In the insurance industry, customers are everything. Without them, you cannot grow your business or be successful. Even for an established agency, discovering new leads is hard work. As a new insurance agent, trying to get leads and get your agency off the ground can seem downright daunting.
To make matters worse, many potential customers are not actively looking for insurance products. they may not know they need insurance or think it is a necessity. For some, the thought of planning for the inevitable (or potentially devastating events) can be uncomfortable, putting off finding the products they need to protect their families.
Reading: How to get insurance customers
How 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.
find a niche within the world of insurance
The search for good sales opportunities begins with the decision of the products to sell. There are many types of insurance and it is tempting to offer as many products as possible to win as many customers as possible. instead, first consider filling a specific niche within the world of insurance. focus on one area of insurance and become its expert. you are likely to find more success this way than trying to cover all areas of the industry.
Independent insurance agents who specialize in niches within the industry have an advantage over the competition. they can increase your targeted leads and referrals, improve your retention rates, and increase your competitiveness.
When you specialize in one area, it allows you to dig deeper. you can gain a better understanding of the issues your customers are facing. As a result, it allows you to discover the best ways to solve those problems and provide effective solutions, including the specialized coverage they may need.
sell multiple products
While concentrating 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 you attract more leads, expand your customer base exponentially, and enable cross-selling opportunities.
One way to do this is to become a “t-shaped” insurance agent. What this means is that you have experience or in-depth knowledge in one of the three main areas of insurance (this is the vertical line of the “t”) and general knowledge of the others (the horizontal line of the “t”). You may not be an expert in these areas, but you know enough about them to sell them and provide your customers with the service they need.
Offering multiple product options benefits your business and your potential customers. there is a good chance that they will need more than one type of insurance. if you have other items they need, they’ll probably be more interested when you contact them and stay with you once they commit. having a “one stop shop” is convenient for them and expands their opportunities to find good leads.
increase your digital marketing efforts
National brands have saturated the insurance industry, making it difficult for local insurance agencies and independent agents to get noticed. how are buyers supposed to find you when big name companies are everywhere?
While traditional marketing methods and word of mouth have their place, you need to think beyond those channels. When people need something these days, their first instinct is to turn to the internet.
Buyers looking for insurance products search online to quickly find companies and compare rates. this means that an up-to-date digital marketing strategy is a must. With the right tactics, your insurance agency can stand out from the competition both nationally and locally.
Let’s look at some ways to improve your digital marketing efforts to be a successful insurance agent in 2022.
create a good website
In the age of the internet, a website is non-negotiable. is critical to your success. Score’s business research shows that 97% of consumers search for products and services online today. A website gives them an easy way to find you and provide information about what you offer.
However, it’s not just about having a website. Your website must be functional, easy to use and visually appealing. it should boast of well-written copy, high-quality images, and helpful information. These attributes increase your legitimacy in the eyes of any visitor and help you stand out.
create valuable content
However, don’t think of your website only as a sales tool to attract potential customers. use it as a free resource for your current and potential customers. include a blog and offer educational content that helps visitors better understand insurance and its place in their lives. Research shows that delivering helpful content (also known as content marketing) can build trust with your audience, capture more leads, and improve conversions.
plan for seo
If you do the first two things above, you’re already building a strong foundation for search engine optimization (seo). This term is ubiquitous today, and it refers to a wide range of methods you can use to rank higher in web search results so people can find you.
Google uses complex algorithms to determine which web pages rank high in search results. However, despite the complexity, SEO usually boils down to factors like effective keyword usage, helpful and informative content, page load times, and mobile optimization. As an insurance agent, don’t forget to know these important factors so you can optimize your site.
Also keep in mind that you’ll want to think locally about your seo. Make sure your website has complete information about your agency’s contact information, location, and hours so it can rank in localized searches on Google Maps.
be strategic with pay per click ads
although the organic traffic you get from seo is essential, it is still beneficial to complement it with paid traffic. According to Google, every $1 you spend on pay-per-click (PPC) ads will generate $2 in return on average. With PPC advertising, you choose the keywords you can bid on and only pay when someone clicks on your ad. You set a budget, and when you reach it, your ad stops showing. It gives you a lot of control so you can make sure you’re only paying for insurance leads that actually visit your website.
engage your audience on social media
When planning your digital marketing efforts, it’s also important to think beyond the boundaries of your website. The Pew Research Center found that more than 70% of Americans use some form of social media today, making it a critical place to find and connect with potential insurance customers.
Using social media extends and expands your online presence and gives you another means to share useful content and get your agency in front of potential clients. each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, so take the time to learn the best ways to use each one.
use email marketing
The popularity of social media may be on the rise, but that doesn’t mean email is dead. in fact, email is still one of the most important forms of digital marketing. According to research from salecycle, 59% of consumers said that marketing emails influence their purchasing decisions.
Email marketing is highly customizable and it’s easy to analyze your results with most email marketing services. You can grow your email list over time and segment it into different types of customers so you can target the right audience with special offers, newsletters, and more. It’s also a great way to generate interest in the insurance educational content you’re already creating for your blog.
don’t ignore tried and true marketing methods
Despite the dominance of digital marketing, it’s also important to invest in older forms of marketing.
It’s no secret where the big national insurance companies advertise. Turn on the TV for 20 minutes and you’re bound to see some insurance commercials. Not only that, but major players like Allstate, Progressive, and Geico have increased their spending on radio ads in recent years. You may not have the budget to compete with your level of ad production, but you can compete as a local source for insurance expertise and personalized service.
Don’t rule out more targeted forms of traditional marketing, either. flyers, door signs, and direct mail are great ways to get your name and face out in the community by targeting your local area.
try some cold calls
let’s face it: cold calling doesn’t have the best reputation. many insurance agents would rather try to sell insurance to their dogs than get on the phone and start dialing. But cold calling still has a place in your lead generation repertoire and can still be effective. Rain Group’s research found that overall, 82% of buyers appreciate proactive sales approaches like cold calling and will accept meetings when contacted.
That said, you need to learn how to cold call effectively. auto bookmarks can dramatically speed up the process, and it’s helpful to have some scripts on hand so you’re ready for various types of responses.
consider some old fashioned networking
With the world going digital and everyone jumping onto social media, people in various industries, including insurance, often forget about good old-fashioned face-to-face relationships. No amount of technology can replace networking with others in the real world. helps build meaningful relationships that can lead to opportunities.
There are many places where you can network. Attend professional events in your area and exchange business cards with attorneys, CPAs, mortgage brokers, and real estate agents. connect with local community service organizations, such as vfw or a rotary club. By meeting other professionals in similar industries, you can make valuable connections that can draw more clients to you.
No matter where you go to meet other people, be sure to bring plenty of business cards. keep an eye out for opportunities to introduce yourself and your company and share your expertise.
Even if people aren’t interested in or don’t need the products you offer, they’re likely to remember you in the future. They may also recommend you to someone else they know if you give them solid and helpful advice.
The key to success here is to listen more and talk less. don’t dive into these events with your sales pitch in the queue. listen first to gain a better understanding of a potential insurance customer’s needs. listen to their questions and concerns so you can guide them to the products you offer that will benefit them the most.
stay active in your community
Beyond professional networking, it’s important to actively participate in your community. visit a few local meeting groups that interest you personally. attend local trade shows, board meetings, chamber of commerce meetings, and benefit events.
Volunteering at a local nonprofit is another great way to make connections and engage your employees. At the same time, you can help make your agency the go-to when someone mentions insurance.
In addition to volunteering for a non-profit organization, get involved in local events. attend fairs, fundraisers, charity runs, and sporting events. offer to be a sponsor of an event and set up a stand. The more active you are, the more your name will appear in front of people who live in your community. When they need what you have to offer, your name is likely to be one of the first that comes to mind.
You might also consider joining local social media groups and discussion forums. however, don’t just advertise there. Listen and be part of the conversation. Participate and share your experience. You might even consider hosting your own insurance webinars or Q&A sessions as a way to engage people in the community who show a deeper level of interest.
remember you have valuable experience to share. By contributing your knowledge and getting involved in your community, you’ll have the opportunity to grow your connections and reputation as an insurance industry thought leader.
Word of mouth is still incredibly effective. hubspot research shows that 81% of people trust advice from friends and family more than advice from companies. It’s always better for new prospects to hear from a close friend than from you.
That’s why referrals are a great way to gain new customers and grow your insurance business. One of the best ways to do this is through partnerships with other small businesses and professionals in your area who offer complementary services.
For example, if you have a car insurance agency, connect with car dealers and salespeople who can refer new car buyers 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. Don’t do this unilaterally: Offer these other business owners incentives in exchange for their referrals.
See also: Title-Insurance
Another option to consider is asking for referrals directly from your current clients. To make your application a little more enticing, you can create referral programs that offer rewards or incentives to existing clients for referring new clients to your agency. Before implementing an incentive system, be sure to check your local laws to make sure it’s legal to do so. You can easily find these laws through a quick Google search.
build relationships with your customers
Ultimately, insurance is a relationship-based business. you are selling products that relate to very personal and sensitive aspects of your customers’ lives. If they don’t feel like you know them and don’t have their best interests in mind, you probably won’t last long selling insurance.
When you build and maintain relationships with your customers over time, they are more likely to renew their policies and refer you to new potential customers. keep an eye out for major life changes on social media and check in with customers when you haven’t touched base in a while. take notes about their interests and find ways to connect with them.
work for a company that generates its own leads
Some insurance agents get their leads directly from the company they work for. many large insurance companies deliver a constant stream of leads to their agents. they do this on the theory that it will make their agents more productive, resulting in mutual benefit.
Getting leads from your company can be a huge advantage and is a huge incentive for many agents, especially if you are a new agent and are not yet confident in your ability to generate good leads.
When your business provides you with a regular stream of qualified, prepared leads, you can stop worrying about prospecting and focus your energy on what you do best: connecting with people, answering their questions, and matching them with the best plan. For your needs.
of course, the system does not always work perfectly. Before you sign up with a company that promises you a steady stream of leads, check to see if those leads are really new and valuable. Too often, companies hand out the same tired leads to every new agent they hire. If your prospects have already been called by a number of other agents, it’s no wonder they don’t answer when you call them.
Note that some companies also reduce agent commissions in exchange for delivering a stream of leads. That compensation might make sense to you, especially if you’re new to the job and still developing your sales skills. But if you’re an experienced insurance agent, you may prefer to receive a larger commission in exchange for generating your own leads.
assess your marketing bandwidth
When you generate your own leads, you automatically build and strengthen your existing customer relationships, and that will benefit your business in the long run. Doing your own marketing is also a great way to promote yourself as your customers will feel like they really know you.
At the same time, keep in mind that marketing is a complex process. Chances are, if you’re an insurance agent, you’re already an excellent salesperson. But having great sales skills doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be successful in marketing.
marketing is a complex task, especially when using social networks, email and a website. it’s easy to get overwhelmed and it can be hard to know if you’re on the right track with your marketing efforts.
Also, marketing tends to consume a lot of time and energy. If you can’t afford to put consistent effort into marketing, you could end up with just a trickle of leads, or worse, no leads at all. That’s where a lead generation service can come in handy.
buy leads when necessary
With hundreds of insurance companies looking for new customers, it can seem like a daunting task to create a niche in the market for your new business. Additionally, some agencies may not be able to generate enough leads to scale their business.
Fortunately, there is something you can do. Lead buying is a popular solution that new insurance agents can use to fuel successful agencies. It’s also a reliable way for established businesses to supplement their existing lead generation tactics.
If you’re thinking of buying leads to grow your insurance company, look for a partner that gets all of their leads from their own websites. Avoid insurance prospect aggregators. aggregators sell leads to multiple agents, which means you have more competition. Potential clients of these types of services are often overwhelmed or frustrated by the sheer volume of calls they receive from multiple agents.
When buying leads, you want a trusted partner who will generate quality leads and deliver them to you and you alone. Good lead generation companies do more than offer exclusive leads. they also have:
- A way to filter leads:The ability to filter leads allows you to find leads that are a perfect fit for your agency.
- An excellent return policy:Quality lead generation companies go to great lengths to filter out bad leads. if one slips away, they’ll offer a great return policy or credit your account.
- No Contracts: Large lead generation companies don’t require you to sign a lengthy contract that might be hard to get out of if you’re not happy with their service.
- A self-service online portal:With an online portal, you can sign up at any time. You’re not limited to regular business hours, nor do you have to deal with telemarketers. you can do everything quickly, online and on your time.
- Real Time Leads and Live Transfer: Many lead generation services offer stale leads that can be weeks or months old. Look for services that give you real-time leads that are eager to buy right now. Even better are live transfer leads – callers who are directed directly to your phone when looking to buy.
do what works best for you
Building a successful insurance agency takes hard work and perseverance. it also requires creativity and a lot of trial and error. When it comes to getting your business off the ground, operating and growing it, remember this: do what works best for you.
The truth is that there is no single formula you can follow to become a successful agent. what works well for one insurance company may not work for another. you may need to try a few different approaches, and that’s fine. You may also find that a combination of strategies gives you the best results.
Which strategy (or strategies) to take really depends on your agency and your target market. Some growth opportunities will work better for you than others based on your market, competition, sales style, niche, and targeting.
Partner with Nectar to grow your business
Regardless of the insurance industry you represent, nectar can connect you directly with the buyers you’re looking for in a way that will help you grow your business. nectar connects buyers of health, medicare, auto and life insurance with your company by matching what they are looking for with what you have to offer.
nectar does not purchase leads from third parties for resale. Nectar is a lead generator that produces high-quality insurance leads for its clients. nectar offers real-time insurance leads and live call transfers to bring you prospects who are actively shopping for insurance.
Overall, Nectar creates a better experience for you and your shoppers. Are you looking to generate quality leads for your insurance agency? Sign up with Nectar today and start growing your business!