101 of the very best insurance marketing and prospecting tips, Pt. 2
By Lew Nason
Insurance Pro Shop
Here’s the next 43 of the very best, proven and cost-effective insurance marketing and prospecting tips, ideas and advice I've learned over the past 30 years by working with the very best in the insurance and financial services industry. These 43 tips, ideas and pieces of advice are what you need to guarantee your long-term success. (You can review the first 24 tips here.)
Remember, your message has to be focused on helping people identify and solve their financial problems. It’s not about you, your credentials, your great products or your great sales idea. It’s about how you can help them spend, save, invest, insure and plan wisely for the future, to achieve financial independence.
A continuation of the basics:
25. Assemble a media kit. Develop a strong biography and fact sheet that describes your accomplishments and experience to get speaking engagements, guest appearances and/or your articles published.
26. Be a guest on a local television or radio show. This will establish credibility and define you as a financial resource. You can advertise your financial workshops or offer a free report.
27. Host and produce a live, weekly financial radio program. This will establish credibility and define you as a financial resource. You can advertise your financial workshops or offer a free report. In addition, this will provide a forum for people to ask questions and for listeners to call and arrange for individual consultations.
28. Consider selling to ethnic-specific markets. Become an insider and you will find a tight-knit community that will follow recommendations from their friends and family.
29. Knocking on business doors. Visit local businesses or send a letter that is focused on the magic of tax deferral with current rates or a tax free retirement. Follow up with a phone call to inquire if they received the letter. It’s a great way to get daytime appointments.
30. Write and distribute a press release at least four times a year. One of the most valuable single sheets of paper you can create in marketing is a press release. The media, particularly your local media, is always on the lookout for a great story, so write one for them. Use these stories to tell customers why you are different, and why that difference is a benefit. This must be done in every aspect of your marketing.
31. Offer to stage a Council on Aging workshop. If you offer financial workshops or would like to start doing so, offer to stage a workshop at a local Council on Aging. If you can convince the council director that you are sincere and knowledgeable, he or she will be very grateful to allow you to offer a valuable informational service to their senior community. The only cost is for refreshments.
32. Offer a lunch and learn. Get to know the large-scale employers in your area. Obtaining a favorable appointment with a handful of employees nearing retirement can yield big dividends. Also, obtaining referrals to co-workers will not require much effort and will provide an ongoing stream of prospects.
33. Use what you know best to become the local expert on that subject. Use that knowledge to write a column in at least one local senior publication. Many of the free senior newspapers that are available outside discount and grocery stores will let you write an article if you purchase a small advertisement. Don’t forget to make copies of the articles to send to other prospects. 34. Offer an income tax review. Ask each client to review their form 1040 with you to uncover if they are needlessly paying taxes on money they aren't using. An annuity may be an ideal solution for these clients.
35. Run a newspaper advertisement offering your free information booklets and reports. Place a proven, inexpensive, compelling ad or insert (in the right publications) that hits the hot button of a targeted group of prospects. The idea is to attract people who have money and recognize they need help. As we are now in the "information age," giving away a free report or a free booklet is a great way to make your target market come to you. It's the "try-before-you-buy" approach. When done right, the people who come forward have been indirectly screened and are qualified prospects for your products and services.
36. Marketing works on repetition. The more a consumer sees your ad, the greater the chance that consumers will buy your products or services. And understand that advertising is salesmanship. When you create an advertisement, it must sell just as a salesperson would. Use conversational language and words.
37. Offer your free information booklets and reports in everything you do. In anything you’re doing (your seminar invitations, sales letters, newsletters, business cards, by-line on your articles, when you speak, etc.), always offer your free booklet or free report.
38. Endorsements. Use your free information booklets and reports to get powerful endorsements from local attorneys, accountants, P&C agencies and other professionals. Imagine how much credibility you’ll have with prospects when their advisor recommends your services.
39. Teach an adult education class on finances. The college will advertise your class. If you do it right, all of the students will become your clients.
40. Business briefs section of the Sunday newspaper. A free way of getting your name noticed is to send in your picture along with a short letter about what you do to the business briefs section of the Sunday newspaper. Most papers have this and most are free.
41. Offer a free educational workshop for everyone you know. Invite your barber, mechanic, friends, family, clients and prospects with whom you are having trouble setting an appointment. Help your clients, friends, relatives, prospects and everyone you know see that you can help them to solve their financial problems, and that they can have a brighter financial future, even with all of the problems in our economy. How valuable are your services to them? Won’t they all want to set an appointment with you?
42. Joint ventures. Joint venture marketing is the ultimate insider secret to generating literally thousands of new prospects in your area, rapidly and with the utmost credibility. Are you looking for a way to be in front of more prospects? Are you looking for ways to attract high quality prospects to you? Then consider sharing your clients and prospects with other successful business people, in return for them sharing their clients and prospects with you. When done right, with the right businesses, it can make your search for new and better prospects much easier. To make a joint venture work, you must set up an active contact system that gets people to call you looking for help, more information, or gets them to come to your free educational workshop. 43. Share clients. There are plenty of property and casualty agencies, LTCI agents, investment brokers, etc. who are not offering the same products and services you offer. Why not service each other's clients?
44. Sponsor or organize high-profile events. Invite your first- and second-tier prospects to speaking engagements that highlight industry leaders. Often, organizations sponsor quarterly or bi-annual speaking engagements with industry leaders from your organization. By inviting your best prospects, you establish credibility and show them that you appreciate them.
45. Buying lists of people turning 65 to 66. Many people are confused that even though the age for full benefits under Social Security has risen to 66, the age to join Medicare A and B is still 65. A lot of people are continuing to work and pay higher-than-necessary costs for health coverage, due to this confusion. A quick call offering to mail info regarding the real deal, and then a follow-up call to explain, has proved invaluable in gaining access to people's lives at a time when so many needs are changing.
46. Waiting room and bulletin board approach. Make up some flyers with pull tabs on them with your name and phone number. Then ask every convenience store, gas station or anyone with a waiting room for permission to hang the flyer on their bulletin board. Most will let you. Do as many of these as you can and you will start getting calls. Offer a free booklet or a free educational workshop.
47. Finder’s fee. Pay others in complimentary businesses a finder's fee to give you business.
48. Dinner seminars. While dinner seminars are somewhat expensive, ($4,500 - $5,000 with the mailing and dinners) they are still one of the best and quickest ways to generate lots of new prospects each month. When done right, you can be in front of 50 or more high-quality prospects in less than six weeks.
49. Make your own confirmation calls for seminars. Although most direct mail marketing firms provide a confirmation call service, you want to make them yourself.
50. Set appointments at your seminars. Sign up people while the information and desire is fresh; a cooling-off period will leave you with fewer appointments set and kept.
51. Maintain a database of the people attending your seminars or requesting your free report. Drip on these people with a monthly newsletter. Remember, just because they didn’t immediately set an appointment with you doesn’t mean they are not interested in your services.
52. Send birthday cards and anniversary cards to existing clients. Show that you care about them and strengthening the relationship.
53. Stay current on the issues affecting your clients. Follow trends in the industry by faithfully reading leading industry publications and learn what others are doing in the market. Send important changes to your clients, like sending an email blast regarding recent tax changes, etc.
54. Up-sell your clients. When an applicant is approved at the top rate, make the suggestion that he take advantage of increasing the amount because he has qualified for the very best rate. Point out that he may not be able to qualify again for this rate in the future, and that the premium for a greater amount is quite a bit less on an overall basis because there is no additional policy fee, and higher amounts are banded resulting in a lower cost per $1,000. 55. Articles in association newsletters and social media. Get yourself published in every local media source and on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. If you need ideas, you can rewrite/summarize articles from the Web and add your own thoughts and opinions about them. Be sure to include your byline and offer a free report in everything you do. An article gives you much more credibility than running an ad for your services, and it's free advertising. Remember to make reprints of the articles to send to your clients, friends, family, referrals and prospects.
56. Be a guest speaker for local associations and religious groups. As a financial expert, you have a lot of knowledge on how to help people to better manage their money. Many groups are looking for a qualified authority to share their knowledge with their members. Let them know you are available. (Don't forget to send a press release before and after the event.)
57. Golf or tennis tournaments. During the summer months, host or organize a golf or tennis tournament and give a short seminar before the event. (Don't forget to send a press release before and after the event.)
58. Stop prospecting for clients. Spend your time prospecting with people who associate with the client demographic in which you're interested. For example, if you are looking for clients who are transitioning into long-term health care environments, network with people in that field. They are dealing with hundreds of your ideal prospects every year.
59. Brown bag it. One of the best marketing ideas is a monthly program called Women and Investing, Brown Bag Lunches. One day each month, host a free, no-sales meeting in your office conference room for women who want to learn more about investing. They bring their own lunches and you meet for an hour on a specific topic that you briefly teach and then you all discuss. It's very interactive. They bring their real life examples and questions. It's easy to put together, low cost and helps the public view you as an expert. The women bring their friends and help with spreading the word.
60. Community calendars. Make sure you get all your events listed on the local community calendars. Almost every town, Chamber of Commerce, local library, church, and civic group has a website. So list your seminar, workshop, adult education class, tournament, etc. on their calendar.
61. Don't stress about finding new prospects. According to LIMRA, you're already leaving thousands of dollars on the table from your existing clients. The average family buys life insurance seven times throughout their lives and that doesn’t count disability insurance, long-term care insurance, annuities and more. Think about how much of your income comes from renewals and residuals. Therefore, it pays to make sure that your clients stay with you year after year instead of getting swept away by a competitor or direct seller. To do that, you need to keep in touch continually throughout the year, not just at renewal time.
62. Annual reviews. In today's economic climate, even experienced financial advisors are finding it difficult to attract new clients. More than usual, successful firms are growing their businesses at the expense of less successful firms. Successful advisors are courting and winning over clients who are dissatisfied with their current advisors. That's why, if you want to be successful, you must focus on cultivating client loyalty. In today's highly competitive marketplace, you'll never be able to grow your business if you're losing clients. 63. Hold a "don't miss the boat" event. One of the most successful strategies I've seen for raising the awareness of referrals and bringing in a stream of new business is called the "don't miss the boat" event. Yes, it may be a little gimmicky, but this is an event we've never seen fail; it has consistently produced referrals and results. This event is similar to a client appreciation event. However, the only people that are invited to this event are clients that have referred others to your firm.
64. Client dinners. An idea that works extremely well is taking your best clients out to dinner along with the spouses at least once a year. The clients meet your wife and this will take your relationship to a new level. Now when you speak to these clients, their first comment is usually, "How is Linda?" Furthermore, this process of involving the spouse will open up new sources of referrals.
65. Client appreciation events. A general rule of thumb states that it costs five times as much to attract a new client as it does to keep an existing one. Though we inherently know this rule of thumb to be true, most firms spend significantly more resources on new prospects than on existing clients. With a limited budget available, the marketing priorities are set on bringing in new prospects. But this can be a costly mistake if existing clients are slipping out the back door.
A client marketing and communication strategy is an integral part of a comprehensive marketing plan. Successfully executing campaigns targeted to your clients will deepen relationships, increase the percentage of wealth you manage for clients, generate referrals and defend against your competitors' marketing efforts. Client appreciation events are one of the most common campaigns advisors use to market to their clients.
66. Practice, practice, practice. After years in this business, it is easy to become complacent. Practice your presentation, practice your close and practice your follow-up.
67. Be persistent and patient. Successful people don’t give up when the going gets tough. While the majority of people look for the quickest, easiest way (the shortcut), successful people look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long-term.
"If you can dream it, then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want."
— Zig Ziglar