In order to sell insurance to small business owners, you’ll need to position yourself as an expert in the field.
Every minute, a new small business is started in the United States, and in 2013, small businesses employed 51.6 million Americans.
For independent insurance agents, this means that there’s no shortage of opportunities to sell commercial coverage to small business owners. In many ways, selling insurance to small businesses is similar to selling policies to individuals. But in order to successfully navigate the complexities of commercial insurance, agents must gain the trust of business owners by demonstrating their expertise.
Establish a Digital Brand
More and more, customers begin their search for insurance providers online. An easy-to-navigate website that features detailed information about your products and topical articles regarding the world of insurance serves as a good first point of contact to establish trust between yourself and your prospect.
In addition, a strong social media presence provides prospects and existing clients with a direct line of communication as well as a visible platform for you to continue building your brand’s narrative. But it isn’t enough just to set up a profile on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn — you have to give people a reason to follow you.
What makes your social presence unique? What valuable information regarding insurance for small business are you relaying to your followers? If your goal is to reach out to small businesses, publish content that’s relevant to them: financial data, news, events, and accomplishments of small businesses in your area.
A Little Research Goes a Long Way
With millions of small businesses in the United States, an agent might be tempted to reach as many prospects as possible. However, a cold call approach may largely connect you with owners who are either not interested in purchasing insurance or who currently have their needs met by another provider.
Insurers can forgo the cold call and connect with shoppers who are actually interested in buying by partnering with a qualified internet lead provider. These services connect business owners who are already interested in purchasing insurance with the experts who are best equipped to meet their needs.
When it comes time to approach small business owners directly, do your research. Business owners are busy individuals, and putting in the legwork prior to meeting with them shows that you respect their time. Use their company website or facebook page to fact-find about the company in advance. Doing so will provide you with a better understanding of the needs of the company, and will demonstrate to the business owner that you have already taken an interest in them as a company, and not just as a prospect.
As an independent insurance agent, you have a natural connection with small business owners: after all, you are a small business owner yourself. You know the local economic climate, the pressure to find clients, and the joys that come with success.
As the commercial insurance expert, you also act as a liaison between the small business owner and the world of insurance, and that relationship is built entirely on trust. Your job is to provide educational value by communicating the nuances of complex policies in easy-to-understand terms. Identify a problem that the company may face, and demonstrate how you can help solve it. Use stories that illustrate how you have provided value to companies in similar situations. Business owners want to know that their agent has their best interests in mind, as well as the expertise to navigate their specific insurance needs.
After you’ve closed the sale, develop a touchpoint plan for follow up with your client. Ask if they have new needs you may be able to meet, and ensure that they are satisfied with their current coverage. After all, an agent who remains engaged with his clients long after they sign on the dotted line has a better chance of retaining them when their policies are up for renewal.