The question: Can you help me “break the ice” with insurance agents with a great letter?
Steve’s answer: Not really. Letters invariably go to the Round File! So let’s first focus on what is really effective!
I am developing an introduction letter to take with me in my “ice breaking” routes to insurance agents. Could you give me any tips on what to include in this “Would like to meet with you” letter? Thanks Steve!
Getting Going in Greenville!
Good to hear from you, Getting! I asked my SFS co-instructor, Chuck Violand, to help me out on your request and his initial reply was interesting…
I’m not exactly sure how you were planning to use the introduction letter but my first thought is don’t. I’m concerned this will telegraph to any agent you’re new to the game. Instead I’d suggest taking something edible: packages of microwave popcorn, packages of hot chocolate, candy, something fun. Include a business card with it. Use this as an introduction to get an appointment with the agent or broker. Keep in mind that the person you’re leaving this with (Customer Service Rep) may be the person who ultimately refers you. So, be nice to her.
Please understand, Getting, that before you walked through this agent’s door four other restoration marketing reps had visited them that day! (Ad after you leave four more restoration salespeople will visit them!) So it is easy for them to feel like chum in a pool of sharks!
Honestly, you’re better off working to get an appointment with the Decision Maker so you can interview them on what they look for in a restoration contractor instead of you (or your letter!) blabbering on about how great your company is or just leaving even the best written letter (or popcorn).
Start by calling on agents you’re familiar with, like your own. Ask them what they look for in a restoration contractor.
Most importantly relax and have fun!
Thanks Chuck! Great ideas! I would add to Chuck’s sales tips to share our SFS Water Damage Customer Interview Form with the agency’s Decision maker. Any sharp insurance professional will immediately see the benefits of creating a Cheerleader out of their Insured!
Getting, I’m good with your time-honored “features/benefits” idea. Obviously, “Immediate Response=Calm, Grateful (to the agent) Insureds” and “Personalized, Daily Progress Reports=Happy Homeowners who feel in-control”, etc.
NOTE: Getting, these daily progress reports are essential and can be delivered perfectly using online, password protected Shared Folders (Drop Box or Google Drive) with one folder for the agent and another one for the Insured. Now THIS is something that will totally set you apart from other restoration contractors! Even better, agents will really like feeling included on your “team”!
You might also share different Value Added Service steps from your Restoration Moment of Truth list in the agent letter to prove you really are different! (Or heck- you could even edit it a bit and include it in the letter!)
But I agree with Chuck. Nothing beats face-to-face, belly-to-belly! (Don’t take this too literally with the opposite sex in the agent’s office!) Oh, and please avoid the most common problem that Chuck and I see: Getting discouraged and giving up! Just start a routine and never stop!