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Marketing Strategies for Generating New Business

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Generating Sales

Earlier this year, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent pledged to increase media spending and brand-building initiatives by up to $1 billion by 2016. Coca-Cola spends $565 million on advertising in the U.S., according to Ad Age Datacenter. The company reported spending $3.3 billion on advertising globally in 2013.

Owning a business isn’t easy. There are a myriad of hurdles to capturing market share, and the solutions are not immediately apparent. This is a double-edged sword. On one side, this limits the amount of competition. “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.” On the other side, the responsibility falls squarely upon the shoulders of the entrepreneur to generate interest and drive sales.

While most of us don’t have millions to spend on marketing and brand-building, we still recognize the importance of growing visibility. If prospective clients in our community don’t know we exist, they can’t take advantage of our products or services. This is true for all entrepreneurs, from small business owners, to large corporate multinationals.

Where to begin? We start with the realization that there is no monopoly on health insurance within your community. There are other agents competing for the same clients.

Marketing isn’t about reinventing the wheel. It’s about making your wheel faster than the average person’s.

When you begin to develop your marketing strategy, there are several low-cost methods you can pursue initially.

A local agent that I spoke with recently had bumper stickers made that simply read, “Medicare Health Plan Agent” and listed his telephone number. He placed one on the back of his laptop and now when he starts his day at McDonalds with a cup of coffee, he can go through his emails while simultaneously soliciting business.

The idea is sound. His local fast food eatery had a consistent crowd of local seniors. Do you know where seniors congregate in your community?

Recently I visited the local big box home improvement store and noticed a truck out front with a magnetic sign on the tailgate advertising handyman services. I was purchasing materials for a project that was just beyond my capabilities and I decided to snap a photo of the sign to save in my phone. Just in case.

As an independent agent, you will travel near and far to serve your clients. Utilize this opportunity to increase your visibility and drive sales. A billboard may be outside the realm of possibility due to budgetary constraints, but a magnetic sign for your car can be purchased for a one-time cost of under a hundred dollars.

During the enrollment season it is not uncommon to see insurance agents wearing campaign buttons that identify them as “Medicare Health Plan Agents.” This again, is an easy method for capitalizing on the travel that is inherent in your profession. When you are going about your daily routine, individuals will strike up conversations and ask questions that they may have, simply because your marketing materials reminded them that they had questions, but were unsure where to turn.

Seminars are a great way to speak to multiple individuals at one time. A simple power point presentation, coupled with dynamic handout materials, can establish you as a credible source for information within your community. Reach out to senior centers, retirement communities, local churches, durable medical goods stores, and even VFWs or similar organizations to place fliers and drive traffic.

If you attended a seminar on financial planning and at the end of the presentation discovered that the presenter was offering their services at no cost; would you take them up on the offer?

Business to business marketing can allow you to create multiple points of contact within your community. Reach out to dermatologists’ offices, chiropractors, and durable medical goods stores to see about placing brochure holders. Often times you can place marketing materials for as little as the cost of a dozen donuts and half a dozen coffees once a month, when you refill your materials.

Likewise, some major carriers have lead boxes that you can purchase for a minimal onetime cost. Place these throughout your community to generate interest and increase your visibility.

Develop a war-chest of dynamic marketing materials that you keep with you at all times; fliers, brochures, leave-behind materials, and capitalize on first impressions as they arise.

An agent I recently spoke with created a laminated card that provided the local non-emergency numbers for the police, fire department, poison control, waste management and of course… the local independent insurance agent. This agent provided these during seminars, community events, and when meeting with clients.

Leave behind materials can provide easy access for potential clients to reach out to you to take advantage of your services, or introduce products and services to generate interest.

When an agent in Virginia learned that a client had recently purchased life insurance through a phone number provided during a TV commercial, he was devastated to learn that his client had overpaid for a product with a reduced benefit. He decided then and there to create a leave behind document warning of “predatory solicitation tactics” while providing a quote, to arm his clients with the information to decide what’s best for them and their loved ones.

Here at Jack Schroeder & Associates we are your designated partner in marketing. We can provide templates for fliers, thank you letters, presentations for events, leave behind quotes, and even the non-emergency numbers card.

Whatever your marketing strategy, start today, with Jack Schroeder & Associates. If you have any questions, or if we can be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to call 1 (800) 203-0433 for contracting, commissions, compliance, marketing, and more.