There are countless attributes that determine your success as an insurance producer, but none more important than your reputation.
Most people would agree that you either have a good or bad reputation in the marketplace.
I believe that in today’s digital world, too many insurance producers fall into a third category; no reputation.
It’s common sense that having a bad reputation can make it nearly impossible for your to survive in the insurance business long-term.
But what about having no reputation at all?
Imagine you enter a meeting with your prospect prepared, focused, and ready to deliver. You build great rapport during the initial meeting, discuss new ideas, and ways you can bring value to the table.
You had 30 minutes with this prospect and you made the most of them.
Unfortunately for you, a competing agent not only also had a productive 30-minute meeting with this prospect, but also had built a reputation that was working before and after the meeting.
Needless to say, you didn’t get the business. What happened?
Maybe your reputation let you down, or better yet, your “lack of” reputation.
All agents agree that developing and maintaining a positive reputation with prospects and customers is vital.
Reputation is built upon the core principles of know, like, and trust. Not only is this established by what others are saying about you offline, but what they learn about you online.
How to Build Your Reputation Online
In the past, sales producers have relied on prospect meetings, phone calls, customer testimonials, and marketing materials to establish and build a positive reputation.
All of those ways are fabulous ways to earn likability and trust, but today’s super producers go a step further.
Successful agents today have learned how to grow their presence and credibility before the first meeting ever takes place and long after its over.
In the connected generation, your reputation is what people read about you on their computer, tablets, and smartphones.
A question I often ask insurance producers is, “Are you Googlable?”
It sounds at first like a crazy question, but it’s far from it. In fact, moving forward, it may be one of the most important questions you can ask.
How is your online reputation? If I searched your name today, what would I find? What wouldn’t I find? Would I be impressed or underwhelmed?
Most importantly, if I searched for you online today, would I want to learn more about you and desire an appointment? Would I feel more confident in making a buying decision with you?
Typically, the answer is “no” for most insurance professionals. Instead of providing valuable content online that their audience could utilize, salespeople rely on their company’s marketing materials, and one-on-one appointments.
I love nothing more than a face to face appointment or a warm phone call, but don’t sell yourself short.
How can you gain mutual respect with your prospects before you ever pick up the phone or shake hands?
What do your ideal prospects and clients want? What expertise can you provide? What questions can you answer for them? What are others saying about you online to bolster your credibility?
These important questions can all be addressed and solidified online through numerous channels.
These channels could included, but are not limited to:
- website content
- blog posts
- social media updates and profiles
- online reviews
- testimonials (written and video)
- email newsletters/follow-up
- white papers
- podcasts or audio
- industry related articles
- and more
All of these channels contribute directly to building your online presence and make you not only more valuable to those you want to serve, but searchable as well.
When a prospect “Google’s” you name, agency, or questions on a specific product or service you specialize in, what will they find?
If your answer is “nothing,” or, “I have no idea,” you are selling yourself short. Starting using the online space to build, enhance, and solidify your reputation.
Today’s sales producers must build a strong online presence to earn respect and stand out. You can’t sit back and hope your agency or company partner will do all the heavy lifting for you.
My sales mentor, Jeffrey Gitomer says it best.
“In the old days you could get away with being a company man. Today you better be your own man or woman. You better have your own brand and your own reputation because it gets there way before you do, and sets the tone for the mutual respect you’re hoping for.”