If you don’t actively grow your agency, your business will eventually shrink. To succeed, you need to cultivate a growth mindset, which means always dedicating some time to sales and marketing activities.
Since Client Churn Is Inevitable, Marketing Is Critical
According to Insurance Business, the average insurance agency client retention rate is 84%. This means you lose 16% of your clients each year if your retention rate is average. If you don’t make up for this loss with new clients, your book of business will shrink over the years.
If you want to stay in business for years to come, a steady decrease in clients is clearly a problem. Even if you’re thinking about retiring soon, you want to avoid a shrinking book of business because it will make your agency less attractive to potential buyers.
There’s no way to completely eliminate client churn – even successful agents with extremely high retention rates lose business when clients move away, sell their homes or businesses, or pass away. To keep your business from shrinking, you need to attract new clients. That requires marketing.
Allocating Your Time
You cannot spend all your time on marketing – you also need to give your current clients your attention to prevent further churn. Succeeding as an independent agent is all about finding the right balance.
For example, you might like to dedicate four days a week to meeting with clients and one day a week to marketing. Alternatively, you might like to spend an hour each day on marketing activities. The exact division will depend on your situation. The important thing is to create a schedule and stick to it to avoid marketing falling by the wayside.
Your Marketing Checklist
Marketing can encompass a lot of different activities. In fact, a good marketing plan should include a wide range of tactics. The marketing checklist below outlines the key elements that should go into your plan.
Most people go online when want to learn about insurance. Even if they don’t want to buy a policy online, they do some internet research. By developing an online presence, you can lure business to you.
- Website: You need a modern website that’s easy to navigate. It also needs to be visible. Search for terms related to your business and see if your website appears early in the results. If it doesn’t, you need to work on search engine optimization.
- Social Channels: You don’t need to be on every platform – LinkedIn and Facebook are two useful places to focus on. In addition to creating a page, join some LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Groups.
- Email Signature: Your email signature is prime real estate. Create a professional signature that includes your contact information. HubSpot has a free email signature generator.
Since the internet hasn’t completely replaced the real world, you also need to develop a physical presence.
- Location: An office location with clear signage is crucial. Put yourself in the shoes of a prospect – could you find your office? Would you feel comfortable walking in?
- Branding: When you meet people in person, make a good impression and encourage them to contact you again. Branded shirts, branded pens, and business cards can help.
- Sales Collateral: You need to be able to give prospects who are interested in coverage something more substantial than your business card. Brochures, fliers, and other pieces of sales collateral are ideal.
Be proactive about reaching out to prospects and clients.
- Customer Journey: The customer journey is the series of interactions a customer has with your company, starting with when the customer first hears about your business. Map the steps of your typical client’s journey to identify areas where you can improve.
- Templates: Having templates or scripts for your emails, letters, and phone calls can make outreach more consistent.
- Contacts: Use a CRM system to track your outreach actions and results.
Focusing on a specific market niche can help you gain a foothold in a crowded market.
- Identification: You may have developed niches over the years without realizing it. Identify these to develop them further. For example, do you tend to serve people in a certain field or with a specific need?
- Development: Once you’ve identified a niche, think about how you can expand it. Are there organizations you can reach out to?
A strong community presence can help you attract local clients.
- Sponsorships: Consider sponsoring local events and clubs.
- Advertising: There are many ways to advertise locally – from putting an ad in the local paper to paying for a billboard or bus advertisement. You can also create radio ads or ads that will play before the previews at your local movie theater.
- Centers of Influence: Build a strong network with other professionals in your area, such as real estate agents and lawyers.
Do You Need Help?
Developing a growth mindset is a great way to develop your agency and find lasting success, but sometimes you need support. Heffernan Network can help.