Imagine this. You’re pursuing a deeper relationship. With a date, for example. You know you have to communicate. In today’s world, a reliable flow of texts, emails, phone calls need to issue forth from your technology to the object of your desire.
But it’s not just the frequency of communication that matters. What, ultimately will win your paramour’s heart is the content of what you say. Here are three questions you must consider when you’re trying to win the heart of insurance clients…
- Am I communicating with enough frequency? (Before you add a ‘magic number,’ like ’17 times a year,’ consider your answers to the next two questions. I’ve seen agents & brokers send some messages so irritating they drove people )
- Am I sending the right message to the right person at the right time? (Serious daters might fret about this constantly, “Am I saying the right thing right now?” I wish agents & brokers would obsess a bit more.)
- Does my message add value to my recipient?
This is the crux of the magic in specialized marketing automation for insurance agents & brokers.
- You can communicate frequently, easily.
- You can deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. Automatically. (The new lead gets the ‘lead warming sequence.’ The new customer gets the ‘new customer sequence.’ The renewing customer gets the ‘account renewal sequence.’ And so on and so forth.)
- You can add value at every point of contact. Steve Jobs said, “...technology alone is not enough. It’s technology... married with the humanities that makes our hearts sing.”
And that’s where the magic happens. What more could we ask then to have our customer’s hearts sing. Was the genius of Mr. Jobs not just the ability to craft great hardware…but the ability to merge technology with human content in such a way that it delighted the marketplace?
In the P&C world, it’s generally bemoaned that agencies and brokerages don’t have enough communication with their customers. In the absence of communication technology, its expensive and time consuming.
But if you’re not reaching out to your customers, they’re not feeling any love. According to research by Deloitte, 60% of consumers don’t think they get anything from their agent or broker - except a policy.
That puts your relationships on very thin ice. Consumers have more choices today. And they will have even more choices tomorrow.
If their hearts don’t sing for you, why will they stay with you?
The other channels and the emerging digital competitors are very clear on what they offer. It’s generally convenience. Or price savings.
For generations, the agent-broker channel has promised something they can’t get from those channels. Relationship.
Real people who care. Who will advise. And when needed, who will advocate.
People that many consumers want on their side.
How do you make that happen? Read the three questions I posed at the beginning.
Communicate enough, so they feel that you are real and present.
Communicate to the right person at the right time with the right message, so they feel that the relationship is one-to-one. They’re not Waldo, lost in the crowd.
Communicate with value, so they want more of you.
‘Spammy,’ pushy, sales-y messaging tends to push people away. Sure, sometimes the ‘hard sell’ messages will get you attention, get opened… maybe even scare or push a few people into sales.
They never deepen and strengthen long-term relationships. Long-term relationships are where serious professionals build revenue, wealth and equity.
The real money is in meaningful content that provides value to your customer. Or delights them. Or deepens their relationship with your agency. The real money is in content that guides a prospect that says “I want a quote" to become one that says “I love my insurance agency because they got me exactly what I need!"
The direct channels boldly - and perhaps rightly - proclaim they can save the consumer money. They generally don’t pretend to offer the confidence and understanding behind a genuine relationship, and the advice and advocacy that represents.
Likewise, as venture capital floods into the marketplace, its creating an abundance of new digital-only competitors that can offer convenience - but not a relationship.
Relationship leads to loyalty, and as Bain & Company has illustrated in recent research: loyal customers deliver more value than anyone else. A lot more. A loyal customer:
- Delivers 250% more referrals
- Renews at 97%
- Buys 25% more insurance
- Generates (a remarkable) seven times the lifetime value of a low loyalty client
The great strength of the Independent sector is relationship but the stark economics make it difficult-to-impossible to create intimacy, loyalty or genuine connectedness between an agency and most of its customer base.
At least, not the ‘old school’ way. There’s simply too many clients, not enough staff or resources to consistently reach out and, add value... and become an irreplaceable relationship.
This is why marketing automation technology is becoming increasingly valuable, and practically necessary. But its important to keep in mind, its not enough to reach out to your clients - you need to deliver the right messages at the right time.
There are many options for marketing automation systems.
When you consider your communication technology, consider one that elegantly helps you handle both parts of the equation: the technology (that matters a lot!); and the content that “makes our hearts sing.”