Insurance Agency Marketing and Insurance Agency Lead Checklist

The days of relying solely on referrals or in person networking as an insurance agency lead generation strategy are coming to a close for many agents and agencies. New economies of scale offered by more efficient marketing methods are typically needed to supplement traditional marketing methods such as networking and referral generation. Producers seeking to…

The days of relying solely on referrals or in person networking as an insurance agency lead generation strategy are coming to a close for many agents and agencies. New economies of scale offered by more efficient marketing methods are typically needed to supplement traditional marketing methods such as networking and referral generation. Producers seeking to carry their unique value proposition to targeted prospects, especially in the commercial insurance and group benefits markets, typically need an improved insurance lead generation strategy to increase the suspicion and prospect pools in their respective pipelines.

The list of possible marketing and lead generation initiatives is extremely endless, though somewhat exhaustive, and can be daunting for many small to medium sized agencies and brokers. Defining the type of agency we should describe a small to medium in size is subjective, so in this case we'll use financial parameters from $ 2 Million to $ 50 Million in commission revenues as an attempt to frame this group. Granted, though there is a major difference between a $ 2 Million agency and a $ 22 Million broker, there are also similarities when it comes to their respective marketing challenges. Once an agency exceeds $ 50 Million in revenues, they should be able to adequately staff up for most of the initiatives noted below. The skills necessary for these types of marketing initiatives are strictly varied, and include all of the following:

  • VP Marketing (Marketing Strategist / Generalist)
  • Programmers for Websites (HTML, PHP, etc.)
  • SEO Specialist
  • Web Analytics Manager
  • eMarketing Manager
  • Writer / Editor
  • Blogger, Vlogger
  • Social Media Marketer
  • Graphic Artist
  • Telemarketer (Appointment Setter)
  • Video Specialist

Some of these skills may be combined into one marketing position (writer, editor, blogger for example), while others are disparate and would require specific skill set staffing of that position. Even larger agencies, those with $ 50 Million and greater in commission revenue, outsource some of these tasks when there is not an ongoing, full time need for that skill set. Video is a good example of this, as are graphic artists and SEO specialists.

Here are 20 insurance agency marketing and insurance lead generation initiatives every agency can leverage. Some of these are modest efforts, others far more comprehensive. How many of these insurance marketing initiatives can your agency check off?

  1. Insurance Agency Marketing Plan
  2. Updated Insurance Agency Website
  3. Website Analytics
  4. Web Visitor Identification System
  5. Organic Insurance SEO & PPC Ads
  6. Insurance Search Engine Marketing
  7. Insurance Social Media Marketing
  8. Agency ePublishing
  9. Agency Blogging & Vlogging
  10. Insurance Agency eMarketing
  11. Insurance Web Seminar Marketing
  12. Contact List Generation & Email List Generation
  13. Agent Buyer Personas by target market
  14. Prospect ID or other Prospect Qualification Methodology
  15. Website Video Creation & Client Testimonials
  16. eBrochures & Client Case Studies
  17. Newsletter Creation & Distribution
  18. News Releases
  19. Insurance Agency Telemarketing & Lead Handling
  20. Prominent, effective and measured Call To actions for your website and all marketing materials

There are other marketing initiatives which can be used including snail mail marketing, traditional seminaries, sponsorships, traditional advertisements, etc. Most of these leverage the skill sets discussed earlier and all of these can be considered, although a focus on digital and repeatable is usually advisable. Producers, executives and owners all seek to grow their book of business. Marketing is time and budget driven, and if done correctly, should provide an ROI driven formula to cost justify the investment.

Insurance Agency Emarketing and The Auto Mechanic

Insurance Agency Emarketing, if done correctly, can be a superior insurance agency lead generation solution. In many cases, less is more when it comes to eMarketing, controlling aggressive eMarketing trends when it comes to campaign frequency, while taking a full throttle approach when it comes to high quality, relevant content creation. Emarketing is growing increasingly…

Insurance Agency Emarketing, if done correctly, can be a superior insurance agency lead generation solution. In many cases, less is more when it comes to eMarketing, controlling aggressive eMarketing trends when it comes to campaign frequency, while taking a full throttle approach when it comes to high quality, relevant content creation.

Emarketing is growing increasingly complex, it's very difficult to be a hobbyist and successfully implement insurance agency eMarketing strategies. Perhaps we can leverage a car analogy here. As car engines have evolved from the more simplistic engines of the 50s and 60s to today's complex pollution compliant and hybrid vehicles, so has the intricacies of eMarketing. Decades ago, many weekend warriors worked on their cars as a hobby and / or a way to save money. Today, very specialized tools and skills are needed to fix engines, beginning with computerized engine diagnostics, and culminating with the training and skills for ongoing maintenance. This is analogous in many ways to insurance eMarketing, which is also complex and requires specialized tools, skills and knowledge relating to CAN-SPAM regulations, Bayesian filtering, email open and click rates, split tests, link analysis, conversion optimization, multipart mime delivery and opt-in best practices.

Common errors and omissions often result in lost opportunities or ineffective eMarketing initiatives. Some mistakes in include:

  • HTML Rich emails: Text based emails (or emails with limited graphics) stand are more likely pass junk mail and corporate email filters than HTML emails.
  • Spam Words: Words such as free, save, super saver, etc. can activate junk mail and corporate email filtering.
  • Rush Words: Buy Now, Sales Ends Tomorrow and Do not Wait are all examples of Rush Words. Once again, this type of content is more likely to invoke the wrath of spam filters.
  • Shouting: Colored fonts, Italicizing, Boldface, Excessive Capitalization & Exclamation marks are called “shouting”, and a good way to get sent into a junk or spam folder.
  • Bayesian Poisoning: Odd or complex phrasing can invoke something called Bayesian Poisoning, which appears to be an attempt to bypass Bayesian spam filtering and results in your email looking like spam, even it it is legitimate.
  • Limit Graphics: Graphics can display poorly, particularly for text based email clients. Do not assume what you see is what they get. What you think you are sending might look great, but what your client or prospect sees, may look very different.
  • Above The Fold Graphics: If you need to send graphically rich emails, a newsletter for example, try to limit the amount of graphics used, before readable text can be rendered. That way if graphics are stripped out (by Outlook for example), email recipients are more likely to understand the content intended.
  • E nhanced Email Signatures: If your email signature (name, contact info, social media links, website link, etc.) uses sepcialized fonts, boldface, or appears in a different color, this is still “shouting” as in our example above and can invoke the wrath of spam filters.

Larger agencies may invest in a full time eMarketing Manager or Web Marketing Manager to successfully implement their eMarketing campaigns, but many agencies can not cost justify the expenditure for a full time position. In these instances, agency executives and producers must choose whether to attempt eMarketing and web marketing with untrained internal staff (aka the eMarketing hobbyists) or outsource to a reputable insurance agency marketing firm. Should an agency consider the latter, they could approach it as a knowledge transfer, or part of an ongoing marketing initiative leveraging an outsourced model.

Tips To Getting The Best Insurance Broker – Pay Less For Your Policy

Your insurance broker is a person that is responsible for helping you make the best decisions in terms of your insurance needs. You want to make sure the broker you choose will help you meet those needs in the most effective and efficient manner. There are brokers that specialize in a number of different areas.…

Your insurance broker is a person that is responsible for helping you make the best decisions in terms of your insurance needs. You want to make sure the broker you choose will help you meet those needs in the most effective and efficient manner. There are brokers that specialize in a number of different areas. Some have staff members while others work alone. Each agent is different and they treat their customers differently as well.

If you ask the right questions when you are searching for a broker, you can figure out which of the many agents within the industry are right for you particular situation and needs. Naturally, the rapport you build is important but there are other factors that must be considered. Here are some examples of questions you will want to ask.

1. What are your qualifications?

The first thing you want to know about your potential broker is whether or not he or she is licensed within the state you live. If you are talking to someone without a license, forget about hiring them because any transaction you carry out through them may be illegal. Also, there's a decent chance that you will not be getting good advice either! Some states insure that brokers have their license numbers visible on their business cards. In those states, it is very easy to find out the details.

Some agents even have other professional titles that go along with their licenses that help to show you they have received a higher level of training in certain areas. If they specialize in the area you need the most help and guidance, that's a good sign. Any designs earned or specific training they had had in those areas could make a big difference.

2. What is your experience in the industry?

Once you know your potential agent is licensed with the state in which you live, you can focus on their experience. There is nothing wrong with working with an agent who is new in the field, but you want to make sure they have the proper knowledge in the area of ​​insurance you need. Sometimes, you might simply feel better about working with someone who has experience in big business insurance, life insurance policies and other items. If you are looking for a specific type of insurance, work with an agent who is familiar with that area to get the best results.

You may have to ask specific questions or ask for references to determine if their level of expertise is satisfactory to you. If it is not, you may have saved yourself some substantial time and money.

3. Do you have References?

Good brokers should have plenty of references to help them prove to you that they have satisfied, happy clients on their list. You should be able to get a list of clients from your agent and you should call those people and briefly ask them about their experiences with the broker. If they do not have any concerns to express and have been happy with the service they have received, you have a reputable agent to consider. Keep in mind that many of these references may prefer not to discuss their work experiences with a particular person. This is normal and should not be construed as a negative point against the person you are inquiring about.

4. How many Clients do you have?

When you hire a broker, you want to make sure you are going to get the attention you need. The number of clients that agent has, can help you determine how much time he or she will have for you. If the broker usually serves large companies with multiple policies and you only need one small policy, you may feel like the others are going to get more attention than you. If the situation is reversed and the broker usually deals with small policies, you may not be comfortable handing over your own company plan. Find an agent that matches your needs in terms of size as well as experience and skill. And remember that shopping for a good representative can be just as hard as shopping for the coverage itself!

5. How does your Office Operate?

Insurance needs do not always occur during normal business hours. You will want to ensure that you can reach your agent in case of an emergency after normal business hours if you ever need to file a claim. Obviously, if it is an online agency, the physical location may not be as important. However, you may still prefer that they are located in the state where you stay.

The answers to these questions will give you a good start on finding the right insurance broker.

What Do I Like To Do Business Concepts – I Like To Help People Save Their Money

Let's say you wanted to start a business, but you did not know what type of small business to start. You realize that our economy is in a recession, and things just are not doing too well. You also realize that even though you have some job skills, the chances of you getting a good…

Let's say you wanted to start a business, but you did not know what type of small business to start. You realize that our economy is in a recession, and things just are not doing too well. You also realize that even though you have some job skills, the chances of you getting a good job as an employee somewhere are next to nil. So maybe you should start your own business, and if you do I have a little advice for you; try to find something you can do that you have passion for. Try to find something to do that you like to do. Why not ask yourself; “what do I like to do?” And then go from there.

The other day, I was at Starbucks I asked someone what their favorite thing to do was. They told me they like to help save people money. And that they love that show on TV with a lady that tells everyone how to reduce their expenses and get out of debt, ditch their credit cards, and start saving money. You have probably heard of the Suzy Orman show. They said they might like to do something like that. Now then, after they left, I wonder what type of business they could start. In thinking about this I came up with;

Insurance Marketing Consultant

What they could do would be to give seminars on how to save money on insurance. The average American is spending 35% on insurance more than they need to. Consider if you will people have homeowners insurance, car insurance, healthcare insurance, and a myriad of other types of insurances dependent on what they do for a living, and what sorts of activities they are involved in, in their own personal human endeavors. Generally, they are paying too much, but they do not even know it.

It would be easy to give group instruction to folks like this, and then refer them to those insurance companies which specialized or marketed those insurance products. They may even find themselves putting on these seminaries for specific insurance agencies, as long as they follow the rules and regulations within the industry. In other words, they would be getting paid by the customer for their consulting, and possibly they might get paid by insurance agents for helping them do marketing and getting sales leads.

Not all states allow these things, because it is a heavily regulated industry, but there are all sorts of things people can do to make money in this venue. And if you like to save people money, this might be something to look into. And once you start there, you might be able to save people money with all sorts of other things such as buying a car, getting a home loan, starting a business, and what have you.

Please consider all this if you're thinking about starting your own small business and if you like to save other people money. Making money by saving people money, now that's a great idea.

Should You Market Your Insurance Business On Your Vehicle?

If you own an insurance business, it does not make sense to advertise that on your vehicle where you go? Did you know stickers on a car which are for a particular candidate are considered to be worth $ 250 worth of marketing material? And consider this; that would only be during the election season.…

If you own an insurance business, it does not make sense to advertise that on your vehicle where you go? Did you know stickers on a car which are for a particular candidate are considered to be worth $ 250 worth of marketing material? And consider this; that would only be during the election season. In other words it would take that same $ 250 worth of newspaper ads, or cable TV ads to influence the same amount of votes. If this is true, how about a larger sign on your car one which you left all year around? What if you shrink wrap your car with one of those really cool marketing messages?

Okay so, now I've got you thinking. If you had a huge phone number running along the side of your vehicle with six or seven inch high letters, along with the name of your insurance company, and also an advertisement on the back trunk lid, or in the window of an SUV or minivan; that would certainly draw people's attention. How many people might see that sign while driving around? How many folks who just happened to be in the market for insurance that week? What if you offered free quotes or rate checks? All you really need is a phone call right?

Answer me this; what is the percentage of phone calls to actual insurance policies that you currently write? Is it 30%, 40%, or is it 50%, maybe it's even higher than that? If so, you need to get that phone ringing, and you have to drive around anyway, and a one-time expenditure for putting a sign on your vehicle, which could include everything from a magnetic sign to vinyl lettering, or even a deluxe shrink -wrapped might be the ticket. As you do this, you might go to the grocery store and park at the end of the row, where everyone has to drive in.

While you are shopping, your car is busy advertising, and everyone has to see it to drive by to get to the street or to pull into the parking lot. You might go to a movie or to dinner and park your car strategically, each time you do, you could be potentially getting more business. Not only would that pay for all of your entertainment because you will be writing more policies, but it is also good branding for your local small business anyway.

People need insurance, you are in the insurance business, and there before you should be thinking here. It is my sincere hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Which Comes First, The Producer or The Insurance Leads?

There is a common theme among insurance agency agents, brokers, executives, agents and producers. They all want to grow their book of business, which invariably translates into an effective insurance lead generation plan. In some cases, particularly with larger and more established agencies, this discussion is part of a leader insurance agency marketing strategy, while…

There is a common theme among insurance agency agents, brokers, executives, agents and producers. They all want to grow their book of business, which invariably translates into an effective insurance lead generation plan. In some cases, particularly with larger and more established agencies, this discussion is part of a leader insurance agency marketing strategy, while in smaller agencies, marketing plans are often lead generation centric. Regardless, in almost all cases, every agency seeks better and more qualified leads. This creates an interesting chicken or the egg paradox: is it the successful agent who will produce good leads, or good leads which will result in a successful agent?

Effective insurance agency lead generation, or as some agents refer to it, pipeline building or the sales funnel, must incorporate several key elements:

  • Target Profile / Prospect Attributes
  • Suspect / Prospect List Generation
  • Data Repository (Contact Management / SFA / CRM)
  • Lead Generation Strategy / Campaigns
  • Lead Handling Process
  • Offers / Quotes
  • Closed Business
  • Closed Loop Marketing / Lead Generation Plan Measurement

Conceptually this is a simple process. Adding sufficient quantities of leads to the top of the pipeline will result in more opportunities in the middle of the sales funnel and increased new business dripping out at the bottom of the funnel. Although this is theoretically simple from a strategic standpoint, it is pragmatically challenging from a tactical perspective. As an example, let's review an insurance agency telemarketing lead generation initiative.

Let's begin with 2,000 commercial insurance suspects at the very top of the sales funnel. This can be a vertical target market (specialty markets like restaurant insurance, trucking insurance or contractor insurance), or a horizontal market (any business between $ 5 Million and $ 50 Million in a designated geography). Your targeted suspects may include C-Suite Executives such as CEO, CFO, COO, CAO (Chief Administrative Officer), and CHRO / SVP HR, etc. The smaller the profile, the more likely you will be targeting owners. With larger organizations, you may add VP and Management level prospects, such as Risk Managers or Benefits Directors. Determining your target prospect attributes, and creating a high quality suspect list, preferably with associated emails, is an important part of any sound insurance lead generation plan.

Ideally, agents and producers should be spending time with qualified prospects who are likely to buy. But where will those leads come from? A decade or two ago, when a new producer joined an agency, they would be given a desk, phone and phone book, instructed to “pound the phones” and join local organizations to find leads. This still happens today, though we'll assume the phone book is replaced with some type of digital alternative, sometimes a simple spreadsheet or database, or a more sophisticated SFA or CRM system. It often becomes evident when using this approach, that agencies discover many of their new producers lack the proper skill set to drive sufficient leads into their relative pipelines. In addition to the mundane task of outbound calls, organization of data is another key step in the process. How will your insurance agency build and organize your prospect lists, and where will the data be maintained and updated? This is an important part of the insurance agency lead generation foundation, as a weak suspect list will result in substandard lead gen campaigns, regardless of who is doing the outbound calling and eMarketing.

What are the fastest and most efficient methods to generate insurance agency leads? Today, targeted eMarketing and professionally rendered appointment setting calls (using experienced and knowledgeable insurance telemarketers) are two of the best ways to build the insurance agency pipeline. Augment these lead generation initiatives with fulfillment such as insurance agency webinars, industry white papers, case studies or newsletters, and efficiency will improve. However, any agent can begin at the beginning, and start with a well defined insurance telemarketing campaign and effective lead handling process. This can be done in-house if adequately staffed, or outsourced to a competent insurance marketing agency.

Insurance agency lead generation will incrementally increase the investment in a new producer (or existing producer for that matter), but this incremental increase can dramatically improve pipeline quality and close ratio results, which in turn will positively impact ROI. Although there are always inherent risks when hiring new agents (or even investing in experienced producers), an effective insurance lead generation program can help increase everyone's book of business.

How To Manufacture Talent In Your Insurance Agency

What's the greatest desire in your insurance firm? One thing I see time and time again, especially in personal lines, is the demand for further education. The independent agency channel does a really good job with product education. There are a variety of courses and designs that help professionals get a better knowledge of coverage…

What's the greatest desire in your insurance firm?

One thing I see time and time again, especially in personal lines, is the demand for further education. The independent agency channel does a really good job with product education. There are a variety of courses and designs that help professionals get a better knowledge of coverage and how they apply to various situations.

It is ongoing sales education and client relations that are really the areas of requirement. How do we create these programs within our businesses to be more successful at closing sales and developing consumer retention?

The resolution to this question lies entirely with a book by Geoff Colvin that gives relevant insight into coaching professionals. The book is Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else. His thesis is that superior performance in all areas of life is not inevitably dictated by inborn skill. The real answer to effectiveness is “deliberative practice”.

He identifies this in five approaches:

1. It must be designed to improve performance (preferably by a teacher).

2. It must be repeated continuously.

3. Evaluation bought to be readily available.

4. It is highly rigorous.

5. It is not very much fun.

He presents three models for this type of practice and applies it to business in multiple ways.

1. The Music Model.

A student practicing a composition repeatedly is the paradigm for this. It is routine practice in a static form. In business, practicing for a presentation or speech would qualify. Taking a presentation and reviewing it idea by idea, striving to explain each main idea more effectively, further improves the deliberative process. The presenter could also search for examples of others who successfully explained the same idea, and study and glean from their material.

2. The Chess Model.

Anybody who has played chess is aware of this example. The coach sets up the board and pushes the student to find alternatives and moves in multiple situations. In business, this shows itself not in move selection but decision-making. The difference between this and the music model is that each circumstance is distinct and you are not responding to the identical composition everyday. What it teaches is the ability to make clearer and quicker decisions. Business schools work almost solely on this as they make students analyze and sort out case cases through their curriculum.

3. The Sports Model.

The athlete toughens areas of his body that are mandatory to accomplish his skills most effectively. He frequently goes through the motions of certain methods to enhance their efficiency and power. Picture the basketball player shooting thousands of free throws and syncing his arms, wrists, fingers, and legs to provide regular successful movements on each shot. In business, this can be accomplished by going back to our principles which often include writing skills and basic math abilities. In sales, role-playing is the most successful way of developing people skills.

Each model can be incorporated into your insurance agency to produce staff members that triumph over your competition.

How will you use this in your business?

Understanding the Reservation of Rights Letter

You receive your mail and discover a letter from your professional liability insurance company. As you are about to file away the letter, you notice that the insurance company is advising you that there are allegations relating to recently submitted claim that may potentially cause coverage problems. Your immediate concern is does this means you…

You receive your mail and discover a letter from your professional liability insurance company. As you are about to file away the letter, you notice that the insurance company is advising you that there are allegations relating to recently submitted claim that may potentially cause coverage problems. Your immediate concern is does this means you have no coverage for the claim.

The utmost thing to do at this time is to remain calm. Odds are the correspondence you've received is a Reservation of Rights letter. Periodically insurance companies communicate confusion relative to insurance issues. And one area where there seems to be a good deal of confusion has to do with the Reservation of Rights letters.

It is important to understand that each and every state insurance regulatory department has regulations requiring insurance companies to prepare and issue Reservation of Rights letters whenever there is an allegation or facts that arise in a claim matter which could potentially create a gap in coverage. As such, the insurance company is compelled by regulation to provide this information or it risks losing certain rights and defenses.

The purpose of the Reservation of Rights letter is to describe the legal rights of both the insured and the insurance carrier in a claim situation where a coverage problem may potentially be present. This is the case where the issue is a claim or a lawsuit. The letter serves the purpose of detailing the issues in dispute, coverage of the policy that may or may not apply, and reciting what will be required from the parties until the claim is settled.

The letter protects the insurer, as well as the insured, as it allows both parties to deal with the area of ​​dispute separately, while still allowing them to jointly defend the claim from a third party. It provides the design professional the opportunity to provide additional pertinent information that could clarify facts that may be the source of the Reservation of Rights. Furthermore, it provides the design professional sufficient opportunity to take actions to protect themselves from the effect of any potential coverage gap.

The part of the Reservation of Rights letter that seems to be the root cause of causing so much concern for design professionals is when the insurance carrier reserves its rights when the allegations of wrong doing are clear groundless. A Reservation of Rights Letter is required regardless of the validity of the allegations in the claim or lawsuit. In other words, even if the allegations made against the design professional are completely unfounded, a Reservation of Rights Letter is still required.

The design professional who receives a Reservation of Rights letter must take into account that the carrier is required by State insurance regulations to take the allegations contained in the claim or lawsuit at face value for the purpose of determining the applicability of coverage, even if the claims manager knows or suspects the allegations are unfounded. Thus, the positions taken in the Reservation of Rights letter should not be construed as the insurance company's support or denial of the allegations. The carrier is simply doing what is necessitated by State insurance regulations.

After the Reservation of Rights Letter addresses the issues that are relative to coverage, it will indicate that the insurance company will continue to provide a defense for the claim or lawsuit. In most states, the design professional will have the right to hire separate counsel to defend it relative to the issues that are addressed in the Reservation of Rights letter.

Several states decree that separate counsel must be paid for by the insurance company. Note however, that serious consideration and thought must take place prior to taking this type of action due to the fact that your liability policy policy has an eroding limits element and the expenses of this separate legal representation will be applied against the policy limit. Factors affecting the choice for separate counsel should take into account policy limits, value of the claim deductible, potential validity of the allegations, and the effect of the coverage issues on the overall handling of the claim.

It is important to point out that even if a defense attorney has been appointed by the insurance company, that attorney represents the interests of the design professional, not the insurance carrier. Every state has empowered legislation that legal counsel can not litate the claim out of coverage. This means that the insurance company can not assign counsel, litigate to the point where there is no coverage for the remaining issues, and then withdrawal from the defense. That counsel must act in the best interests of the design professional.

Generally, insurance companies will look for coverage until they can not find it in a given claims scenario. This means that if there is any iota of facts in the claim that could be covered, they will defend the entire claim. Therefore, if you should receive a Reservation of Rights letter, the very first rule is to not panic! More often than not, the insurance company claims representative will call the design professional and discuss the issues prior to the actual Reservation of Rights letter being issued. The insured is then given the opportunity to provide additional information and documents to clarify the issues, and to discuss the way the claim is to be handled. A Reservation of Rights letter is only an insurance document used by the insurance carrier to ensure that there are no surprises to the design professional when faced with potential uninsured exposures.

Insurance Sales – How to Overcome Objections

When trying to sell insurance (or any product for that matter) overcoming objections is best done before those objections are actually voiced. For example, if you are trying to sell life insurance to a couple, one of the most common objections that you will face is: “this all sounds great, but we'd like some time…

When trying to sell insurance (or any product for that matter) overcoming objections is best done before those objections are actually voiced. For example, if you are trying to sell life insurance to a couple, one of the most common objections that you will face is: “this all sounds great, but we'd like some time to think it over.” If as a salesman you can anticipate this objection, you can prevent it from ever coming up by saying something to address it before the close.

Something to the effect of: “Now Mr. Jones, these programs are very advantageous to people like themselves, but unfortunately many people procrastinate. for programs like we are talking about today. ” Is there a chance they will still want to think it over? Yes, but it is a lot harder for them to voice that objection when you have already effectively addressed it beforehand.

If you actually get the voiced objection, there is one key thing to remember: objections die with agreement. If you agree with their concerns, it establishes you as an individual trying to understand them and their situation and find the best fit for them, not just some salesman looking for the big commission check they can find.

Let's say that the prospect tells you that they are happy with their current agent or broker.

With the agreement mentality, your response may be something along the lines of: “I understand Mr. Jones, and I am not here to interfer with that relationship. rates to match where you are at this stage of your life.

Another common objection that you may hear when talking with a prospect is that: “It will never happen to me.”

Depending on the type of product you are selling, this can be a killer objection. Everyone knows they need life insurance because they will not live forever, but accident insurance, long term care insurance, or cancer policies are a little tougher sell. Overcoming objections on these types of policies can be much tougher.

You still want to agree with the prospect, sometimes something along the lines of: “I understand where you are coming from, and we do not want these things to happen to you, but it is still wise to be prepared. when is the last time you totaled your car? Never? But you still feel it is important to have coverage in case that happened to you, right? ” At that point, they acknowledge that just because it is an incomprehensible thought, it can still happen to them.

Overcoming objections is one of the most important parts of the sales cycle. You can make a killer presentation, have the best products with the lowest rates, but if you're not able to surmount the objections that will come up in the prospect's mind, none of your product advantages will matter to the client. They have to not only see the value in your product, but have all their objections (both voiced and unvoiced) resolved before they will be willing to fill out the application or cut you that premium check.

7 Things Your Insurance Agency Must Do in 2013

The New Year is upon us and it is the best time to implement your marketing plans for the coming year. No doubt you have some goals, but how are you going to get there? By utilizing the 7 items below, you can start your year off right and get great start on marketing in…

The New Year is upon us and it is the best time to implement your marketing plans for the coming year. No doubt you have some goals, but how are you going to get there? By utilizing the 7 items below, you can start your year off right and get great start on marketing in the New Year!

1. Modernize your website

Consumers want to purchase from a company that has a nice website. Of 200 people surveyed about making a purchase decision, only 3 said that the company's website had no effect on their purchase decision. If your website is old, outdated or has stale content on it, consider updating it early this year. There is no reason to wait! Consider these few items when creating your new website:

  1. Each page should have a minimum of 400 words on it.
  2. Put your most important products first. Search engines read the pages from top to bottom, left to right. (And, so do consumers, usually!)
  3. Avoid templates (themes are okay). Your business is unique – Your website should be too.
  4. Write your content for consumers, not for search engines.
  5. Include your social media links and a company blog.

2. Blog

What exactly is a blog? A blog is simply short for weblog. A blog is a great place to showcase ideas and add valuable content to your website, regularly. A blog easily allows you to write about a new service, lower rates, explain coverage and more. When you blog, it adds new, fresh content to your website. Search engines love this. WordPress is a valuable blogging software that can easily be added to your domain.

3. Produce Video

Video is important now, and it was important last year. If you have not started to utilize video at your insurance agency, now is the time. Video is important because it is considered rich media and the search engines love this! We take video a step further and include search engine optimization (SEO) with our client videos. This allows them to show up in search results and can direct more traffic to your website. What content should your videos contain? How about an agent explaining what comprehensive coverage covers, or what water damage is not covered by a typical home insurance policy. The topics are limitless.

4. Get a Mobile Website

Okay, we've been listening it for a few years now, but currently only about 15% of our agents website traffic comes through through mobile devices. 2013 just might be the year that this changes. How many people do you know have a smartphone? A tablet? Probably quite a few! Mobile will soon outpace the desktop for search. Your agency should be prepared with a mobile friendly website. Be sure to include a link to your whole site, but general guidelines for a mobile website should be a clear location, phone number and brief description of your business. Keep it simple with minimal pictures to improve load times.

5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization can be a painstaking process, requires constant attention and you must follow Google's strict webmaster guidelines to ensure you do not get put into the “sandbox.” Take that and pair it with the fact that insurance is one of the most competitive industries on the internet and you've got quite a task ahead of you! When optimizing your website look for easy wins. It's not easy to rank for “Insurance Seattle, WA” so do not waste your homepage on that term. Look for niche markets such as a small insurance company you represent with a large local presence. Here in the northwest we have several such as Mutual of Enumclaw, PEMCO, Oregon Mutual, Sublimity and more! Optimizing for these terms gives you a better chance of ranking on page one than if you were to try to compete with national carriers such as Farmers, Allstate and GEICO. Look for local optimization wins and be sure to utilize Google's free keyword tool (just Google “keyword tool.”)

6. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a powerful tool to create a professional network unlike any other. Think about all that is “overshared” on Facebook and then contrast that with the professional posts that are written on LinkedIn. LinkedIn offers you the opportunity to work with others who need referrals such as real estate agents, mortgage brokers and other small business owners to generate business for each other. Furthermore, LinkedIn has valuable articles for help with different aspects of running a business and marketing that business. If you have not already, create a profile, spend some time clearly explaining what you do and then start searching for people to network with. Networking does generate referrals!

7. Create a Newsletter

It is said that it is 75% less expensive to retain an existing customer that it is to gain a new one. It is also said that the # 2 reason (second only to price) that people leave their insurance agent is they have not heard from their agent. A newsletter is a fantastic way to stay in touch with your existing customers. In your newsletter, talk about seasonal risks such as boating or motorcycles, pipes freezing and cleaning your gutters. Talk about a new insurance company you have, highlight a new endorsement you offer. By sending out a newsletter you can touch your customers, showing that your agency is still working for them, informing of any changes that may affect them. They add value.

By taking these steps now, you're sure to get more business and make for a better year for your insurance agency. Best of luck in the New Year!