Insurance agents and brokers are suffering an increase of policy cancellations. In this current economy, policy holders are debating if there is anything to protect. Homes are being foreclosed on and certainly the policies that went along with the home are being canceled as well. Insurance agents have to compete with lower rates, premiums, and of course a diversified policy holder.
The question then is, “How can an Independent Insurance Agency increase production without having to increase marketing?” The answer is a simple marketing mix to improve client relationships. Actually connecting with a client shows a higher ability to retain, cross sell, and get referrals from policy holders regardless of the economy. This can be accomplished in a strategy of 3 simple marketing approaches.
1. Create an email marketing strategy, one that connects with policy holders. I have found that agents who have done “email marketing” are not successful, because they do not connect with policy holders. Sending an email with the obvious attempt to cross sell does more to offend and risk cancellations. Commit to sending emails to reconnect and inform, not cross sell. A simple, “Thanks for being such a loyal customer. A lot of people have questions nowadays, if you do give me a call and let’s get together soon.” Sending something like this every month shows value to the customer and keeps you in close with them.
2. Have a solid follow up system. New policy holders may not know what to do with the policy when it arrives, so have a follow strategy that helps them understand they bought a policy to protect them and they need to protect it. Set it up automatically in an email format to be sent for you in 5-7 days. It should read something like, “By now you should have received your policy in the mail. Please read the first page and write the phone numbers everywhere you can so you can get them if you need (God Forbid.)” I have found the “referral sources” are the ones who read their policy information and start referring in the first 3 -4 weeks of having received it.
3. Get clear on the direct mail. Also automated, have a card or postcard set up in a system to send out a birthday wish or anniversary. Quick and easy, simply input the information into your system to have the notification sent to a printer who will print, sign, stamp, and send the card for you. People are looking for more than just bills in the mail. They are looking for encouragement, send them a note of encouragement.
Employ these 3 strategies and watch your personal economy in the insurance business or any business grow in 2009.