5 Reasons Why Networking is VITAL for Insurance Agents

people at a networking event making connections

 

If there’s one thing that new (and established) insurance agents struggle with, it’s generating leads. Not only in the early days of setting up shop, but throughout their days as a small business owner. Then again, what agent doesn’t want (or need) more leads? When looking for legitimate ways to grow their business, insurance agents should make networking a BIG part of their game plan. Here are 4 benefits besides increased sales:

 

  1. Creating relationships in the community you’re located in

 

As an independent insurance agent and small business owner, your entire business model is centered around selling to the community your office is located in. This means you need to rely on referrals from current customers and relationships that you have in place. It’s not easy for a new business owner to come up with the cash to spend on marketing, nor finding the time. The more relationships you establish and the more you get your name out there, the better chance you have of referrals knocking your door down. Replicating yourself and your efforts through others can multiply your success rate.

multiple hands coming together in a community setting

 

  1. Generating leads in an over-saturated market

 

Marketing isn’t easy for any small business, never mind insurance agents. The insurance industry has the highest cost associated with its digital advertising, including the keyword “insurance” as the MOST expensive word to bid on with Google AdWords. That’s intimidating considering the players at hand: State Farm, Geico, Allstate and the list goes on…

How are you, the local independent agent supposed to compete with the hundreds of millions of dollars they each spend on advertising every year?

If you can make genuine connections in this day in age, you place yourself in a much better position than a company with 1 commercial in every :30 of ad space. The best way to do that is to pound the pavement and have face-to-face interactions.

  1. Making connections with industries that are directly related to your business

 

The most successful independent agents you talk to will tell you that they have relationships with certain industries in their communities. Can you guess what these industries are?

The mortgage companies, real estate agents and loan officers are their go-to’s. Makes sense, doesn’t it? These professionals are talking to and interacting with folks that are known to be actively looking for insurance. Making connections with these professionals can meet warm/hot leads being funneled your way, regularly.

 

  1. Overall business growth

 

Today’s society values authenticity more than ever. The large corporations are being forced to make connections in local communities, rather than simply blasting a big campaign over the airways. It’s much easier for someone that’s already local and knows the people that around him/her to make these connections.

Being intertwined with your community can mean more than just generating leads. It can mean finding new employees that are looking for an opportunity, getting a lead on some new office space you’ve been looking for or even new avenues that you hadn’t realized would be a good source of business.

  1. Referrals have the highest close rate

 

If there’s one of these points that gets through to you, it should be this one. Referral business has the highest close rate out of any lead source. The data coming your way is warm and your name has been vouched for. That holds 10x more weight than you are opening the phone book or buying leads and making cold calls.

If you can get in with a group of people that have their own community, they’re likely to spread the word about what great service you gave them and how happy they are with their insurance agent.

There’s a saying in business, “the best advertising is word of mouth.” Capitalize on it!

 

Networking takes time and energy. It also requires most people to get outside their comfort zone. However, the upside can’t be measured. The value that comes with establishing yourself in the right networks, in the right industries, can mean the difference between your business making it or falling flat on its face.

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