Business Marketing 101

BUSINESS MARKETING 101 – 101 TIPS FOR GROWING YOUR BOOK

Here are 20 simple tips to make your book grow. These tips are the first steps in creating a replicable business model for your agency.

1 – Know Your Client
Be alert to details that matter to the client and recognize what makes every encounter with each client unique. Our brand promise, “Because You’re Different,” hinges on employees knowing their distinctive clients and sustaining a positive relationship. Tell your client things you are doing for them that they might not know about and make a point to ask them questions about their business. – Jackie Donnelly, Heffernan Insurance Broker.

2 – Link Up
Ask key commercial clients for their permission to include a link to their websites on your agency’s website. You can bet they will give you their OK and will probably appreciate your loyalty to them, which should help you bond with a long-term client. – Phil Tuccy, Insurance Group Consulting LLC

3 – Share Problems
Make the customer’s problem your problem. – Scott Mikkelsen, Mikkelsen, Kelly, & Kipp Insurance

4 – Mobile Friendly
Make your insurance website mobile-friendly so your customers on-the-go can easily access your information if they need it. – Laird Rixford, Insurance Technologies Corp.

5 – Customer’s Shoes
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Think: “If I were them, what questions would I ask?” – Scott Mikkelsen, Mikkelsen, Kelly, & Kipp Insurance

6 – Referral Partnerships
Enter into a mutually beneficial agreement with a referral partner (i.e., accountant, car dealership) with the objective of sending each other hot leads. I gain a lot of new business using this approach. – Eric Lanzillotta, CBIA Insurance Agency Inc.

7 – Foot in the Door
For commercial insurance: Drop off a cookie in the shape of a foot to a prospective insured. The cookie should have a note attached that says, “Trying to get my foot in the door.” – Trisha Wright, The Hartford.

8 – Checklists
Use coverage and exposure checklists to increase sales. By doing the job of a professional insurance agent, you will also create a great reputation for yourself. – Chris Burand, Burand & Associates LLC

9 – Make Friends
Stop pushing product and price. Make friends and they will become your best clients. – Al Diamond, Agency Consulting Group Inc.

10 – Thank You
Send a handwritten thank you card to clients when they send you referrals and say the following, “The sincerest form of flattery to my agency is in a referral from you, our client. Thank you so much for your vote of confidence and we will take special care of your referral.” Then enclose two more of your business cards. – Catherine Oak, Oak & Associates

11 – Measurements
Measure customer sentiment with social media – not just negative, but positive, too. If your customers are singing you praises, use that to tell more people about your great customer service and get some real marketing mileage out of it. – Don Wolff, Astute Solutions

12 – Umbrellas
Sell increased limits on umbrella policies. Invite personal and small commercial lines umbrella insureds to increase their policy limits beyond $1 million. Many CSRs and producers write a small umbrella once – and then forget to suggest adding another million, or more, at renewal time. – Alan Shulman, www.AgencyIdeas.com

13 – Promote Your Website
Promote your website on all of your marketing. This could include business cards, brochures, emails and social media. Basically, anywhere you have your agency logo, your URL should be there, too. – Laird Rixford, Insurance Technologies Corp.

14 – Turn to Your State Association
If you have an agency challenge, chances are that someone else has already faced it – and solved it. Turn to your state agents’ association for a broad range of solutions to problems you face as an agent or agency principal. – Sharon Emek, Work At Home Vintage Employees (WAHVE)

15 – Screen Share
It’s not always possible to get an in-person appointment. Using easy-to-use screenshare technology such as Join.me is a good way to share a presentation, or go through your website while you’ve got the prospect or client on the phone. – Julie Tinney, Insurance Journal

16 – Virtual Checks
Use remote deposit to electronically deposit checks without leaving the office. Remote deposit captures images of both sides of checks, analyzes them for image quality and authenticity, and automatically balances deposits before submission. That makes the bank available 24/7, saves time and money, and boosts security. Remote deposit does not require application software, and uses a scanner (typically provided by the bank) as well as a PC with an Internet connection. – Mary Grazen, InsurBanc, a division of Connecticut Community Bank N.A.

17 – Great Customer Service
It’s not a secret tactic, but it is the most effective one. When our agents provide customers with outstanding service, they show their appreciation by giving us referrals. – Trident Insurance Agency

18 – Give Them Something
Never leave your client or prospect empty-handed. Give them something useful and informative that will make them think of you every time they see it and use it. – Christopher J. Boggs, Academy of Insurance, www.IJAcademy.com

19 – Track New Business Appointments
New business production is the ultimate indicator of sales performance, but understanding meaningful activity may be the missing piece of your sales management platform. – Tommy McDonald, MarshBerry

20 – Website Design – We can help!
A well-designed website will serve as the hub of all digital agency marketing. When done well, it can serve multiple purposes: customer service, education, sales, retention. – Laird Rixford, Insurance Technologies Corp.

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