Today’s employers are more empowered and increasingly self-educating when evaluating benefits plans. As a result, traditional channels like phone or email are exhausted and getting employers’ attention requires additional effort. More than 40% of consumers use social media to research new brands or products to inform their buying decisions. If the modern HR professional is digitally-driven and socially connected, shouldn’t you be too? In this week’s post, we explain what social selling for insurance agencies is and how to use it to better engage and build relationships with your prospects.
What Is Social Selling?
Social selling is a new sales approach that uses social media networks to find, connect, and nurture leads. Building a meaningful relationship with prospects has always been one of the foundations of selling. However, the difference resides in the method: while cold calling or email interrupt your potential clients’ daily lives, social selling provides value in an organic manner.
Social selling is not bombarding strangers with unsolicited private messages. That could be considered spam and it won’t help your agency. Instead, the immediacy of social media helps you to actively monitor prospects to find a good time to reach out. Social media grants you access to a large database of contacts, but it is important to strategically listen and join the conversation at the right moment.
For example, let’s say you connect with an HR manager on LinkedIn. You’ve done your research and you know you are in front of a potential client. By monitoring their profile, you learn that the prospect is considering a technology solution to modernize their company. You can enter the conversation at this point by publishing various posts about the advantages of implementing benefits administration software and offer your connections a demo on the software’s key features.
Why Is Social Selling For Insurance Agencies Important?
366 million new people started using social media in the past year. Don’t you want to be where most of the decision-making process is happening? There are many benefits to social selling, and below are two main reasons why social selling for insurance agencies is important.
Build Real Relationships
HR professionals are sharing their needs, wants, and pains on their social media profiles. If you listen and spend some time researching, you can identify users that are already interested in what you have to offer. By monitoring conversations relevant to the insurance industry, you will be able to reach out to your potential clients with a personalized message and share helpful information when the time is right. Implementing social selling for insurance agencies will help you build relationships with prospects with a more meaningful foundation.
Your Clients Will Look For You
Your potential clients are using social media to find the perfect benefits solution for their company. Online research, reading other professionals’ opinion, and generating an idea of who could better help them achieve their goals come before contacting an insurance agency. Imagine the advantage of putting your information in front of your prospects at this stage of the funnel. Considering 76% of buyers are ready to have a social media conversation with potential sellers, if you are inactive in social selling, you won’t appear as a solution and will miss out on the opportunity.
How Can You Implement Social Selling?
The social selling framework is composed of two aspects: connections and high-quality content. 92% of B2B buyers engage with sales professionals if they are thought leaders in the industry. If you are able to demonstrate your knowledge and share insightful opinions with a relevant network, you will distinguish yourself from the competition and will become a trustworthy source in the insurance industry. These are the basic steps you should follow to start implementing social selling for insurance agencies:
You might use social media in your personal life, but that is not synonymous with knowing how to use the various platforms to sell insurance. How much time should you spend on social media? How can you leverage the relationships you are building to achieve success? How do you insert social selling into your day-to-day activities? Research, look for best practice examples, and invest in new skills and tools. For example, you will need a social media management tool, such as Hootsuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social. Train yourself and your team to develop the skills to take advantage of all the features it offers, such as scheduling or analytics.
Create A Professional Brand
When implementing social selling for insurance agencies, it is key to create a consistent voice and establish your personal brand. You shouldn’t mistake the dynamic approach of social selling with an informal conversation. When reaching out to prospects via social media, you’ll want to follow the same professional mannerisms that are core to your agency’s principles. Create and share high-quality content that generates value for your audience, position yourself as an industry expert, and engage with your audience to keep your services top of mind. By creating a professional brand for yourself on social media, you will build your credibility.
Locate Your Audience
To start your social selling strategy, identify what social media platform your target audience is on. Locate the HR professionals with the ability to make the decision about benefits plans for their companies and listen to what they want and need. As we mentioned before, you will need a social management tool to carry this task out. For example, you can set up the tool to show you all the posts with the hashtag #hrmanagement.
As we pointed out in marketing analytics for insurance agencies, measuring performance is key to making sure your strategy is working. How much time does a prospect take to convert? How fast do leads move through your pipeline? Establishing a measurement plan can be difficult, but you can start by adding social media as a source in your CRM. By assessing your social selling performance, you will be able to identify flaws and improve the necessary areas.
Final Thoughts About Social Selling for Insurance Agencies
Social networks have evolved from a marketing channel into a lead generation tool. Besides building a positive impression of your brand, social selling for insurance agencies will help you support and enhance your sales efforts. Try to interact with your target audience being as personal as possible, approach prospects whom you share connections with, and take time to research and customize each message. If you can truly help them pick the best benefits plans for their company, HR professionals will appreciate you reaching out to them.