -- even better -- taking part in a charitable cause!
Cross Promote with Local Coffee Shops
Cross promote with all the coffee shops near you (with or without another business owner). Express interest in doing a sort of coffee version of open bar. Buy a handful of people coffee, first come first serve, at a specific time of day. Have the coffee shop hand out a flyer or postcard that introduces who you are. Say something like, “Hi, I’m [insert name]! Your coffee is on me! Thank you for taking the time to find out how you can save on Homeowners Insurance.” You get the idea. Not only will the coffee shop get some business, so will you! Plus, who doesn’t love a free cup of coffee?
Cross Promotions in Newsletters
Remember again to put others first and offer a neary business a mention in your next newsletter. Really give it your all to get that person some business. Afterwards, ask if they can mention you in their newsletter. Get in the habit of promoting local businesses you feel deserve a thumbs up. You’ll notice they’ll start mentioning you too.
The great thing about newsletters is that they often target the entirety of a business’s contact list (or at least a partial list) in one shot. They also tend to sell products or services. This is a wonderful way of making an introduction and making that special offer. Use this opportunity wisely. Make sure to create content that will make the reader take action and call you for a quote.
Co-sponsor a Good Cause or a Sports Team
Basically, you’ll pay for whatever is needed to manage a local soccer team or a cancer walk for a good mention. Splitting the sponsorship fees with a partner (or more than 1 partner!) makes this a very affordable way to bring more exposure to your business. Not only will you and your partner(s) be benefiting from each other’s clients, but you’ll be get some exposure from the charity’s followers too. And don’t forget the good cause.
Get Influencers to Write About Your Cross Promotions/Causes/Teams
Find local bloggers and other influencers to shine some light on your activities with other businesses. The more you get mentioned by people with any type of following, the better business will be.
You’ll eventually cap off in your area, but that’s a good thing. All you have to do to keep growing is to start buying leads throughout the state and repeating what you did at home through more remote networks. If you’re buying insurance leads from a reliable source like SmartFinancial, you will have a great ROI and you’ll be gaining a footing in areas you can’t reach through local efforts.
Good luck to you as you partner with other businesses in your community. Not only will you have fun getting out and meeting some new people, you’ll be making important business connections and bringing yourself some positive exposure. Whether you’re an independent agent or a captive one, these tactics will boost your sales.