In today’s fast-paced world, small business owners are even more hyper-connected and overloaded with information, choices, and distractions. One of the hardest things to determine is whether you’re on the right path or not. Great work requires taking risks. Couch Sessions offers practical information, new perspectives and quick tips to help point you in the right direction.
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I am an upcoming Insurance Agent that decided to open up my small sole proprietor business EC Financial Strategies. My biggest frustration is the huge amount of money I have spent on lead generation and marketing ideas, and have seen almost no return on investment. For example: I have spent $300 on lead generation and have not had a single lead produce any business. For someone on a shoestring start-up budget this is very frustrating. What are some other ideas to generate new customers without breaking the bank? I currently am using Facebook, Twitter, a website & blog to try to attract online customers! Esther A Castro, EC Financial Strategies, www.ECFinancialStrategies.com @ECFStrategies
Unless you have a researched strategy and long-term budget for it, paying for lead generation could be financially devastating for small businesses. Lead generation is not a faucet you can just turn on and have clients flow out of. It is more like having a faulty faucet that drips one drop every 30 minutes. In other words, it takes time. You need a strategy, you need action steps, you need to be consistent and most importantly, you need to be speaking the language of your market on the channels they are tuned in to.
As a new insurance agent, the best place to find leads and potential clients is through your existing network. Talk to everyone who knows and loves you. Let them know what you are doing and who you are looking for. Be specific. The insurance agent market is much like the real estate agent market; the amount of agents will always outnumber the amount of clients. Try to refine your services and find a niche where you can exploit the skills, talents and character traits that are unique to you. Be specific about the client you want to work with. Where are they, how old are they, what is their income, what are their interests, are they family-oriented with young kids? Are they professionals who travel a lot? Are they into sports? Find synergies between you and your clients. When you talk to friends, family and associates, be clear about who you are looking for.
Networking is free. Sure there are events you have to pay to get into, but it costs nothing to talk to someone at the local coffee shop. It costs nothing to talk to someone when you get your nails or hair done. The point is, “a closed mouth, doesn’t get fed.” Get out and do some networking. Go to some “meet ups,” join a community organization, join a professional organization, etc. (only join organizations that you actually have an interest in actively participating in). Talk to people. Get to know them. Offer to assist them, where you can. Don’t just ask, ask, ask; relationship-building takes time. People will refer whom they know and trust, not whom they just met.
Housecleaning tips: Make sure you have business cards (or postcards) readily available with current information. Your website looks great and professional. I easily found what I needed, if I were looking for insurance. Most important, be sure to follow-up with everyone who requires additional information or shows signs of interest. Many sales are lost from poor follow-up practices.
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Simplicity expert, A.Michelle Blakeley is the source for understanding and knowing how to align your purpose, principles and priorities with simple practices. She masterfully delivers the right information with step-by-step guidance. What’s good for you is good for your business. As a result, her clients are holistically and authentically operating their business and experiencing energized realities. Connect with her on twitter at @simplicityinc or read through her new online magazine, Micro Business Therapy.