Spring is right around the corner and business owners are eagerly preparing for the season to begin. Commercial insurance protects them every step of the way, and marketing your specialty insurance expertise can help build your book of business.
The early months of spring are also an opportune time for insurance agents and brokers to do some spring cleaning on their marketing strategies. Your regular customers may have new products or services with new risks that need review. New businesses likely sprang up over the winter months and will need commercial insurance. And then of course you have other businesses that might not be happy with the service their current broker or agent has provided the previous year.
All insurance agents are experts in insurance, but no one can be an expert in every type of business. Most business owners who work in a niche industry prefer working with an insurance agent or broker who specializes in their particular niche.
Landscaping companies and greenhouses businesses are prime target audiences for specialty insurance programs. As spring approaches, these business owners overhaul their equipment, stock up on supplies, and train their teams. This is a peak time for targeting niche businesses within the larger lawncare and greenhouse industries.
For example, the field of landscape maintenance consists of more than crews that mow lawns and trim them to perfection. Several smaller niches operate within the landscape maintenance industry such as:
- Lawn mowing & trimming
- Weed control, fertilization, & pesticides
- Yard cleaning & waste disposal
- Hedge trimming
- Flower planting and grounds beautification
- Mulching services
Many of these businesses will be located within your vicinity. You may also find niche businesses among greenhouse growers. Look for specialty businesses like:
- Commercial plant growers
- Hemp growers
- Tree nurseries
Finding the right niches for specialty insurance programs is just the beginning. The next step is to fine-tune your marketing strategy and position yourself for success.
9 Activities for Targeting Landscaping and Greenhouse Businesses
To grow your book of business and get an edge over the competition, you need to have a plan for targeting spring commercial accounts before spring gets into full swing. These nine activities will help you get the word out about specialty insurance programs for landscaping and greenhouse businesses.
- Network within your community. Every week you visit other business owners within your community – the bank, post office, grocery store, pharmacy, coffe shop, etc. Have you told them you sell commercial insurance and what kind of businesses you want to insure? Strike up conversations or ask to post your business card on their bulletin board.
- Join your local chamber of commerce. Introduce yourself to new members and guests of the chamber. Find out what you can do to help them further their business goals. They will be sure to remember you when they come across businesses that need your specialty insurance programs.
- Partner with other professionals. Team up with other business professionals in your community to sponsor businesses, local sports teams, or community events. In working together, you will create lasting friendships and will also help you identify new opportunities for promoting specialty insurance programs.
- Exhibit at trade shows and set up reverse trade shows. Many communities host an annual spring trade show. Register for a booth and promote your specialty insurance programs to landscapers and greenhouse owners, as well as to other businesses in the area. A reverse trade show is an event where you set up a show and invite local business owners to come to you so you can share how specialty insurance programs can protect their businesses. This is a lucrative event because only your target customers will be attending.
- Spend time each day prospecting. Allocate an hour or more each day to prospect and work at it diligently. Set up a schedule for making phone calls, setting up email campaigns, and posting on social media and your blog.
- Devote time to nurturing leads. Once you start getting contact information for prospective customers (also called leads), be sure to reach out to them. Offer value rather than constantly trying to sell to them. Your competitors’ rates will change, and at some point, yours will too, but the value customers receive is lasting. Reach out to prospects according to a regular schedule but not so much as to be harassing. Follow up until the leads are dead, and be sure to track your results.
- Contact last year’s customers. It is a mistake to automatically assume that last year’s customers will be returning customers. With every insurance renewal, clients have a chance to shop around and change their minds. It is a good idea to contact current clients at least once a year to ask if they have any questions or concerns and see how things are going with their businesses.
- Ask for referrals. Asking for referrals is a traditional inbound marketing strategy that is just as effective today. The best times to ask for referrals from clients is after you close the sale and when you review their policy annually. Also, be sure to ask people in your network for referrals of businesses in your community that need specialty insurance programs.
- Create and give away promotional items. Promotional items are inexpensive, and they can easily be personalized with your brand name and logo. Hand sanitizer, water bottles, tote bags, and caps are all things people can use. Your agency’s name and logo will be right in front of them every time they use an item and others will see it too.
As you develop your marketing and networking plans, it’s also a good idea to:
- Evaluate your website. Determine if the layout is pleasing to look at and easy to navigate. Broken links are frustrating, so check all links to make sure they work properly. Is the content on your website relevant to landscapers and greenhouse owners? Is the information you have posted accurate, honest, and correct? Can you back everything up with facts and authoritative information? If you are not happy with your website, it might be worthwhile to consult with an experienced web designer.
- Clean up your contact forms. Only ask for the information you need to contact the prospect back. Generally speaking, the fewer the fields in your contact form, the more likely a user will be to fill it out. You can get more information about prospects each time you interact with them. Avoid asking prospects to register with your site, and make sure they can contact you in one click.
- Create spring-related content. There are hundreds of topics you can blog about. If your goal is to target spring commercial accounts, stick to topics that relate to the types of risks that keep landscapers and greenhouse owners awake at night. Consider what kinds of things are on their minds as they prepare for their peak season. Interject information about how specialty insurance programs can solve their problems and give them peace of mind.
While this may feel like a lot to digest, don’t feel you have to spend 100% of your time developing a marketing plan. Begin with a few strategies and build on them over time. The point is to start making a few changes to modernize your approach to niche marketing and monitor your progress along the way.
As the leads stream in, you will need to follow through on your end by offering quality specialty insurance programs. NIP Group has over 30 years of expertise in the landscaping and greenhouse commercial insurance industries. Contact us today for more information or to submit a quote.