Summer is in full swing and this time of year usually brings a different set of challenges for for insurance agents when consumers are typically not thinking about their coverage. Business can dry up quickly when the season changes but developing a fruitful partnership can help an agent through the dog days of summer.
According to Edmunds.com, Americans are expected to purchase 16.4 million automobiles this year. Boat sales have steadily increased year over year according to Trade Only Today, and the housing industry is starting to bounce back from the market slump. All good signs for marketing your insurance policies to consumers looking to protect big ticket items. So what do all of these big purchases mean for insurance agents? It’s time to ensure your clients have the appropriate coverage they need, and at the best price and what better time to offer your assistance than when they use these toys the most.
Some clients will approach their insurance agent prior to making a new purchase, however, for most consumers insurance isn’t top of mind when buying a car or house, and they’ll need friendly reminders to change their coverage. For most agents, the ROI on marketing directly to prospect whom you have no history with can be less than desirable that's why finding mutually beneficial relationships ca be the bread and butter for agents looking for another angle to get their agency more exposure.
Creating a Cooperative Marketing Partnership
Emails and newsletters are great for most agents BUT...
...this practice usually only target the clients you already have or tire kickers. Since the warmer weather begins to entice more big ticket purchases and some out of the ordinary services, this is also a great time to find new clients and hone your B2B skills. Try teaming up with an industry involved in selling cars, houses, boats and everything in between.
- If you have a personal connection with a car dealership, strike up a conversation about how cooperation could work for both companies. For example, by listing you as a trusted insurance vendor, the dealership can provide clients with the full package – car, financing and insurance all in one swoop. And with your insurance company listed on the dealership’s materials, you’ll have plenty of leads for potential new clients down the road. If the dealer is less than inclined to offer their book of business to you, ask to provide a set of marketing materials to each new client.
- If you're looking for health insurance leads, you might also want to connect with a local pharmacy and see if the pharmacy will allow you to set up an informational table about a common health topic like Medicare enrollment or testing for high blood pressure or diabetes. This provides you with the opportunity to spread the word about your company and services, and it also gives the pharmacy the ability to encourage its clients to pursue a healthier lifestyle. Look for these types of "Win-Win" scenarios and pitch them to potential partners. If they see the benefit to helping grow their business they will be more inclined to listen.
- Agents who sell home insurance can potentially find great success through partnering with a real estate company. Inquire about recommending your insurance agency as a home insurance provider to their clients or ask if you can provide insurance marketing materials in their package to clients. Most real estate agents enjoy the idea of providing a suite of services to their clients because like insurance sales, their lifeblood is referral business.
- If you don’t have a friendship or relative connection, consider approaching a related business in your community that made a difference for you. Maybe you’ve purchased a large flat screen TV from a local supplier, had your car serviced with the local mechanic, or even hired a pest control company to eradicate that 2 lbs. spider lurching around in your basement. Whatever the case, make certain you find a company that impresses you with how it treats its customers and how it conducts its business, as these are the traits you want clients to also see in your company.
Some less obvious combinations include:
- Financial advisers or attorneys who specialize in will or estate plans and life insurance
- Fitness or community centers and health insurance
- Housing management companies and renters insurance
- Local auto repair shop for auto insurance leads
How to Approach Marketing Partnerships
Be creative with how you can promote your policies and services. Approach the company in a professional manner and offer the owner, CEO or even the board of directors the opportunity to sign up for an insurance policy. This helps you to develop a relationship with the company, and as the person or individuals use your business, they'll see your quality products and excellent service.