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Implementing a Social Media Sales Cycle

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, May 25, 2012 @ 11:14 AM

Medicare SupplementsIn 1898, Elias St. Elmo Lewis developed the AIDA sales funnel still used by marketers today. The layers originally created are awareness, interest, desire, and action. He used it to explain the selling process in the insurance field and break it down into the hierarchical structure that is easier to understand and keep the sales funnel flowing. Although the model remains just as relevant as it was when it was first created, it is important to allow for affects of new media on each of the steps. One way to do this is to create a fifth layer, the referral.

Here is how each layer is changing with new media:

  • Awareness: Traditionally this has been through newspaper ads, billboards, radio and TV commercials. As the insurance world moves towards the digital age, it is important to take advantage of the arenas where people spend most of their time. Currently, that is in social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

  • Interest: As an agent it has always been important to understand where your potential clients are and meet them there. Today’s marketplace shows an increase in consumers expecting brands to become a part of their culture. This means using informational graphics and videos as well as emotional stories to convey the importance of your product and what it can do to improve their life.

  • Desire: Once you have their attention, you will need to explain why they need your products. What are the benefits? Create a desire for your product with your marketing and education of the product’s value to your prospective clients.

  • Action: In many ways this was previously the last state of the selling tunnel. Once your customer is aware, interested, and has the desire to buy, you would encourage them to buy the product. Consumers these days are looking for an easy or intuitive buying process. As you guide them through the process you will be setting them up for the new fifth layer: the referral.

  • Referral: This is the best tool in any agent’s marketing strategy. Once you have one happy customer promoting your service they can bring you several more. This is where social media can really help to positively promote your company. Positive comments on your Facebook wall, tweets reflecting your good service, or recommendations on your LinkedIn profile all work toward gaining new clients.

In many ways, social media is a set of bookends with the sales process in between, creating an effective sales cycle. You advertise via the networks and receive referrals based on your positive customer experiences. Interaction via Facebook and Twitter is increasingly becoming as affective in sales as a call between a sales rep and a client. By leveraging these new resources you can create your niche in the insurance sales market and target prospects accordingly. As the number of consumers turning toward the internet for insurance research and purchasing continues to increase, it is important to adjust your marketing concepts in order to adapt.

To read the entire article, please see InsuranceNewsNet's Why 'Funnel' Away Business (page 40).

Medicare Supplements
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Please give us your feedback!
Do you use social media in your sales cycle? How has it changed your business? Do you find the process easy to manage?

Source: InsuranceNewsNet

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