Tag Archives: insurance agents

Family Day Marketing

21 May

My family and I attended Edison Family Day yesterday in Edison, NJ.  This event was held in a large convention center with about 100 vendors in attendance.  The vendors included everything from party planners to restaurants and health care centers.  While it was meant to be a fun day for our local families, it was more of a large marketing event with everyone handing out coupons, prizes and business cards.   While I was walking around with my family, however, I noticed there wasn’t a single insurance company represented at the event.  So, of course, it got me thinking…

Since this event is held every year (and maybe there are events like this in neighboring towns), I’m thinking of renting a table to promote myself, NJ’s Business Insurance Lady.  While I’m not a restaurant giving away a food sample or a bowling alley giving away free games, I’m sure I can come up with some way to get business owners to frequent my table.  Even if they are just the business owners of the other businesses attending the same event, it would certainly be worth it.  Here are some ideas for getting said business owners to come to the table to chat:

  • Raffle off a basket of something like gourmet coffees and hot chocolate with a fun mug or two.
  • Raffle off a gift certificate for a professional photography session for the person’s business.  (Maybe I can get a photography business to donate this since it will be promoting their business as well.)
  • Raffle off a gift certificate for marketing materials and use that to promote my printing business as well (Your Life In Print).
  • Use a fishbowl to collect business cards for those who wish to be in the raffle (instant leads!).

Of course, the goal would be to make the table fun, engaging and useful for business owners.  I’d also include posters or poster boards with tips on insuring a business properly or questions to ask an insurance agent before switching over to a new agent.  And, at the event, everyone walks around with plastic bags they look to fill with anything they can so I’d probably put out pens or frisbees or something with my name and logo on them.

Your turn:  Have you ever set up a table at an event like this?  If so, any tips for those who’d like to try this type of marketing?

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




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


Stand Out From The Rest

28 Mar

It seems as though every time I talk about marketing ideas with veteran business insurance agents, I’m told there really isn’t much you can do other than cold calling, walking into businesses and gaining referrals but I’m not convinced!  And I assume that since you read this blog, you are not convinced either.

While those three things definitely need to be a huge part of your marketing strategy, I truly believe there is more we can do to stand out. My goal is not to be known as every other insurance agent who has called or stopped by.  I want clients and potential clients to remember me.  To want to stay with me because they feel they know me.  And to refer me to others not only because I can do a great job for them, but because I’m not the same as every other agent they’ve ever come across.

So how do we do become memorable? Think about the most memorable and successful businesses in this world.  They all have a hook related to what they do, right?  When you think about a junk removal company, you aren’t thinking about the little known truck down the street.  You are thinking about ‘Got Junk?’.  When you think about researching something online, immediately you think ‘Let’s Google it.’   This is all due to great branding on the business owner‘s part.

That’s why I decided to brand myself as New Jersey‘s Business Insurance Lady!  And while clients may not initially know my real name, they do call and ask to speak to The Business Insurance Lady so my branding efforts seem to be paying off.  Once you’ve decided how you will brand yourself, here are some ways to make sure you become known for your brand:

  • Create a website for your brand.  Even if you are a captive agent, you should have your own personal business website dedicated to getting clients to call YOU specifically.  Make sure you market your brand throughout.
  • Change your business cards, flyers, postcards, etc. to reflect your brand imaging (cohesive colors, fonts, etc)
  • Create a facebook page specifically for your brand.
  • Answer the phone with your tag line (Ex:  Thank you for calling New Jersey’s Business Insurance Lady.  How may I help you?)
  • Introduce yourself to others with your brand/tag line as the focus.
  • Cold call using your tag line.
  • Create a blog to supplement your branding and show you off as an expert in your field.
  • Make sure your email address reflects your branding as well as your email signature. (For example, instead of Independent Insurance Agent under my name, my signature always has New Jersey’s Business Insurance Lady as my job description and my email address is melissa@njbusinessinsurancelady.com.)

Time to get your creative juices flowing!  How will you brand yourself?  Here are some questions to ask yourself as you are getting started:

  • Pick what you want to be known for.  Do you want to write all insurance for auto repair businesses or apartment complexes in your state?
  • Create a catchy name or tag line for yourself that creatively describes who you are and what you do.  For example, would anyone need to ask me, New Jersey’s Business Insurance Lady, what I do for a living?

Now get out there and start branding yourself!

Your turn.  Have you done any branding in the past?  What have you found to be successful and unsuccessful?  But, if you are just getting started, please be sure to come back and tell us what your name or tag line is!

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


Become An Expert

26 Mar

We all aim to get to the point of being an expert in this field.  We all hope to one day (if you aren’t already), become known in your area for being the go to person for business insurance.  But, the question is, how do we get there?

Of course time spent in this business and knowledge of our products will help us get where we want to go but how do we make it known how knowledgeable we are?  We certainly don’t want to turn everyone off by constantly talking about nothing but insurance since every time we come close to anyone we would just see their ass as they run away!  So, obviously, we need another forum.

In my opinion, free press releases and articles are the way to go!  Even if you are just starting out in this business, you can always just write about what you know.  Have you been focusing on restaurants lately?  Write an article giving insurance tips to restaurant owners.  Does it seem as though you encounter business owners on a daily basis with the same questions?  Answer them in a press release.

Make sure in your article you include an engaging title, an introduction paragraph that will draw in your target audience and, after the body of your article, a conclusion that sums it all up.  While you will not include your contact information within your article, information about you and your business will be displayed when the article is published.  The more articles you write, the more you will be seen as an expert in the field.  And, the hope is, people will begin to come to you for guidance and to buy from you.  Doesn’t everyone prefer to work with an expert as opposed to someone who may not know the details of their business?

Once you’ve written your article, you’ll want it published for the world to see.  Here are a few sites I like to use:




You may also want to look up online and offline magazines and newspapers who target the audience you are writing to and see if you can submit your work for free to them as well.

Here are a few articles I’ve written myself:



Your turn.  How do you think writing articles and press releases will help your business?  And, of course, please feel free to add a link to your article so we can check it out!

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


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


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