When it comes to networking events, there are generally two types of insurance agents: those who avoid them like the plague and those who simply enjoy the chance to socialize. Before you write off networking events as simply another get-together that social butterflies love and introverts hate, it’s important to realize that they actually have the potential to grow your business and help you to get more clients. We’ve put together a few ways that you can best use networking events to your benefit.
1. Start With a Plan
Don’t just hit the event with the sole intent of finding some free snacks. Instead, start out with a good game plan and achievable goals. While you can’t reasonably include numbers of insurance sales in your goal, you can push yourself to give out a certain number of business cards, gain new followers on Facebook and connect over LinkedIn, and gather contact information.
2. Don’t Be Late
If events aren’t your thing, you’ll be tempted to be late and only breeze in for a quick stop – don’t do this! Make sure that you arrive at the event on time. Being tardy doesn’t reflect well on your work ethic and getting there late may cause you to miss out on speaking to the organizers, which is one of the biggest benefits of attending the event.
3. Be Careful What You Talk About
Events give plenty of opportunity to chat, and, with your insurance company’s success on your mind, you will naturally lead the conversation toward insurance. Before you start talking endlessly about your agency, stop yourself. Nobody wants to attend an event and listen to an insurance sales pitch. Instead, use the time to gain their trust and make yourself a friend. When you do mention your insurance business, make sure that you sound passionate and excited about it; you want them to remember who you are and what you do after the event. Also, strive to introduce people to others as this will set you up as a connector who deserves respect and is powerful.
4. Be Considerate of Others
Rather than zoning in on the life of the party, seek out those who are stand-offish and alone since these people will be more likely to give you their full attention. Make sure to ask everyone questions about themselves and show interest in their lives. Learn peoples’ names and use them frequently during conversation.
5. Follow Up with Your Connections
Don’t just meet people and expect them to come to you. You need to follow up with them. Use the information you gather at the event to keep the relationship alive. You can choose to follow up using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, email, and phone calls.