Tag Archives: business networking

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




Shopping for clients…

20 Mar

I was in my car getting ready to pull out of the 7-11 parking lot yesterday when a van pulled in and parked next to my passenger side door.  I immediately looked to see what type of business the van’s sign promoted and it was a carpet business.  I then got a business card ready and put down my passenger side window.  When the man emerged from his van, he glanced my way and I took the opportunity.  I smiled and asked him how he was.  He said he was doing well so I pointed to the sign on his van and asked if this was his business.  When he said yes, I explained what I do and handed him a business card.  He took it, smiled and said he’ll be calling for a quote.  Will he call?  That is yet to be seen but the whole situation got me thinking about other ways I can generate leads while I’m running errands.

As a commercial insurance agent, it’s not always easy to tell who are business owners and who aren’t so I certainly wouldn’t promote just handing out cards, flyers or postcards to everyone.  But, business owners need to shop and run errands as well, so there must be at least a few when I’m out and about.  The general plan is to ALWAYS have business cards in my pocket and flyers, brochures or whatever I have made up, available in my car.  Here are a few ways I’ve decided I’m going to generate leads while I’m running errands:

  • Scan the parking lot for service vehicles.  Park close to them so they can see my car door magnet and phone number.
  • Put flyers, brochures or something promoting my business on the windshield or drivers side door handle of said service vehicles.
  • Talk to people behind and in front of me at the store.  You never know who they are or who they know.
  • Change up my dry cleaner, bagel store, etc every time I go (within reason).  I’ll have additional chances to meet more business owners and, thus, generate more clients.

I believe if we keep our eyes and ears open, even when we aren’t in the office or out purposely prospecting, we will have a better chance of generating more clients and getting our name out there.

Your turn.  Tell us about a time you met a potential client when you least expected it.

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


Touch Your Clients More…

19 Mar

The passing of St. Patrick’s Day made me think about how often we are keeping in touch with our current clients.   Is your client signing the paperwork, handing over a check and then you never see or speak to them again?  If so, is it any wonder they are quick to move on as soon as the next agent comes along and shows them a savings?

So, the question is, how do we keep our clients from moving on at the drop of a hat?  Answer:  Touch them more!

And, no, I don’t mean physically touch them (and I sure hope this site doesn’t pop up on an x-rated google search because of these key words!), I mean reach out to them.  Keep your name in their mind and make them feel special, even if it’s only 3-4 times a year.  There’s nothing we want more then for our clients to answer an insurance cold call and say, “I’m happy with the agent I already have.”

The reason the passing of St. Patrick’s Day got me thinking about this is because I wondered how many people were sending out St. Patty’s Day cards to their clients.  I know we all send out holiday cards around Thanksgiving and Christmas but what about sending out holiday cards on the off beat holidays?  Wouldn’t it be great to be the only card a client receives on a holiday? 

Here are some of the upcoming holidays you can and should send a card out to touch your client:

  • Easter
  • First Day of Summer
  • 4th of July
  • Back to School/Labor Day

Make sure to include a copy of your business card or, better yet, a magnetic business card.  Other than that, no writing about business.  Just a simple, Hoppy Easter or Aren’t you glad the kids are back in school? will do the trick.  Have some extra time one your hands?  Personalize each one with a handwritten message to make your client feel extra special.

Your turn.  What other creative ways have you used to touch your clients throughout the year? 

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




Volunteering as Networking?

14 Mar

We are all super busy people.  So why would I suggest adding yet another thing to your plate?  Because in the long run, volunteering in your neighborhood will pay off.  Not to mention that it’s free!

How volunteering can help your business:

  • Volunteering is a very subtle way to network in your area.  Once you work with someone on a common goal, they are much more likely to call you when they need insurance for their business or refer you to a friend who mentions he/she is paying too much for his/her worker’s compensation.
  • Volunteering shows you care.  Most people want to work with honest, hard-working people who aren’t looking for anything in return.  Volunteering for a community project is a great way to make that impression on others.
  • It feels good to help!  Helping your community and completing a much needed project feels great.  And when you feel good, you smile and when you smile, you are open to doing more good things for others and when you… (Ok, I need to stop watching those commercials!)

What type of volunteer projects should I work on?

  • The best answer is:  Anything you are interested in!  Does your daughter play soccer?  Coach (or become assistant coach if you have two left feet) her team or volunteer to run the hot dog stand.  It never hurt anyone to put business cards on the counter or park your car in such a way that the other parents will see your business magnet.  Is your son in cubscouts?  Get involved!  Become a den leader or help set up events.
  • Scholarship programs.   Right now, I’m on a committee committed to awarding our area students scholarships for having great morals and values.  I joined the committee just as they started so I’ve been around since day 1, they all know what I do for a living and I always make sure I add value to each of our meetings.
  • Local clean up events.  There are always programs going on to clean up playground areas, parks, etc.  Join a clean-up group, wear one of your business shirts and let others ask you for advice as you clean.
  • School PTA/PTO committee.  Volunteer at your child’s school.  You will meet many other parents who all work in different businesses.  Once they know you, they will refer you.

Where do I find these events & programs?

  • Google it!  Google ‘volunteer opportunities in xxxx’ and you’ll find quite a number of things to choose from.
  • You know all those flyers your kids bring home every day? Look at them before you toss them. If there is an event you find interesting, call the person in charge and ask if there is any way you can help.
  • Your local paper.  I’m not talking about the $2 Sunday paper, I’m talking about the hyper local paper you get at the end of your driveway that gets soaked in the rain and you throw away.  Take a look at those and see if other businesses in your area are looking for volunteers for something.  That’s how I found the scholarship committee (run by a local real estate agent!).
  • Check out the recreation/community center in your area.  Take a look at their bulletin board.  There are a TON of opportunities available.

How not to volunteer….

If you are going to go the volunteer route, please don’t volunteer for the sole purpose of handing out business cards!  Everyone you are volunteering with will know immediately that you are ‘that guy’ and will avoid you like the plague.  Go into the volunteer experience knowing this isn’t a networking event and you’ll do just fine.  Also, don’t volunteer for something if you know you can’t commit to it.  It will be a waste of your time and theirs and you won’t make any connections that way.

If you can’t add value to the event or program, then that’s not the volunteer event for you!  Only go after programs where you know you will be viewed as a committed, honest hard-worker.  This will pay off in dividends for you and your company.

Now, it’s your turn.  Do you have any other tips for volunteering?  Any other ideas for volunteer opportunities?  Where have you volunteered and how did it pay off for you?

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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