Posts Tagged ‘business’

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Collaborate with Your Referral Sources

It is in listening that we can we detect areas in which we can offer assistance and provide tools.

The best (most effective) strategies for acquiring and maintaining new business no longer depends upon the delivery of pastries or a free lunch. Today, recruiting participants means searching for and then filling needs, recognizing gaps, appealing to goals, and ultimately providing tools for achieving those goals.

A defined process that leads to a better understanding of a prospect’s pain points, coupled with a plan of attack, enables a title agent to bring value to clients.

We’ve all been there. After weeks, perhaps months, of professionally approaching a realtor or lender prospect, the much-sought-after initial meeting gets scheduled. 

Then mental preparation turns one’s thoughts toward how best to provide value to the prospect, within compliant borders, that will sufficiently attract them to begin using our services.

Too often, our approach centers around providing a laundry list of goods and services our company offers. As we run through what can sometimes be an exhaustive list, we hope that at some point, our prospect will react favorably, and drill down into the particular offer which they find irresistible.

As we have found out, and is often the case, this never happens. What we have unwittingly done, is waste the prospect’s time by offering products or services which are not needed. These types of meetings usually lead to a polite “thank you,” and “we will let you know” response.

A better approach involves putting ourselves in the place of our potential referral source, and viewing business challenges through their eyes. It is a given that they are faced with the same type of questions we have, in trying to obtain their business. They are seeking ways to attract their own referral sources even as they spend time and money to do so.

Instead of laying our tools on the table, hoping one will be useful to our prospect, the better approach would be a consultative one. Use the first five minutes of the meeting asking questions about business strategy and goals, methods currently being employed, and history of success and failure.

It is in listening that we can we detect areas in which we can offer assistance and provide tools.

For realtor prospects, this may involve keying-in on monthly meetings put on by the broker in charge. It is their obligation to provide meetings and speakers, to bring value to their franchise, and to attract and keep top agents. 

An offer to sponsor the food, as well as line up industry speakers, will go a long way in obtaining an endorsement from the broker, while adding valuable face time with the agents with whom we are trying to connect.  Providing a short segment on title insurance itself, will show your prospects that you are a subject-matter expert, and worthy of their consideration.

For lender prospects, offer to line up a real estate office presentation, with them as the main speaker, on topics of lending particularly interesting to agents. Again, an offer to underwrite the cost of food, line up the presentation, and participate in the program will bring value to your relationship with that lender. It is possible to work collaboratively with your prospects, employing a consultative approach, and filling needs gaps, to help them in their business. This altruism places you and your agency top-of-mind when the decision is made for title work.

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Checking in with Your Business Development Plan

If you’re like the vast majority of Americans, you probably created a few New Year’s Resolutions for 2019 a couple months ago. In addition to the standard exercise more, eat healthier and get organized, did your resolutions include new business development?

Whether you identified a few business-oriented resolutions or you’re just considering ways to improve your business in 2019, we offer ideas to incorporate into your daily professional practices.

Developing the Mindset. If you don’t have it already, you need to develop a “business development” mindset.

Develop a thorough understanding of how new business factors into your business’s revenue and operations goals over the short-term and long-term.

Once you have that understanding, it’s much easier to develop a plan of where to prospect for that new business.

Business Development Activities to do Now. Refer to our recent blog about business development activities you can incorporate right now as a quick and effective way to get started. 10 Business Development Activities.

Think Outside the Box. Brainstorm, create diagrams, pictographs, charts or doodles—whatever it takes to get your creativity flowing.

Come up with as many ideas as you can for where you can source new business. Then, do deep dive research into each idea and prioritize them.

Make a solid plan to follow-through on your Top 3 ideas. Keep the additional ideas in a safe place and refer to them after you’ve implemented the Top 3.

Stay Positive and Focused. Face it – you’re going to run into some negativity while prospecting for new business. For your plans to be successful, it’s imperative to keep a positive mindset in the face of negativity.

Not every business development idea you have will be successful, and that’s okay. Use the unsuccessful attempts as a learning activity to improve your efforts. Don’t give up and keep developing creative new ways to locate news business for your business.

One additional note: Remember Alliant National is a great resource to advise and educate independent agents on prospecting for new business.

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10 Business Development Activities to Do Today

The art of business development is identifying and creating relationships that lead to increased revenue for your business.

Relationships may include business organization memberships, partnerships between one or more entities or simply one-on-one referral relationships. For most successful businesses, business development is a combination of all the above. Here are 10 business development activities you should be doing today.
  1. Ask for referrals, from your clients (current and former), non-competing peers, friends, neighbors and other influencers in your network. Acknowledge your appreciation by thanking all of those who refer business to you.
  2. Join an organization (i.e., Rotary Club, industry/trade association, local chamber of commerce, etc.) where your target clients are likely to be members.Get involved with the organization, beyond just attending meetings. Join a committee, become a leader in the organization and network often with members.Once members get to know you and build a relationship with you, they are likely to contact you when they’re ready to do business.
  3. Become a good networker. Networking is about getting to know others and their needs so you can connect them to potential clients and influencers that will help their business grow. They will return the favor!
  4. Become a good social networker. Create business accounts and participate in the big social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter). Publish great content that is helpful, informative, insightful and relevant to readers. Engage with your followers.
  5. Always carry current, clean and organized business cards in ample supply.
  6. Use easy-to-review infographics as part of your sales arsenal. Infographics are memorable and easy for prospective clients to refer to when calling you for more details.
  7. Remember important dates, including client business anniversaries, vacation trips, births and other important happenings in your network’s business and life. Keep a calendar to help you remember to send them a short note or bring it up in conversation when you see them.
  8. Host an open house at your business. Invite an eclectic group of people who will benefit by meeting and conversing with each other.Think of helping others to connect with prospective clients and influencers, as well. Develop a brief welcome to “break the ice” and get the conversations started.
  9. Have a clear understanding of your business offerings and be able to confidently and concisely share at a moment’s notice.
  10. Be curious. Get to know your prospective and current clients, their goals, their fears and their reason for existing in business. When you know them, you are in a great position to help them.
One additional note: Remember Alliant National is a great resource to advise and educate independent agents on business development best practices.
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Content Marketing Trends

Content is king!

Savvy business owners know they must continue to engage, inform and entertain customers, prospects and influencers with relevant and current content.

Here are three articles to explain the basics of content, dive into the relevance of it and offer tips to make content more effective.

  • One thing’s for sure: content marketing is not going anywhere. Moreover, estimates show that by 2021, the industry will be worth more than $400 billion. Here are some of the most important content marketing trends that you must be aware of in 2019. Read More
  • Creative and strategic content writing is a way to build your brand and grow your business. Here are top trends. Read More
  • More than half (53 percent) of businesses invest time and money in content marketing, and continued growth in this category is expected, industry experts say. Here are tips on cultivating excellent content. Read More

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