Posts Tagged ‘insurance agency marketing’
Why Upgrade Your Selling Skills?
With all the advances in communication technology, our ability to access information 24/7 has never been greater. It would follow that it MUST be easier and quicker to make a buying decision. I submit, that in many instances, buyers face information overload and decisions are delayed or put off because the decision making process has become more complex. Additionally, the recent economic downturn has made buyers more careful with their available financial resources.
As the buying decision grows more complex, it is essential for those that sell to upgrade their selling skills. To achieve long term growth, you must constantly evolve and improve as a salesperson.
The sales environment has changed. All of us face compressed time issues. We wear multiple hats at work and spend more time interacting with work thru email and text messaging on our mobile devices, which equates to more hours of work! Not to mention normal family activities and functions, that result in a busier 24 hour+ hour day! Maximize your points of contact with a client, don’t waste their time and they will appreciate it and be more willing to listen to your message in the future.
Prospects are more savvy. They grow immune to the same old worn out phrases, expressions and pitches; at some point it just becomes background noise. Find a way to brand yourself as a unique resource, an industry expert and person that provides value and a solution to their needs.
It requires multiple contacts to get the prospect to a point to make the buying decision. Your competition is out their working too! It can take 6-10 points of contact over an extended period of time to get the sale. Utilizing a customizable Drip Email Campaign provides timely, consistent communication with a prospect as they work through the decision making process.
Contact us at AgencyIQ and let us assist you with designing a unique, powerful drip email campaign for prospects, cross selling to existing clients and higher retention ratios for long term customer relationships.
Top Online Marketing Trends for 2012
If you don’t have an online presence, 2011 was the year for you to make the move online! If you still don’t have an online presence, things let’s get focused for 2012 and review the list below to see how you can maximize your impact with online marketing.
- Social media marketing goes mainstream. Corporate use of social media has reached a tipping point and will continue to grow inside organizations, especially in customer service. Social ad spending has grown from $2.52 billion in 2009 to $4.26 billion projected in 2011.
- Gone mobile. The evolution and adoption smartphones has taken the market to a very mobile environment. Over 30% of cell phones are smartphones and that category is growing. While email remains the dominate use of smartphones, the explosion of mobile apps creates a tremendous opportunity for mobile marketing. The ability to search on the go is providing a huge marketing opportunity for those willing to participate.
- Online retail is gaining traction. Online retailers continue to take market share from the traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores. While still a small percentage of total retail revenue, it is projected to grow from $166 billion to $235 billion in 2013. Social media will continue to expand its influence due to its ability to target and appeal to consumers early, often and in a cost effective manner throughout the decision making phase.
- Intergration is a reality. Social media marketing is no longer a nice afterthought or “toy” to play with. The new paradigm is a total marketing plan that incorporates social media, mobile, email and traditional methods (TV, print, radio, etc…). All of these methods will mesh together to present a new comprehensive marketing environment.
- Measuring the results. As the dollars invested in social media marketing increase, tracking, measuring and analyzing results will be required. Better social media metrics will be developed to justify the financial investment based on ROI,
As you begin your marketing initiatives for 2012, keep these trends in mind and incorporate online, social media and mobile device marketing campaigns in your plan.
New Year – NEW FEATURES in 2012!
Happy New Year 2012! A new year brings new OPPORTUNITIES…. and AgencyIQ has rolled out New Features that will have a positive impact on your marketing in 2012. The best news is….. they’re FREE!
*Upgraded Email Certificate – promotes improved deliverablity and open ratios for emails to your prospects and clients….FREE!
*Newsletters - send a monthly Newsletter to up to 2,000 recepients per month….FREE!
*Mirrored Emails - receive emails to any email address outside of AgencyIQ… great for mobile applications or remote use and keeps a record of all of your correspondence…FREE!
ALL of these New Features are fully integrated into the AgencyIQ workflow platform and create a fully robust Marketing System for your agency!
Check out these new features in our “Lunch-n-Learn” webinars on Wednesdays from 12:00-1:00pm CST. You can also learn more about Newsletters by clicking on the following link Webinar Schedule
AgencyIQ Newsletters are AVAILABLE!
AgencyIQ has rolled out another powerful tool to engage your prospects and clients while building your brand. Newsletters are the perfect compliment to an on-going drip email campaign. With AgencyIQ, you now have the ability to coordinate your drip email efforts with the “POP” of a well timed Newsletter.
Newsletters are a great way to:
*Send reminders to review coverages
*Provide emergency contact info in case of a disaster
*Seasonal and Holiday greetings
*Build your Brand and Relationships
As an AgencyIQ subscriber, you have the ability to send a Newsletter to 2,000 receipents per month….. FREE! Additional mailings are available, contact us for rates.
Mirrored Emails….What’s That?
When the Tech Team came out with this feature, I was like…Uh-Oh… What is it and how do I explain it? Turns out it’s Very Simple and VERY COOL! This new feature allows you to store all of your email correspondence inside AgencyIQ AND in another email address. So, for example, you receive an email into AgencyIQ, it will also show up in your Outlook or other email address. Many of you have requested this feature and now its functioning inside your AgencyIQ account. Follow these steps to activate this feature in AgencyIQ:
*Go to “My Settings” in the top right hand corner
*Click on the “Email Configuration” Tab
*Type in your “Mirrored Email Address” in the 2nd Box
That’s it! Now, anything you do inside AgencyIQ or your other email address server will be “mirrored” in both accounts. If you’re on the move or don’t have time to sign into AgencyIQ, you can still see all of your correspondence inside your other email address. This also provides accurate tracking of ALL of your email correspondence with clients, no matter if it orignates from AgencyIQ or your other email address!’
If you have any questions about this NEW feature or any of our other NEW features that have rolled out in the last few weeks, visit our website www.agencyiq.net and contact us for assistance or an overview of all of our new features!
Why Aren’t You Closing On Leads?
Think about your selling style. Do you overwhelm the prospect with your company’s credentials, your credentials, never take a breath between questions or truly listen to the answers? One of the hardest things to learn in sales is the power of silence! How many times has someone “talked” a customer out of sale…. In my experience, far too many! Review these thoughts and see if they help your close ratios.
- Provide Value – don’t focus the discussion on the “features”, yes they are important, but spend more time discussing why your services add value, meet a specific need of the client and benefit them by doing business with you.
- Listen to Your Lead – ask a question and “really listen” to their response before you start formulating your response in anticipation of what you “think” the customer is going to say, they may surprise you! We have only ONE mouth and TWO ears for a reason…. Use them accordingly.
- Stop Talking About Yourself – the lead is not really interested that you are a top producer, #1 in your Division, or in the President’s club. They want to know what you can do for them and help meet their needs in the most cost effective means. Focus on them; people like to hear their name and talk about themselves, you’ll learn a lot about them if you give them a chance.
- Review Your Lead Providers – if you buy online leads, review the close ratios by lead provider on regularly scheduled intervals. Look at bounce percentages, watch for stale lists and see who is giving you the higher ROI.
- Mine Your Database – you’ve invested time, money and resources to generate leads, so don’t give up on them too early. Take a long term approach to earning their business. Using a drip email campaign program like AgencyIQ will keep you in front of the lead on a consistent, long term basis. Using AgencyIQ’s powerful, customizable drip email system is an automated, cost effective tool that will help you improve your ROI and conversion ratios on those valuable leads.
Give AgencyIQ a call and let us help you get the most out of your leads and increase your close ratios!
The 3 Types of Customer Service Calls
Really? Why would an Internet company blog about telephone calls? Simple….. we all use the phone to interact with our clients. There is still something to be said for having that “personal” contact that is still essential to providing a well rounded customer service platform. Let’s take a look at 3 types of customer service calls and some ideas and tips on how to provide an effective, loyalty building experience for your clients.
1) Informational – pretty straight forward, the client has questions regarding your company, services, coverages etc…..
2) Problem solving – the client has an issue that requires your assistance to resolve. This is an opportunity to shine and earn a customer for life!
3) Angry beyond reason – redirect to #2 – the client is definitely not happy, wants to bend someone’s ear and set things straight! The goal here is to get them back to status #2.
The key to successfully negotiating all of these scenarios is to LISTEN carefully to what the client has to say! Don’t get ahead of yourself and start forming a response in your mind before they finish their statement, really listen to what they are saying. Confirm what you’ve heard back to the client, using the appropriate tone of voice. Once you’re both on the same page, respond with positive words, your willingness to assist with the request. If it is a problem solving opportunity, be compassionate and empathize with the client. Be prepared to offer alternative solutions to counter the sometimes unreasonable solution requests. Don’t make any promises you cannot keep and honor any time line commitments you make to respond to the client. By quickly addressing the issue, following through with your commitments, you can earn a client’s business… for life! For those dreaded angry beyond reason calls, take a deep breath, let the client air it out and don’t take it personally… I know, easier said than done, but you can do it! Sometimes, simply saying “I’m sorry”, or “I apologize” can diffuse a tense situation. The goal is to get the client beyond being mad and focusing on a solution to their problem (#2), which is at the root of their anger.
At AgencyIQ, we strive to provide excellent, effective, timely customer service. If you need assistance, use our video trainings, email, on-line chat or call one of our customer service reps… We look forward to hearing from you!
SPAM, SPAM, SPAM,SPAM……
If you happen to be a Monty Python’s Flying Circus fan, the word spam brings a smile to your face and fond memories of their quirky British humor. But for most us, SPAM can create all kinds of heartburn, headaches and worries. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 set guide lines for the use of the internet to send commercial emails. How does this affect your email marketing campaigns? If you follow a simple set of guidelines as outlined by the FTC, you will be in compliance and worry free! Check out the list below:
• Don’t use false or misleading header information
• Don’t use deceptive subject lines
• Identify the message as an ad
• Tell recipients where you are located
• Tell recipients how to opt-out of receiving future emails from you
• Honor opt-out requests promptly
Take a few minutes to review your emails and you will probably find you are already complying with these requirements. AgencyIQ has gone to great lengths to make sure that all of our clients comply with the CAN-SPAM laws. If you have any areas of concern about your emails, use a simple rule of thumb…. If you received this email, would you feel like you were being mislead, could you find the sender if you needed to, and could you stop the messages if you wanted. There are a number of individuals and some organizations that are extremely concerned with being found in violation of this law, some to the point of nearly paralyzing their email marketing efforts. If you have specific questions regarding this Act, click on the following link http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/ecommerce/bus61.shtm to go to the FTC website for specific guidance. This law is not designed to cripple the use of email for commercial business purposes… it was created to ensure the responsible use of a powerful marketing channel. At the end of the day, email marketing is a significant tool in your marketing arsenal and when used correctly and responsibly, you have no worries. Now, hit the Send button!
CALLING IT QUITS
Mike Modano, the star forward for the Dallas Stars hockey team, has probably played his last professional hockey game. I was one of the fortunate few to be in the stands for his last Home game appearance. What a night to remember: Modano had an assist on a goal, scored the game tying goal late in the 3rd period and scored a goal in the overtime shoot out to win the game against his nemisis the Anaheim Ducks! Talk about a story book ending to a career….. And a perfect end to a career spent with one organization for his entire career, playing key roles as leading scorer, team captain and mentor and elder statesman in the locker room as his career ended. A truly humble player and man, Mike gave back to hockey and the community; generous with his time, money and talents, the city of Dallas is better for his involvement over the last 16 years. The Dallas Stars have some mighty big skates to fill with Mo’s departure.
In our careers, we’ve all know a few Mike Modano’s. People that embody the spirit of our company, contributing at the highest level, team players, always encouraging those around them and bringing out the best performance of others through their example in action. You just can’t imagine how you’d survive without that person! Unfortunately, most organizations don’t plan ahead in anticipation of key personnel eventually leaving. Do you as a business owner have key personnel that you depend on to carry the load? We all do, but do you have a plan on how to move forward if/when they leave? Succession planning is usually way down the list of strategic planning activities, but it is vital to the sustained growth of an organization that you have a plan for replacing key employees. To keep your company vibrant, forward thinking and prepared, having a potential talent pool of internal or external resources is not only smart, it will save you and your organization a lot of heart ache when the day comes for a key employee to be replaced. As a owner/manager, it’s important to recognize the Modano’s in your organization and look ahead on how to deal with the void after their last “game”.
Ever hear the John Mellencamp song “Tumbling Down”? That’s what I thought of when the old Texas Stadium in Irving, TX was demolished recently. Being a native of the area and a huge Cowboys fan as long as I can remember, I could not convince myself to join all those who watched in person or on TV the destruction of a place that held so many memories. Landry, Staubach, Lilly, Aikman, Irvin, Smith, the Ring of Honor, NFC Championship games…. The list goes on and on. And yes, I do believe the hole in the roof was there so God could watch His team play! What was once a state of the art facility featured in numerous movies and mesmerized Sunday football viewers on TV, had, over the years, suffered from age, neglect and a public that demanded new heights of technology to keep their intrest. No lingering, slow demise for this former showcase, Jerry Jones, the eternal promoter, made Texas Stadium’s last hurrah another money making deal. It was even sponsored by Kraft Foods (I don’t get it… but they ponied up the cash, the single largest requirement). Faster than you can say “Kraft macaroni and cheese”, Texas Stadium disappeared in a cloud of dust, soon to be a distant memory of those who will remember her in her glory days!
Yes friends, even those monuments that seem indestructible on their christening day, have their eventual fall from favor and are replaced. So it is with the tools we use to run our business. Technology changes constantly, computers and communication systems require constant review and the software we use to manage our data is always undergoing tweaks and updates. Over the next few weeks and months, you will be receiving notices of important enhancements to the AgencyIQ operating system. Future blogs and newsletters will detail these enhancements that will make your lead management efforts more effective, efficient and increase your book of business. AgencyIQ is committed to delivering to our clients the tools you need to grow your business. Please look for these announcements and let us know what you think!!