I recently spoke with three top producers about how technology is changing, for better or worse, the way they do business. Here, they discuss how they’re using social media for business and whether insurance sales websites are a threat to agents.
For the rest of this roundtable, see:
Part one: Tablets and e-signatures: The future of life insurance sales?
Part three: Technology for beginners
Q. Social media now seems to permeate our lives. Are you a proponent of using social media in your business life, and if so, how are you using it? If you are not a proponent, why not, and are you concerned about the competition from those who are using it?
Ryan J. Pinney, CSFP, vice president of brokerage sales for Pinney Insurance Center in Roseville, Calif.: I really like social media as a tool, but I think most producers are using it incorrectly. Social media for most people isn’t and shouldn’t be a direct solicitation. Instead, producers should think of it more like a cocktail party. They should be establishing rapport, creating interest and eventually taking the conversation offline to move it into a sales cycle. Personally, I think social media is the best and most effective tool for social intelligence. I like to keep track of job, marital and family changes that may indicate sales opportunities. I also like to comment on posts that my clients make in order to stay visible to them, although I tend to do this sparingly to avoid the stalker feeling it may create otherwise.
Michael Morrow, CFP, MDRT member, international speaker and author of the best-selling “Leading Marketing Strategies” and “The Picture Sells the Story”: We believe social media is a huge opportunity to network. We use LinkedIn and Twitter regularly as great ways to connect and network with our clients and prospects, and they allow us to stay top of mind through insightful postings.
These platforms allow us to learn information about our connections that would be very difficult to gain otherwise. They are effective ways to build upon our referral base.
We also believe that using these tools adds professionalism and credibility, giving us another opportunity to strengthen our brand. As well, social media tools demonstrate that we are relevant and ahead of the technology curve. All of our company contact information — business cards, letterhead, website — includes our LinkedIn and Twitter addresses and logo.
See also: Most affluent Gen Yers use social media for personal finance, investing