Tips for Generating Leads

The lifeline of any sales position – insurance sales included – is the availability of high-quality, responsive leads. While many insurance agents view prospecting as a difficult portion of their job, consistently working at generating leads can be a low-cost, high-yield effort that can help you to increase your business for years to come.

The following are some tips on how to generate a low-cost sales prospecting funnel:

  1. Partner With Other Professionals. Certain industries require, or strongly recommend, insurance for the products they sell. For example, new and used automobile salespeople routinely interact with individuals who have to have a policy before they can leave the showroom with their new ride. Further, apartment leasing agents regularly recommend renter’s insurance to new residents. Real estate agents will also interact with clients needing homeowner’s insurance coverage (or to purchase additional coverage). Establishing a great working relationship with individuals in these and other professions can provide you a steady stream of new clients for minimal outlay.
  2. Purchase Low-Cost Ads in Electronic Newsletters or Relevant Blogs: Establishing your own blog is a terrific idea (which we will discuss in a moment); however, an established newsletter or blog with an established readership can provide you with relevant leads for not much initial cost. The advantage of utilizing a medium like this is newsletters and blogs are generally niched, and the ones with a high number of routine visitors have established a trust factor you can take advantage of. Think of it as an implied endorsement, of sorts.
  3. Establishing Yourself Within Your Industry/Area: As mentioned earlier, your own blog or website gives you the opportunity to find relevant surveys, statistics or other helpful information and publish it to your readers. You can give recommendations or advice on insurance-related topics, making you likeable and credible within your marketplace. New and established customers will come to see you as a trusted figure within the industry and seek you first for their insurance needs (as well as recommending you easily to others).
  4. Word Of Mouth Referrals: As overlooked as this is, word of mouth is still the best and most-effective way to get new business. The oft-used adage, Your referrals are my highest compliment, is as true today as it was when the phrase was first coined, as a satisfied customer will convey a message to those in their sphere of influence you will never, ever be able to relay as convincingly.
  5. Mine Your Database. A no always means not now, so if it has been awhile since you’ve reached out to your current database, or if you have prospects who didn’t convert the first time, begin to contact them again. You might also look through to determine upsell opportunities, as those who have bought from you before (and who remain satisfied) are likely to choose you first when their needs change or increase.
  6. Contribute To Relevant Seminars/Workshops: Home buying and estate planning are frequent topics which draw potential customers, so if you can contact an organizer to contribute to these and other types of seminars which would appeal to qualified customers, it can be a great use of your time. Again, opportunities like this help establish you as the go-to expert in your field.

Marketing Your Insurance Agency Using Pinterest

Business professionals have turned to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to promote significant events and immediately attend to customer problems. But these aren’t your only marketing possibilities when it comes to social media. You have a wide range of tools to choose from, and one of the most interesting is Pinterest.

If you’ve somehow managed not to come across all the news and attention Pinterest has gotten in the past year, here’s a quick primer. Pinterest is an online “bulletin board” where users choose images to “pin” to their boards, along with a brief description. Just as with Facebook and Twitter, people can “follow” the boards of others.

How Can Pinterest be Used to Brand My Insurance Company?

Pinterest is known for content that relates to highly visual topics like crafts, decorating, and cooking and food. People post gorgeous pictures of the things that they love. At first glance, it may seem to be useless for insurance agents. Agents don’t sell something that’s visible, and most people consider insurance to be a boring necessity that doesn’t merit much enthusiasm. But like all salespeople, insurance agents need to build relationships. When used strategically and with sensitivity to what users of the site find appealing, Pinterest can be one more way for you to connect with potential clients and create positive PR for your business.

A few ideas for using Pinterest effectively:

Create original content. If you have an artistic streak or access to someone who does, think about what images might appeal to your target audience and create them. You can also create images that creatively display the title of an article on your company’s blog that would be of interest to potential customers. Find a way to subtly add your company’s name and website to the image, so that you can be sure people can still find you as your image gets shared.

Make it personal. To help establish your brand you’ll want to use your business logo as your user icon, but beyond that forget selling policies and be human. If there are a few people who work at your agency, assign just one person to manage Pinterest, and make it clear that there’s a real person behind your account. This will help your business build relationships on the site, as people are less likely to feel that they’re dealing with some faceless company.

Consider Pinterest’s demographic. This is not a site where you’re likely to find older baby boomer males looking to purchase long term care insurance. More than 70% of Pinterest users are in the 25-34 age range and female. This means that you want to make sure that your board targets these clients and their particular insurance needs. For example, you may select wedding-related photos that link to a page on your website about your life and home insurance offerings.

Repinned Images Build Upon Your Company’s Brand

One of the biggest advantages offered by Pinterest is the ability to repin an image. If someone sees an image on your board that they like, that image can be repinned on another board of their choice. The more your images are repinned the better. The effect this can have on building a stronger brand is much the same as a YouTube video. The more viewers watch and comment on that video, the more it spreads and becomes viral. The process works similarly on Pinterest.

A Word of Caution About Using Images on Pinterest

A potential problem that anyone pinning images on Pinterest must be made aware of is that legally, you need to obtain permission from the owner of that image before you use it. Of course, many casual, personal users ignore this formality, but businesses are more likely to come under scrutiny and should abide by the law so as to not leave the company vulnerable. Either make sure an image is in the public domain or reach out to obtain permission.