Carrie Reynolds is an independent insurance agent in Ohio who has a blog that she calls “Confessions of an Insurance Goddess“, with her tongue planted firmly in her cheek. In a recent post, she recounted how a simple act, writing a handwritten note to a new business that had been featured in her local newspaper, resulted nine months later in her agency writing the insurance coverages for the business and a personal automobile policy for its owner. The note congratulated the business owner on the opening of the new business, welcomed it to the community, and ended with ““If you are ever in need of my services or an introduction to someone in the community, please let me know.” Enclosed with the note was the article from the newspaper and her business card.
The 15 minutes or so it had taken Ms. Reynolds to write the note and mail it, along with the enclosures, led to a substantial commission on the insurance coverages she later wrote for the business and its owner. She had done no follow-up marketing to this business. In this increasingly fast paced world that we live in, one way to stand out is to do something that is not done much any more, but that shows you care about more than selling your product or service. Handwritten notes are a thing of the past (my law partner was doing this type of thing for his clients 20 years ago), but they still make an impact. Even more so because they are now unusual.
If your agency does not subscribe to the local paper anymore, maybe it should think about doing so, because that is where news about new businesses or important life events of those in the community will be found. Such news can be the basis for sending a congratulatory or even in appropriate cases a sympathy note that does no more than say you noticed what had happened and took the time to reach out and offer to help. The handwritten part is the most important because it lets the recipient know you actually took the time to create it, instead of using a computer program.
Ms. Reynolds’ blog post contains other suggestions for sources to use to find potential customers on which this marketing approach can be used. I am sure with a little thought there are other sources in their communities that my readers can find. Please share with me any other simple, but effective, marketing suggestions you may have.