Use these eight tips to earn your prospective customer's trust quickly and generate new sales leads.
The insurance business is all about trust. Build rapport with prospective customers, earn their trust and establish the foundation for a strong and lasting relationship. In turn, customers will furnish you with a fantastic reputation, making trust a little easier to build with each new client.
Becoming a trusted insurance brand is essential to take your lead generation strategies to the next level. However, before you decide to incorporate a certain approach into your marketing strategy to build that brand, ask yourself if it's the most effective strategy for your target demographic.
So, who are you selling to? It's best to be as specific as possible. Reaching out to an entire market is too difficult—as the saying goes, you can't please everyone all the time. You need to identify the core group of people your product or service is aimed at.
Narrow down your potential client base using characteristics like:
- Demographics. Age, gender, income and family.
- Behavior. What are your customers' spending habits? How do they engage with your brand?
- Personality. What are their attitudes, beliefs and values? How do these affect the choices they make?
- Geographic area. You could make your scope as wide as a continent, country or region—or as small as a neighborhood or area code.
Once you have a clear picture of your target customer, adapt your strategies for maximum effectiveness. Here are eight ideas you can implement to grab new leads fast:
1) Buying Leads
Purchasing lead lists online is quick, easy and gives you immediate access to a huge database. If your business is new, it's an excellent way to expand your portfolio.
Of course, this strategy has its downsides. Although you pay for every lead, not all of them are guaranteed to become customers. Buying from a lead aggregator is slightly cheaper, but the leads will be shared among other companies too, creating even greater competition. Plus, if a lead has already signed a contract with a competitor, you could end up wasting your time.
Be sure to do your research when browsing lead generation companies. Watch out for missing contact details, inaccurate information and promises that sound too good to be true. Essentially, make sure you're buying from a high-quality seller.
Purchasing leads can be beneficial to your overall strategy, but it shouldn't comprise a whole strategy by itself. Get the most value for money by selecting a legitimate seller, carefully tracking your conversion rate and finding ways to boost it.
Using your existing client base to attract new customers is one of the cheapest tools in your arsenal. It's useful in two ways: It helps generate new leads and it gets people talking about your products and services. As many as 87% of agents say referrals from current and previous clients are one of their most successful marketing strategies.
But how do you make sure your customers spread the word about you? You ask them to. Most people won't think of recommending a company to others until you plant the seed. Optimize your referrals by asking early in the relationship while you're fresh in the customer's mind. They'll be more likely to take action when they're still newly excited about your products and services.
To motivate your long-term loyal customers, offer incentives like 20% off service fees. Developing discounts and perks not only helps mobilize your customer base to produce new leads but can form a significant part of your customer engagement action plan. However, always make sure to check the law first: Regulations on discounts and incentives will vary from state to state.
3) Community Building
A great way to build trust is to become known in the local community. This will help you generate new leads and create instant name recognition and goodwill toward your brand. You could sponsor a local radio show, youth sports team or charity event. You could even create a scholarship for a gifted student—a good deed makes for great publicity.
Networking is part of this too. If you participate in local business groups, you could get referrals from members of the community. Joining insurance associations can also increase your exposure and widen your database.
You want to become a familiar presence. Talk to people often, including those outside your usual sphere. Make sure you have business cards ready to distribute and freebies with the name of your business on them.
4) Free Consultations
It may seem counterintuitive to give away your skill and expertise for free, but compared to the overall customer lifetime value, a few minutes of your time is a drop in the ocean. A free consultation makes it extremely convenient for leads to sign up for your services because they'll already be in contact with you, and you'll also have established a bond with them.
Free consultations are excellent for publicity. The word “free" is irresistible to most of us. Make sure you advertise this everywhere—on business cards, on your website and social media pages, on flyers, and in booklets. Make your call to action as big, bright and eye-catching as possible and ensure it's easy for customers to book appointments with you.
5) Hosting Events
You don't have to limit yourself to sponsoring other people's events—host your own as well. Anyone who shows up to an insurance seminar is clearly interested in what you're selling, which makes them the best possible sort of lead.
Rather than a straightforward pitch for your brand, an event should be genuinely interesting, relevant and informative. You could also include a Q&A session. This is an excellent chance to show off your knowledge and expertise in your industry. Q&As help build rapport and relationships by encouraging people to actively participate.
Dinner seminars—meetings over dinners or lunches you pay for—are expensive but also create great leads. Good hosting, food and a professional yet friendly atmosphere will only help boost your rapport with useful contacts, who may send customers your way.
Online webinars, on the other hand, are cheaper and may be more convenient for your business. That being said, they don't offer the opportunity to talk to attendees one on one or exchange contact information. Still, they're a great and cost-effective way to highlight your online presence.
6) Your Website
Consumers often start their quest for an insurance company online. Mobile searches containing “insurance near me" have been trending for years. Therefore, it's crucial to ensure your website ranks highly in search engines so you can attract prospective customers and build credibility. An outdated, badly designed, sketchy site will have clients running for the hills.
Here are a few tips to bring people to your brand's online home:
Optimize for smartphones. Out of all the searches made on Google, over half are made on a mobile device, according to Google. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly and your pages load quickly so users can easily access your site on the go. It should also have a responsive design that automatically adjusts to fit smaller screens.
Make a blog. To rank highly in search engines, your site needs to host content containing keywords relevant to consumer search queries. It's not good enough to churn out jargon-filled gibberish or copy other sites—Google penalizes spam and duplicate content. Your content must be high quality, informative and original. Address your customers' frequently asked questions to satisfy search engine visitors.
Use images and videos. Images help break up text-heavy pages and create a more enjoyable experience. Not only that, but Google rewards “time on page." A user could quickly skim your content and exit after 15 seconds, or their attention could be caught by a video that holds them for a whole five minutes. This can make an enormous difference to your rankings.
Make it clear. Links to calls to action must be bold, clear and clickable. Customers should be able to find everything they need effortlessly. A virtual agent could also be used to engage visitors directly and answer any questions.
7) Pay-Per-Click Advertising
When using a search engine, you may notice certain results near the top of the page marked “ad" or “sponsored." These are called “pay-per-click" (PPC) ads because the advertisers pay the host website each time the ad is clicked. Businesses bid on keywords related to your products and services to ensure a prime spot in search engine rankings and make sure plenty of traffic is directed to your site. Since advertisers only pay when a consumer visits the website, this strategy is usually cost-effective.
However, PPC isn't quite as simple as it sounds. You'll need to research as many keywords as possible, including the most popular, frequently used terms and more specific long-tail keywords.
Bear in mind that clicks don't always convert to leads. It's useful to gather data on the behavior of your site's visitors, which you can use to turn them into customers with the aid of a conversion rate optimization service.
8) Boosting Your Online Reputation
You can also direct people to your website and enhance your search engine optimization through online business directories. Some sites will let you add your name, address and phone number—referred to as NAP—for free; others will charge a fee. The more frequently your name crops up on the internet, the more legitimate and credible your business will appear.
Do what you can to encourage existing clients to leave reviews on Google, Yelp and Facebook. And be sure to respond politely and helpfully to any questions. This will make you appear more polished, professional and reliable, which will help build trust with prospective leads.
Another great option is to guest blog. Posting your content to other websites could help a new audience discover your business. This could expose you to different communities and potentially widen your client base. This gets your name out there and, importantly, is a great boost for your website's traffic and search engine ranking.
Also, don't forget about backlinks—links to your site from other pages. If you create amazing content, hopefully authors of relevant websites will link to you. But if not, you can also ask them directly. Search engines reward websites with a high number of backlinks, as it shows they're a trusted source.
There are hundreds of methods of lead generation for insurance agencies to explore. It's up to you to envision your ideal prospective customer as clearly as possible and adapt your strategies to their segment of the market.
You might find a customer referral program works best or that attending events in your local community is more effective. If your customer demographic is digitally savvy, maybe webinars and online campaigns will bring success. It's all about experimenting to find the best solution for your business. Try to listen to lots of different voices and viewpoints when crafting your strategy.
However, one thing never changes: Earn your customer's trust and your business will be stellar.
Jenna Bunnell is the senior manager for content marketing at Dialpad.