As you know, the insurance business is incredibly competitive. Even small markets are typically saturated with numerous insurance agencies. However, that doesn’t mean that your business has to stay stagnant. With a little innovation and some creativity, you can expand your book of business, and reduce your lapse/cancel rate.
Let’s look at just a few ways that you can grow your agency.
1. Get involved in your local community. Sponsor events, even if they may not be high profile. This will help you get your name out there. However, sponsoring is not enough in and of itself. You need to put yourself out there too. Attend the event, volunteer to help if necessary, and show that you truly are involved and invested in your community.
2. Hold regular fun and educational events at your agency. The most obvious track is to hold free seminars that educate the public on the need for financial planning and asset protection, but don’t stop there. Many agents have found that hosting blood drives, offering a free cookie day, and other creative events gets people in the door. Now, what you do once you have them in the door matters. Avoid overt selling and focus instead on building that relationship with each person who walks into your agency.
3. Develop a referral program for your existing customers. Word of mouth advertising is still the most powerful ad medium in existence. Offer your customers a special thank you gift, such as a gas card or something useful in exchange for a successful referral. Just keep in mind that most state’s rebating laws will limit the amount you can give. Keep it under $25 to stay on the safe side.
4. Embrace social networking and add your contacts to your social networks. Sites such as Twitter and Facebook are invaluable to insurance agents on a local level. Develop your page, update it often and encourage people to check it out for free tips and important information. Some agents even offer an iPad at the front desk to encourage people to “check-in” on Facebook when they arrive at the agency.
At the end of the day, it’s all about relationship building. If you take the time to become a true member of your community and if you focus on the person, not the prospect, you will develop not only a solid book of business , but also some great friends along the way.