Cold calling is dead, social media is hot – and those brokers who don’t embrace this dynamic shift will quickly find themselves in a polar vortex of sales, says one industry analyst.
“Agents who used social media had a greater sales buy of 20%,” says Andrew Jenkins, vice president of strategy for ArCompany, “and 84% of B2B decision-makers are looking for referrals. You compare that to cold calling, which is only effective 3% of the time. Those are the changing dynamics of the industry.”
Jenkins’ message may be tough medicine for producers who have not yet entered truly embraced the world of social media.
“The New York Times has more Twitter followers than it does subscribers,” says Jenkins, “and 25% of the time spent online is spent on social networks. That is where your clients are right now.”
The trick in making social media work for you – and by extension expand your book of clients – is to show that you have value.
“If you as a service provider can show you are of help, that can lead to business,” he says. “You need to delight the customer – and you can’t delight a customer unless you listen to them first.
“Too many (brokers) do what they are accustomed to: broadcast first,” continues Jenkins. “Look at Twitter. “There are some 1.77 million tweets monthly about insurance. You can start by retweeting about birthdays, anniversaries, graduations. The same goes with Facebook. When a client’s son or daughter celebrates the sweet 16, I bet they are looking for car insurance.”
And more than just the move to social media is the growing popularity of mobile devices.
“Customers have shifted to mobile devices,” he says. “Before the iPad app, there was a spike in LinkedIn traffic from 7-9 in the morning. Since the iPad app, that traffic spike has moved to 7-9 at night. That rise in internet traffic is being driven by mobile devices. Are you prepared to engage them on a two or three-inch screen?”