Being an insurance agent is a game of relationships and is therefore one of the more social career paths available, but being an insurance agent is much more than knowing how to keep a conversation going. Neighborhoods and communities are always shifting, with families moving away and new people moving in. Over time, demographics can shift and change dramatically too, creating new possibilities to meet new members of the community with entirely different insurance needs.
What Is Networking?
Networking within one's own community is vital for new insurance agents, but even veteran agents need to re-scour their neighborhoods to meet new faces. Our warm market is always the first territory to explore when seeking new clients.
Networking for insurance agents means being involved in organizations, chambers, attending conferences and meetups, clubs (of all types) and pretty much joining any online communities and any network you can latch onto.
Fast and Targeted Networking for Insurance Agents
As for creating a network of shoppers, buying quality insurance leads is the most cost-effective choice. Networking events are important but not as immediate and relatively cheap as insurance leads when you consider the fact that you spend more time establishing and developing relationships than when you meet people who are actively shopping for insurance right then and there.
The fact of the matter is that insurance shoppers are buying insurance differently nowadays. They want to do as much of the footwork online as possible. If they could, they'd bind a policy online but even when that's not possible, many people are using the Internet at some point in their shopping process.
If you're an insurance agent that is interested in a cost-effective lead program with account managers who are dedicated to seeing you succeed, call SmartFinancial: 877.323.7750.
Buy Online Leads to Cut Down on Networking Events
Why not buy leads from a company that collects data from shoppers who are actively looking for insurance online? Live transfer calls are a bit more expensive but even more effective because the shopper is on the phone and ready for a quote. These leads are qualified, which makes the process of quoting very easy.
Depending on the zip code(s) you choose as your target area(s), you may talk to someone who lives down the street, a few towns away or in another state. If you have a license to operate in other states, you can grow your network beyond your home base without ever leaving home.
Everything is virtual these days, so the insurance agent with the ability to buy insurance leads in as many states as possible will do very well using those leads as a surefire way to grow your base in several pockets of the country, without any overnight stays in another state. Getting your non-resident insurance license is easy.
Most consumers are not going to events based on their insurance-buying needs, correct? So how do you choose which networking event in your local community will work for you and which is a waste of time?
The first step in making networking events work for your insurance business is by asking yourself where people who need the lines of insurance you sell will most likely be. If it's homeowners insurance you're selling, there are many options for home improvement events near you.
Contact all the businesses that offer home renovation services and tools and ask them about their upcoming networking event. Home remodeling and decorating shows take place in convention centers in most cities so ask people in the business! Home and garden shows abound too, usually in the summertime.
Did you know that most moms pay mortgage payments? Attend mom-focused functions and become active in local schools. Volunteer for activities that abound with moms. When it comes to creative marketing ideas, insurance agents need to think outside the box to create their own leads. Home insurance is usually bundled in the payment (unbeknownst to the insured!). Make it your job to perfect an elevator pitch about the fact that most people pay too much for homeowners insurance, especially if it was chosen by their lender, who is not overly concerned with saving them money.
Retention and Cross-selling
Insurance agencies that educate their customers usually retain their business. Independent insurance agents can offer competing quotes, and captive agents can sing the praises of their insurance company.
If you're looking to make auto insurance sales, getting the homeowner to switch a home insurance policy and bundling that policy with auto for a discount is more money in your pocket and big savings for your insurance client.
Do I Need Business Cards These Days?
Making an in-person connection often goes much farther than a connection on social media, so bring the tools that will help you when you do attend networking events.
You may not need business cards to generate leads if you buy them, but if you are taking part in local events, you'll want your business cards as a reminder of who you are, even if you're the one doing the follow-up.
New leads see a business card as a source of legitimacy. A hesitant potential client will be relieved to see your degree(s) and insurance agent number on your business car. And handing prospects a business card after your sales pitches will help them remember your name. A handshake and a smile go a long way too.
What Is Social Networking?
Social networking sites are the same social media channels the kids use. If "social networking" is a catch-phrase you keep hearing but you didn't know what it means, chances are that you're not all set up on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Even if you don't have more than a landing page or two as a website, you still need to be very active on social media.
Create Business Pages
Business networking requires social media activity. It's just how it works these days! Get your business pages ready to go and your accounts fired up on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and maybe even Snapchat and Tik-Tok.
Send a LinkedIn connection request to all the businesses that can help you sell insurance, and get them to like you on Facebook and the other channels.
Make quick, 30-second videos about insurance-related topics and post your lovely face online and do your elevator pitch for a wide audience.
Or, get off-topic and share your community involvement, which will ultimately be more rewarding than a sales pitch and is more likely to garner attention.
Networking Tips: Insurance Talk
If you're wondering how to market insurance online, just remember that you want to come across as caring, warm, kind, even funny. Create hilarious videos, touching videos, witty memes. Whatever it is that you decide to broadcast, the best marketing ideas for insurance agents are campaigns that move people. Anything that will lead to a human connection will work to your benefit.
Experiment and figure out what works and what doesn't. For a new insurance agent, marketing ideas may be slow to come. See what your more successful competitors are doing. Resist the urge to be a copycat. Don't replicate your competition's campaigns but get a sense of how they all come together. You really don't want to steal the ideas of other people--and not just because it's bad sport, but also because everyone is unique.
Be genuine and true to who you are in every social media post, especially as someone who serves a very real need in the community. If you're an independent insurance agent put the emphasis on choice. If you're a captive agent, really nail down why you stand behind the insurance company you represent.
Stay in Touch
The best leads and the best commissions often take a while to close. Stay in touch with your leads until the bitter end. Never assume that the door is closed until you hear a firm no. The same goes for buying insurance leads. You should be contacting a lead at least 8 to 10 times before hanging up your hat. If you're out to genuinely help people, it will come through and you will sell policies. You may even get a referral when you don't make a sale.
Don't just call. Try emails and texts. Sometimes, people are slow to have a live discussion.
Do Insurance Networking Groups Help?
Generally speaking, unless you sell several verticals, another insurance agent is not out to help you by giving you leads. However, Insurance groups and Insurance Professionals Meetups are a great way to meet others doing exactly what you do. You can share stories, learn from each other and de-stress. There are many benefits to meeting others with the same struggles as you have and learning from others will help you prevent making mistakes along the way too.
If you want to join a group that gives you support and does most of the work of finding prospects shopping for insurance, call SmartFinancial's lead program.