I enjoy insurance agency marketing.
Some might call that a sad statement, perhaps even crazy…and I get that.
I can relate to people who dislike marketing because I often find myself working them. I think the difference between myself and those that find marketing to be a chore is all about the mindset.
They look at marketing as a task to check off the list.
I look at marketing as a game. A challenge of my wits.
This simple bit of perspective can have a dramatic change on productivity. It is why we have seen of the gamification of just about everything creep into our schools and businesses over the last few years.
This is not the first time I have discussed this topic. A confused looks is not an uncommon response so let me explain my process.
When it comes to marketing (and sales) based industries many of the top producers have a natural born ability. They have a succinct ability to digest and make use of situational, physical and emotional data points on the fly. They can relate to their audience and respond in turn to eventually reach their desired outcome…more than most anyway.
They are always 1 step ahead.
For the record I am not one of those people.
However, I do have a pretty strong competitive spirit and an analytical side that have helped me overcome my inadequacies. After observing enough successful producers I learned early in my career that much of the success factors in sales and marketing could be broken down into patterns.
[Side note: I did not always see marketing and sales in the same light. While there many differences they both share the same goal and many core success factors. The elements here can be applied to either. Much of my learning came from early sales
Realizing I was not a natural talent I decided to make a game of identifying these patterns through constant observation and note taking. I do realize it sounds pretty sad but after months of failure I had no choice but to try and find a way to make it fun in order to keep going.
It did not take long for me to realize success patterns were much more situational than I initially realized. My mentors would take a similar approach but the angle would change depending on the person and situation.
I had my first light bulb moment when I made the connection to our psychological and behavioral traits I had learned in my freshman psych class.
I started to track and record every single data point I could possibly classify for every single prospect. Over time I was able to learn much of the situational “IF this, THEN that” logic that came to many of the insurance elite naturally.
Not only that, but I was able to excel by combining methods from different marketers and salesmen outside the insurance industry. Something that actually helped me compared to those that took the natural ability for granted.
The process of recording, observing and testing did not happen overnight by any means. There was a lot of trial and error which was often frustrating.
Over time things started to click. I had learned to analyze the information provided and stay a few steps ahead of the process. This allowed me to take the prospect down the desired decision path.
I never asked a question I did not already know the answer to and I had built a mental database of responses to any possible objection in the process.
This process was especially effective with insurance leads. Regardless of the lead being a mailer or real-time, there is an advantage to having more information up front. It provides an opportunity to set expectations and create a solid game plan before making contact.
This is another reason that leads are my preferred source for new business. The ability to get a jump start with data and a user profile provides that first step to stay ahead of the conversation. [This concept always makes me think of this sports example which I find really inspiring.]
So, for all the agents and agency owners out there that are struggling to get things rolling, my advice to you is to hang in there and push forward.
Keep working at it and be sure to track and pay attention to EVERYTHING.
Before long you will be through the dip and on your way up.
Here is a really nice consumer persona infographic published by QuoteWizard that actually inspired me to write this piece. I highly recommend giving it a good look.