In the insurance and financial industries, as a whole, most agency and firm owners are still living solely in the physical world. They rely on smiles, handshakes, and personal face-to-face interactions to build trust and relationships.
There is nothing wrong with this of course as it’s still one of the ways business is built.
In the competitive space we live in today though, there’s another world you need to exist in if you want your insurance agency or financial firm to be successful now and in the future.
The digital world.
There’s no way to sugar coat this: there are a lot of agency and firm owners who are set in their ways when it comes to the process of evolution in their businesses. Stubborn could also be an accurate description. I’m sure some of you would admit that.
Many agency and firm owners aren’t yet fully sold on marketing their business online partly because they lack the “digital chops” and don’t really know where to start, but mostly because they have built their business with cold calling, canvasing neighborhoods with door hangers, direct mail, seminars, BNI groups, and other off-line practices.
The only way they know how to market is to ground-and-pound, and often times don’t want to even entertain new ways of doing things.
There’s something you need to come to grips with though if you fall into this category.
People fall in love all the time online, based on nothing more than written words.
What the hell does that have to do with anything?
The same quality relationships that you make and build in the real world exist online too
There is money to be made online in the insurance and financial space. A lot of it.
If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve probably read about some of the strategies that agencies are using to develop their online brand.
Webinars, email marketing, social, SEO, blogging. These things work!
Expecting them to just do the work for you is not realistic though. It requires effort from you and/or your staff.
One of the benefits of being an Advisor Evolved client, is that we actually show you step-by-step how to do all of these things in a very easy-to-understand way.
The point is, we live in a digital world now. People are online all day long. This is where your prospects and clients are at all times. People check their smartphones on average 150+ times per day.
Time is money
The effort that you put into your online brand is much less labor intensive then the “off-line” way of doing things.
My time spent in the insurance and financial industry has taught me a lot about time management. Even though we get paid recurring commission, it’s important that you spend your time wisely in this business.
Time is quite literally the most valuable asset that exists in this world.
Cold calling, running seminars, canvasing neighborhoods are some of the most inefficient ways possible to spend your time in this business.
Not that they don’t work at all, but they are extremely labor intensive and time consuming.
Let’s talk about seminars for a second.
Seminars when done correctly can definitely produce leads, but they take days, if not weeks of planning and follow up. I’ve been to plenty of seminars that had over 60-70 people there, only to get 3 appointments out of it. The average cost of a seminar is around $6000 so those 3 appointments cost about $2000 each.
Sure, some of those people are very wealthy and the revenue generated from those few appointments will often times pay for the seminar 5x over.
That’s not the point though.
It’s the time and labor invested in the process. In order to have a successful seminar, you need to spend a TON of time following up with people to keep the leads warm.
Cold calling and canvasing neighborhoods works the same way. They can produce results, but is the best use of your time given the marginal response rate?
Are those 3 people that came out to a dinner seminar really a more qualified lead than someone who finds you online?
What if you moved that time and effort online?
In the case of online dating, you can “date” multiple people at the same time online. This makes it easier and much faster to find someone you’re compatible with. Now imagine dating multiple people in the real world.
It could take months if not years to find the right person, not to mention the money it costs, and possible emotional roller coaster it could create along the way.
The power of written word
People fall in love on dating websites all the time without ever even meeting each other in person. Why?
Because written word is a very powerful thing. It’s also much more mentally persuasive than physical interactions.
How so? Written word creates a voice in our head. When you read something, you are reciting it to yourself subconsciously.
What’s strange is how our brains process the information. Written words are more impactful and credible to us, and therefore cause emotional triggers (good and bad) to fire in our brains.
These emotions cause us to take action, and behave in certain ways.
Have you ever received an email from someone that had a very rude tone? You then see the person out later and they meant nothing by it. It’s because we are emotional reaction to their written words makes us recite them to ourselves in a certain way — in this case a negative way.
Conversely, when someone gives you a compliment online, we tend to recite that back to ourselves in a very positive way.
Why this matters to your agency or firm
The point I’m trying to make is, that the ground-and-pound way of doing things isn’t the only way you should be marketing. It’s not efficient either, and quite frankly people are tuning it out.
They have been for years.
Interruption based marketing is now a game of permission based marketing.
Permission based marketing is very much a game of written word. Email marketing, webinars, online ads, etc..
Your customers and prospects live online, and you can impact them in very powerful ways with the power of written word.
The handshakes and smiles are great, and they still work, but it’s not the only way to get more leads and customers.