According to international data measurement firm Nielsen, trust is key for consumers looking to make a purchase. When they feel it, they buy. When they don’t, they look elsewhere.
Trust can be especially important when selling a product like insurance, which exists to protect some of the things that people hold most dear.
To build trust, the form of marketing that is consistently most effective is word-of-mouth. More than 84% of Nielsen’s survey respondents say they trust recommendations from people they know more than any other form of advertising. Not far behind is reading consumer opinions that are posted online.
Considering how important word-of-mouth is, it’s worth giving some thought to how you can encourage and make use of it at every point in the sales process.
Stage 1: Pre-Sale
There’s a simple action you can take before you make your initial contact with any new lead—pause and remind yourself that what this person says about you can either help or harm your business. Then, do your best to make what they say positive.
Approach each potential sale with friendliness and competence. You’re not going to make every sale, but your good attitude and the overall impression you make could generate another opportunity later on, especially if you explicitly offer to quote any time they are shopping for insurance.
Stage 2: New Customers
Once you’ve got a new customer signed up, and assuming the process went smoothly, it’s a great time to ask them to share your contact information with their friends and family. You could certainly ask over the phone, but sometimes a follow-up email will get you more results because it acts as a reminder to your customer to do it.
Try wording the email like this:
“Dear CUSTOMER NAME,
It’s been a real pleasure working with you to take care of your insurance needs.
As a small business owner, your endorsement means a lot to me. If you were happy with the service I provided, I’d appreciate it if you’d pass along my information to your friends and family:
NAME OF AGENT/AGENCY
Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions about your policy/ies or need additional coverages at any point. Thank you for the opportunity to earn your business.
EMAIL SIGNATURE BLOCK”
Stage 3: Long-Term Clients
You can do something similar with long-term clients. Maybe you never asked them for a word-of-mouth referral, or maybe they were busy and didn’t do it. Either way, if you have a happy customer, it’s never too late to remind them how important word-of-mouth is to you.
Another way long-term clients can help your bottom line is by writing a short recommendation that you can include on your website or other marketing efforts. Sometimes it’s easier for people to do this if you give them a little bit of direction such as, “I wonder if you’d be willing to write a short recommendation for me that talks about how I was able to help you with the claims process.”
If they do write one, be sure to thank them sincerely, then keep as much of their original text as possible. Slightly wonky grammar in a quoted statement can work to your advantage because it conveys authenticity and sincerity.
For additional helpful ideas on how to make your agency successful, be sure to check out more of the articles online here at Hometown University. Or give one of our Hometown Quotes Regional Directors a call at 800.280.2981.