Just like any sales tool that has ever existed, knocking doors, telemarketing, mailing post cards, or buying leads, tools are only as good as the person using them. I am often asked when interviewing a new life insurance agent, “do you have leads?” Wow, is this a glowing recommendation of “I suck as a salesperson and I don’t know anyone who trusts me, so I need you to find people who need this product”? Too harsh? Alright, I have never said that to a new life insurance agent, but I sure have thought it.
When have we ever had a tool this powerful for free? How many people have a Facebook page? LinkedIn account? or Twitter account? This is your network of friends, family and people who know you and trust you. Just maybe they would buy your product or service if you asked them correctly. But how many life insurance agents misuse these mediums? The answer is Most. Would you walk into the neighborhood block party with your friends and their friends, gather everyone around and start presenting your new life insurance product portfolio before having your first hotdog? Of course not, so why would you start spewing on Facebook with how great you and your insurance products are on a social media page? The key word here is social media. Why is it that some people think the social aspect doesn’t apply, just because it’s on a computer? You need to be as creative online as you would be at a party. No one wants to be “that guy or gal” that everyone turns and runs when they see you coming, thinking they just want to sell me something. If this is you, I know why you want leads of strangers to go sell something to now.
Use the same manners your mamma taught you growing up. First, be nice and polite. Compliment a posting or picture of another friend. Post something that causes people to respond, in other words, you want to be noticed, just like you’re at a party. If you have no idea where to start, read postings of people who have lots of comments. They are being noticed. What are they talking about that gets them noticed? Second be relevant or in other words helpful. If you are an expert at insurance, talk about a helpful tip, not sell something. Remember you are trying to be noticed. Just like Anheuser-Busch wants you to notice their Budweiser beer during the game. Finally, you should have a page just for your business and ask your friends to like it. It’s absolutely free to like your page. There you can be more direct with what you do. Remember, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. A good salesperson knows this and just makes him thirsty. The key word in social media is “social”.
“Our social tools are not an improvement to modern society, they are a challenge to it.”― Clay Shirky
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger and team leader with over 25 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.