Key marketing instincts for insurance agents

One of my favorite marketing experts is Rohit Bhargava, author of Personality Not Included and top blogger at the Influential Marketing Blog.

Even with his extensive background and marketing knowledge-base, Bhargava’s information and insight is easy to digest and applicable regardless of skill level. One of his recent blog posts offered “7 Essential Social Media Instincts Everyone Should Learn“.

Are you using social media to connect with prospects and grow your insurance business? If you are, listen up! If you are not, still take note. The instincts he shares transcend social media and offer solid business insight, regardless of whether you focus your marketing efforts offline or online. Let’s apply Rohit’s 7 principles to your role as an insurance agent:

1) Be conversational. Do your prospects or customers look at you like you’re crazy when you’re telling them about actual cash value, assets or liability? Are you using insurance-speak? Clearly, there are technical terms that come with the territory, but do your best to explain any terms or phrases the average person is not going to understand or recognize. If you don’t, you may completely shut them down and lose the sale. The same goes for marketing your insurance business online. If you’re constantly selling, promoting and talking about Y-O-U, you WILL lose the sale. Try to engage your online audience. Use your true, authentic, everyday voice and write as you would speak.

2) Listen and respond consistently. Do you know what people are saying about you and/or your industry? Do you respond or are you silent? By listening well and responding calmly and confidently, you will position yourself as an expert. The more regularly (and wisely) you respond, the more you will increase your credibility with your customers and prospects.

3) Proactively comment and share. This instinct can be applied both online and offline. From a brick and mortar perspective, it applies to sharing your knowledge with other people. Whether you’re speaking at a chamber function, writing an informational newsletter for your customers or writing a letter to the editor, find ways to share your knowledge with the community.  From an online perspective, Rohit recommends making an effort to share insightful information via your insurance agency’s Twitter feed, Facebook fan page or blog. Visit other blogs and share your point of view or leave a comment to reinforce what the blogger was sharing.

4) Use questions instead of statements. Building business is all about building relationships and building relationships is all about encouraging others to share and connect with you and vice versa. Rohit recommends “turning statements into questions and seeing who might have an interesting point of view to share.” People love telling stories, so create opportunities to let that happen.

5) Participate with those who share your passion. The Internet makes it easier than ever to connect with other insurance professionals. Do you regularly communicate with and share tips with other insurance agents in your community? As the old saying goes, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right? Besides, this isn’t about winning or losing, this is about building a sustainable, competitive business and being savvy about who and what else is out there.

6) Support online relationships with offline interactions. When you’re trying to connect with more people and build relationships, online communication can only go so far. Always support your online efforts with offline appearances.

7) Invest in karma. As Bhargava points out, “what goes around, comes around.” In general, if you’re making an effort to help people, make sound decisions and simply do your best, you will come out on top.

What are your marketing instincts? What insight can you share?

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