6 Outreach Tactics of Successful Insurance Agents
Whether introverted or extroverted, reaching out to prospects can be a nerve-rattling thing. In doing so, you are attempting to connect with strangers and convince them to give you their business. The very threat of being sold to triggers a defense mechanism in the mind of your prospect. This can put you at a disadvantage if you are too sales-y in your approach. To help, we’ve put together a list of 6 outreach tactics that are commonly used by successful insurance agents. Try one of these if you don’t feel comfortable in those initial meetings.
1. Successful insurance agents get involved locally
Insurance sales and marketing may be moving to the online world with greater frequency, but it’s still a profession that depends greatly on your ground game, especially when you consider that insurance is regulated locally by each state.
The acts of getting out, meeting people, and being seen as an insurance agent in the community where you live, can acclimate the people most likely to be your customers to what you do; and whether the product is auto, life, renters, homeowners, or health, everyone needs insurance. Lucky for you, it’s a product where trust still plays a huge role in building long-term customers. The more present you are in your community and with your chamber of commerce, the more easily established your trustworthiness will become.
2. Efficient marketing is key to a successful insurance agent’s playbook
There is advertising, and there is traditional marketing. Advertising is not inherently a bad word, but it can be more difficult to gauge since you may have difficulty determining the amount of cumulative impressions necessary before getting a lead that converts into a sale.
Marketing is more laser-precise. The very word implies that you first find the market that is after what you’re selling, and that you then optimize your spend towards that individual or group. Online tools have revolutionized how people spend their ad dollars, and successful insurance agents understand this.
That’s why they make sure their online presence is optimized for local SEO. They promote consistent branding across all channels and target geo-specific keyword combinations to push their name as much to the top of local search results as possible. It also doesn’t hurt to have free content pertinent to what your prospects will be most likely searching.
3. Successful insurance agents think about disruption
Disruption can be a scary word, especially for insurance agents, who’ve lived for more than a decade under the threat of direct sales or a Google or Walmart entering the insurance fray.
Yet if you look at the statistics, insurance agents are not falling behind. They are still looked at as an integral part of the insurance sales transaction. That’s because insurance is too important to “go it alone,” and customers understand that. In fact, October 2015 findings from the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) found that customers are still actively pursuing business through insurers’ as well as independent agents.
In other words, over two decades into this whole Internet thing, your customers still like you. Still, technology has initiated a number of changes in the profession over that same period of time, and it never hurts to think about disruption. By thinking about it, planning for it, and strategizing around it, successful agents are able to tailor their outreach plans for new sales environments.
4. Data awareness factors into the successful insurance agent’s interactions
Successful insurance agents are fully aware of the individuality and uniqueness of their prospects, but they also know how to adjust their approach based on common factors. For example, a young husband and wife buying their first home may be thinking about starting a family.
Successful insurance agents know how that one buying decision is likely to factor into other future buying decisions — upgrading cars, getting a life insurance policy, etc. By knowing the prospect’s current prospects, they can plan a probable trajectory and more easily move the conversation to other products that can save the prospect money (through bundling) while giving them adequate coverage.
The data on this particular prospect type can be an effective conversation starter that leads to gaining a loyal lifetime customer.
5. Great insurance agents think like their prospects
Another word — and perhaps a better description for this item — is that successful insurance agents are able to demonstrate empathy.
Empathy and sympathy are two different things. When someone loses a loved one, you feel sympathy for their loss. But when you empathize, you actually feel the loss yourself.
Apply this logic to each prospect or lead that you contact. Try to understand what they’re going through and connect it to your own experiences. How did you feel when you went through something similar? What were your primary concerns? What was your path forward? Who were some of the people, who really helped you through specific situations, and how did they do it?
These questions and exercises do not have to be about something tragic. They could just as easily be associated with a positive memory in your life. The point is, if you approach your prospect from a place of sincerity and empathy, then you’ll be more likely to connect with them and turn them into a customer.
6. Insurance agents who routinely find success know when to follow up
A defeatist mentality for an insurance agent would look something like this: you meet with the prospect, they tell you that they will think about it, you follow up once to find out they’ve gone another direction, and then you never attempt to contact them again.
Successful agents know better than this. They realize that today’s “no” could become a future customer three or four years down the road.
It’s important to have no hard feelings and to try and keep that bond between you and the prospect intact. Then, casually try to follow up and start the outreach all over again around the time of policy renewals.
Use your phone or computer or some form of modern technological wizardry to help you keep up with these things, and your persistency could pay off the minute that your “no” finds out the grass isn’t greener with his current provider. So much of achieving customer longevity in the insurance profession is based on relationship marketing, and if you do what the successful insurance agents do, you will leave quite an impression.
Reaching out to new prospects and leads can be intimidating, but if you localize your approach, build an effective online marketing platform, think ahead, and work to understand the psychology involved, you will have a well-established agency over the long haul. Good luck!