As employees of an insurance agency, your staff are busy working with clients. However, it's valuable to their work and the work of your agency to learn from others in the field. What can you gain from finding allies and networking, and how can you connect to others in the insurance community?
Why should you network? You've heard that networking can help build your business, but should you be more intentional about it? Is it really worthwhile, or are you just using time that you could have otherwise spent with your clients?
Face to face networking events can be very valuable to your business. According to Business Insider, "Face-to-face networking events create lasting impressions in the minds of people you meet." That way, when that person needs to call upon an insurance agency in the future or they need a specific area of expertise, they'll call you. If you need some assistance with a project or product, you know who to call as well. Developing a strong base of contacts won't hurt your business, and it can potentially help it grow stronger.
Join a Local Networking Group
While a local networking group isn't necessarily full of insurance colleagues, local business groups can be beneficial to you in many ways. For instance, a group could give you insight into the local environment for marketing and help you understand the demographics and needs of your local area. You can also work with other businesspeople in the group on projects of mutual benefit. For instance, you might find out about a new potential location by talking with a local realtor in the group.
You could find marketing opportunities in a local networking group; for example, there could be opportunities to act as a sponsor for a local team or club. Finally, you can partner with people in the group to provide benefits to your clients. For example, if you partner with that realtor, you can provide a discount or free workshop to people who have just moved into your community, capturing them as clients.
Join an Insurance Agent Association
An insurance agent association like ours has different and complementary benefits for your agency. Instead of meeting with many people in your community but outside your field, you meet your colleagues through an insurance agent association. As a member of our association, you can gain group discounts on essentials such as E&O insurance, and you can also benefit from services such as legal services, consulting, and hiring and management tools. Talk with others in your field during education sessions, or visit with them in person at our annual conference.
Attend a Conference
Speaking of conferences, if you want to network and learn from others in the field and you'd like to visit with vendors who provide services that are helpful to insurance agencies, attending a our conference is the way to go. There, you'll get a lot of information for the time that you invest. You'll be able to learn about key issues in the insurance field and discuss them with others; for example, last year the American Agents Alliance convention covered topics as diverse as ethics in the insurance industry, email marketing, and licensing and trade secrets. From experts, you can learn about areas that are outside your expertise and determine what practices and products you'd like to incorporate into your insurance agency.
At American Agents Alliance, we're here to help you connect with others in the insurance community. Talk with us about our Alliance Convention taking place this year and learn more about our many membership benefits.