Whether you’re a long-time insurance sales professional or you’ve been in the business only a short time, if you’re like other insurance brokers, you are always looking for new methods to help you earn more referrals, attract new business, drive new website traffic, and enhance your community profile.
Here are five local outreach ideas you might consider:
1: Get involved with a community sponsorship. Whether you choose to become a booster of your local Little League, get involved as a sponsor for a local sports team (at the elementary, junior high, senior high, or college level), or contribute to a community health fair, all of these can get your name out in new ways.
Supporting charity events and attending them can also enhance your profile. Joining a group like the Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (Elks Club), and Shriners, among others, may give you an opportunity to get involved in local events that will further build your community profile by providing you with an opportunity to speak at community events and share your insurance and health care expertise with others.
2: Make social media your friend. Integrating social media into your outreach is more than just creating an online profile, website, or advertising on Facebook or LinkedIn. Creating a blog or contributing to a blog developed by someone else can help you make connections and enhance your profile.
Blogging can help you generate traffic for your website, expand your network, and boost your online presence. It can improve your rankings on search engines, helping you move up among trustworthy sources for keywords that are associated with your business.
When considering which social media platform is the best match for you, think about your target audience. If you want to attract new customers who are small business owners, LinkedIn and Twitter may be more effective; they are more business-oriented than say, perhaps, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, which are better for showing company culture.
If you don’t want to blog yourself, don’t overlook the opportunity to build connections with others who do blog on topics about which you have some expertise. Having your name and business name appear in someone else’s blog can benefit you both.
3: Partner with other brokers for unwanted leads. Many insurance sales professionals have a specialty or focus – small business employee benefits, Individual & Family Plan (IFP) health insurance, Medicare/Medicare Advantage/Medicare Supplements, or property and casualty (P+C), to name just a few. If you’re a health, accident and health, or life-only agent, consider setting up an arrangement with a broker focused on P+C, so you can share (trade or sell) leads that don’t fit your niche. Just be sure to act on them while they’re still hot (or at least warm).
4: Roll out the red carpet. Customer care is more important than ever. A great way to distinguish your agency from others in your community is to deliver outstanding service. It’s been our hallmark at Word & Brown for more than 35 years – “Service of Unequalled Excellence.” You can embrace a similar approach and earn the respect, repeat business, and referrals from your customers, too. Referrals can help you fill your pipeline, and your current customers can be an outstanding source for those referrals.
Consider launching a referral program, where you offer referring clients a gift for each new lead, or share a reward for those referrals who become new customers. It doesn’t have a big dollar reward, gift cards or promotional items with your logo (like an umbrella, polo, coffee cup, or water bottle) are usually appreciated. Just try to avoid sending the same gift to those customers who give you multiples referrals.
5: Develop a Help Line or create a useful FAQ. Existing customers and prospects are constantly searching for information. Maybe they want to know about filing a claim, searching for an in-network health care provider, learning whether their current meds might be covered if they switch health plans. You can help them by creating a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) PDF on your website. Another useful tool might be a Help Line, with answers to FAQs or a method for callers to leave a message about insurance-related topics. (Be sure your responses are timely, even if you are only able to refer callers to other resources if the question is outside of your area of expertise.) Providing value to customers – and prospective customers – will help you earn their trust and their future business. Update your FAQs quarterly or more often based on what’s happening in the insurance industry and your community.
You might also consider contributing to or authoring a column for your local newspaper (or a regional newspaper, as publications continue to consolidate) on insurance-related topics. You can discuss the changing health care marketplace, private and public exchanges, open enrollment, health care provider networks, Affordable Care Act (ACA) metal tiers, annual maximums, deductibles, co-pays, and a range of other topics of interest to readers.
But wait, there’s more. Beyond these techniques, you can broaden your community outreach, make your agency a local celebrity, and enhance your reputation using these five additional methods:
- Create a grant or scholarship program benefitting your community
- Develop an online resource center for students, parents, or seniors (in collaboration with local schools, the Boys & Girls Club, a parent-teacher organization, or an AARP chapter)
- Create a “community heroes” recognition program in partnership with a media outlet (maybe a local radio, TV, newspaper, or magazine – or even your regional cable provider)
- Host a BBQ, picnic, or musical concert featuring local or area talent for current and past customers and prospects
- Facilitate a food drive to benefit the homeless or disadvantaged community members or another worthwhile local or regional charity
There are virtually endless ways for you to aid your community, while also promoting your business and enhancing your agency reputation. Check out the articles, 70 Community Service Project Ideas (from DoSomething.org), 101 Creative Community Service Ideas for Kids, Teens, and Adults (from GoodHouseKeeping.com), and 13 Community Outreach Ideas for Small Businesses (from 411Locals.com) for additional thoughts and suggestions.
Choosing the right General Agency partner for your business can make a big difference – for you’re your agency, and clients. At Word & Brown, we have a 35+-year history of offering valuable tools and resources to help you better serve your customers. Plus, we work with dozens of carriers and administrators to give California and Nevada brokers access to a broad range of products and services.
To learn more about all we offer to help you and your agency write more, earn more, and keep your clients coming back year after year, contact your Word & Brown representative or call us at (800) 869-6989.
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