How to hone your insurance marketing skills to connect with new clients
As an insurance agent or broker, no doubt you’re constantly looking for new ways to improve your insurance marketing skills, to help you locate new prospects, present effectively, close the deals and then create those raving fans that’ll refer you to their friends and family. This month, we’re taking a look at two large demographic groups and providing you some tips on nurturing these prospects.
How multi-generational Hispanics want you to engage with them
Have you hit a brick wall in finding new insurance clients? A coworker recently recounted a story of how she took over a geographic sales territory that had been languishing. Within its boundaries was a huge ethic population that the former account executive never touched, because he couldn’t communicate well. She engaged whole-heartedly with the business leaders in the area and saw her sales zoom.
So how do you engage with those from a different ethnic background? You learn their culture. Then you tailor your insurance marketing skills to fit. Yahoo, Marketing Profs and PropertyCasualty360.com offer insights into values and preferences of the Hispanic market that we outline briefly here. The Hispanic market is the second-largest consumer market, with a purchasing power of more than $1.5 trillion annually. Last year Hispanics accounted for 69 percent of the total net growth in U.S. homeownership, and they were the only major racial group to increase their homeownership rate in 2015.
- Community and family are core. Big financial decisions are often made by the whole family, so be careful to address the entire family, says PropertyCasualty360, making sure everyone’s on the same page. In many cases, you will be talking with a child who has the best grasp of the English language, so you must be able to explain coverages in terms that the child can easily translate.
- You should consider hiring a staff member who’s bilingual, to answer detailed questions they may have. (Your high school Spanish won’t cut it.)
- If you have a large population of Hispanics in your market, it’s well worth the expenditure to add a Spanish translation to your website, or make it bilingual. If you do, it’s crucial to have Spanish-speaking employees on-hand to help with translation. It’s assumed if you advertise in Spanish, you speak Spanish.
- Third generation Hispanics (those with at least one grandparent not born in the U.S.) say their heritage is an important part of their self-identity. More than half (53 percent) actively seek out messaging tailored to them as Hispanics; however, they feel the quality of messaging (via the web or other traditional forms of advertising) is inferior.
- What appeals to these third-gens? “Advertising that elicits strong positive emotions that depicts both Hispanic traditions and American culture simultaneously, and shows real life rather than too-good-to-be-true scenes,” said Marketing Profs.
- Children are their first priority. Now you know how to tailor your sales presentation.
- Word-of-mouth is your best advertising medium. Once you begin to earn the trust of just a few clients, they’ll recommend you their friends and family members. Don’t offer a referring bonus, though – that may be considered an insult.Your willingness to understand and embrace the Hispanic culture can help you open up a whole new market. Culture and heritage play an important role in the self-identity of multi-generational Hispanics – this, in turn, influences which insurance agency they choose to work with.
How to market your insurance products to Asian-Americans
The nation’s fastest-growing population segment, Asian-Americans are about 20.5 million strong and represent 6 percent of the U.S. population. But that small 6 percent represents significant buying power: $825 billion. With a household median income of $74,829, the median Asian-American household income is 39 percent greater than the national median income of $53,657, says Nielsen Insights.
The Nielsen report also said that Asian-Americans outpace the general population in ownership of all three major Internet personal devices: smartphones, household computers and tablets. Online purchasing sentiment outpaces the general market, as well. Key takeaway: Ensure your website is mobile-first, and expect to do a lot of business online. What insurance marketing skills do you need to develop to make this happen?
Asian-Americans are a diverse group created from more than 40 countries of origin, each with its own culture and values, so it’s difficult to draw any one-size-fits-all conclusions. In fact, 79 percent of Asian-American adults are immigrants or foreign-born, bringing with them cultural traditions that continue to influence and guide their personal choices and consumer habits. However, here are a few commonalities among Asian-Americans:
- They’re entrepreneurial. In the U.S. Census’ Survey of Business Owners, the number of Asian-American-owned businesses grew by 24% between 2007 and 2012 and claimed the highest percent sales increase (38%) of any racial or ethnic group, said Nielsen in an earlier report.
- They are more educated and wealthy, spending more than average amounts on luxury, automotive, retail and travel.
- They’re family-focused, often living in extended multigenerational households.
- They have a high life expectancy, which provides them with more years of buying power – making marketing your insurance products to them a smart investment.
- As consumers, they’re loyal yet are searching for value at the same time. Quality at a good price is imperative.
- They’re more likely than any other non-white segment to enroll in property and vehicle insurance, said Simmons Research in a Carrier Management story.
We offer the same advice here on honing your insurance marketing skills for both demographic groups: Remember that the language of insurance is complex. Add to that the fact that English may be a second language – and you’ll see how imperative it is to be able to communicate clearly with Asian-American insurance shoppers. Because of their high salaries and purchasing power, this group has significant insurance protection needs. If this is a segment of your market that you’ve overlooked, you can start now by checking out this Nielsen Report.
It’s your turn: What insurance marketing skills do you need to develop? How can we help?