Discover your free Construction Marketing Ideas Email Newsletter

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Selling insurance

This image is from the website of Lanzo, Lutz & Associates, Inc. in Cheswick, PA.

Yesterday, in place of the regular email Construction Marketing Ideas newsletter, I invited readers to answer this question: What is your largest single construction marketing challenge. We received many responses, and I'm working today and tomorrow to send out individual emails which, in many cases, will of course also serve others through blog and newsletter entries.

Ted Lanzo, of Lanzo, Lutz, Insurance Brokers in Cheswick, PA, wrote:

I don’t know if this is what you are looking for, but being in the insurance business, it is difficult to reach construction people or should I say businesses to insure, given they don’t seem to follow the same patterns as the average person.

1) They don’t or rarely use email, reading is not a strong suit, they’re hands on
2) They seem more disorganized, estimated taxes many times go unpaid
3) They seem to lack good management skills or they don’t care as much about learning good management techniques to grow their business

Yet they need insurance to get on any job site, so how do we reach them. I was going to do a one page newsletter, with a business tip or tool tip.

We have a website that is the same as our vanity phone number 1-Toolbelt-10.

Ted Lanzo
These are excellent questions

The thing I've noticed about most successful insurance brokers is that they thrive more on the relationships with existing clients than in the marketing to new clients; and that most successful insurance companies find a way to market so that they are at the centres of influence of their community. Newsletters, websites, and direct marketing/selling are an uphill grind. You need to get word of mouth and natural marketing in place. (Though I generally like your website, and e-letters and other resources are helpful in maintaining relationships or building them once your initial marketing position is established.)

So how do you achieve this level of connection? First, the obvious one -- see if you can provide an insurance program with your local construction associations. Remember there are many specialized groups and organizations. One successful insurance broker here, for example, couldn't connect with the local mixed construction association, but found a place within the local general contractors' association -- sponsoring, for a minor fee, their annual Integrity and Ethics Awards (and providing lots of face-to-face meeting time both with the association's board members and other participants.)

You can also build out from your existing client base. I notice you have testimonials. These are really helpful. You might wish to put these on a static web page, with links back to the testimonial-givers' own websites. Of course you can ask for referrals, but you might go a step further and sponsor/co-ordinate some kind of marketing party or event to help your existing clients attract new business (and of course invite the people who you think might also benefit from your services).

Finally, I've seen an increasing trend within construction associations and groups to have at least once a year hands-on parties and events; again, the direct connection and involvement with potential clients is probably more effective than printed materials and the like (though I can reassure you that really high end potential clients -- the ones that will provide you with the most business -- indeed are readers.)

In our years of business, where we publish features about construction businesses supported by their suppliers, we've found that we almost always can sell ads to the featured companies' insurance brokers. They aren't purchasing the ads because they believe the advertising will (directly) attract new business. They simply appreciate the best way to build the business is to maintain the connection and support existing clients with energy and respect -- and these informal relationships invite the behind-the-scene referrals and recommendations that are the real source of long term success in the insurance business.

No comments: