Be honest: do you ever feel awkward about business networking? Many people do, and it can keep them from working on improving their businesses. However, intentional networking can be a key part of your insurance agency marketing. It's worthwhile to get over that initial awkwardness and build your network for the long term. Here's why.
You Need Peers
When you're running your own business, it can be lonely facing the many challenges that you encounter on a daily basis. Networking not only helps you build your business – it helps you build your peer group. According to Medium, "some of the strongest friendships started from networking in the business world."
You'll Gather Advice
While referrals, and not advice might be the reason that you start focusing on your insurance networking, over time the conversations that you have with others in your field can lead you to valuable advice that helps you grow and improve your insurance agency.
For instance, you could learn something about your reputation that you might want to change, or you could learn how another business got over a hurdle that you are experiencing right now. Olympia Benefits states that "networking is a great way to identify business best practices or industry benchmarks. Learning from what others do is a valuable strategy for all businesses."
You Can Help Others
Often, people feel awkward about networking because it seems like it's all about you and your agency. Shameless self-promotion isn't the idea, however. What if you could promote your agency as a resource while helping others?
For instance, if you work together with another local business to do some cross-promotion of your businesses, you are helping others and helping yourself. If you connect a client to another business in the community, then you develop a reputation as an agency that can and will help. Networking is sometimes about acting as the organization that refers others, not the one that receives the referrals.
You'll Develop a Loose Network
You don't need to connect with people in a goal-based way. By being friendly, by showing up to conference events early, and by being helpful to others, you create a large and positive network around your business. While you may not need to use your contacts in any way right now, you may be surprised at ways you may need them in the future.
Even if you add a few people to your LinkedIn network right now, you can reach out later, when you're hiring, for example. If, say, you can ask them for referrals to a new accountant – your large network is doing its job.
It Can Increase Your Positivity and Confidence
Positive networking experiences enhance your ability to speak about your insurance business, giving you the confidence to do so in other situations. It also gives you the opportunity to surround yourself with positive, supportive people who are now part of your insurance network.
Cultivating a confident attitude in your business allows you to move forward with more ease as you embark on other insurance agency marketing opportunities.
Are you trying to upgrade your insurance agency marketing strategies? Talk with us at American Agents Alliance. We have marketing tools that can help you grow your insurance business. Contact us today to inquire about our many membership benefits.