We’re talking technology again. Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, websites, social media in general—technology is simply too important to pass on.
Many producers feel that unless they’re going to be instantly successful, the time and effort aren’t worth it. They ask for the quick “secret” to success.
There is no secret. Just use common sense.
Social media is like a party. If you run up to someone overly excited and shout about how great you are, you’ll overwhelm them. Once that happens, they’ll let their friends know not to do business with you.
Social media is more about making contacts and connections.
It is not used to sell. Rather, you’re engaging in conversation, listening and encouraging prospects to find out more. It isn’t any different from prospecting normally. This route simply allows you to leverage technology to reach wider groups of people and target specific groups.
Think about your perfect client.
Cold call and you won’t make it past the front desk. But chances are good you can make direct contact with that person through social media without anyone stopping you.
LinkedIn is the greatest prospecting tool ever created.
If you think direct contact is too aggressive, you’ll likely be able to find a mutual connection to prospects—and powerful prospects too, like CEOs and presidents of companies. In fact, if you don’t have a LinkedIn account, stop what you’re doing and create one now.
The first thing you should do is import your contacts and ask them to be a part of your group. The bigger the group, the more contacts you have, which leads to secondary connections. Any time I want to know someone, I search on LinkedIn. Often, either their profile or their company’s profile will come up and all of the mutual connections show up too.
Facebook is the next best platform.
The fastest growing demographic on Facebook is 55- to 65-year-old baby boomers. Who are they connecting with on Facebook? Their children and grandchildren. The same children and grandchildren you’re friends with.
There’s a connection.
I have 950 friends on Facebook. It took time and effort, but I put together a message and sent it out to every single one of them. I told them the true story of a fellow life insurance salesman and friend of mine who passed away in a boating accident. Unfortunately, he didn’t have enough coverage. So my message was that if agents get it wrong, they too likely don’t have the proper coverage. I explained I was reaching out because I truly care about them.
“I don’t care if you get it from me or someone else, but I at least want you to have the resources to get coverage,” I said, and I included links to my page.
About 400 converted to sales.
What would happen if you delivered that message in person? You’d have to be concerned with tone, feelings, and awkwardness.
With technology, you can send a message like this, and to some it will be powerful. Others will simply ignore it without hurting feelings. It’s personal, but removed enough so that you aren't in their face. If your friends don’t respond, then everyone can move on without conflict.
Then there’s YouTube.
Google is No. 1 for searches; YouTube is No. 2. Not coincidentally, YouTube is owned by Google. Video is huge these days and it’s only getting bigger. But videos can be costly.
When we first started, we reached out to local schools. For a $6,000 scholarship prize, we wanted video submissions of life stories pertaining to life insurance.
We got 500 entries.
About 100 were phenomenal videos. Do the math, and $5,000 for 100 videos breaks down to $50 a video. The videos cost us nothing to make and got the community involved. Best of all, they spread all over social media.
“Check out this video I made. Like this to help me win.”
Their friends and family saw it. Their classmates, extended families and neighbors saw it. The videos—with our logos and website address attached—spread all over Facebook and Twitter, getting likes, being shared and retweeted.
Putting It Together
Technology is powerful.
Use LinkedIn’s power to connect. Spread your messages on Facebook and Twitter. Go the extra mile with video.
A good rule of thumb to get started is the 90-10 rule: 90% should be about someone else (share content). 10% should be focused on you. Don’t solicit though. Provide valuable information that sparks conversation.
Lastly, if your target market isn’t national, don’t waste your time on national efforts. Remain focused and specific. Use social media to find your demographics and connect.
It’s all about creating that conversation that you only would have had access to if you knew the prospect personally.