Think Social, Be Local (Part 2)
Part 2: Specialty Products and Social Networking Make Business Better
The Weimer Group excels at educating consumers, encouraging referral business, connecting with local businesses in the community, achieving high levels of customer service and satisfaction, and using social channels.
Here’s more from David Beck, an agency principal with The Weimer Group in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, about what makes his agency tick – and succeed. Read part 1 here.
How do specialty products like collector-vehicle and collectibles insurance play into some of your business practices?
Many of our clients enjoy their time by having recreation vehicles, collector vehicles and collectibles. They are proud of their vehicle or collection they may have had since childhood. To some these are their “babies” and are just as important as insuring their home. We make a practice of screening for all opportunities to make sure our clients are given information to show them the importance of purchasing this type of coverage.
How do you think the Internet has impacted insurance from a consumer perspective?
Consumers look for information first by using the Internet. They may check a price or see what is trending before they make the decision to deal with an agent.
Some have complained that the Internet has taken away the opportunity to sell business. We see it as an opportunity to sell business. Consumers are using the Internet (with online reviews, Facebook, Twitter and blogging) to research insurance questions. When they do, they find The Weimer Group as an agency that embraces this culture – but also has a real person who is looking out for them. It truly is the best of both worlds.
What motivated your agency to increase its social media presence?
Our initial starting point was that our agency was searching for a way to have additional customer contact for birthdays, holidays, special events, new coverage, info on laws that changed or affected their business, new marketing ideas, or simply recognizing our customers and their accomplishments.
So we developed an interconnected system. It enables us to reach out to clients proactively through tools including email, Facebook, Twitter, and our blog. Most of all we encourage face-to-face and phone contact between our team and our prospects and clients.
|Dave Beck, CIC, Agency Principal, of The Weimer Group
stands amidst a “stable of iron horses” – a variety of collectible motorcycles.
What kind of content do you find is the most important to feature on your blog?
The blog gives us the opportunity to be known in an arena where we may never be seen nor our speaking voice ever heard. Clients want to know that even though you are using the Internet to spread news about your agency, they want to know that you are human too.
We find that having a question of the week, posting an achievement (related to the customer or the agency), and even a cool new recipe or fun fact is important. Consumers don’t want you to push the agency on them, they want to be able to connect with you on their terms.
Are there any specific examples of a blog post that connected with a consumer that inspired them to add or modify coverage?
We posted a blog on ways to save on auto insurance that stimulated conversation from a few clients that we had not heard from for quite a long time. This provided the opportunity to update and review their insurance profile.
Last winter we did a blog on insuring collections that featured American Collectors. This blog provided some unusual items that celebrities insure. It generated some cool conversation with clients and what they collect.
Facebook, Twitter, a blog, videos… what’s been the hardest part about utilizing all of these various social media tools?
It initially seemed daunting and overwhelming in the beginning. You wonder if people will find insurance agents interesting and fun. Once you break the barrier and get consumers to realize you really are not ‘your father’s insurance agent,’ you start to reap the benefits.
Wondering where you will find the time to participate in social media takes planning and organization. Once you have a plan in place you’ll find yourself looking forward to taking part in the social media community. It really is a community that is fun to be part of.
About David Beck: David is agency principal with The Weimer Group. Dave began his professional career with The Weimer Group in July 1974 as a sales agent in the personal lines and life insurance departments. In 1988 Dave became an agency partner. He earned the prestigious designation of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) in 1990 and holds a membership in the Certified Professional Insurance Agents Society.