Insurance is serious business, isn’t it?

Being funny can be a challenge for insurance agents. (Photo: Elnu/Shutterstock)

Over 100 million viewers watched the Super Bowl, and along with the game, they saw a lot of funny commercials, and maybe a few not-so-funny ones. There were commercials for Verizon with The Cable Guy, GM with Dr. Evil, and baby E*Trade, among others: a full dose of entertainment mixed with nostalgia.

In the insurance industry, ads designed to entertain are nothing new, at least when it comes to big companies. Few people today are not familiar with Flo, Jake, the Emu, or the Gecko.

But when it comes to insurance agents, being funny can be a challenge. Are there ways agents can make insurance fun? The short answer is yes. Humor and entertainment can actually be great ways for agents to connect with their customers, and it doesn’t have to mean big budgets and ads. But it takes effort, an appreciation of your brand, an original approach, and a deep understanding of the audience you’re trying to reach.

“Insurance can be a complicated industry. In fact, it could be said that insurance is misunderstood,” says Ariel Rivera, director of deer insurance agency in Jacksonville, Fla. That may be true, but Rivera has created ways to make insurance fun. In addition to his agency, he is the founder of fun insurance solutions, a marketing brand that produces a podcast in Spanish, among other things, and literally has fun at the name. In fact, their logo is an actual maze, just like the ones you used to play when you were a kid.

Rivera entertains her clients in multiple ways.

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“I mix a little bit of humor with a little bit of information and a little bit of education. I offer different things to the communities we serve,” she says. “During the holidays, for example, I shared a GIF from the movie Home Alone. I didn’t include anything about insurance; my goal was to connect with people on a different level.”

Professional services, by their nature, are boring, explains Aaron Levine, founder and CEO of LG insurance agency.

“But we make insurance fun, so people engage with us and trust us when it takes complication,” says Levine. “Nobody wants to read and understand their insurance policies until it’s time to claim and then it’s too late. We work to get that content out in an entertaining way before people need it.”

Put smiles on customers’ faces

It’s about your perspective, says Heath Shearon, host of the insurance city podcast and sales coach for Agency Performance Partners. “Insurance is the tool that makes fun possible. When you think of it this way, the view changes. You can’t buy a car without it, you can’t have a house without it, you can’t open a business without having insurance,” she notes.

Realizing early in his career that he couldn’t take himself too seriously, Shearon often refers to Ned Ryerson, the ruthless life insurance agent from the movie “Groundhog Day.” When opening a discussion with the simple statement, I’m not going to be Ned Ryerson today. it can make people feel more comfortable and they can laugh at the same time. “You have to make fun of yourself a little bit. Clients like to see that you just want to get to know them better. Sales can always come later,” she says.

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One key is to make sure you’re using information that’s relevant to the audiences you’re trying to reach. Rivera is a big fan of GIFs and emojis, which he says are especially appealing to younger generations. He likes to find out what TV shows and movies people are watching, then sign his emails with a GIF of “Friends” or “It’s always sunny in Philly,” for example.

“Insurance is often an emotional purchase,” says Shearon. “I try to establish a relationship and build my connections using the information that people have shared with me.”

Levine’s audience includes real estate agents, business owners, homeowners, and parents of young children, to name a few. “My humor will appeal to that demographic, my peer group. But we keep it broad enough that we can continue to attract others as well,” she says.

Promotional giveaways can be another opportunity for agents to have fun. Levine was able to share the vodka brand with a local distillery. “The bottles included my brand and logo, and I was able to give customers and partners something memorable. I love the idea of ​​branding in non-traditional ways like this. You can have fun doing it and have fun sharing it,” he says.

Even simple gifts can be entertaining when approached the right way. “I just made pens. Pens can be boring, but I put my Instagram account on them. I didn’t put a logo on them, I didn’t put my name on them, I didn’t put a website on them, I just put @luxurygroupINS on the pens and have left them wherever I end up. A lot of new people are visiting our Instagram this way,” says Levine.

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Being funny is not mandatory

Many of the agents I spoke with were clear: being fun is not critical to successfully connecting with customers. It’s more important to understand lifestyle trends and be able to tell stories that people can relate to. Sharing information in an entertaining way is key.

According to Shearon, one of the most important skills is being able to talk to people and tell stories. “Insurance is about compliance, but it doesn’t have to be boring or monotonous. It’s up to the agent to be interesting,” she says.

And there is material everywhere. “You can be the least funny human being in the world and still tell stories that draw people in,” explains Shearon.

In a world where the big insurance brands are spending billions to try to grab your attention on TV, insurance agents have an important role to play when it comes to interacting with customers. Humor and entertainment are great ways to connect with customers in relatable ways.

Gerald Hemphill ([email protected]) is president-elect of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA). He is also the main agent of GFH Insurance Agency where he represents all branches of insurance, specializing in commercial insurance risks.

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