America is becoming more diverse. More than 50 million U.S. residents regularly speak languages other than English in their homes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The U.S. multicultural population in 2001 accounted for over 30 percent of U.S. residents; by 2020 this could increase to 39 percent.
Insurance companies are trying to reach these multicultural audiences, but many of them are missing the mark because they are forgetting a simple, yet critical step. They are not doing a good job in recruiting multicultural producers to represent them in the field.
Admittedly, every financial services company has a unique situation, but the following tips might be useful to bring in multicultural agents and reps to work with your organization.
o Let’s do lunch. Take the first step and reach out to the prospective producer. Having lunch can be a highly effective means of getting to know someone as well as his or her culture. It is a great way to make that initial connection and can be an ideal learning opportunity for you, as well.
o The high-tech approach. You have hundreds if not thousands of names in your producer database, but do you really know the people behind the names? By segmenting your database, you will be able to send targeted communication pieces. Often, targeting your communication is more helpful than just using a standard “saturation” campaign strategy.
Also, don’t forget about the Web. Your communication pieces will need a call to action; what better place to send prospective producers than to a well-maintained Web page that features all of the information you want to share about your organization.
o Speak the language. No, you do not need to be fluent in Spanish or Mandarin Chinese. But if you are sending out direct mail or developing an e-mail campaign to recruit multicultural producers, you need to know your audience. Do your research to find out what speaks to the people you are trying to connect with. It might even be as easy as acknowledging holidays.