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We’ve all been there. We try to educate our insurance clients on the coverage they need, including things they may not have thought about. Afterall, that’s our job. But sometimes, it can be challenging helping small business clients understand their options and why they need the coverage being recommended.
Unlike when shopping for things like clothes or food, those who buy commercial insurance are almost certainly not going to make an impulse purchase. Instead, large purchases like commercial insurance typically require thorough research by small business owners. For insurance agents, even though that might make the sales process lengthier and more complex, there may be opportunities to educate insurance clients and stand out from the competition.
Educating small business owners on insurance needs can occur in several ways. Potential insurance clients may need to learn aspects such as:
- Why they need business insurance
- How different policies may benefit their business
- What business owners can do to manage risk better
In other words, there’s no one “right” way to educate insurance clients. Different business owners will need different types and depths of education depending on their own circumstances. In this guide, we’ll explore more how insurance agents can educate insurance clients by setting up a solid base from which they can better inform a wide range of small business owners.
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Identify Insurance Clients’ Education Needs
Since not every small business owner has the same education needs — one might be buying insurance for the first time while another has been purchasing for years — it’s important to analyze your client base. Doing so can help you both educate and build relationships with existing clients. As well as help with renewals while also informing you how you might educate prospects if you want to go after similar types of clients.
For example, if most of your clients tend to be first-time business owners, then you may need more in-depth educational content on why insurance is needed and how to choose a policy. Yet if you primarily serve more established small businesses, perhaps within a certain geographic area, then maybe you want to focus more on educating these clients about how local economic conditions pertain to risk management and ultimately tie into their insurance needs.
Create Buyer Personas
One way to get a better feel of your client base is to create buyer personas.
“A customer persona (also known as a buyer persona) is a semi-fictional archetype that represents the key traits of a large segment of your audience, based on the data you’ve collected from user research and web analytics,” says UserTesting, a market research firm.
You may find that it helps to create multiple buyer personas for the different customer segments you’re trying to reach. For example, as you analyze your customer base you might find that you tend to work with small business owners within retail, media and technology. So, you could create one persona for each industry, thereby helping you narrow down how you want to educate different insurance clients.
“The purpose of creating a buyer persona is to get crystal clear on the individuals to who you are marketing to. Until you nail this down, you can’t really be sure that your offerings and your marketing messages are going to be successful,” explains OptinMonster, a lead generation software company.
Create Case Studies
Another way to analyze your client base and figure out what types of educational content to offer is to create case studies. By looking at examples of real clients that you helped, you can remind yourself of ways you’ve solved challenges for small business owners. From there, you can create corresponding educational content.
Suppose you create a case study on a small business owner who opened their first restaurant. They were worried about slim margins and knew that unexpected expenses could put them deep in debt or even force them to close. So, you worked with the client to find a general liability policy that helped them feel more comfortable with their risk of unexpected expenses while also having a monthly premium that they could fit within their budget.
From going through this exercise of creating the case study, you realize that the client needed to be educated on what types of unexpected expenses insurance could help cover. That could then inform future ways you educate insurance clients.
Plus, case studies on their own can be educational material for prospects. A small business owner might read one of your case studies, learn how you helped another business owner solve a challenge through insurance and then similarly apply that lesson to their own situation.
Add Value Through Your Educational Content
If someone isn’t ready to buy insurance or doesn’t know what they need, you don’t want to send them running the other way by overloading them with sales information. Instead, look for ways to provide educational information that adds value to their business. For example, rather than posting every day on social media why small business owners need insurance, you might educate insurance clients through posts that include finance tips.
As you draw prospects and clients in, you can then direct them to more specific educational content, or they might discover some on their own while looking at your website. You might decide to educate insurance clients such as by:
- Creating blog posts on different use cases for insurance
- Hosting a webinar on small business budgeting
- Posting documentation guides on your website that educate insurance clients on how to submit claims
Part of adding value to your clients is making it easy for them to find the educational content they need. So, the more transparent you can be, the better that generally is, as clients do not have to go digging for information.
For example, if a small business owner wants to understand in detail the different types of insurance policies they can get and how different coverage levels would affect their budgets, you don’t want to obscure this information. Even if being overly transparent leads to a client choosing a less expensive policy, the client may appreciate easily receiving this educational information, thereby leading to more renewals and referrals.
Provide Non-Insurance Advice
Another aspect of adding value to clients is to also educate them on non-insurance issues. For example, if you have knowledge that you can share related to starting a business, such as hiring employees or setting up your marketing channels, then other small business owners may appreciate receiving this educational information.
From there, you may be able to educate insurance clients further on insurance issues. You may draw in small business owners with non-insurance advice, such as to your blog, and while they’re on your site they may then check out, say, a case study that helps them realize how they can use another type of policy to benefit their business.
Attract Small Business Owners to Your Content
If small businesses don’t know about all the information you’re putting out to educate them on their insurance needs, then they won’t know how your policies can help them. You may have great insights, but as the saying goes, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
So, you may need to market your educational content in ways that ultimately help you attract a larger audience. For example, you might try to:
Creating content that’s search engine optimized can help prospective insurance clients find your educational content. If they’re looking on Google for something like “do I need small business insurance in Florida” and your content shows up, that could help educate prospects and draw them in so they become clients.
Launch Targeted Ads
While you may think to just advertise direct sales information, you also might be able to benefit by advertising educational content. For example, if you’re hosting an informative webinar geared toward retail business owners, you might want to create a few social media ads aimed at this group to get them to sign up.
Create Landing Pages
In addition to creating targeted ads, you also might want to create targeted landing pages (such as through Wheelhouse) that your ads or other links lead to. That way, instead of creating one type of landing page that informs all small business owners in the same way, you could create landing pages for specific industries. That specificity could then lead to small business owners sharing your landing pages with peers who might benefit from reading your educational content.
Overall, educating insurance clients can go a long way toward helping you close more deals, increase renewals and create a better experience for customers. There are many ways to educate insurance clients, though, so it’s important to figure out who you’re trying to educate, add value to these customer segments and try to attract them to your content.