Insurance brokers and agents who become trusted advisors transcend selling.
A mentor of mine once said, “The more friends you have in business, the better your business will be.” He was right of course.
Similar to family doctors, insurance brokers can become the “go to” service provider for their clients when they need something else or something new to be insured.
How? When a broker knows the value of maximizing one client – one client at a time – by building solid relationships and keeping in touch, without selling, they can become a trusted advisor to them.
Building and Maintaining Relationships
It’s simple and easy, more so these days than ever.
Be attentive. Brokers and agents who are heard and seen more often are remembered by their clients. It seems obvious, but there are still brokers and agents who are indifferent to their client’s needs. They are contacted by the customer, sell a policy, and are never heard from again.
By reaching out to your clients with occasional phone calls, e-mails, and small notes you show that you care and that you are an expert in your field. It also makes you aware of opportunities.
Be available to your clients and they will stay with you forever. They will become more than just clients, they will become your friends.
Interaction with clients doesn’t begin and end with a phone call anymore. More clients are turning to social media for advice. Try hopscotching around some of the more popular social media sites.
Brokers and agents can share helpful tips and suggestions, and quite often, at least two or three times a week. Brokers who take this approach are maintaining their presence in the market which will come in handy when a client needs something.
I often think of the line from Ghostbusters “Who Ya Gonna Call?” as a sort of mantra for insurance brokers. You’re gonna call the broker you know, right?
Start with the big three: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. These will probably be your most useful social media platforms.
This platform seems to arouse the most hesitation from insurance brokers – and from most other professionals. That can be good for you because there will be fewer competitors on Twitter.
It is easy to use once you master a few basics: short, concise messages, refreshingly open personality, attachments, and back-and-forth with potential clients. You can post true stories about how insurance issues get resolved and ask questions on Twitter to engage with people.
Get personal when it is relevant by, say, mentioning community events you are involved in … e.g. Little League, fundraisers … and your hobbies. Taking your boat out after a long freezing winter? Post a photo.
Most important is that you sound like a real human being and can share valuable content with your clients.
Feature your own content and other news sources on Facebook.
It is easy to take photos of a bad local storm, or comment on a recent cyber data breach, and feature it on your Facebook page. The idea is to begin to have people know you “virtually” and trust you so your name will come to mind when a similar need arises.
LinkedIn will help you get in touch and continue conversations with more business people than you’d ever meet on Twitter and Facebook. On LinkedIn, you can locate the decision makers at most companies and you can reach out to them with a powerful new idea.
The more you use social media, the more your prospect and customer base will grow. You will get better at it as you go along, checking in often and continuing to communicate with friends, fans and followers.
Sooner or later your social media friends will reach out to talk to you in person. Remember to call them back, drop them a note, and send them something they’ll use or want to read.
The important thing is to start a conversation, build powerful relationships, and maintain those relationships any way you can – through phone calls, notes, or even social media.