The top three challenges advisors face and how social media can overcome them
By Julie Smith
Universal Insurance Services
The top three challenges advisors face when selling life insurance are client procrastination, finding new clients, and lack of awareness about the need for life insurance, according to the 2013 Life Insurance Study conducted by LifeHealthPro.
This comprehensive study, conducted over the summer, was designed to identify not only challenges and common obstacles, but also opportunities and expectations shared by advisors who sell life insurance. After reading through the published findings, I wondered why more advisors aren't putting social media to work for them, especially for prospecting, the number two challenge on their list.
Even more surprising, when asked about which methods advisors use to prospect for new clients, only 4 percent of those polled said they use social media. And the article specifically mentions that “advisors generally are not successfully utilizing social media to prospect for new clients.” More importantly, their top methods for prospecting are referrals and cross-selling to existing clients.
Social media, when used correctly, allows advisors to achieve all of these objectives. Let’s take a look at the top three challenges mentioned in the survey and how you can use social media to overcome them.
1. Client procrastination
Stay top of mind by providing value. Regularly share links to articles, webinars, case studies, industry reports and find ways to engage them in conversation. When you can create a dialogue with your clients, you’re going to understand them better, and really uncover what they want and fully comprehend their needs. In return, you now have the opportunity to provide tremendous value with your services and content.
2. Finding new clients
Finding more clients is usually at the top of all sales wish lists, and several of those surveyed said they planned to boost sales by expanding into new markets. One of the most popular audiences producers want to add to their client mix is business owners. In addition, many of the producers surveyed said they hope to see an increase in sales as a result of new relationships. They plan on creating these relationships by forming partnerships with financial planners, while others plan on joining professional associations to get to know fellow agents or local centers of influence.
LinkedIn is a perfect fit for any of these strategies. With over 238 million professionals using the platform and 1.5 million LinkedIn groups to choose from, it is a great place to build credibility and make new connections that can ultimately help grow your business. As Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, said, "The future belongs to networkers and that’s the beauty of social media; it allows people to connect more easily than any other time in history.
3. Educate clients about life insurance
Use social media to help your clients make better educated decisions about the life insurance industry. Create or share infographics, webcasts, podcasts or videos. Life insurance carriers, as well as industry organizations like Lifehappens.org, are great sources of client approved material that is ready to share. When you educate your audience, you are not only providing value, you are generating trust and credibility.
I've heard it said that while many people don’t trust the financial services industry, they do trust the financial professional they know. Use social media to be the financial professional they know.