Building Relationships: The Benefits of Local Engagement as an Insurance Agent
June 13, 2019
From the time Farm Bureau Financial Services was founded in 1939, our roots have been planted in the local communities we serve. In the early years, our focus was on meeting the unique and specific needs of farmers since they made up a majority of our clientele; but today, Farm Bureau clients come from all walks of life – rural, urban and everything in-between. All insurance agents know the needs of their unique community and be able to assist their clients in finding the best plan.
Becoming an insurance agent is the perfect opportunity for those who love being involved in their communities and helping their friends and neighbors because Farm Bureau insurance agents contribute to the livelihood of their community. After all, most people become an insurance agent because they want to help the people around them protect their livelihoods. If representing your community is a natural extension of who you are and what motivates you, becoming an insurance agent at Farm Bureau would be the perfect fit.
Benefits of Community Engagement
No matter where Farm Bureau agents call home, they work hard to not only protect what matters most to the clients they serve, but they also enjoy making an impact in their communities.
There are countless professional benefits to engaging with your local community, and when you have a better understanding of the general public around you, you can build stronger relationships with your clients and better meet their insurance needs. Take a look as we break down some of the benefits of engaging with the people around you.
Raising Brand Awareness
Being an active member in your community is an excellent way to raise awareness of your services. Whether that’s sponsoring the local athletic teams, having a float in a parade or volunteering on behalf of your organization, the best way to get people to know your name is to get involved! The more people to see your name, the more likely they are to reach out to inquire about the services you offer.
Understanding Insurance Needs
What’s the best way to understand the needs of the people in your community? To get out there and talk to them, of course! By attending local events and gatherings, you have more of an opportunity to talk to those in your local area. You can get to know people, learn what matters most to them and educate them on how to best prepare and protect those important things.
Continuing to Build on Existing Relationships
It’s important to find new prospects, but it’s also important to never forget about your existing clients. Show them you care by inviting them to coffee at the local bakery or volunteer at a big event one of your clients has been planning. By showing them you care about their business, you can reaffirm their trust in you and let them know you’ll be there for them when they need it.
Tips to Get Involved in Your Local Community
Community engagement is key for those looking to expand their insurance business. After all, insurance agents need to know the people they are serving in order to provide the best coverage for each individual.
Communities across the nation rely on volunteers to bring projects and organizations to life that might otherwise lack the support they need. Do the parks in your area need to be cleaned up? Is there a charitable organization that needs funding? By understanding the needs of the community, you will be able to identify different opportunities where you can get involved.
Not sure where to start? Contacting your local newspaper, visiting the community center or reaching out to the school are all great ways to find organizations and projects in the area that needs your support. Here are some other suggestions to help get you started:
Coach a Local Sports Team
From little league baseball to softball, community sports teams are always in need of coaches, and if you have a background in a certain sport, volunteering to help can create lasting relationships with both children and their parents. In addition to building trust, community members who attend the local sporting events will begin to recognize your face and learn more about your hobbies, interests and leadership abilities.
Since insurance agents can create their own schedule, carving out time to be a coach for a local sports team could be a fun opportunity to get involved, and the skills you’ll develop as a sports coach will also help you become a better insurance agent.
Skills you’ll practice when coaching a team: communication, leadership, strategic thinking and patience.
Get Involved With City Council
Becoming active on City Council will show the community that you’re ready to take on a major leadership role and can see your leadership problem solving skills in action. In many cities, City Council candidates are required to register in the summer months, so now is the perfect time to start thinking about your involvement.
By playing an active role on City Council, local members will see that you understand what is important to them and are willing to work with other council members to make the concerns and needs of the community heard. In addition to helping out your local area, getting involved with City Council can also help develop your own job skills. This is a great way to improve many leadership and communication skills.
Skills you’ll practice when on City Council: time management, public speaking, critical thinking and listening.
Shop Locally & Support Businesses Within the Community
Yes, shopping is a way to get involved! Show local business owners that you care about his or her livelihood by getting supplies from them and shopping in their stores. When you’re a regular customer that’s frequently in their store supporting them, they’ll definitely take notice, and other community members might recognize this as well. Furthermore, shopping locally is a great way to stimulate your local economy, which can hopefully lead to more opportunities for community members.
Insurance agents can offer benefits to local businesses, such as helping them set up their employee benefits or selling them commercial insurance. By teaming up with local businesses and supporting each other, you can form many long-lasting relationships.
Skills you’ll practice when supporting local businesses: interpersonal skills and professionalism.
Get Involved Within School System
Schools often have a number of volunteer opportunities available. Whether you dedicate time to help with a festival, work at a fundraiser or become a member of a Parent Teacher Organization, there are plenty of opportunities available. Volunteering within the school system shows you value for the future of the community and share the values of family and education. It also gives you an opportunity to meet teachers, parents and kids while participating in a variety of events. Working with the school is a great way to instill these same values in your own children and can be a way to bond with them too.
Just like City Council, many school board elections occur later into the summer, so if you’re thinking about this opportunity, now is the time to start planning!
Skills you’ll practice when getting involved with the school: timeliness, communication and being a team player.
Volunteer at Nonprofits or Community Events
If volunteering with the school isn’t your cup of tea, that’s okay. Look into any nonprofit organization in your local area, like an animal shelter or rebuilding club. Often times, nonprofits need volunteers to help their organization operate efficiently and keep up with demand. Volunteering shows that you care about the well-being of your community and you want to see it succeed.
Stepping up to participate at local functions is also a great way to get involved and meet people within the community you wouldn’t normally interact with. If your town is hosting a unique event, like a concert, summer festival, community clean-up or sports tournament, they will need volunteers to help operations run smoothly. If a local event peaks your interest, be ready and willing to join in and offer your efforts to the cause.
Skills you’ll practice when volunteering: teamwork and the ability to work and communicate with many personalities.
Many small businesses, groups and organizations in your community likely have a social media profile of some sort. Use your social media channels to engage by liking and commenting on different posts and events that are happening in your area. Show that you’re excited about different community happenings by tagging them in social media posts, especially if you’re sponsoring or have something to do with the event or happening.
Using social media can be a great way to engage with the community. By offering this as another form of communication, you may reach some people who might not have wanted to make a phone call or set up a formal meeting.
Skills you’ll practice when networking online: technology use, community management and relationship building.
Make the Next Move and Stay Engaged in Your Community
Building strong relationships begins by making genuine connections with community members and finding ways you can help. These important connections can lead to increased trust and referrals to new clients. Additionally, by focusing on others while developing a stronger community, it can also lead to personal growth.
Farm Bureau insurance agents truly make a difference in their communities, and so can you! Click ‘Get Started’ to apply to become a Farm Bureau agent today.