Sell More Insurance Using Social Proof: 29 Clever Sales Tricks

Written by John F. Carroll on . Posted in Customer Service, Lead Generation, Sales, Social Media

social-proof-sellingMost people don’t understand insurance.

They don’t want to.

But buying the wrong insurance could cost thousands of dollars.

And when we need to make an important decision we don’t fully understand, we all do the same thing.

We do what we think everyone else did.

Social proof tells us what everyone else is doing so we can make the same decision and (hopefully) avoid a mistake.

Understanding and leveraging social proof can be extremely powerful in your insurance agency for getting more leads, closing more sales, retaining more clients and making more money.

The basic idea is to make every prospect and client believe that LOTS of other people also buy from you (whether it’s true or not).

Thats why I put together 29 tricks for leveraging social proof to sell more insurance.

1) Huge Bulletin Board of Client Business Cards

social-proof-clientsHang a giant bulletin board in the office and plaster it with your client’s business cards.

Of course your clients will appreciate the free marketing but the bigger benefit is the impression this bulletin board gives to everyone who looks at it.

It shows everyone you have hoards of existing clients and if they want to be part of this exclusive group…

They better buy a policy!

2) Business is always GREAT!

Ever find yourself commiserating with a client or prospect about how tough the insurance business is?

Think they’re going to feel sorry for you and buy a policy or renew?

Think again. Nobody wants to be with a loser.

When you tell clients sales are anything but amazing, you’re really saying there are better options elsewhere.

How’s business?

Business is GREAT… Always!

3) Get More Online Reviews

If people search for your agency on sites like Google and Yelp, they’ll notice the number (not just quality) of your reviews and use it as a sign of how popular you are.

Just like a restaurant, an insurance agency with 5 times more clients should have 5 times more reviews.

This is a particularly good opportunity because very few agencies are actively going after reviews.

Here’s an article to give you some ideas, or check out this recorded podcast about getting more reviews.

4) Billions and Billions Served

social-proof-lots-of-customersYou’ve seen it on McDonalds signs for years.

(As if we didn’t know they were doing very well)

Nothing stops you from using similar language on your marketing materials or website…

Come up with an estimate for how many customers you’ve helped through the years and write something like this in your marketing materials:

“Over 20,000 Local Families Have Trusted Our Agency!”

I’ll give you permission to exaggerate a bit… who’s counting?

5) Use Your Carrier’s Statistics

If your agency just opened and you don’t have the numbers to brag about customers, use your carriers’ stats.

The more local you can make the numbers the better. For example:

“Over 30,000 households in East Bumblewood have Progressive insurance. Have you gotten your quote yet?”

6) Get More Facebook Likes

I look at insurance agent Facebook pages a lot and although I know it’s not the best indicator of a good FB presence, the first thing I check is the number of likes.

With nothing else to go by, would you hire the real estate agent with 300 Facebook fans or the one with 30?

By the way, don’t buy Facebook Likes. You’ll regret it.

Develop a strategy for building legitimate connections instead.

7) Client Photos Bulletin Board

Just like the bulletin board for business cards, a board overflowing with pictures of your clients instantly shows prospects that other normal people trust your agency with their financial protection.

Many visitors to your agency will come in and leave without ever seeing another customer. Don’t you want them to know others exist?

Post pictures of a wide array of ages, sexes, nationalities, and all the other things that make your client base diverse.

People place more value in social proof from other people similar to them.

8) Post Client Pictures on Facebook

This is similar to the idea above, except you’re doing it virtually.

It also helps with retention when your existing customers to see a steady stream of new and existing customers buying from you.

An added bonus is that the pictures you share on Facebook can be shared with hundreds or thousands of other people.

9) Always Appear Busy

busy-with-customersJust like in the dating world, when you act too desperate you become less desireable.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good thing for clients to know you’re available.

But when you always seem busy they’ll assume your agency is full of other happy customers and people line up out the door to give you money.

Also, when clients think you’re super busy they’ll respect your time and attention more.

10) Have a Client On Their Street

Warning: This idea is a bit sketchy so just ignore it if you want.

When you’re quoting a prospect, tell them you insure someone (or several people) on their street or in their neighborhood.

Pretend you don’t know or can’t release the names, but by making this comment you’re saying to them:

“Someone with your socioeconomic status already buys from us. You won’t be making a mistake doing the same.”

11) Have a New Client With The Same Car

Sorry, but here’s another sketchy one:

When the prospect tells you the year, make, and model of their vehicle (or whatever the risk is) say something like:

“What a coincidence! I just sold a policy earlier today with that exact same car!”

Again, you’re putting them at ease by reinforcing this idea: “every purchase carries risk, but there’s comfort in knowing you’re not the only one making it”

12) Sell Using Buyer Percentages

Having trouble selling a particular policy or coverage over another?

Give clients statistics about buyer behavior. Something like:

“Of course the decision is yours and I’m happy to answer all your questions, but for what it’s worth, 77% of people in your situation purchase Policy A.”

Say that consistently and a year from now you’ll have more than 77% with Policy A.

13) Print and Display “Thank You” Messages

letters-of-recommendationEmails, online reviews, tweets, Facebook posts, paper letters, and any other type of appreciative or positive message you receive from clients can be printed and displayed in your agency.

You could also print out a bunch of these messages and bind them into a book that you keep in your reception area.

14) Video Testimonials on Website

I’ve written a lot about video testimonials before and I still stand behind them.

Video testimonials always sound hard to get, but if you’re on the lookout and ask the right people it’s not impossible to get 5-10 good ones over a few months.

Don’t worry about the professionalism of the video. Authenticity is more important.

15) Build a “Diversity Library” of Video Testimonials for Sales

Once you get in the habit of recording video testimonials from your clients, use these during the new business quoting process.

The key to getting maximum benefit from a video testimonial is to have someone that looks and sounds like the prospect.

Once you have a “library” of 8-12 testimonials use them so the older white woman gets a testimonial from another older white woman and the young hispanic man gets one from a young hispanic man.

And if you think my theory about this is insensitive to cultural differences then you’re living in a fantasy world.

By the way, don’t build an actual library, just post the videos on YouTube and send prospects a link.

16) Video Testimonials on Social Media

Of course if you’re already creating the video testimonials, make sure to post them to your Facebook page.

Although posting links to YouTube is okay, you’re going to want to upload the actual videos to Facebook so they’ll show up if anyone searches through your online videos.

YouTube links will only be a part of your timeline but an uploaded video is easy to find forever.

17) Video Testimonials in Reception Area

If you can get together enough video testimonials, string them together and create a DVD to play in your waiting room.

You might go crazy listening to the same thing all day, but you could always put on the closed captioning or just hit the play button when there’s a prospect coming in.

If you’re going to make the DVD, you may as well do a little interview with the agent and any employees that aren’t likely to leave you anytime soon.

18) Sell to Local Celebrities

celebrity-endorsementIf you get an opportunity to sell to the mayor, TV news guy, a local athlete, or anyone else that people might know take it.

I’m not going into all the psychology of it here, but prospects will be more likely to buy from you when they know a celebrity placed their trust in you.

“Before you reject this replacement cost coverage, I just want you to know that Clay Aiken was in here last week and he bought two!”

19) Get Testimonials From Doctors

Fact #1 – Everybody thinks doctors are smart.

Fact #2 – Doctors have Dr. in their name so it’s easy to identify them in a video or print testimonial.

If your prospect is considering buying from you and they watch or read a testimonial from a doctor they’re going to think,

“How big of a mistake could this be? This dude bought from the agency… and he’s a doctor!”

20) Make More LinkedIn Connections

Just like a Facebook page with few fans, a LinkedIn page with very few connections makes you look less connected and successful.

Don’t be afraid to ask to connect with someone with whom you have a distant connection. People are generally less discerning about who they connect with on LinkedIn.

It’s not like asking someone to be your Facebook friend.

Start by requesting to connect with me on LinkedIn… I promise I’ll accept.

21) Avoid Negative Social Proof

negative-social-proofNegative social proof is when you try to sell something with a variation of “everybody buys the wrong coverage, so I’m going to talk you into the right coverage.”

Here’s an example:

Agent says: “There’s so many people out there with state minimum coverage, you should buy high underinsured motorist coverage.”

Prospect hears: “Everybody else is getting the state minimum… perhaps I should too… It’s cheaper, right?”

If you want to sell higher underinsured motorist coverage, say this instead: “77% of customers just like you buy these limits.”

22) Get More Referrals

When one of your clients refers your agency, that’s the ultimate social proof.

That’s the biggest reason why referred leads close at much higher rates than cold leads.

Here’s an article I wrote with some great ideas for boosting referrals.

23) Case Studies

Case studies can be excellent social proof tools for your website, marketing materials, or sales presentations.

Although it sounds so “official”, a case study doesn’t need to be any more than a simple explanation of a client’s problem and how you solved it.

It’s probably a bit more geared toward commercial than personal, but I think you can do case studies on just about anything.

Create a “library” of different case studies and you could send specific case studies to individual prospects depending on their specific needs so the message and social proof really resonates.

24) Claim Stories

When you’re selling a particular coverage to a prospect full of doubt, telling a vivid claim story can be a great form of social proof.

Tell your prospect about about another customer who made the right decision during the buying process and how that specifically helped them later on.

The more real and detailed you can tell the story, the more impactful it will be.

25) Ask for Facebook/Social Media Posts

When you’ve got an ecstatic customer in front of you that you just saved hundreds of dollars for, ask them to make a post recommending your agency on Facebook.

It might sound like too bold of a request, but when people are saving a lot of money, they’re usually willing to tell the world because it makes them look like smart thrifty consumers.

The average Facebook user has around 150 friends. Think about it.

26) Ask About Clients Your Prospect Might Know

Make it a game during conversations with prospects to find a client of your agency the prospect may know.

Throw out a bunch of names based on where they live, where they grew up, where they work, what activities they’re involved in, whatever.

Even if you can’t make a connection, every time you say something like, “Do you know Bobby Moore? He’s one of our clients and works over at the plant.” you’re providing more social proof that your agency is a great one.

And if you find a connection, the value of that social proof just multiplied!

27) Have a HUGE Pile of “New Clients”

Here’s another sketchy one. Maybe it’s just silly, I don’t know.

Put a paper bin in a very prominent location in the office and mark it something like, “New Clients – This Week” and then put a HUGE stack of papers or folders in it.

While you’re at it, why don’t you put an empty one next to it that says, “Cancelled/Nonrenewed Policies This Month”

Ridiculous? Stupid? Brilliant? Your agency – your call.

29) Be the Social Proof

Guess what, you can be the social proof too!

Explain to your clients why you decided to purchase the policies and options you did.

Let them know you pay the same amount as them. And if you want to really drive the point home, show them your dec pages or other documents that prove you’re willing to put your money where your mouth is!

Here’s what to do next:

  1. Make a list of social proof tactics you could employ this week and put them in a visible place.
  2. Email a link to this article to another agent you know who likes sales tricks.
  3. Click the Like button to give social proof to all the other agents who read this article ;)
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John F. Carroll

John F. Carroll is the founder and CEO of InsuranceSplash. For years, John has consulted insurance agencies with internet marketing and sales strategy and he is dedicated to making insurance marketing easy and effective for all insurance agents. If you're an agent, connect with John on LinkedIn, he wants to connect with you!

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