For many years, insurance brokers have used the same techniques to build their book of business. They attend networking events, conferences, fundraisers and they join country clubs and the local Chamber of Commerce, all with the goal of collecting business cards and nurturing relationships. Up until five or ten years ago, those cards ended up in their Rolodex.
While brokers are always building their book of business, they’re no longer using a Rolodex (at least not the physical kind). That’s because technology has provided us with better options to manage connections.
One of the most overlooked business development methods, especially in insurance, is LinkedIn. There, brokers can engage with connections they’ve met at events, find new prospects, build a strong network to ask for referrals, and develop their thought leadership by sharing valuable content.
Since the modern buyer is digitally active and mobile-attached, brokers must effectively leverage digital platforms, especially LinkedIn, to increase their pipeline and make new connections.
LinkedIn Lead Generation for Insurance Brokers
According to LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions audience demographics, senior-level influencers and decision-makers make up more than 153 million of LinkedIn’s members. More than likely, your target prospects are active on LinkedIn seeking solutions to their business challenges.
There, insurance brokers can share content that shows they understand the specific pain points of decision-makers at their prospect’s companies. This helps build a personal brand of expertise and increases the odds that prospects will see and engage with their content. Then, brokers can connect to continue sharing relevant content to further nurture the relationship.
We’ve all dealt with new connections who immediately want to sell you something or schedule a meeting. Those are not effective techniques when building relationships that can lead to new customers or referrals, just like that would be poor taste to do at a networking event. That is not how successful commercial insurance brokers generate leads on LinkedIn.
And that’s the point that many insurance sales teams are missing. LinkedIn is the modern day networking event that you don’t need to buy a ticket to or travel to. It is always on and always available. With the right techniques and right strategies, brokers can enhance their current networking by leveraging LinkedIn and other digital platforms.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Can business #insurance brokers use #LinkedIn as a platform for #sales prospecting? Read as Vengreso’s Co-founder and Chief Sales Officer, @kurtshaver dives into this topic. #DigitalSelling” quote=”Can business #insurance brokers use #LinkedIn as a platform for #sales prospecting? Read as Vengreso’s Co-founder and Chief Sales Officer, @kurtshaver dives into this topic. #DigitalSelling”]
5 Reasons Why Commercial Insurance Agents Need to Leverage LinkedIn
The shift to digital selling has enabled modern business insurance agents to network with their target buyers more efficiently and effectively. By leveraging social selling strategies and digital sales tools, brokers can find and be found by prospects who seek an insurance solution to their business challenges.
That doesn’t mean that brokers should stop performing offline prospecting, especially if those activities are producing results. Instead, social selling is meant to enhance those techniques to produce even better results.
For instance, if brokers are members of the local Chamber of Commerce, they can connect with all the other members on LinkedIn. Then, if they come across a post or article that one of the members might benefit from, the broker can easily share that piece of content with that person. This further builds a relationship outside of the context of the normal setting. It also develops a level of trust and thought leadership. Then, the broker can ask for a referral and the other person will remember the valuable information they’ve provided.
This is just one example of how insurance brokers can leverage social selling to build relationships and expand their book of business. Below are five other reasons why LinkedIn can improve brokers’ sales prospecting and lead generation.
1. Find, Engage, and Connect with the Right Audience
LinkedIn is home to over 645 million users worldwide, 153 million of which have buying influence. Your target prospects–C-level executives whose priorities are generating revenue and protecting their company’s assets–are on LinkedIn, searching for solutions for their organizations.
Insurance agents can easily use the search filters available on the free version of LinkedIn to find target prospects by using the Boolean search method, which combines keywords and modifiers to produce more specific results.
For example, they could search for the terms “chief financial officer.” The results will display a list of members that include everyone with the specific phrase “chief financial officer” in their profile, especially in their LinkedIn headline. On the other hand, when you search for chief financial officer without the quotation marks the results show profiles that include each word.
For instance, recently I performed a search for chief financial officer and was given more than 1.7 million results. When I searched for “chief financial officer” with the quotation marks I received roughly 320,000 results. Then I refined the search one more level and searched for “chief financial officer” in San Francisco. This provided a much more manageable list of 8,947.
Teach your brokers this method to produce more targeted results. There are many other search strings they can use to narrow the results even more.
When your reps find their target prospects on LinkedIn, encourage them to connect using the PVC Sales Methodology ™. This method ensures that your sellers deliver personalization, value, and encourage prospects to engage. The PVC Sales Methodology™ focuses on building a relationship, not trying to send a pitch right away, which increases the likelihood of the prospect engaging in a sales conversation.
2. Grow Your Network in Quantity and Quality
As your brokers strive to build their network on LinkedIn, they should focus on the quantity and the quality of their connections. First, the more connections they have, the more exposure they can gain. For instance, as they share content and engage on the posts of others, they can benefit from the multiplier effect (see number 3 below).
Just as important, if not more so, is the quality of the connections. Yes, having thousands of connections can boost the visibility of your agents, but if they are connected with entry-level employees and need to connect with executives, they probably won’t be connected to each other.
Consequently, your brokers should specifically target their ideal buyer persona so that they can build connections with the right audience. This includes the executives they target, but also the people around them. These are the connections that will be posting and engaging with content that addresses the needs of your target buyer.
Then, when your brokers post content or engage on the posts of others, they increase the odds that they will be seen by the right people because of the shared connections.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”There are five reasons why #LinkedIn can increase your #insurance brokers’ lead generation. Learn more from @kurtshaver, Co-founder and Chief Sales Officer of Vengreso. #SocialSelling #SalesLeadership” quote=”There are five reasons why #LinkedIn can increase your #insurance brokers’ lead generation. Learn more from @kurtshaver, Co-founder and Chief Sales Officer of Vengreso. #SocialSelling #SalesLeadership”]
3. The Multiplier Effect on Visibility
When one of your brokers engages on a LinkedIn post three things happen.
- The person who shared the post receives a notification.
- The connections of the person who shared the post may see your broker’s comment in their newsfeed.
- The broker’s connections may see the post and the comment in their newsfeed.
That means that visibility on LinkedIn can be amplified by the multiplier effect on content sharing. This is how your brokers can develop their personal brand on LinkedIn and build their thought leadership. When they share insights, their prospects will see them as someone who can help them solve their specific business challenges.
And, by building their brand, they’re likely to build more relationships. Others will want to connect with someone who has an audience, which will lead to more introductions, which will lead to more connections, and then to more sales conversations.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”73% of executives prefer to work with salespeople referred by someone they know. How can #business #insurance brokers use this information? @kurtshaver shares his insights about this topic. #SalesTips #DigitalSelling” quote=”73% of executives prefer to work with salespeople referred by someone they know. How can #business #insurance brokers use this information? @kurtshaver shares his insights about this topic. #SalesTips #DigitalSelling”]
4. Relationship Building Done Digitally
As the modern buyer performs more independent research before engaging with a broker, LinkedIn is one social platform where your agents can network and develop relationships with your target buyer by sharing relevant content. This builds a relationship based on trust (not immediate sales pitches that offer no value) and shows that the broker understands the prospect’s pain points.
When your reps share helpful content, they not only share information to attract and engage the target buyer, they also position themselves as someone knowledgeable and credible in the insurance industry.
For instance, cybersecurity coverage is something that many executives don’t consider, though their business should be covered for it. When your brokers share a story about protecting against cybersecurity threats, it may help executives realize the importance of having that type of coverage. Sharing this type of information builds trust and can help nurture prospects.
Additionally, as your brokers build their audience on LinkedIn and engage and share more content, they will receive more profile views, which is a trigger event that can lead to a sales conversation. In fact, 62% of buyers look for an informative profile when deciding whether to work with that particular seller. This is why having an up to date LinkedIn profile with customer-centric messaging is so important. When a decision-maker views your broker’s profile to find content that addresses their pain points, they’ll view the broker as a partner helping them achieve their goals.
5. Asking for Referrals Has Never Been Easier
Your brokers are trained to ask for referrals. After all, 73% of executives prefer to work with salespeople referred by someone they know. One of the most overlooked benefits of LinkedIn is how easy it is to find opportunities for referrals.
Your business insurance brokers can easily view who their connections are connected to and find if there are any they’d like to be introduced to. Additionally, they can even see if their prospects are connected to anyone in their network.
That means that the relationships your brokers have with existing clients or members of their local networking groups can be leveraged for referrals on LinkedIn. Your broker can see that the president of the Chamber of Commerce is connected to the executive at a prospective company. Now, they can easily reach out and ask for a referral.
Our digital sales training includes templates for the two-step referral strategy. This will help your brokers fill their sales pipeline with high-quality leads faster and with less effort than they normally use when asking for referrals.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”LinkedIn is the modern-day Rolodex that never runs out of prime prospects. – @kurtshaver on how #SocialSelling can positively impact #insurance organizations. #B2BSales #SellingWithLinkedIn” quote=”LinkedIn is the modern-day Rolodex that never runs out of prime prospects. – @kurtshaver on how #SocialSelling can positively impact #insurance organizations. #B2BSales #SellingWithLinkedIn”]
Build Your Book of Business with LinkedIn
Years ago, commercial insurance brokers manually collected business cards from local networking events. They kept a Rolodex of clients and prospects and nurtured each business card down the funnel by scribbling notes on the back of the card.
Now, technology has provided easier ways for brokers to build their book of business. When they learn how to effectively leverage LinkedIn and other digital selling techniques, they’re able to network with prospects, build their thought leadership, and develop their personal brand. Plus, when combined with their offline networking activities, they can further develop relationships by sharing content and easily ask for referrals for more sales conversations.
Do you want to help your sellers create more sales conversations with qualified buyers? Read the Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn(R) Profiles for Sales Professionals to learn how to transform their profiles into a resource for prospects.