What you must know to engage the small group buyer.
More and more health insurance companies are seeking to sell directly to small groups, but selling to small businesses present unique challenges. Reaching these groups effectively requires marketing strategies and tactics that are specifically tailored to their needs. Most importantly, it requires a change in mindset – a shift in focus from selling a particular product to helping a busy small business buyer solve one or more pressing business problems. Here’s what it takes to get their attention and ultimately create an opportunity for a sale.
Understand today’s small business buyer
As with any market, this is the first step. It’s essential to realize who/what small businesses are and what makes them unique. In a nutshell, most small business buyers…
- are not professional buyers
- are solving a problem vs. just shopping for a product (providing for employees/recruiting and retention/competitive advantage etc.)
- are not experts in health insurance
- may not be sure whether to offer insurance at all, which carrier to go with, or perhaps even where to start
Engage them effectively
To get their attention, you need to educate them. Given the above, establish that your role is to help, not just to sell. Position your brand/site as a resource and tell them things they want to know (and even do not know they need to know). Do this by focusing on their pressing business issues related to your product (health insurance). How can you tell what these issues are?
- Look at the search terms related to small groups that lead visitors to your site, and the paths that they take when they visit. What recurring themes do these suggest?
- Ask your salespeople or agents about the issues they encounter most frequently when talking to small businesses. What do their conversations reveal about what SMBs know, or don’t know, about your product? Some of the most compelling solutions can involve aspects of your offering they may not be aware of or even know they need. For example:
- How to allocate premiums between company and employees
- How to explain the value of the employer contribution to employees so they appreciate the benefit
- How do decide if you should offer health insurance of give employees dollars towards policies on the individual market
- How to choose the right network/plan
- Terms they need to know (co-pay, etc.)
Lead them through the steps
Once you’ve engaged your SMB audience with compelling content that positions your brand as a resource for solutions to their problems, you’ll want to motivate them to take the next step in their buying journey – with you. Realize that most prospects aren’t ready to buy right away; they may just be beginning the process. So, it is important that your content includes information for various stages of the buyer’s journey, including strategic calls to action (CTAs) that encourage them to take the next logical step – wherever in that journey they happen to be. Always make sure your content enables the reader to:
- Read More – Provide links to related content appropriate to different stages of the buyer’s journey – from the top of the funnel to various stages below.
- Create and Save Quotes – Make sure your prospect can get multiple quotes from your online quote engine forwarded to their email address. This accomplishes two things. It allows the buyer to save multiple quotes in their inbox for later review. It also allows your company to capture their email address, enabling you to follow-up with automated content and reminders.
- Contact an Agent – Make it easy to convert. You never know when your prospect is ready to buy. Always make sure your content includes this option as well.
Consider using some of your paid search dollars and experiment with promoting your content via search. And consider a newsletter specifically targeted toward small businesses. Help and educate them each month, and even if they don’t choose you this year, you will be front-of-mind when they’re ready next year.