Tag Archives: business insurance

Car Wash Clients

6 Jun

While at a CE class yesterday, I met a guy who began talking with me about a few marketing techniques he was looking to try out but, unfortunately, the agency owner where he works wouldn’t let him.  During our conversation, I happen to come up with an idea to share with him and now I’m sharing it with you…

It seems as though this time of year is the best time of year for getting your car washed at a car wash.  And every time I drive by one, I see a line around the block waiting to go through the soapy brushes.  So, I thought, why not offer these people a free car wash if they agree to do a free quote with you?  This would most likely work best for those soliciting life insurance or personal auto insurance and for those who have an app on their phone or ipad in order to complete this.  And, of course, you’ll need to be in a state where rebating is allowed.

Here’s how it would work:

First, you would need permission from the car wash owner in order to do this.  If he/she agrees, I would also ask for a discounted rate for those who you give a free car wash to.  You may also need to sell this idea to the owner by telling him/her you will market for this event which will ultimately bring more customers to the car wash as well.

Second, market, market, market.  You may want to hang fliers in the area offering the free car wash, post it to your social network pages, tell friends and family about the event and announce the event on your website and through press releases.  The more people you get to attend (even if they are only looking for a free car wash at first) is ideal.

On the day of the event, you’ll want to collect all the necessary information from the attendees as they are waiting in line for their car wash.  You may want to get an assistant or even another agent to help you out with this.

Then, when they exit the car wash, the idea is to have his/her quote ready.  If the potential client likes the quote, be prepared to have him/her do an electronic signature right on the spot or set up an appointment with you to discuss, sign and collect payment.  Of course, it’s always better if you can take care of everything on the spot.  If the potential client does not like the quote, you still have his/her contact information and you’ll be able to drip their email and snail mail with information or give them a call in a few months to try and solicit their business at a later date.

Your turn:  Have any of you tried something like this in the past?  How did it work out for you and do you have any tips for those of us who haven’t tried this yet?

Melissa Ash/NJ’s Business Insurance Lady
Irwin Edelstein Associates, Inc.

Tel: 732-549-1800 | 732-317-1979



What Does Your Office Space Say About You?

8 May

The first thing potential (or current) clients notice when they walk in your office is how it is decorated.  You know that saying, you only get one chance to make a first impression?  Well, what impression is your office giving to your clients?

An organized, well decorated office space can say a lot about one’s success in this business.  Generally, if you look like you make a lot of money and take care of your space, you will come off as being more successful then you may be.  If, on the other hand, your office space is unorganized with a mish-mash of furniture and paintings, it will give off the impression you are a newbie and obviously not very successful.  Which person would YOU want to work with?

So, how do you create a space worthy of your biggest clients?  Here are a few tips for creating the look of success:

*If you don’t own your space, be sure to get permission from your boss before decorating.*

  • Give your space a fresh coat of paint.  Some people swear by light, airy colors that give the client a happy feeling while others, like myself, prefer to create a warm and cozy space with browns and golds.
  • Get furniture that matches and at least looks new.  Nothing says unsuccessful like an old green chair with a hole in it, a desk with a leg duct taped on and paintings that were picked up at a yard sale.
  • Create a feeling of comfort.  Bring in a lamp or two with soft lighting to create a homey and comfortable feeling.
  • If you have room in your space, create a seating area.  Even if there is a seating area in the main lobby of your building, you’ll want a comfortable place for your clients to sit with you.  A few chairs and a table should do the trick.
  • Add a matching throw rug to tie it all together.
  • Add a plant or two and pictures of the family.  Nothing says, “I am responsible.” like a thriving plant and pictures of a beautiful family.

Your turn:  What have you done in your space to create the picture of success? Any other ideas to add to my list?

Melissa Ash/NJ’s Business Insurance Lady
Irwin Edelstein Associates, Inc.

Tel: 732-549-1800 | 732-317-1979




The government will help you find clients?

7 May

I’m always online researching new marketing techniques, looking up lists of businesses in my area, etc. and I stumbled across a government website listing all the businesses in my state who are currently on the state plan for worker’s compensation.  The website is The New Jersey Compensation Rating & Inspection Bureau website.    In New Jersey, those on the state plan are automatically charged an additional 15% premium as a fee for being on the plan.  So, if I’m able to get these people off the state plan, I should be able to save them 15% off of what they are currently paying right off the bat.  The goal, of course, would also be to quote their liability and commercial auto policies as well and create an overall better package for their business.

Here are some other helpful things I’ve found though this website:

  • Current agency each business uses.
  • Worker’s Compensation renewal dates.
  • How much each business is currently paying in premiums.
  • Experience modification numbers.
  • And I was also able to narrow searches down by county, experience mod numbers, renewal dates, name of business, etc.

Your turn:  If you’ve found the equivalent website for your state, please share the link below so others may benefit as well.  Or, if you’ve found a great website with other helpful information, please share that too!


Melissa Ash/NJ’s Business Insurance Lady
Irwin Edelstein Associates, Inc.

Tel: 732-549-1800 | 732-317-1979




Be a Guest Blogger

2 May

In the commercial insurance business, we are always looking for ways to get in front of business owners.  And, where do business owners hang out?  LinkedIn, Youngentrepreneur.com, and the like.  Our goal should be to ‘meet’ these business owners online, become an expert in their eyes and, eventually, bring them on as clients.  But, while the sites I mentioned are great starting points for doing just that, I think we should also do our research and find a few small business minded blogs where business owners come to learn about different aspects of running a successful business.  And what is one of the main things they should learn about (in my opinion, anyway)?  That’s right! Insurance!

When I first started trolling online and learning the ins and outs of marketing an insurance business online, I used to see blogs promoting a guest blogger and think, “Wow!  I wonder how that person became a guest blogger?”  But, guess what?  I’ve discovered it is MUCH easier than it seems.  All I did was send a private message to the blog owners requesting the ability to become a guest blogger and attach a copy of my super helpful article and, viola!  I was given the spot.

Want to check out my guest spot at Start Your Own Small Biz?  Here it is:


If nothing else, when someone googles you or your business, your guest post will pop up in the queue!

On the flip side, if you know of any great marketing gurus who may be interested in guest posting on this blog, please feel free to send them my email.  We already have one great guest blogger (who is currently writing another post for us – thanks Tribal Marketing!) but the more ideas we can get, the better!

Your turn:  Have you had the opportunity to be a guest blogger?  Send us the link and we’ll check it out!


Melissa Ash/NJ’s Business Insurance Lady
Irwin Edelstein Associates, Inc.

Tel: 732-549-1800 | 732-317-1979


Connecting Clients With One Another

30 Apr

If you read this blog often enough, you know I’ve been targeting a lot of auto repair shops lately.  Well, a few days ago, I was talking with a new potential client who mentioned to me that the garage he currently rents out is getting way too expensive for him.  I happened to remember a client I signed a few weeks back mentioning that he wanted to rent out one of his beys so he could retire sooner.  So I put the two of them in touch and, long story short, the new guy ended up leaving his current garage and renting out the bey of my client at a more reasonable price.  And because of my actions, I ended up not only making my current client happy, but I made a connection for the new guy that allowed him to save money every month and, of course, he now insures through me.  Both clients have already told me they have a few business owner friends they’d like for me to meet to insure them as well.  I’d say this was a win-win-win situation!

My point is, if you have the opportunity to help out a client or two, do it!  Expect nothing more than knowing you went above and beyond for these clients who will remember that in the future when they are talking with their business owner friends.  I have no doubt they will recommend you!  And, if they don’t?  No worries, you can still sleep at night knowing you did a good thing for someone else.

Although you may not always come across a situation like I had where it would be easy to see the connection, you can be prepared in case an opportunity comes along.  Make sure you keep a list of reputable professional contacts (handyman, plumber, electrician, real estate agent, etc – preferably those that are already your clients) so that when a client mentions a certain need, you can open your file and recommend a great person to help them out.  And, on the flip side, request to be recommended from these people as well if and when they come across someone in need of insurance.

Your turn.  Have you had a similar situation where you were able to help out a client or potential client in a way you didn’t expect?  How did it work out?

Melissa Ash/NJ’s Business Insurance Lady
Irwin Edelstein Associates, Inc.

Tel: 732-549-1800 | 732-317-1979


Cold Calling Like A Pro 2

3 Apr

As a continuation of yesterday’s cold calling post, we are looking to answer the following questions:  What is the best time of day and/or the best day of the week to cold call?  How many hours per day should I spend cold calling?

Let’s start with What is the best time of day and/or day of the week to cold call?

Since we all have the same objective of getting to the decision maker, the answer to this question is any time of the day or week where you can catch the decision maker.  Ok, that seems a bit too simple right?  Well, think of it this way…what type of businesses are you looking to target?  If you were in that business, when do you think you’d be the busiest?  The answer to that question will tell you the best times to avoid calling.

For example, I target a lot of auto repair shops.  I’ve found that Monday mornings are the worst since most people are dropping their cars off for service as well as most afternoons (after 3pm) since the mechanics are scrambling to finish up cars before people pick them up.  During the rest of the week, I’ve found that mid morning (10-11:30am) and after lunch (1-3pm) are the best times to reach auto repair owners.

Targeting restaurants?  Try to avoid calling restaurant owners during the breakfast, lunch or dinner rush when the owners have the least amount of time to talk.

Targeting painters?  Any rainy day is a great time to catch a painter!

Now, what about corporate businesses where there is always a gatekeeper in your way?  Well,  your first contact should be with the gatekeeper since we can get extremely valuable information from him/her such as the target person’s name, who their current carrier is and x-date, among other things.  But, now you want to get through the gatekeeper and get to the decision maker, right?  So, when do you call?  My suggestion is to call anytime the gatekeeper is away from his/her desk which would be during lunch hour, before 9am and after 5pm.  Generally decision makers will have much longer office hours then their receptionists and you will have a better shot at catching them at that time.

Also, for any business that may have to generate quarterly reports or reach monthly quotas, avoid the last week of the month.  Most of these type of employees spend this time on a mountain of paperwork in preparation for the start of the next month and/or they are scrambling to fill their monthly quota.

That being said, my personal philosophy with cold calling?  You should be cold calling or cold knocking any time you are not doing something else productive!  Anyone you don’t get this time around, you can always try again in a few months.

Let’s move on to the next question of How many hours a day should I spend cold calling?

That depends on your sales goals.  The best way to figure out how many calls a day you need is to write out the following:

1.  My annual sales goal is $_________.

2.  My monthly sales goal is $_______.

3.  I make $_________ in commission per sale (this can vary…feel free to average)

4.  I need ________ number of sales a month to hit my monthly sales goal.  #2 divided by #3 = #4

5.  It takes ________number of hot leads to make 1 sale. (A hot lead is someone willing to let you quote them and has given you all the information needed to do so.)

6.  It takes ________ number of cold calls to make 1 hot lead.

7.  Multiply the numbers from #4, 5, & 6 to find the total number of cold calls you need to make per month. _________

8.  Divide the answer to #7 by the number of days you work per month, and this will give you the number of cold calls you need to make each of those days to hit your monthly and yearly sales goals.  ________________

And, thus, the answer to #8 will give you a general idea of how much time per day you should spend cold calling.  I generally cold call until I’ve hit my cold calling goals (number of cold calls not including those that don’t answer), but some people set daily cold calling goals based on the number of leads they generate (I’m not stopping until I get 10 leads),  or based on the number of x-dates they receive.   However you want to do it is fine, just make sure you have a goal and you stick to it!

Your turn:  Please share your experience with cold calling.  I’d love to hear any other advice you may have for us concerning the topics discussed above.

If you have any ideas or requests for future posts, please feel free to email me at melissa@njbusinessinsurancelady.com

Melissa Ash

New Jersey’s Business Insurance Lady




Cold Calling Like A Pro

2 Apr

Ahh, the dreaded cold calling post!  But, since we all need to do it (at least in the beginning of our career), I might as well post about it and, hopefully, get some good feedback from all of you.

In my opinion, cold calling is an art.  Don’t get me wrong, everyone can pick up a phone, dial a number and spit out a script but the art of it comes in being able to sell.  Whether you are selling your product, your company or just an appointment, it’s important to have a plan before you start.

Before you pick up the phone, you’ll need a few things prepared ahead of time (and this list may seem obvious but bear with me):

  • A targeted list
  • A reason why you are calling
  • A basic script
  • A way to track your calling success/failures

Let’s break these down a little more:

  • A targeted list:  Who are you calling?  Will you focus on restaurants today or contractors?  Are you taking numbers right from the phone book or have you discovered a way to narrow the list down to only include those who are paying out the premium range you are looking for?  Knowing these answers will help you go from one call to the next seamlessly since there will be no floundering between calls.
  • A reason why you are calling:  Are you calling to give a quote over the phone, get the expiration date of their current policy or set an appointment with you?  Keep in mind, most people will only stay on the phone with you for a few minutes (if that) so you will want to get your question answered as quickly as possible.
  • A basic script:  I’m a big fan of not using a script at all because the last thing you want is to sound like you are reading something word for word.  But, having a general script in front of you, to remind you of your goal with the call, is a great way to have a little bit of a safety net, just in case.  Be prepared, however, to be interrupted by the person you are calling who may have questions to ask you.  You certainly don’t want to be so stuck on that one script that you can’t break loose to answer a question.
  • A way to track your cold calling successes and failures:  I keep a piece of scrap paper on my desk next to the phone with these categories – leads, call boss back, x-date, rejection, no answer, total calls.  Then, as I make each call, I put a small line next to the appropriate category.  This helps me keep track of how many calls I need to hit my goals.  It also helps me come up with ways to overcome any rejections since next to the rejections line, I list why I was rejected (my cousin does my insurance, I’m happy with my current company, etc).  I also have an excel file for leads, call boss back, x-date and call ratios.  Each excel sheet is updated appropriately at the end of each call.  At this point, I have 35 leads (those who want to get a quote now), 23 call boss back (with boss’s name), and 80 x-dates (all organized by month I need to call them back).  These are all potential customers and what I call cold calling success!

Since this is a post about cold calling, I should also address cold calling reluctance.  I hear over and over again that agents hate cold calling and dread picking up the phone to do it.  What I say to them is, “What is the worst that could happen?”  You may get hung up on, yelled at or just told no thank you.  But, these people will NEVER be able to jump through the phone and wring your neck!  So, who cares?  Just start dialing and the rest will fall into place!

Here are a few tips for getting over your reluctance (and/or your potentially robotic, monotonous tone):

  • Smile while you dial.  The person on the other end really can hear a difference in your voice.
  • Stand up while you talk.  You will sound more confident and your words will flow easier.

There are many other factors to consider as well when cold calling.  When is the best time of day to call?  How many hours should I be calling?  Where do I get leads?  What are some examples of scripts?

These are all valid questions and are ones I will address in tomorrow’s post.  For now, it’s your turn.  Have I forgotten anything on my ‘be prepared to cold call’ list?  Feel free to share with us all so we can learn from each other.

If you have any ideas or requests for future posts, please feel free to email me at melissa@njbusinessinsurancelady.com

Melissa Ash

New Jersey’s Business Insurance Lady


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