Once upon a time, I had a really great insurance agent. He was personable, helpful, and just plain nice to be around. His staff was on top of their game, and I could always count on them to give me the answers I needed and help me find exactly the product that would fit best. Did I mention he was also my landlord – a really good landlord – for a few years? So when I started pricing business insurance, where did I go first?
To the Internet.
That may seem strange given how great this guy is and how he’d built such a strong business. But not only was he not my first choice, he wasn’t even my second. Why?
Because he slipped my mind.
That shocked me when I realized it, and I’d only realized it because it was at that time that his annual calendar – mailed to all his customers – arrived. While he was really great at insurance and at being a landlord, he wasn’t so great at marketing. That calendar represented all the communications he’d send to customers all year.
That’s rather a shame given the huge opportunities there are to remain in front of your customers. Here are some ways this business owner can improve his business:
- Traditional mail. Reach out to customers by giving them something they may not realize they were looking for. Give them sales, remind them of important coverages, or show them how to save money. Engage their curiosity in some way and invite them to call or stop by.
- Social Media. There’s really no excuse these days for not being able to get in front of a customer. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are great ways to reach customers in a more personal, casual way. One note a week takes about five minutes to prepare and send.
- Local events. Chamber of Commerce meetings aside, meet your customers at local fairs, 5K races, charity events, and more. Put up a table and have your brochures, sales sheets, and product enticements sitting out for all to see. Add a bowl of candy and watch them flock to your table.
- Phone calls. Customers don’t mind hearing from a business that’s about to offer to help them solve a problem. When you call, remember the goal isn’t to sell, but to get to know your customer and his or her needs. Start with a goal –how can you be of service to your customer? What questions will you ask to determine their needs?
There are any number of ways to reach out to customers and remain a visible resource. Doing nothing is the fastest way to lose business and leave money on the table.
What is your current method(s) of reaching customers? What has been most effective?