Sell Smarter with Insurance Agency Buyer Personas

What are personas and why would my insurance agency need them? The fact is, buyer personas help you sell smarter by focusing your resources and messaging on attracting the clients you want. Buyer personas for your Insurance Agency are easy and inexpensive to create and require only your internal staff.

Buyer Personas, Defined
A buyer persona is an archetype of a business’ ideal client, customer, or visitor in a specific market segment. It’s an amalgam of details about the buyer’s background, motivations, interests, preferences and habits. Marketers have been using them for years to target (or micro target) potential buyers with tailored, personalized engagements. And you don’t have to be a huge global brand to leverage this marketing tool. Buyer personas become essential as you engage prospects via multiple digital channels like your website, social media, and email. 

Think about your sales pitch to the founder/CEO of a successful, multi-generational construction company (Owner Owen). Now, imagine you’re addressing a young entrepreneur starting a tech consulting business (Startup Shauna). Even if they’re buying the same policy, there are major demographic and psychographic differences between the two prospects. One-size marketing does NOT fit all.

But you know this! No doubt you have a vivid image of each buyer in your head right now, because you’ve been at this long enough to know the pain points and sweet spots of pretty much everyone in your sales funnel. 

A buyer persona just takes this mental image a step further. It formalizes what you already know about your clients/prospects, and adds other important insights to distill it into identifiable “types” (known as personas) so that everyone in the agency is working from the same model and script. 

Meet Owner Owen and Startup Shauna
Owner Owen is the patriarch of a family business. He’s likely in his 60s or 70s. His business is well established, with annual revenues of $12 million. Owen’s getting ready to retire and pass the reins to his son. Owen has purchased numerous insurance policies over the years–he’s a savvy consumer. Where would you likely reach Owner Owen? (Hint: Not on social media!) And how would you talk to him about the coverage he needs, given his goals? 

Startup Shauna is also a business owner. But she’s in her 20s. She is borrowing money from her parents to fund the business. She rents an apartment and will be working from there (at least to start). This is Shauna’s first experience buying any insurance beyond auto. She needs lots of education. Where would you expect Shauna to research business insurance? What concerns might Startup Shauna have that Owner Owen would not? 

Research, the Foundation of Buyer Personas
A good buyer persona is based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative data. You already have demographics: age, income level, occupation, geographic location, etc. in your AMS, CRM or files. This is an opportunity to round out what you have with valuable insights about the person behind the purchase.  

Here are three typical methods of gathering additional information for buyer personas: 

1. Your agents. They have a wealth of details about who is and is not buying and why.

2. Interviews and reviews. Connect one-on-one with clients and prospects who are happy with your service. Their perspective is invaluable in crafting marketing messages aimed at similar prospects.

3. Analytics. Powerful free tools like Google Analytics show you who’s visiting/engaging with your website and social media pages.

The persona development process itself provides insight into where buyers prefer to access information about insurance and your agency. One might go to social media whereas another might prefer traditional media. Probe to understand how they think, what they like, their hobbies, where they travel, etc. This will likely uncover cross-selling or upselling opportunities. And don’t forget to ask what they look for in an insurance agent!

How Many Personas Should You Have?
There is no magic number. You could have two or you could ten. It depends on your agency’s book of business and how you segment your markets. You can create personas by product line, by industry type or company size, by location, generation, and/or any combination—whatever makes sense for your agency.

Where Do I Start?
There are tons of free templates available online that can help you determine what information to include and how to get started. Not only will you uncover a goldmine of actionable information about where/how to reach out and what content to direct toward each buyer persona, but your team will love contributing to the project. In short, buyer personas help you appeal efficiently to the right people and increase insurance sales.

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