There is an old proverb that reads ‘he who thinks he leads and has no one following, is only taking a walk’.
We all assert influence, whether good or bad, intentionally or unconsciously and our interactions with others reflect the changing dynamics of our influence. As an insurance professional you know your prospect and customer has to purchase cover – but you also know they don’t have to buy it from you.
By identifying the most relevant cover for their changing business needs, you can however highlight your insight, expertise and influence what they decide to purchase. Through demonstrating your industry knowledge and sharing on social platforms you have access to a million opportunities to influence their decision-making process. But as the proverb goes – if no-one is following, then you are not leading.
The importance of social influence
With many buyers conducting their purchase process independently online – researching options, forming opinions and shortlisting providers – before ever making contact with an insurance professional, you need to become an influencer if you are going to be the person they discover. If you are only quoting on request or at renewal time then you are only competing on price – a dangerous play. However if you are in communication throughout the process offering information, experience and value then you are in a much stronger position to secure their custom and their loyalty.
A leader understands that by shifting the focus towards helping the buyer succeed, their influence will grow. So how can you foster good social behaviours that allow you to exert influence in positive, customer centric ways? Ways that amplify your message, demonstrate your expertise, inspire trust and confidence, and most importantly, encourage buyers into action and drive sales? How can you build influence in insurance?
Build your social brand
Your social profile is more than just a must-have, a C.V., or a point of entry. It is the cornerstone of your social influence and a reference point for your prospects and customers. From your profile picture and headline to your summary and experience, your profile is your chance to control the flow of information, to help buyers warm to you, and highlight the skills and experience you have to offer. Aim to establish yourself as a person they want to know more about, and help them understand why you could be an asset to them. Your brand is social proof of your role as a leader; use it wisely and build on it daily
Show and tell
Creating and sharing compelling content is a strong source of influence. It could be expert content that establishes you as a trusted resource for valuable insight and opinion; branded content that informs customers about what you have to offer, builds familiarity, and assists them in making an educated choice; or user-generated content which builds trust and amplifies your message via endorsement.
By knowing their market you can position your recommendations so that when your buyer has to bring a quote to the board or the executive committee – your advice can support their business case and it’s not a big surprise when the renewal goes up and not down.
Content makes you discoverable, and is perhaps the most effective way to impact prospects along all stages of the purchase process. To this end I’ve created a LinkedIn group ‘Social Media for Commercial Insurance’ which focusses on the areas that I have expertise in as well as contributing articles and commentary to industry titles, including Insurance Age.
You cannot influence if you do not engage, so don’t underestimate the power of conversation. Join groups and forums, and spend time every day looking at what’s going on within your network. Listen to what they’re saying and when you find something you could add value to, then join the conversation, share advice and impart insight. Be a voice of influence within your online community.
Say it once, say it twice, say it everywhere!
Social media offers the endless opportunity to influence, so don’t limit yourself and don’t fall off the radar. Buyer’s value consistency and relevance – post content regularly, tweet, blog, comment and respond. If you say something valuable to say, then say it everywhere and make it a daily habit. Having a strong social presence will extend your reach, grow your followers and enhance your influential status.
The influential force of Artesian
Growing your influence is infinitely easier with Artesian. We deliver the information you need every day to lead the discussion, connect with buyers in meaningful ways, and grow your following. Plus with the help of our ‘social selling score’ you can track how well you target, connect and share – whilst measuring how your performance and influence improves over time. Click here to Try Out our solution today.