Paula WallacePaula Wallace is owner and agent at PQ Wallace Insurance Consultants, based in Carrollton, Va. Her No. 1 tip for agents? Identify local centers of influence who are adept at reaching your target market, then approach them as potential partners.

Wallace says: “I get referrals from COIs. I try to identify those people in my community that have a lot of influence on my boomer target market. I build a relationship with those people and get them to understand what I do and that I also care about people. I have had great luck with customer service representatives at local banks, as well as getting to know local pharmacists. I enjoy referrals from them and make a point of thanking my COIs on a regular basis.”

LHP: Tell me about your practice.

PW: I own and run a small independent agency. I am passionate about insurance and helping my clients get the best coverage. I specialize in the senior and boomer market. I do a majority of Medicare business, predominantly gaining clients through referrals. I also do the other life and health insurance business that “falls in my lap.”

LHP: Describe your ideal client.

PW: My ideal client is one who is newly eligible for Medicare coverage and is confused about all the options.

LHP: Your No. 1 tip is about gaining referrals from centers of influence. How has this technique grown your business?

PW: I get a lot of referrals from existing clients; however, I would not be able to stay in business if it were not for referrals from COI’s. Just recently, I received a half dozen referrals from an employee who counsels seniors on Medicare for the local Senior Services agency. She can help them with LIS and PDPs, but if they are looking for Medicare Supplements, she knows I will do a good job for them. 

LHP: What adjective best describes your prospecting style?

PW: Relationships.

LHP: Any new marketing tools or applications that you find interesting?

PW: I love reading your blogs, and participating in LinkedIn discussions.

LHP: What goal(s) do you have for your practice for the remainder of 2012?

PW: I get a fair number of referrals from financial advisors. It is my goal to meet with more financial advisors, get to know them and invite them to our local NAIFA meeting.  In the process, I hope to build a relationship with them and let them know I am a subject matter expert in Medicare, that I represent great companies and that I will treat their clients well, all while leaving their existing business alone.

For more sales & marketing tips, see LifeHealthPro’s 100 Best Sales & Marketing Ideas Ever.