No. 9: Pay attention to current events.
Consumer needs and expectations change. Many businesses and households had to pivot this past year to remain relevant. Homes and businesses had to adjust their approach due to the restrictions and guidelines created in response to the pandemic. Choose to be proactive in helping your niche market(s) anticipate change and adjust appropriately by staying current on events and happenings that impact your clients’ future. (Bigstock/ALM Media archives)
No. 8: Monitor progress over time.
A truly successful niche program evolves when you proactively monitor the progress of your marketing efforts. Stay up to date on industry trends and market changes. If the pandemic has taught insurance agents anything, it is that nothing stays the same. The niche you focus on today may not be your ideal market five years from now. (adam121/Adobe Stock)
No. 7: Never sell on price.
One of the biggest challenges to overcome is selling on price, especially during a pandemic when many businesses and households were challenged financially. Focus on your agency’s core values and mission to protect clients in the event of a claim. Care for client needs and fill coverage gaps instead of closing the deal. Help potential customers understand the value of working with you by explaining potential claim scenarios and sharing testimonials that complement your core values. (Michael Jay Berlin/Shutterstock
No. 6: Offer value in all you do.
Every step of the process needs to offer value to the customer, starting well before they become a client. Share tips that help streamline daily responsibilities, offer content to share on social media, and provide answers to frequently asked questions through email marketing. Consider the 80/20 rule and structure your niche marketing communications to provide valuable insights 80% of the time, with only 20% of the message focused on the sale. (Song_about_summer/Adobe Stock
No. 5: Understand their business as well as they do.
Clients will never understand insurance as well as you do but understanding the clients’ business completely sets you apart from every other insurance agency. Whether that involves going to school to learn more about an industry, or shadowing a client’s business operations, understanding the unique attributes of your target market helps you better protect their business against potential losses. (issaronow/Adobe Stock)
No. 4: Find a carrier partner or partners that can deliver.
Frequently, agencies focus on the types of clients their carriers recommend, which are typically accounts that most agencies and companies also want to write. To successfully establish a niche, agencies should find carriers that are also passionate about the target industry, are willing to learn with you, and will have two-way conversations about accounts when necessary. (Svyatoslav Lypynskyy/Adobe Stock)
No. 3: Determine the types of accounts where you are knowledgeable.
Knowledge is power in niche marketing. Once you have narrowed down the types of accounts you are passionate about, consider which types you also know a lot about. It is easier to become an expert in one industry if you already understand their daily operations. (rudall30/Shutterstock.com)
No. 2: Review your existing book of business.
Many insurance agencies already have an established niche but don’t yet consider themselves an expert. If you’re unsure where to start, ask yourself what the majority of your agency’s business book consists of. Then determine the areas where you want to focus your energy. (mavoimages/Adobe Stock)
No. 1: Passion makes all the difference.
Passion is necessary when it comes to establishing a niche. The average individual spends 90,000 hours working during their lifetime. If you dedicate that many hours to one thing, it should be something you enjoy! Brainstorm what you want to spend time focusing on, talking about, or which types of clients you like working with the most to find a niche market you are passionate about. (Fotolia)
Whether you are new to insurance or an industry veteran, growing your book of business is a top priority.
Over the past year, many insurance agencies had to change the way they conducted business, making it challenging to experience growth. Even during a pandemic, one valuable method that agents rely on is niche marketing.
While niche marketing is a long-established practice, the process takes time, commitment, and the willingness to pivot when necessary.
The slideshow above illustrates nine steps for identifying and creating a successful niche in your insurance agency.
While the coronavirus pandemic has limited networking, on-site visits, and building relationships in-person, there are lessons learned that can translate into new ways to grow your agency. Establishing a niche market doesn’t happen overnight, but it will offer your agency incredible value long-term. Put these nine steps into practice and watch your agency sales soar.
Establishing a niche in an agency is a common theme discussed among members of the American Insurance Marketing & Sales Society (AIMS) and during Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA) seminars. The AIMS Society offers programs and services that help insurance agents build their marketing and sales expertise. To learn more about the AIMS Society, visit www.aimssociety.org.