So what have you seen to be some the most effective things. There is social media. There’s email. I mean I’m a big fan of email because I think everybody has an email address and its more personal versus social media. Facebook is hot. Twitter is hot. Pinterest is hot. But sometimes I think that this just like buzz because the media wants to hype up those companies. Are those really effective tools for agencies to try to used to use to generate sales?
Well I have to put them in the right perspective. So yes I think they are effective tools but they’re only a tool. And I take agents through a process of what I call the customer life cycle and you know it really is (about) getting attention. And there are lots of ways to get a prospect’s attention. I do think Facebook is one of those ways. I think LinkedIn is one of those ways. I think Twitter is one of those ways. But those are outposts. Those are things out there that you try and help direct people into what I call your home base which is your website. I think the website becomes the critical pieces in getting their attention, capturing information; meaning, what can I do did he have that person out there, either from an email, or from a facebook post, from a linkedin article. What can I give to that person of value that they would trade for their email address and their name. That happens on a Website. And thats through lead generation forms, report marketing, for example “Five biggest mistakes a pizza shop owner makes when they buy their insurance.” Its creating the types of content that they would wanna read and then now that I have their information now I can do a long term contact series saying “Have you read this report?” or “By the way here is another article” or maybe “Here’s a claim that was covered or not covered because of improper coverage.”
I mean again there’s all kinds of things you can do to build that relationship to the point, where you can take action when you need to sell something. So it’s attract attention, capture information, build a relationship, and sell something.
So wait a minute. Are you saying that agents have to do more than just run quotes and fill out applications? This is blasphemy!
Yes… I know… I know it is and I know a lot of agents out there probably looking and shaking their heads but yeah I mean it really is. And in fact, part of the thing I’m seeing is, I wont call it a trend yet, but it’s certainly an interesting aspect of, I think people do want relationships. I think most people looking at insurance, from all levels from the kid coming out of college buying their first auto policy on their own, up to somebody who has a million-dollar home and cars and vacation places. There’s some something there that tells them “You know this is more important than just getting the lowest price.” Now certainly the geicos and the progressives and esurance, the allstates and state farms they all have lots advertising out there, so one of the things we need to do as agents is to build that relationship and have the opportunity to show them okay here is value. And I even don’t like the word value. A better way to say it is from a guy named Terry Jones, I actually quoted him out about email newsletter he sent. Terry Jones is the it was a former CEO Travelocity and the founder of Kayak.com so he completely disrupted the travel industry by going online and what he said was “salespeople don’t provide information anymore.” Meaning he people can go out and get the information. Sales people provide advice and I think that’s really a key differentiator. It’s not “Let me get the lowest price” its “let me get you the best value but make sure you’re properly covered.” So you look at Geico and you get a quote in often what they do to get that low prices they take coverage away and you don’t find out until you have a claim. well we have a story to tell as agents working and dealing with individual face to face and I think its advice. Now is everybody gonna want that no, but everybody never has wanted that. Even back in my old, you know eighties and nineties people would call an 800 number because for whatever reason they felt that’s the place they need to be.