ACG - Agency Consulting Group

The PIPELINE

A national monthly newsletter for agency principals dedicated to agency management topic

Marketing Tip: Success Story Marketing

NOTHING BREEDS SALES SUCCESS LIKE A SUCCESS STORY - CLOSE TO HOME!

Last week I got a notice from my real estate broker that he had just sold another house in my neighborhood. Then I realized that I was assuming that this agent was MY agent. In fact, I purchased my house from this agent over 20 years ago. But I had no other contact (or reason for contact) with her since then. Why did I consider her MY real estate agent? Because every month or two I get one of these little notices, complete with a picture of the sold house and its address with a big SOLD stamp diagonally across the picture. Every time I get one of these marketing pieces I wonder what the sale price was. But so far, I'm not curious enough to call the real estate agent because I know that's akin to an invitation to sell my house.

But the marketing effort, conducted every time a house sells in my neighborhood, has really been effective.

First, I consider this agent MY agent, even though many agents sell homes in the area. Second, she consistently shows me success stories. When I am ready to sell my home, my guess is that I'll be calling her!

This Success Story marketing program works well in the real estate business (commercial as well as personal). It also works in the insurance business.

In personal lines, you could solicit a new client's approval to use them as a reference for their neighbors. You'd be surprised at the high percentage of people who are flattered by the request. "Would you mind if we used you as a reference about our products and services to your neighbors?" This gives you permission to send a notice throughout the neighborhood about the "Newest Satisfied Customer of XYZ Insurance Services, Inc." (with or without a picture of the home - better with). But this form of Success Story marketing is certainly not limited to homeowners!

Especially successful in target marketing, Success Story marketing magnifies your position as a specialist in the designated target each time you succeed in writing an account. If you are already well-placed in the market (writing a strong number of accounts), you should integrate an updated list of clients in every proposal or solicitation to target market prospects. Notices of "Another Satisfied Client Joins the ABC Program" are then sent as follow-ups to every prospect in the group each time a new account is sold. Nothing breeds sales success like a success story - close to home.