In the current economy, many insurance professionals are focusing on building stronger relationships with clients and prospects. This makes sense for two reasons: It’s five times easier to make a sale to an existing client than it is to a new client, and consumers are looking for someone they can trust in a world full of corporate shenanigans.
Hundreds of agents and brokers are building relationships by investing in their customer newsletters. But if you don’t do it right, your newsletter could end up repelling clients rather than attracting them. Here are 12 tips to maximize the power of your newsletter:
1. It’s all about them. The No. 1 mistake insurance professionals make is focusing their newsletter on themselves, rather than the needs of their clients. So when writing a newsletter, ask yourself two questions: 1) What do my clients really want to know? and 2) How can I provide information that makes their lives better? Imagine the kinds of questions they ask when you speak with them, and answer those questions in your newsletter.
2. Service first, sales second. When trust is at a premium, as it is right now, it’s vital to invest in building that trust before you try to make the sale. Provide plenty of useful information – in your newsletter and on your Web site — that shows you can be trusted to provide expert advice that puts clients’ needs first.
3. Get permission to mail. It’s extremely tempting to harvest as many email or mailing addresses as you can. But it’s often counterproductive. Not only will you be wasting time and money by contacting people who don’t want to hear from you, but by appearing to spam people, you may damage your brand. You’ll get the most bang for your buck — and avoid legal issues — by communicating only with people who have expressed an interest in hearing from you.
4. Make it attractive for people to enter your circle. Frankly, there aren’t thousands of people hungry to hear from an insurance agent. But if you offer them material of value in return for giving up their contact details, you’ll encourage more people to sign up to receive your newsletters. Try putting together, for example, an insurance “buyer’s guide” that helps people make wise decisions about their insurance purchases. Offer this guide as an incentive to sign up to receive your newsletter, and tell them that your newsletter will be full of equally valuable information.
5. Keep at it. Relationships last for a lifetime, not just for a sale. So keep contacting your clients and prospects. If you work at it, they’ll come around eventually. If you stop contacting them, they’ll forget about you and go elsewhere.
6. Don’t forget your personality. There’s one huge advantage that insurance agents have over online shops — and that’s themselves. When people are fearful of getting taken advantage of or making a poor decision, the personal touch becomes essential. As one insurance agent said, “In a do-it-yourself world, something as important as protecting your hard-earned assets shouldn’t be left to the night shift operator.” So share some of your life, and allow your personality to shine through in your newsletter. It’s the best way to connect with people — one-on-one — from afar.