Loyalty Marketing: Creating Incentives Needed To Motivate Agents
Wanted: A reason for agents and brokers to sell your products. Solution: An innovative incentive program that generates loyalty to your insurance company by appealing to agents basic human needs for recognition and reward.
Unless you have just introduced an earth-shattering product, youll probably need a well-orchestrated incentive program to achieve your production goals and build loyalty. A loyalty marketing program should be part of your overall marketing strategy and embraced by the top executives.
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To develop the program, start by identifying the key objectives. Refer to the quantifiable goals stated in the overall marketing plan, such as reaching a certain dollar amount in premiums from one or several products over a specified period of time.
Dont limit your incentive program to new products and neglect popular existing products that would give agents more opportunities to earn rewards. Also, reach out to both existing and prospective agents when launching an incentive program.
For an agent to strive toward a certain production goal, he or she needs to become emotionally vested in the reward. But one reward wont satisfy all types of agents.
For example, a four-day golf trip to a resort 1,000 miles away will not motivate an agent who doesnt golf or who doesnt want to be away from a spouse and young children. Youll get far better results by offering several destinations, including at least one thats reachable by car. In addition, some agents may not be turned on by any trip and would prefer a tangible gift.
Dont just offer super rewards for top producers. If only two agents among thousands will win a two-week trip to Hawaii or a Rolex watch, then most of them wont bother striving toward what they consider an unreachable goal.
Instead, offer additional rewards–such as a weekend getaway or tickets to a sporting event–for agents who achieve more moderate production levels, so they can set their own realistic goals. Plus, provide a reward to agents who write business for the first time with your company.
Each reward should create a connection with your company in the eyes of the agent.
For example, the vacation should be branded as “your companys” trip. To reinforce this association, throw in luggage tags and other add-ons with your logo. Plus, any stand-alone gift should feature your firms logo.
Never offer cash as an incentive unless its combined with another award. Cash has little or no perceived value, and will be quickly spent and forgotten–unlike a watch or a trip that will instill a lasting image and make an agent proud to be associated with your company.
Loyalty can also be extended to the agents family. So if you award a pass for four to a family vacation spot, the spouse and children will also remember your company favorably. Think of the value when an agents child reminds him or her of the great time at “your companys” trip to Disney World or a nearby amusement park.