The big advantages of being small: How local agents have the upper-hand
Written By: Ellen Lichtenstein, Sr. Manager Internal Communications
Thanksgiving has come and gone. Black Friday blowout sales have subsided. It’s finally time for Small Business Saturday: an event first celebrated in 2010 to help locally owned stores get a piece of the multi-billion-dollar holiday season spending.
As a small, local, independent agency, you’re probably not counting on customers lining up outside your office at 6am for Small Business Saturday steals and deals. Luckily, your customers need insurance all year round and a new policy isn’t an ideal stocking stuffer. So, you get the best of both worlds! Enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend now and reap the benefits of being a local business all year long.
In honor of Small Business Saturday, here are just a few of the ways that being small can work in your favor in the insurance business.
The face-to-face connection: Despite the infiltration of technologies like video conferencing into every facet of our daily lives (from dating to doctor visits) most people still prefer the connection that only sitting down face-to-face can provide. You offer your customers something they can’t get if they use a larger agency or buy direct with a carrier: the ability to meet in-person. Insurance is about relationships, and by being a real person that your customers can meet with and speak to, you have the ability to bring value to them that they won’t get elsewhere.
The shared experiences: Chances are, your customers are also your neighbors. You live and work in the same community and see them at your kids’ school, church, sporting events, and the grocery store. Living in the same community as your customers gives you several advantages over national agents and carriers. Your customers can relate to you on a personal level because you share a common background. They also trust you to advise them wisely because you need the same regionally-appropriate protections that they do. They understand inherently that it’s a “small world” and word gets around, so they trust you will treat them right not just because you’re a good agent but because you’re not some anonymous employee of a global company that never has to look them in the eye again once you’ve made a sale.
The active community member: When you’re a local business owner, you obviously don’t have the same monetary resources as “the big guys” but what you do have can be just as valuable. Your advertising dollars can stretch further by being an active part of your community. Sponsor a local sports team; put your name on a menu at a local café; make a big impact at a local charity event. When you support the community, your name gets around. Everywhere you go and everything you do can be a chance to show your value to potential customers. It’s only natural that people want to support those who support them.
These are just a few ways that being small can make a big impact on your business. Do you have other ideas? Share them with us and your fellow Vertafore users—via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or on the NetVU online community.