There’s no doubt that every insurance agent in the nation has been taught to hand out a few business cards to new customers at the time of policy delivery, and asking them for a small favor:
“As you likely know, referrals are a big part of our business, so If you have any friends, family, or business contacts that could benefit from our services, I’d appreciate you providing them with one of my cards.”
While that might work from time-to-time, most of those business cards end up in a drawer, never to see the light of day ever again. Even if it does work, they are only likely to share your cards with one, maybe two people. The problem isn’t you, it’s the fact that most people aren’t comfortable asking others to meet with their insurance agent. Generally speaking, however, people do like helping other people, and they will feel more comfortable with a more passive referral – in other words, a social review.
Asking For a Different Kind of Favor
Instead of passing out business cards and waiting for the phone to ring, we’d suggest that you modify your policy delivery process and begin asking for online reviews instead. Online reviews are quickly becoming the social proof and life blood of any business whether it be product or service related.
You’ve likely used online reviews yourself when looking for a nice restaurant, or booking travel. Believe it or not, people also use online reviews to check out insurance agencies as well. More often than not, they’re checking you out way before choosing to pick up the phone or fill out an online form. In fact, some studies have suggested that nearly 60% of a sale has already been made through online research, before you even meet your prospect.
Best of all, Online reviews keep working for your agency over and over again. Over the lifetime of a review, it may influence dozens, if not hundreds of new prospects, making them comfortable enough to pick up the phone and give you call.
Because of this we’d like to suggest you add the following steps to your new business process. Feel free to modify this to meet your agency’s needs:
- Gather the prospect/client email during the quoting process.
- Ask permission to add them to your agency newsletter mailing list.
- Add email address to your agency management system.
- From time-to-time, synchronize your agency management system’s client and prospect data with your email marketing platform.
- At the time of policy issuance/delivery:
- Give client a few business cards, asking them to share them with family, friends, and business associates.
- Two-days after delivery, send a personalized thank you email by way of utilizing an email template such as this:
Thank you for choosing <agency name> for your <Personal/Commercial> insurance needs. We appreciate your vote of confidence and look forward to a long relationship.
Referrals are an important part of our business, and we appreciate any recommendations you extend to your friends, family, neighbors and business associates. Be assured they will always receive special attention and the finest service.
In addition to direct referrals, online reviews are becoming equally important to individuals and businesses when shopping for goods and services online. Therefore we would ask that you take a moment to leave a short online review of our agency on either Facebook or Google+. The links to our review pages are:
Once again, thank you for choosing <agency name> Insurance.
By implementing these simple changes to your new business processes, your entire sales staff will be actively soliciting Facebook Likes and online reviews from every new policyholder. Before you know it, you’ll have a number reviews to help promote your agency and attract new business.