Make Your Agency Look Big – Even If It’s Not

July 19, 2010

Small Agencies Are Bigger Than They Think


The problem with being a small insurance agency in the land of marketing giants is that it’s hard to be taken seriously. Why should a consumer or business buy from a little neighborhood office when there are humungous enterprises like GEICO out there? Obviously bigger is better, right? Yes and no.

Bigger Is Not Always Better

Yes, it’s better to be perceived as big – and no because being big comes with a whole other set of problems. Some of which are seemingly insurmountable. Ask GM, for example. Regardless, most people prefer to buy stuff from bigger outfits. It offers the illusion of stability and competence. Still, many local agencies are substantially bigger than they themselves imagine. It’s a matter of impression. If they compare themselves to the nation’s largest direct marketers and the Insurance Journal Top 100 agencies, then yes, they’re relatively modest operations. But, that’s not what matters. What really counts is how important a small office is to the community it serves. This impression is invaluable when marketing to both personal and commercial prospects. Here’s one way to do it without fibbing.

Numbers Never Lie (Sort Of)

Even volume-challenged agencies can generate some very significant numbers. So, boldly tout what you protect by displaying them to maximum effect. For instance if your agency writes 2,000 homeowners policies insured with an average dwelling limit of $250,000 each, you protect some $500 million in real property for area homeowners. Increase this number by 10 percent if you elect to include appurtenant structures coverage. Now, which number is more imposing: 2,000 or half a billion? You can also feature additional P/C, individual life, group insurance, and more in a similarly illuminating manner. Here are some examples.

  • $250,000,000 in personal property for local homeowners. [Calculated as: 2,000 homeowners policies with contents insured at an average of $125,000 per policy, when your personal property limit is typically 50 percent of the dwelling limit.]
  • More than $600,000,000 of personal liability for local homeowners. [Calculated as: 2,000 homeowners policies with a limit of $300,000 comprehensive personal liability, plus all personal umbrella policies.]
  • 10,000 local drivers. [Calculated as: 4,000 auto policies with an average of 2.5 drivers per policy.
  • Assets of area firms selling more than $250 million in annual goods & services. [Calculated as: 300 commercial accounts with average annual receipts of $850,000.]

Tout Your Community Protection

Promote your agency’s value to the community by touting numbers like those above. Each one represents the depth of protection provided by your office. The total amount of personal and commercial assets that you protect within your marketing territory can run into the billions. That’s impressive. Reveal your calculated sums on your Web site, on the various social networks, and via other agency communication venues.

Web site: Locate the above digits on your “About Us” page. It’s one of the first places that interested prospects visit when they want to learn more about an organization. Or if you prefer, link from the “About Us” to a dedicated page that displays the descriptive totals. Either way, place the numbers under a heading like, “We proudly protect the residents and businesses of the [Anytown] community.”

Social media: Broadcast the above numbers to your Twitter followers in a series of teaser tweets, such as “We provide over a half a billion dollars in homeowners insurance protection for Anytown residents. True or false? [URL].” Link each tweet to your site’s page that displays the totals. Post more teasers on your agency’s Facebook wall. You can even proclaim the numbers, albeit in a more muted manner, via updates to your LinkedIn connections. Plus, similarly note these dramatic totals in your agency’s e-newsletter or blog. Another option is to record and post a supporting video with an intro from a principal, colorful charts, and a slideshow displaying photos of selected properties that you insure.

Define Yourself

Don’t let the mammoths you compete against define your office as tiny and irrelevant. Instead, proudly broadcast your worth in the most favorable and public ways. Turn a potential negative (your size) into a positive (your community value) by using numbers such as those above to help in this regard. If you don’t clearly proclaim who you are, your competition will do it for you. And that’s not exactly healthy for your long-term survival.

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Insurance Journal West July 19, 2010
July 19, 2010
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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