When I was in the insurance business – this answer was simple: referrals and cross-selling. This isn’t news and won’t surprise anyone. It has always been easier to sell insurance to your existing clients or to their friends. Using each client as a center of influence to build a referral network is an excellent way to lay the groundwork of a book of business.
But where do you go next? How do you effectively supplement this tool to expand your base and diversify your book? For me, this was again no surprise: cold calling. Phone calls, physical visits, letters, you name it. Luckily I’m not shy and I could handle rejection. In retrospect, this was a very inefficient way to build my business.
Now that I have transitioned to a virtual organization and shifted my marketing strategy to an integrated approach – my best prospects and most closed sales come from an entirely different place: email opens. That’s not a misprint. If that phraseology is not something you’re familiar with (it is still relatively new to me), we define an ‘email open’ as a prospect that opens our eMarketing campaign messages multiple times. This typically indicates they have a level of interest, and I like to call these prospects immediately – a very warm call.
Referrals and cross-selling are great. They will always be useful tools in the sales and marketing world – especially in a challenging industry like insurance. Cold calling also works and is something every sales executive should experience. But I have found that the most effective and profitable solution is an integrated marketing strategy – delivered with maximum efficacy from my virtual office.