Those who sell insurance for a living tend to have divided opinions about the effectiveness of social media in helping them to build their pipeline for lead generation and sales. Some think it is a total waste of their time, while others swear it has generated useful business intelligence.
Many of those professionals who sell personal insurance products (home, car, health, etc.) seem to have great success interacting on Facebook. However, Facebook is not the right place for professionals who sell businesses insurance. Not too many Human Resource heads and business managers spend their working time on Facebook, so the audience just is not there.
However, LinkedIn is a B2b site on which insurance sales professionals should consider establishing a presence. Here are a few tips for making the most out of your LinkedIn presence to generate extra business and to forge new connections that may be of great professional use down the road:
Make the Most of Your Profile – Optimize It
A great LinkedIn profile is more than just a list of the schools you have attended and the companies you have worked for. To be most effective, a LinkedIn profile needs to be optimized. First, you should approach your profile as if it were an executive bio. Include the professional associations you belong to, awards you have won. . . . in fact, don’t skip a thing.
Use as many keywords as you can in your profile without making it look poorly written. LinkedIn users search the site in the same way as they would Google, by keyword, so it is vital to make sure that your top keywords are included.
LinkedIn Groups are a great place to connect, but they are not a venue for a hard sell. Instead, present yourself as a useful and helpful resource, the go-to expert in your field. Join groups for professional associations in the industries in which you sell insurance. Additionally, join groups of your peers and other insurance professionals as it is a handy way to keep an eye on the competition. If you sell group insurance products, you should be joining human resource professionals groups as that is exactly where your potential leads are likely to be.
For the purposes of building a pipeline for lead generation and sales, the Answers section of LinkedIn can be the most useful place for insurance salespeople to spend their time on the site. Every answer you give, provided it is helpful, will help you gain a reputation as a source of good information. Some insurance salespeople have managed to establish themselves as “LinkedIn superstars” of sorts by answering questions on a regular basis.
Done correctly, your regular and active participation in LinkedIn will assist in generating new business for you. Using a social network like LinkedIn also will expand your professional network even further than ever before, never a bad thing for any insurance professional.