The Secret to Getting Insurance Prospects to Call YOU

by | Jan 30, 2015

getting insurance prospects

Why are you here?

Really. I want you to think about it for a second.

There are innumerable blogs on marketing out there; even some written from an insurance perspective, so I’m grateful that you choose to spend some of your busy day with us.

There may a number of reasons readers are here (perhaps you are my mom), but probably the most common answer is that you appreciate Agency Nation’s unique view of the industry and our expertise.

We’re insurance people through and through, and we get marketing, sales and technology. In other words, we’re specialists.

Looking for advice on the proper polymer for that new line of water bottles? We don’t have a clue.

Generalists vs. Specialists

There was a time when being a generalist made sense.

If you were the only mercantile location in town, you increased your potential sales by having a bit of everything. Because selection was limited, it didn’t matter that the nails weren’t cement coated. They were nails, and your customer needed to build something.

If you were the only insurance agency in town, and your customers were local, you wanted to make sure that you had a breadth of products, in order to be able to help as many of the prospective customers in town.

Today, much has changed.

Think about the last item that you bought something. Were you purchasing from a generalist, or a specialist? Odds are good that you didn’t go to a department store; it’s probable that you got it from a specialty shop.

Why?

Because our horizons have expanded, and whether we want to purchase nails (8 penny, galvanized, trim) or fabric (blaze orange, rip-stop nylon) or camera equipment (Micro four-thirds, HD video, external microphone in) we know EXACTLY what we want. And we will search to find it.

In a world of choice, getting what we want grows in importance. Unfortunately, that can sometimes trump local, as Ryan posted here. With the right service capabilities in place, the customer doesn’t need local.

How About Insurance?

In our day jobs over at TrustedChoice.com, we work with many agencies, and too often those agencies are making a very simple mistake. They are trying to be everything to everybody. Or as Seth Godin wrote in a post “We specialize in everything.”

Even in a discipline as seemingly narrow as insurance, you and I both know that’s an impossibility. But our customers don’t know that. Or do they?

No, I don’t think that people appreciate how complex, and detailed insurance is. Proof is in the widely held belief that the only differentiator between one policy and another is the cost.

Most insurance buyers have NO CLUE about how complex insurance is. While looking at the insurance prospects connecting to agencies via TrustedChoice.com, I see all sorts of questions like this:

“Hello, I’m in the XYZ business. Please provide me with a quote.”

Clearly, they don’t know that we rate based upon exposures, that we offer different policies from different providers, and that there are endorsements and forms that we can add to modify coverages. But that’s our job, isn’t it?

If the customer doesn’t know that they need a specialist, why shouldn’t we just be generalists? That way we attract more customers, right?

Most insurance prospects are looking for an answer to a very specific question. Only rarely are they looking for the best general answer. The internet has expanded the universe of insurance solutions available to the searcher, and they no longer need to settle for just any agency. Human nature being what it is, they will gravitate to the agency that appears to have answers to their questions.

Could someone in your agency answer questions on bobtail liability? Probably. But if you don’t tell the world that you know about trucking risks, how do prospects know? But what do those prospects think when they see  the ‘We R Trucking Insurance Agency’?

The challenge is to get that prospect to understand that your agency specializes in exactly their issues, answering their questions and covering their exposures.

What’s an Agency to Do?

Some readers might be questioning the validity of taking a specialist approach. This post reveals how specializing increases the multiple for your agency, while helping you write business.

Obviously you can’t name your agency after your specialty market, or can you?

While there are some agencies who specialize in a broad category that enables them to brand their agencies to a very specific line of business or niche, such as Architect’s Professional Liability Underwriters or Lone Star State Aviation, most agencies don’t have this luxury.

So how do the majority of agencies speak to their specialties? With their websites.

Hinge Research released a study in 2014 that says that 81% of business services buyers review a professional services provider’s website as part of their evaluation process.

insurance buyers have no clueIf you want buyers to know that you are a specialist, tell them. Write a page that talks about WHY they should do business with you, not because you provide the best service, or because you are local, or because you are professional.

Because you specialize in their industry. Because you know everything there is to know about aviation risks or bobtail liability or cyber coverage. Because when you tell them, you start to answer their specific questions.

Then leverage that expertise, that differentiator, to market your agency and your specialty. Market to your prospects; write in their magazine or blogs. Provide learning opportunities to share how your agency and services can solve their problems.

Answer their questions. Gain their trust.

Gain their trust, and they will call YOU to get your input, advice and may end up purchasing a policy. Because you are a specialist.

But how do you tell your story in a way that resonates? That is what branding is all about, and the topic of another post. But if you are looking for some hands-on learning, you should make sure that you are in attendance at the upcoming Brand Camp being led by Aartrijk, a company that specializes in Insurance Branding.

Long Story Short

The message “Our agency writes everything” resonates with exactly nobody. If you aren’t relevant, you won’t get an opportunity to work with most prospects, because they aren’t looking for just anything, they are looking for specific answers to their questions, from professionals who can solve their problems.

Consumers are looking to specialists because increasing choice enables them to find the product or service that exactly matches their needs and solves their problems. In this world, it is harder for a generalist to be selected, because their are few differentiators to prompt the choice.

Specialize and your agency’s visibility will rise with customers looking for answers, which will ultimately result in sold policies.

I’m going to be reviewing a number of techniques that showcase  your agency’s expertise in a future post.

Things like:

  • Branding your agency and your people
  • Finding and developing expertise
  • Content creation
  • Marketing outreach

We are honored by your interest and the time you spend with us. Please let us know if you have questions or topics that you’d like us to address.

Good Selling,

Marty Agather

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