Electronic Leads Turned to Person-to-Person Contacts

by Sandy Haviland, Founder and CEO, Confidant on August 25, 2010 · 6 comments

Most readers here, I would guess, have used a technology-based social network of some kind within the past month. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or maybe a specialized system in the workplace that enables collaboration.

The ways in which technology can connect people seem to multiply each year, but at a fundamental level nothing can substitute for person-to-person contact.  My last post “Technology Can Turn Your Policyholders Into Your Salesforce” commented on making use of the leads that you collect.  Since then I have been observing the ways in which savvy professionals convert leads and contacts from technological systems into meetings and phone conversations.

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This is especially true if your system links you to people who have relationships with such as existing clients. Your technological social network is offering you a big opportunity.  Reach beyond the technology, set up a phone call or a meeting, and build a personal relationship that, properly handled, will supplement your relationship with your existing client.

There’s often fear or reluctance about reaching out.  How might you enter into such a conversation?  Suppose a client of yours has established a life insurance trust, and their brother is named as Trustee.  You stand a good chance of getting the client’s permission to reach out to the brother and have a conversation to educate the brother about what that role means.

One aspect that I watch with interest is how savvy professionals shift gears in that situation between an electronic “lead” and in-person contact to start a relationship.  They reach out warmly, helpfully, mentioning that the client suggested they make a call.  Not to sell, but to educate, and to open a dialog.  Start by phone, then offer to meet in person.  Keep up that dialog from year to year, and the relationship with the brother mentioned above can become an opportunity to be of service.

Technology-based social networks provide a range of reasons and methods to make contact in-person.  Some are more effective than others – but no matter what the system is, the outcome will depend mostly the professional reaching out, person-to-person.  Don’t be shy.

How do you use social networks to build personal relationships?

  • Sandy,

    This is a great topic that you have brought up. Getting social media connections from your computer to coffee shop is the Whole Deal. Relationships formed over Social Media are fantastic and in some industries all you need. But with Insurance the deep seeded trust and relationship are built in person. Social Media is a fantastic brand building tool and introduction tool. Success with social media comes with taking those introductions out from behind the computer screen and into real-life.

    Everyone is going to go about this in different ways. Finding the way that works for you is the key!

    Ryan H., http://www.RyanHanley.com

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  • This is a good example of using social media to warm up more traditional connections with prospects. Social media can also be used to generate foot traffic to the agents office, for instance, Google Places coupons could entitle the holder, upon visiting the insurance agency office,to free merchandise or a donation to to a charity of their choice.
    My recent post Insurance Agents – You Can’t Promote ‘Sales’ But You Can Coupon

    • Kevin, great ideas for using Google Places. I don't think enough agencies or other small businesses understand the value of this and such apps as 4square.
      My recent post Managing Change

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