Businesses, especially small businesses like insurance agencies, need to have real insight into who their customers are. There are many different types of customers needing to be served —from companies that need large health insurance plans for a huge employee base to individuals of all income levels who need health, life, auto and property insurance policies. However, each of those potential customer groups have their own needs, their own insurance requirements, and their own languages—and there's not real way to target everyone at once.
The surprising thing for most business owners to learn is that the more specific you get about your target market, the more business you’ll attract. This can seem counter-intuitive—after all, you’ll have to stop targeting some businesses and markets that don’t fit your focus. But if you appear to be focused on the targeted needs of a very narrow client niche, you’ll have fewer competitors—and be seen as the expert in that area.
Check out some very important questions that you can ask yourself to help identify your own target audience.
Do you have a natural connection to a certain industry?
Maybe you worked in the IT industry for many years before starting your own insurance business. Why not specialize in selling life insurance products to employees of tech firms? Or maybe your spouse, sister, and father are all teachers—and you have strong connections that would help you market health insurance policies to school districts. The more specific you can be about the industry you specialize in, the more business you’ll have.
Does the cost of your products eliminate some customers?
Maybe you specialize in selling auto insurance policies to the luxury market—in that case, you shouldn’t target your marketing efforts to a broad consumer base. Your messaging and marketing should be aimed at high-income prospects with a clear interest in luxury cars. If your selling point is affordability, however, you may do better marketing to lower and middle-income prospects.
Is there a concentration of opportunity in your community?
For instance, does your town frequently appear on “Top Ten Places to Retire” lists in national magazines? If so, there are probably plenty of retirees in your area—and you could do well selling Long-Term Care insurance to a local market. If you have a big manufacturer in your area, find out what their insurance needs are—and see if you can make your offer more attractive than the current provider they’re using. Being local gives you an advantage in your community—if you can find the right areas to target.
Is there a group your competitors aren’t targeting? Research the type of marketing your competitors are doing—in your community and in the types of insurance you specialize in. Who are they targeting—and who are they not talking to? It’s possible that if your competitors are only targeting a certain segment of their market as an afterthought, you could have an opportunity to move in and attract their potential customers—by being the insurance agent who specializes in what they need.
Insurance agents who can develop a highly-focused marketing plan targeting one specific, lucrative market are likely to do well. Do your research in determining the best way to position your business. Some agents have easy, natural connections to a certain industry—from a previous career or through family or professional relationships. Others may have to work a little harder to find the perfect market niche. But once you’ve identified yours, your business is likely to benefit from it.