One of the most important signals search engines are currently using to rank insurance agencies is the social graph. Having a big following of customers connected to you through Facebook and Twitter etc. helps your search rankings and it also improves your ability to upsell and gain referrals from your existing book of business. It’s an all-around winner.
Let me show you how to get every customer to join your social network.
(Uh oh, I just realized I may have set the expectations a bit too high. How about every customer who doesn’t hate you and at least has an email account.)
Getting customers to join your social network is just like cross-selling a new line of insurance.
To cross-sell another line of insurance you need to:
- Raise awareness of the policy.
- Show the value of the policy.
- Remove any perceived risk of buying the policy.
- Make it clear and easy to buy the policy.
- Ask the customer to buy the policy.
- Overcome objections and ask the customer to buy the policy again.
- Follow up until they say no or buy the additional line.
To get clients to join your social network you must:
- Raise awareness of your social network.
- Show the value of joining your social network.
- Remove any perceived risk of joining the social network.
- Make it clear and easy to join your social network.
- Ask your customer to join your social network.
- Overcome objections and ask the customer to join your social network again.
- Follow up until they say no or join your social network.
Let’s take a look at each of these steps in greater detail:
Raise Awareness of Your Social Network
Sorry for the over-referenced line but, “if you build it, they will come” doesn’t work for social networks. I see many well-intentioned insurance agents set up a Facebook, Twitter, or Foursquare page and then just expect the masses will join. Many will even take great amounts of time adding valuable content and agency information to these sites but will fail to let people know about it. There’s a lot of ways to market your social network: in-agency signage, write it on your policy documents, direct mail, email, etc. but the absolute best way to raise awareness of your social network is to verbally tell your customers.
Make it a routine to mention it during every customer interaction.
Show The Value of Joining Your Social Network
Unless they really like you, most insureds won’t join your social network for the hell of it. You have to provide some type of value and it must be clear. Make sure customers know exactly what benefits they will recieve when joining. If you can’t think of the benefits to joining your network, you need to start there.
Remember to think like the customer not the salesperson. For example, if you told me the benefit to joining your social network was to “hear about new products and services we sell” I would say that’s a benefit to you, not me. I would also think you’re going to litter my Facebook newsfeed with cheesy lines about getting insurance quotes. If you told me the benefit was to “find out about customer appreciation parties, how to save more money on insurance, and funny jokes about insurance agents” I would sign up!
Remove Any Perceived Risk of Joining Your Social Network
It might not cost money, but joining your social network is not free. If someone joins your network they’ll have to see your content in their newsfeed and their friends may view the connection as an endorsement, which means they’re placing their social standing in the hands of your business and service.
According to social media research, here are the top three reasons people leave a social media network:
1. Too frequent posting.
2. Too much promotional marketing.
3. Boring or repetitive content.
I think people are afraid to join social networks for the same reasons they leave them. During a discussion about joining or on your promotional material, make sure you address these top three objections. You can see the top ten reasons people unlike businesses here.
Make It Clear And Easy To Join Your Social Network.
Have you ever tried to join your agency’s facebook page to see how difficult it is? I strongly recommend that you do so you can easily explain to someone exactly what they must do.
Tell your customers exactly what to do:
“Log in to Facebook and in the upper right corner search for: “InsuranceSplash”
“Sit right here at this computer and log into your twitter account. I’ll show you how to follow us.”
“Do you have the Foursquare app downloaded on that phone? Great let me show you what to do”
“Here’s a QR Code that will take you right to our Facebook page.”
“What’s your email address? Just click the link I email you”
“Just text XYZ to 789.”
By the way, if you want to join my social network:
CLICK THIS LINK AND THEN CLICK THE LIKE BUTTON
Ask Your Customers to Join Your Network.
They say you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink… I say you should still ask him to! I guarantee that if you ask 100 horses, some will drink even if they’re not thirsty. Oh, I forgot, you don’t sell horse water… you sell insurance.
With today’s technology, it’s possible to get someone to join your social network no matter where you are. Don’t make someone aware of your social network, outline the benefits, remove the fear, make it easy for them to do and then chicken out. It’s time to make the sale and if you don’t ask for it you won’t get it.
Overcome Objections and Ask The Customer To Join Your Social Network Again.
If you’ve done all the above and asked someone to join your social network, they have to either do it, or give you a reason why they won’t. There’s a limited number things they might say so take some time to write them all down and come up with a quick rebuttal for each of them.
Here’s an example,
Customer: “I don’t have time to like you on Facebook right now.”
You: “I understand, but if you had 15 minutes to spare you’d like us, right?”
Customer: “Oh of course!” (90% of the time they’ll say this because they think it’s an out)
You: “Good because it only takes 1! C’mon I want you to know when we introduce new discounts that you might be eligible for… you can use this computer.” (big smile)
Customer: “Okay, let’s do it.”
Follow Up Until They Join Your Social Network.
If the customer does not want to join your social network right then and there, ask for an email address and let them know you’ll send a link so they can sign up on their own time. Now it’s up to you how often you want to keep emailing them, but makes sure each successive contact brings new information/benefits to the table, has a link to sign up, and try not to become a pest.
You might be thinking, I don’t even sell my products with this much rigor. That’s okay, just remember that using pieces of this article that work for your business will still be more beneficial than doing nothing at all.
Remember too, that selling to your current customers is a whole lot easier and cheaper than selling to new ones. Once they’re in your social network, it’s a whole lot easier.
What do you think of the advice in this column? I’d love to hear in the comments below…