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The AIMS Society blog is designed to provide practical, timely ideas to help insurance agencies improve results from their marketing and sales efforts. Wishing you much success!!! For even more, consider joining the AIMS Society and you'll have access to a powerful network of agents and carrier personnel focused on excellence in sales!

 

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How to Boost Sales with Social Media

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, November 17, 2017

How to Boost Sales with Social Media

As an insurance agency, you want to reach your customers on social media channels. Insurance is such a niche industry, that finding the right content to engage your audience can be difficult. Plus, consumers may not want insurance news on their feeds.

Since the average person spends nearly two hours on social media every day, it pays to find the tips and tools that will get their attention. So, what can you do on your social media accounts to ensure it's an effective sales tool for your business?

  1. Make sure your profile is up to date, accurate and catchy. It's the first impression a current or potential customer receives. Does your profile picture stand out? Is it easy to find your website and contact information?
  2. Drive customers from your social media page to your website — and through the customer funnelThe good news is you can do this in a number of ways. Make sure you have several areas and posts that serve as a call-to-action. And ensure the entire process is quick and convenient. Online shoppers expect a lot these days.
  3. Use targeted advertising. Did you know that Facebook lets you display ads to specific age groups, genders, incomes and regions? Targeting is a magic tool that allows you to maximize every dollar you spend. (Word on the street is that Facebook's new algorithm favors brands with big advertising budgets.)
  4. Reach out. Remember when Facebook was about connection and building deeper relationships? Tap back into that. Look at what your customers are saying, initiate a conversation and create a unique voice that is relatable.

Being social will enhance brand awareness, improve customer service and maximize your sales potential. It's worth it to take a step back to reevaluate and see where you can refocus efforts.

What are some ways you've used social media as a sales tool? What results have you seen?

Tags:  Agency Management  AIMS Society  CPIA designation  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  self-improvement  Social Media  teamwork 

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How Do You Know if Your Sales Process is Working?

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, July 28, 2017

There are a variety of metrics you can use to analyze your individual and team sales performance, but it may be overwhelming to choose which ones will give the most accurate and useful information.

Luckily, our friends at HubSpot have a few tips to share. Here's some insight into the two measures you should be paying the most attention to when evaluating your sales performance.

Lead to Opportunity

At the end of the day, you need to look at how many of your leads are turning into legitimate sales opportunities. If you aren't quite hitting your quota, you need to ramp up lead generation. And if your leads aren't converting over to opportunities, you need to look at the effectiveness of your sales approach and marketing tactics. Consider this: Are you reaching out too little or too much? Is it personal and are you building a relationship along the way? Are you contacting your prospects through multiple channels?

Opportunity to Close

Although it may vary by time of year and industry, keep tabs on the percentage of sales you're actually closing. Compare your rates with other companies in the industry and within other industries to get an outside perspective of how you're doing. Is the rate higher than 50%? You may be picking the so-called "perfect fits" that you know will buy. But it's important to expand your horizons and go outside your comfort zone — it's the only way you're going to grow.

Pretty straightforward, right? Looking at these numbers on a consistent basis at both a personal and group level will help you determine where you can improve and eventually lead to better performance. You can set goals, make informed decisions and better optimize your outreach efforts.

Tags:  agency value  AIMS Society  CPIA designation  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  self-improvement  sellability  Social Media  Technology 

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Sales Slowing Down? Revamp Your Strategy.

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, June 30, 2017

It's summertime, which means family vacations are in full force and leisure living is priority. Chances are good that your sales, too, will relax during these summer months. While your clients and prospects play, consider using this down time to revamp your marketing and sales strategies. Trust us — you'll thank yourself later.

Here are a few specific suggestions:

Check your marketing strategy for missed opportunities. Since things will be slow around the office, consider taking time to get into the weeds of your marketing strategy. That way, you can make your efforts more effective, authentic and fresh.

Look at digital improvements. While 16% of brands, have a digital marketing strategy that isn't yet integrated into marketing efforts, nearly 46% of brands don't have a strategy at all. Wherever you stand on the spectrum, consider setting new objectives and a game plan for how to reach your target audiences — and beyond.

Create better content. Maybe your website, blog and social media accounts are already strong. Consider going back to the basics and checking out your website content or adding SEO-friendly phrases to a few blogs. Remember, it's about quality over quantity, so make sure your content is engaging, true to your brand and unique among the competition.

Look on the inside to improve the outside. It's always a good idea to bring the team together to discuss how things are going. Schedule a meeting or two this summer to talk about challenges within daily operations and communication practices. Have a brainstorming session to come up with innovative marketing ideas, or just have a cookout to bring the team closer in an informal setting.

Tags:  AIMS Society  business value  CPIA designation  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Networking  productivity  self-improvement  Social Media  teamwork  time management  vacation 

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How to Become a Superstar without Working Yourself to Death

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, June 2, 2017

Agents are often so busy trying to be "the best" overall, that they don't realize there might be a better route to success.

Just as agencies want to be in the top tier, so do students. Consider the competitive college application process at prestigious colleges. Georgetown professor Cal Newport describes the Superstar Effect, which he believes plays a role in acceptance rates. As he shares, only 2,300 of the 32,000 applicants to Stanford were accepted in 2010, which at that point was the lowest rate in school history — 7.2%. Looking at the applicant pool, nearly all would be considered exceptional in their own right, with a transcript full of demanding advanced placement and International Baccalaureate classes. Nevertheless, it was clearly tough to get noticed in that crowd. So how can students (and by comparison, agencies) win out over the competition?

Human nature is to give preference to the individual who is the obvious standout — the valedictorian, the multi-sport varsity-letter athlete, the class president. But all three of those positions require an incredible dedication of time and effort over many years. What if those aren't roles a student can obtain? How can all those exceptional students who simply aren't the one dubbed "best" still stand out?

Newport maintains that the key is in being best at something "different," and choosing an area of expertise that doesn't necessarily require the same level of time and energy that something like valedictorian status does. Does it mean these students will suddenly be considered average or delegated to the runner-up position? No, in fact, if they attack their goals appropriately, they can prove to be standouts in their own right. And they can reach that top tier without having to invest the hours required to be the best overall.

In insurance, the same thing can happen. You want to be the "best" agency in town, perhaps measured by premium volume. But, that's a pretty tall order. Instead, how about identifying how you can be different — and then be the best at that. Best agency for cyber liability coverage and protection. Best agency for families. Best agency for entrepreneurs. Just choose something you're passionate about the top ranking will come. You'll ultimately stand a much better opportunity of being noticed. And you won't have to work everyone to exhaustion to achieve it.

Tags:  AIMS Society  business value  CPIA designation  efficiency  Insurance Education  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  self-improvement  Social Media  teamwork  Technology 

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Become a Standout with Value-Added Services

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, May 26, 2017

You sell insurance policies just like every other agency. So how can you possibly stand out from the competition?

The key may have nothing to do with insurance. Instead, value-added services could be all that are necessary to solidify your customer relationships, to make your agency seem irreplaceable.

Value-added services are just that — they don't replace your main product, but they can extend your reach and the perception that you've truly thought of everything when it comes to a customer's peace of mind. Ideally, value-added services don't need to be extensive or take a lot of your own time to deliver. More often than not, the only requirement is a thoughtful gesture to make your customers feel truly protected. And isn't that the very essence of any insurance professional's mission, to provide a sense of protection?

It's best to develop a few well-planned value-added services that relate to your existing customers. Then, find some trusted business partners to deliver your suggested offerings. You can build in a referral free to the partnership if you want to generate some additional income, but often, the greatest value comes from long-term customer loyalty you'll establish.

Start with your portfolio and niche businesses and craft a suite of value-adds from there. You don't need to be the expert in any of the services — leave that to your partners — but be certain to fully vet any organization you select as a partner and continue regular follow-up with customers to make sure they're happy with your recommendations. You may want to coordinate service delivery just to stay connected and in-the-loop.

Some value-added services that can bolster your market position:

  • Estate planning services
  • Funeral preplanning
  • Will preparation
  • Videotape or photography services for asset identification
  • Appraisal services
  • Disaster preparation planning list or a discounted price on disaster food kits
  • Tax preparation advice
  • Disaster business plan development
  • Cybersecurity traning
  • Wellness programs
  • Defensive driving courses for teens
  • Alarm systems
  • Winterization kits

This list is limited only by your creativity. Again, you don't need to have on-staff experts, just a connection to experts in the community. The goal is to offer a comprehensive program for those categories your customers' value most. You've already written the policies. Now go the extra step to show you've truly got the client covered.

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Tags:  Agency Management  agency value  AIMS Society  business value  CPIA designation  efficiency  Insurance Education  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Personal and Commercial Coverage  productivity  Professional Development  self-improvement  teamwork 

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