I’m guessing in at least one case there were probably gaps or delays between the first step and the final outcome. Often businesses want to wait until the next renewal before seriously considering new options for insurance. Some companies’ policy is to only review insurance every two or three years. And sometimes businesses aren’t motivated to consider insurance changes until they encounter a problem with their current provider.
Now let me ask another question. Have you had the experience, when you do circle back to schedule a sales meeting, of having been frustrated by responses like these? We certainly have.
“Oh, we’ve already taken care of that,” “We’re not comparing this year,” or “We already have two other agents quoting for us.”
Obviously, none of those responses are what you want to hear.
That’s why you need to “incubate” or nurture these future prospects.
Sending letters, emails, newsletters, etc. on a regular basis helps prospects become familiar with you and your agency, and over time that name recognition builds. Prospects grow more familiar and more comfortable with your brand. Out of that familiarity, confidence and trust develops.
If you’re looking for a particular product (for instance, laundry detergent) you’ve never bought before, you’re bound to be attracted to the one with a familiar brand name (like Tide).
Research shows quite conclusively that people often make buying decisions based on nothing more than this mere-exposure effect alone. That’s why brands spend all the money they do keeping their name in front of you. Repeated impressions create a top-of-mind awareness.
You never know exactly when someone will be ready to change agents or shop their insurance. But when they do, you want them to think of you.
That’s why it’s so important to keep your name in front of the companies and individuals you’re courting.
Virtually anyone prospecting for new commercial lines business has been stymied by people who seemed like great prospects during the initial call, but fizzled out before the “selling stage.”
Minutes after that first positive conversation the prospect forgot all about that insurance review he seemed so open to. And when the agent called again a few months later to schedule a meeting, that prospect seemed like a different person – no longer interested, and full of reasons for not wanting to meet.
And the same principle holds true for your clients. They’re almost certainly getting calls from competing agents too. Hence the strategic need to provide ongoing reminders about your agency.
You could even be missing out on opportunities to do MORE business with your customers.
I recently attended a comedy performance at a local museum (Mass MoCa) and two days afterwards I received a friendly message with the subject line “One step closer to 2042,” riffing on one of the themes of a politically astute stand up routine by Hari Kondabolu.
Thank you for filling up our Club B-10 and laughing on queue, and a huge thanks to Hari Kondabolu for making us his last stop in 2014. We hope you got that drink afterwards Hari, you deserve it.
That was it — simple and friendly. The message also included sharing buttons and links to the museum’s website showing upcoming events. It made me feel good about being one of those 100 or so people who were in that audience that night and I wanted to see more, so I clicked and ended up ordering tickets for another show two months later.
How could you make this work for your agency? What about sending clients a quick email after a claim, renewal, or customer service phone call that references that service moment in some cute, friendly way?
Sending a series of follow up emails is a smart way to build customer loyalty and to nurture long-range prospects. You can’t beat the cost and most people check their inbox daily. If the message is pithy and relevant they’ll appreciate what you have to say and feel more connected.
There’s no question that the media landscape – including, of course, email and e-newsletters—is amply cluttered with messages. Nevertheless, we all have favorite sources we look forward to hearing from.
That’s why we developed the BtoB Advantage newsletter. Most insurance newsletters have a rather narrow scope and tend to focus on technical issues that don’t rate very high on the engagement scale. If people are going to click through, share, and like online content it’s got to be interesting and useful. That’s what we look for and that’s what you need to deliver to nurture your prospects and build thriving client relationships.