In the insurance industry, clients are everything. Without them, you can't grow your business or succeed. Discovering new leads, even for an established agency, is hard work.
As a new insurance agent, trying to obtain leads and get your agency off the ground can feel downright frustrating. Many potential customers aren't actively looking for insurance products. They may not know they need insurance or think that it's a necessity. For some, the thought of planning for the inevitable (or potential devastating events) can be uncomfortable, so they put off looking for the products they need to protect their families.
How in the world are you supposed to get clients and grow your insurance agency if people aren't actively looking for what you have to offer? Let's take a look at how you can generate more leads and become a successful insurance agent.
Let's be real. National brands have saturated the insurance industry, which makes it really hard for local insurance agencies. How are shoppers supposed to find you when big-name businesses are everywhere? Big brands tend to conceal smaller companies, making it a challenge to stand out amongst them.
While traditional methods of marketing and word-of-mouth advertising have their place, they're not always the most effective. When people need anything these days, their first instinct is to turn to the internet. Shoppers looking for insurance products perform online searches to find companies and compare rates quickly. This means that an up-to-date digital marketing strategy is a must.
With the right tactics, your insurance agency can stand out from both the national and local competition. Being a successful insurance agent in 2021 means updating your website, optimizing it for organic search, creating valuable content, harnessing social media, and other digital strategies. These will help you get your name directly in front of the leads who need what you have to offer.
There are many types of insurance out there. It can be tempting to want to offer as many products as possible to gain as many customers as possible. Instead, consider filling a specific niche within the insurance world. Focus on one area of insurance and become its expert. You're likely to find more success this way than if you try covering all areas of the industry.
Here's the thing: independent insurance agents that specialize in niches within the industry have a leg up on the competition. They're able to increase their targeted leads and referrals, improve their retention rates, and boost their competitiveness. What's more, many agencies are adding personal lines such as auto insurance to their product mix, often bundling them with commercial lines to enhance offers to their business clients.
The benefit of specializing in one area is that it allows you to dig deeper. You can get a better understanding of the issues facing their customers. As a result, it allows you to figure out the best ways to solve those problems and provide effective solutions, including specialized coverage they might need.
In other words, finding your insurance niche means you gain an advantage over competing agents, raise your standing with your current clients, increase your referrals, and assure your success.
While focusing on a niche is valuable, you shouldn’t limit yourself to selling only those things within your area of expertise. Expand your offerings and consider selling personal, business, and life insurance products if you can. Doing so will help to broaden your customer base exponentially.
One way to do this is to become a “T-shaped” insurance agent. What this means is that you have expertise or depth of knowledge in one to three main areas of insurance (this is the horizontal line of the “T”) and general knowledge of others (the vertical line of the “T”). You might not be an expert in these areas, but you know enough about them to sell them and provide your customers the service they need.
Offering multiple product options benefits both your business and your clients. There's a good chance that they need more than one type of insurance. If you have other items they need, they'll probably stick with you, especially if they're already satisfied with your service. Having a "one-stop-shop" is convenient for them, and it's pretty great for you, too.
Your customers don't have to go through the trouble of trying to shop around for other insurance products if you offer what they need. It saves them time, effort, and frustration. At the same time, you benefit because not only do you keep them as a customer, but you're also selling more products.
With the world going digital and everyone hopping on social media, people in various industries, including insurance, often forget about good old-fashioned face-to-face networking. No amount of technology can replace networking with others in the real world. It helps to build meaningful relationships that can lead to opportunities.
There are plenty of places where you can network. Attend professional events in your area and trade business cards with attorneys, CPAs, mortgage brokers, and real estate agents. Connect with local community service organizations such as a VFW or rotary club. By meeting with other professionals in similar industries, you can make valuable connections that may bring more clients your way.
No matter where you go to meet with others, be sure to carry plenty of business cards. Keep your ear open for opportunities to introduce yourself and your business and share your expertise.
Even if people aren't interested in or in need of the products you're offering, they're likely to remember you down the line. They may also recommend you to someone else that they know if you provide them with solid, helpful advice.
The key to being successful here is listening more and speaking less. Listen first to get a better understanding of a potential insurance customer's needs. Pay attention to their questions and concerns. As the agent, you are the expert, but let them provide you with all of the essential information first. This helps you to guide them toward the products you offer that will benefit them the most.
Okay, so networking might not be everyone's favorite thing to do. Whether you enjoy it or not, it's essential to mix things up from time to time. As an alternative to professional networking events, visit some local meetup groups that interest you personally. Attend local trade shows, board meetings, chamber of commerce meetings, charity events, and more.
Become an active participant in your community. Volunteering with a local non-profit organization is a great way to make connections and engage your employees. At the same time, it can help make your business the go-to when someone mentions insurance.
Along with volunteering for a non-profit, take part in local events. Attend fairs, fundraisers, charity races, and sporting events. Offer to be a sponsor for an event and set up a booth. The more active you are, the more your name gets in front of the people who live in your community. When they need what you have to offer, your name will likely be one of the first that comes to mind.
You might also consider joining local social media groups. Don't just advertise there, however. Listen and become a part of the conversation.
Remember, you have valuable expertise to share. By contributing your knowledge and getting involved in your community, you'll have the opportunity to grow your connections and your reputation as an insurance industry thought leader.
Referrals are a great way to obtain new clients and grow your insurance business. Contact small businesses and professionals in your area that offer complementary services.
For example, if you have an auto insurance agency, connect with car dealerships and salespeople that can refer new car buyers to you for their car insurance needs. If you sell homeowners insurance, a real estate office can connect you with home buyers. Likewise, landlords can refer their tenants to you if you sell renters insurance. If this seems a little one-sided, consider offering incentives to these other business owners in exchange for their referrals.
Another option to consider is offering existing clients rewards or incentives for referring new customers to your agency. A referral marketing program can be very effective. Not only do your existing clients get rewarded for sending new potential clients your way, but your potential clients can get something too. Not to mention, you get something as well if the potential customers decide to sign up.
Before you implement an incentive system, make sure that you check your local laws to ensure it's legal to do so. You can easily find these laws through a quick Google search.
With hundreds of insurance companies each looking for new clients, it can feel like a monumental task to carve out a segment in the market for your new business. Additionally, some agencies may not be able to generate enough of their own leads to scale their businesses. Lead generation is one of the toughest challenges facing insurance companies.
Fortunately, there's something you can do. Purchasing leads is a popular solution that new insurance agents can use to kickstart successful agencies. It's also a reliable way for established companies to supplement their existing lead generation tactics.
If you're thinking about purchasing leads to grow your insurance company, look for a partner that sources all of its leads from its very own websites. Avoid insurance lead aggregators. Aggregators sell leads to multiple agents, meaning you have more competition. Leads from these types of services often get overwhelmed or frustrated by the sheer number of calls they receive from various agents. It can be a terrible experience for them and you.
When purchasing leads, you want a trustworthy partner that generates quality leads and provides them to you, and you alone. Good lead generation companies do more than offer exclusive leads. They also have:
Building a successful insurance agency takes hard work and perseverance. It also takes creativity and a lot of trial and error. When it comes to getting your business off the ground, running, and growing, remember this: do what works best for you.
The truth is that there's no single formula that you can follow to become a successful agent. What works well for one insurance company may not work for another, and vice versa. You may need to try a few different approaches, and that's okay. You may also find that a combination of strategies provides you with the best results.
Which strategy (or strategies) to take really depends on your agency and your target market. Some growth opportunities are going to work better for you than others depending on your market, competition, sales style, niche, and targeting. It can be frustrating at times, especially if things don't work out the way you want them to the first time. Have patience and keep going. Eventually, you'll find what works best for you.
Regardless of the insurance industry that you represent, Nectar can connect you directly with the shoppers you're looking for in a way that will help you grow your business. Nectar connects health, life, Medicare, auto, and home insurance shoppers with your business by matching what they're looking for with what you have to offer.
Nectar doesn't buy third-party leads to resell to you. Nor does Nectar compile and sell pre-generated leads that may have also gone to other insurance agents in your area. Nectar is a lead generator, producing brand-new quality leads for its customers. Referrals are fresh, real, and sold only to you.
Overall, Nectar creates a better experience for both you and your leads. You don't have to share, and they don't have to deal with a multitude of phone calls. Their experience remains personal and excellent, and an experience like this can make all the difference for the shopper.
Are you looking to generate quality leads for your insurance agency? Visit Nectar today to sign up and get started with growing your business!
This article reflects the features of Nectar as of the date of publication. Features are subject to change at any time. This article is meant for informational purposes only, it is not a guarantee that using Nectar will help you achieve specific business or financial results and is not intended to serve as the sole recommendation for any business financial decisions.