We operate in a highly competitive, overly commoditized industry. If we are honest, there aren’t many significant differences between the policies offered by top-rated carriers.
So what we truly have to sell is a promise and ourselves.
With this in mind, we have to create a unique and memorable customer experience at your agency to earn more insurance referrals.
The goal at my agency is to have every prospect leave our agency thinking, “I WANT to do business there!”
And it’s our goal to have customers think, “I’m so GLAD I do business there!”
It is not our goal to do the same things our competition is doing. It’s our goal to do the things nobody else is doing and stand out.
To make sure we are hitting the mark on this, we have to go shopping.
Do you know what your competition is saying when people call or walk-in?
Do you know what their customer experience looks, sounds, and feels like?
If the answer is no, how will you stand out against them when prospects and customers compare you?
Step one to standing out is to shop your competition.
Step two is to shop your own agency.
This experience may cause you tremendous stress and temporary pain. You might be telling yourself that you are different and better than everybody else in your market. Still, when you hear what your customer experience sounds like versus everybody else, you may be surprised. But know that you will come out better after completing these shopping exercises.
Seth Godin wrote a famous advertising and marketing book called “The Purple Cow.” In his book, Seth shares that if companies are going to cut through the clutter and be noticed, they must be different. In a crowded field of black, white, and brown cows, you need to be purple.
Creating a unique, personal, value-packed customer experience is what Must Win Area #3 of the Rock Star Referral System is all about.
Today’s challenge is to get a feel for what your competition is doing and then examine your agency’s customer experience.
Are you sitting around with all of the other black, white, and brown cows?
Or are you rocking out like the purple cow?
Here are the ways we make a point of standing out at my agency:
Make sure the grounds around your office are clean. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
We have a welcome sign with our mission statement. This sign tells people they are about to experience something different.
When people walk in, we stand and greet by name.
The temperature is comfortable and inviting aromas are in the air (cookies or popcorn)
Everybody gets offered a drink and snack. My agency is like a convenience store with water, soda, juice, coffee, and tea. We also have candy bars, chips, crackers, granola bars, and mints. Make your customers feel at home. Often the way to people’s hearts is through their stomachs.
Make small talk, ask open-ended questions, and allow your customers to talk. People love to talk about themselves, so let them. When you take an interest in people, they take an interest in you.
Share your mission statement or value proposition during the interaction.
Everybody leaves with a gift. Must Win Area number two of our Rock Star Referral System is about bringing agency imprinted gifts to our community partners. We do the same for every person who visits us. During the summer, it’s can koozies, late fall it’s calendars, and winter months it’s ice scrapers. We also give imprinted stationery, pens, and mugs for the customers who come in for a review.
Finally, we express gratitude to everybody before they walk out the door or hang up the phone.
“John, we know you have endless options when it comes to insurance…we just want you to know we’re grateful you always choose us.”
Pause and let them smile.
And conclude with, “Please don’t keep us a secret.”
Also, every phone message we leave includes that gratitude. This process will not only produce more insurance referrals but will improve your retention as well.
We do two additional high-impact, big splash activities with tremendous referral results: our birthday card/gift system and our Agency cookout.
What makes you stand out today? What can you implement to make your Agency stand out even more and earn more insurance referrals? Feel free to use the tactics that we use – they work! And be sure and customize tactics of your own to best work in your market.