Posts Tagged ‘ agency culture ’
Thinking outside the box and becoming more creative to generate leads is a great insurance marketing strategy for your insurance agency. Social media has become one of the leading ways to impact your community, generate interest, and draw in prospective clients. Whether you are heavily invested in Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, you have got to start somewhere.
All of these social media sites provide different opportunities for your agency to brand itself on. As a leader in the insurance industry, you will want to use social media to integrate fundraising and community service into your agency. This creative and humbling Internet marketing tactic will not only bring you leads, but it will build a stronger community for your agency.
Integrating fundraising and community service into your social media strategy:
Through Facebook, you are going to be able to optimize your experience by creating interesting posts that people want to interact with. Through Twitter, you are going to be able to promote good things going on with your event or service to provide real time updates. And through LinkedIn you can update your initiative through your professional networking groups.
Being involved on a day to day basis with your Facebook friends and potential clients is a great way to generate new leads through social media. Creating a fundraiser or community service event to bring the community together, will not only benefit the non-profit or business you are donating your proceeds to, but it will benefit the community, and even better your agency. Think outside the box and bring people together through social media, and you will be guaranteed to build a larger and more beneficial community surrounding your insurance agency.Continue Reading »
If you ever had the thought that you cannot blog, trust me, it’s not true. In my own experiences, I have found out that anyone can be a successful blogger to contribute to your agency’s insurance marketing efforts.
When I was first approached with the idea of blogging, I was a little skeptical to say the least. I didn’t think I would have the right writing style for it, and I honestly didn’t think that I would enjoy it. I soon found out that I couldn’t have been further from the truth.
I am very analytical. In middle and high school, I was on the math team. No joke, there were weekly meetings, even competitions. So how is someone so number-centric able to write, and do it well? I’ll tell you!
Have the Right Attitude
Your attitude toward something is almost always a deciding factor in your success. If you come into something with the idea that you will fail, you have no doubt already sealed your fate.
Always step into new experiences with a positive attitude. Know that there aren’t any downsides to trying something new. At best, you have discovered a skill you never knew you had. At worst, you gave something a good, honest try. You will also learn something in the process. If those are the only outcomes, there is no reason to not try writing a blog post or two!
Pick a Good Topic
Once you have a positive attitude, it is time to pick a topic to write about! This is probably a longer and more frustrating process than the writing itself, honestly. After all, when you are researching, there’s a whole internet of possible topics! How on earth are you expected to pick just one?
When you are searching for a potential blog topic, try not to get too bogged down with ideas. Keep it simple, and keep the following in mind:
Pick a topic that is relevant and interesting to your audience. Ask yourself this: what are people coming to your blog to read about? Make sure your topic answers this question.
Pick a topic you like. If you don’t like the topic you write about, no one will enjoy reading it. Picture for a moment being a high school English teacher. It would take all the patience in the world to get through a stack of thrown-together and last minute essays on Friedrich Nietzsche and nihilism written by 16 year olds. Can you even imagine the torture?
This is something that you must avoid putting your readers through at all costs. If you write about something you like and are passionate about, you don’t run the risk of your reader’s eyes glazing over.
To really avoid putting your readers to sleep, make sure to read your blog over after it is written. Make sure that you can read it fluidly, and fix any awkward wordings that are hard to avoid when writing. This is a very important step in writing, because sometimes what sounds good in your head when you write needs a better logical flow once is it actually on paper.
Show It Off!
After you have written and revised, take pride in what you have done! You are now a blogger! Show your new creation to friends and co-workers. Nothing will motivate you to cultivate a new skill like praise.
Then it is finally time to post your work! Putting your writing on the internet may seem strange or scary at first, but be assured that it will become old hat after a while.
And remember, with a plan of action, a positive attitude, and some practice, anyone can be a blogger!
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As you’ve probably heard, book stores are dying. More than half of Borders Bookstores have closed; Barnes & Noble is struggling to stay afloat. Meanwhile, Amazon.com is thriving; with its stock price on a never ending climb. What has caused this change? Is it high overhead for brick-and-mortar stores? Somewhat. The booming e-reader and tablet market? Perhaps.
People still like going into a bookstore, buying a book, and sitting down and grabbing a coffee – something Amazon cannot offer. People also like buying books online. Borders and B&N offer both, and e-reader’s to boot, so why are they still drowning? It is their culture, they are not dedicated to online sales and they are offering eBooks because they have to.
How do I know this? Amazon offered a livingsocial.com gift card half off. B&N follows up with the identical deal on Groupon. Except its not identical because they don’t get it – they do not get customer service. How does this manifest into a terrible experience for the consumer? Let me explain.
After you bought the B&N gift card, it takes you 24 hrs to receive it. When you receive it, it says you can’t use it quite yet, but in a few days you’ll be good to go. It also said it can’t be used on Nook products (their eBook readers) and that you have to use it by a certain date or it loses value. Groupon is made for businesses to attract new customers. What better way to get these new customers to hate you than to limit what they can buy, when they can buy, and force them to buy during a certain time frame. Besides the loss in value being illegal in some states, it’s just downright dumb. Once you order a book from B&N, they email you, but for whatever reason, they are not white listed in Gmail, so check your spam folder. And for the cherry on top, they use DHL for shipping which hands off to USPS. So expect to get your book 7-10 business days after ordering it.
How does this apply to insurance? Why am I ranting about a book store? Because insurance agencies can learn a lot from this case study. If you want to do something, do it well and be committed to it. If you want to sell insurance where people are looking for it today, do it online. But do not do it half-heartedly. Having a Facebook page doesn’t mean you are involved in social media. It’s in the execution. In this case, Amazon executes – they deliver great customer service, Barnes & Noble doesn’t and they are failing.
If you want to be an awesome online insurance agency (or any business for that matter), you must first be an awesome customer service company. It is not always about price – think I’m going to get a cheaper book at B&N over a more expensive version on Amazon any time soon? – it’s about the experience.
Being a customer service company first has its advantages. You can take Amazon for example – they have branched out well beyond books and into every consumer product under the sun including groceries. But let’s take an insurance agency example. Paul Murphy Insurance delivers great customer service and happens to sell insurance. Now he also sells online marketing services for small businesses in his area. This is a natural transition for them as they look to move into new markets and generate more profits. But if it wasn’t for their focus on being a customer service company, none of this would have been possible.
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Have you ever asked yourself if you believe? Believing is one of the most important aspects your agency must have if you want to increase sales. As Astonish Results CEO Adam DeGraide says, you must believe in yourself, the place you work, and the products you offer if you want to be successful.
If you walk into work every day with a negative attitude you are already set for failure and it is going to come across that way to the people that surround you. Having self-confidence is number one. Confidence is a trait that will make you happier, and the customer happier, because people feel better about a decision you are telling them to make, if you yourself are confident in it. Next, is believing that you can help the customer. The customer doesn’t want you to sell them something; they want you to HELP them buy something. Truly wanting to help your customers is a trait that will come off in a sales call. Showing that you are there to help them get the best rate and are willing to go the extra step when they file a claim will only deepen the level of trust you have instilled.
The second thing you must believe in is the place you work. Understanding the culture of the agency in which you work will help you feel in place, and your insurance agency culture is something you can use to differentiate your agency from competitors. If you aren’t sure what the agency stands for, ask your agency principal. Why did you start this agency? What is the message we want to get across to our customers? And if you are the agency owner, I would think about these questions. As the principal, showing your agents that YOU believe will only help them on their path to success.
The third part of your agency that you must believe in is the products you sell. You can’t sell anything in any business if you do not truly believe that it is the best choice out there for your customers. When following up with a lead the customer can tell if you are insincere about the product you are offering. Believing in the insurance policy you are offering them, that it will help them and is the best possible policy they can get, will shine through in your voice and attitude.
So ask yourself again. Do you believe in yourself, your agency, and the products you sell? If you answer no to any of these questions, then take a step back and assess the situation. Look for inspiration in yourself. Ask the most optimistic person in the office what they believe in, or approach your agency principal to better understand the culture at your agency. And lastly, believe in what you’re selling. If you can’t convince yourself a product is great, how can you convince the customer?Continue Reading »
Recently, the Insurance Marketing HQ team had the opportunity to visit the energetic and inspired team from Encharter Insurance’s Amherst office known locally as Blair, Cutting & Smith Insurance. Situated in the heart of the UMASS-Amherst community, the agency has a rich history dating back to 1879.
Our visit happened to coincide with a “theme” day the agency had planned as a part of an office morale initiative that keeps employees happy and productive. To honor the 53rd anniversary of American Bandstand, Encharter’s staff donned attire ranging from poodle skirts and pink cardigans to floor length flower dresses with begonias in their hair.
As a special treat we spoke to two Encharter employees who are shining bright as “Changing Faces of the Insurance Industry,” one a social media engineer and the other, a savvy receptionist turned CSR.
Social Media Engineer – Heidi
Wielding an English degree out of college, Heidi has been instrumental in building an internship program for Encharter by leveraging relationships with UMASS-Amherst and creating an atmosphere of learning. She’s also responsible for helping to oversee the agency’s social media with a full on multimedia and social networking program.
Customer Service Representative – Katie
Stephanie started as a receptionist at Encharter before earning her license and becoming a CSR. Since then, she’s won multiple awards within the agency as a top producer based on a point system set up by the management team.Continue Reading »