Marketing Small: What Your Insurance Agency Can Learn From the Corner Store
How can the corner store teach you a lesson about how to be a better insurance agency? The corner store's marketing plans might not be written up in reports that outline and track key metrics, but any longstanding community business knows a thing or two about marketing. Here's what you can learn that will help support your insurance agency's marketing efforts.
Location Is Key
How are you putting yourself out there to market to the right people? Are you even in their line of sight? The owner of your corner store knows that by putting themselves in an area where they have motivated foot traffic, they will get business no matter what. If you're marketing online, you'll need to understand the keywords and partnerships that will get you in front of the key people who need to see you.
If you're embarking on in-person insurance marketing, you can consider basic strategies such as partnering with other local businesses who can recommend you or perhaps they can give out your flyers or business cards. For instance, a partnership with realtors or local car dealerships could be a great way to get new business. These small, basic strategies put you in the public eye again and again.
Have a Few Items Next to the Cash Register
Every corner store has a few display areas right next to the cash register. These feature high interest items that are easy for customers to grab and go. What are the high-interest and low input items in your insurance business? These can help people get in the door and become dedicated customers for the long term. For instance, a basic homeowners' insurance plan for new homeowners can bring new customers in the door, and when they need other types of insurance or more complicated insurance, they'll come to you.
Always Build Trust
The corner store is a place that you can trust to have the essentials. You probably have a relationship with the cashier, even if you don't know that person's name. You talk about the weather or about something that's going on outside. Successful small businesses take time to get to know their customers: according to Heidi Cohen, "Many owners jump into their business without examining and understanding their target audience," and that is a mistake.
As an insurance agency, your job is to build that trust with your customers as well. Be consistent with your communication, and show that you're there to take care of the little parts of being an insurance agency. For example, you can follow up with your clients if you notice that their insurance is due and they have not yet renewed, or you could point out areas where you think your client could improve his or her coverage or present strategies that can save your client money.
Be Present in the Community
The corner store might sponsor events or it might simply be there, consistently on the corner, waiting for you when you need to pick up ketchup for the barbeque. One thing you know: it's always there, and you can rely on it.
Your insurance agency can do the same. Are you consistent with your hours, your offerings, and your community presence? Whether your community is around the corner or around the world via the internet, you need to be a reassuring, consistent presence. On the flip side, you also need to keep tabs on your community and how its needs are changing: according to Entrepreneur, "In marketing, you can never rest. Just because something worked before, it doesn’t mean it’ll work again."
At American Agents Alliance, we want to help you understand your insurance marketing and improve it as well. Join us for networking opportunities and for our many membership benefits: contact us today.