A big part of your role as a Health Insurance broker is finding new business. Here are seven tips to help you in your future prospecting.
1. Get involved in your community
Taking part in community groups, trade and business associations, and local events can be a very effective way to get your name out to both prospective customers and potential business partners (like other brokers who may focus on a different market segment). A broker survey by the industry publication ThinkAdvisor found community involvement ranks as the second most-effective prospecting technique (referrals rank #1; see tip three below).
2. Share your expertise
You can enhance your reputation and your local profile by speaking before local underwriter associations, chambers of commerce, and other groups. You might also consider sponsoring local educational events or seminars, which give you the opportunity to get out in front of prospects, share your expertise, and promote your services. Authoring articles in your own newsletter, on your website, in your region’s business journal, and in community-based newspapers also positions you as an insurance professional, which can help you attract new business. Developing a reputation as a problem-solver (rather than a “sales” person) is critical to your ongoing success.
3. Word of mouth
If you are confident of your service to current clients, do not be afraid to ask your customers for referrals. They may know others who could benefit from your expertise. According to the same ThinkAdvisor survey referred to above, 82 percent of insurance professionals believe referrals are the most effective way to prospect for new business. Even if the referral is not ready to buy right now, he or she may reach out to you later when the time is right.
4. Consider a referral reward
A referral rewards program, when done right, can be a very effective way to induce current customers into sharing names and contact information for others who could fill your pipeline all year long. Check out this article from Inc., which includes steps to launching your own program and choosing an incentive. (Note: If you’re a Medicare broker, keep in mind Medicare limits on giveaways.)
5. Use a communications mix
To be successful, and to attract a broad range of customers, it’s important to use a variety of techniques. One of the most important is having a website. It is critical people are able to find you – and, more often than not, the first place they will look is online. Email marketing can also be effective (and it can be done at little cost beyond your purchase of a quality list). Having an e-newsletter is a cost-effective way to stay in touch with customers and prospects (including those who may have asked for a quote previously but who didn’t buy). You may be surprised to learn direct mail, though often disparaged, can be an effective (and efficient) way to prospect for new business. They key is making your message interesting enough to be read.
6. Cold calling
For many sales people, cold calling is the worst part of the job – something to be avoided if possible. However, cold calling only has to be intimidating if you lack a plan. Word & Brown’s Marketing Guide for Brokers includes guidance on mastering the cornerstone of sales and developing a cold calling script. It also include tips on developing a presentation to “wow” your clients and finding and nurturing leads and lead scoring.
7. Don’t forget to follow-up
One of the biggest mistakes brokers make is failing to follow up on every Sure, that prospect who called your office looking for a quote may take priority over that person who sent you an inquiry via your website or that referral that came from a current client. Nevertheless, all three leads are important, and you need to respond to each as soon as reasonably possible. Don’t forget to reach out periodically to older, cold leads that may not have resulted in a sale in the past, but could be warmed up. It’s important to have a library of messages that can be used to respond to any sort of lead. LendingTree’s QuoteWizard has five suggested templates to consider.
We Can Help, Too
Word & Brown offers brokers a wealth of materials to help you with your sales and marketing. Our Marketing Guide (mentioned above) and Business Plan Workbook are just two examples. Email or call your Word & Brown representative for additional information, or contact any of our six regional offices in California and Nevada.