Home > Advertising > Putting out small signs - worth it?

Putting out small signs - worth it?

I just became an insurance agent. The company that I represent really doesn't do a lot as far as advertising. We have telemarketers that blanket certain areas with calls, and any leads generated are distributed to the agents. We were splitting the leads between myself and one other agent. However, my manager just hired two more agents this week so this means that leads are split four ways now instead of two. About half of my leads were ones that I generated, and about half were generated by the telemarketers. Since about 25% of my leads just got cut off, I know I'm going to have to do something to get more of my own.

My company offers predesigned, 2'x3' signs that they can put your name and number on and send to you. They want $190 for 100 signs. Given the nature of the business, I'm not sure how much they will benefit me. I just don't forsee some one stopping at a light, seeing the sign, and dialing my number on their cell phone to ask about insurance. My boss claims to have sold a policy a week from the signs alone when she was in the field selling.

I'm wondering this forum's general opinion on the issue. - by drobs
My opinion is low of those types of street signs. Are you sure it's legal in your area to leave those signs on street corners or other public areas? - by Houston
I am not sure as to legality. I try to work a 5 town radius, and I still need to check with each of those towns because I surely don't want to spend the money for signs and then get fined!

We can only cold call businesses, and the telemarketers work those pretty hard as it is. We don't have an office (the company wants us to hit a certain level of production before they open an office here), so its not like anyone calls the office looking for insurance. I put out some fliers on cars at some big locations, and I got some calls back. Problem is, it was security telling me never to do it again instead of a potential customer. I definately need to come up with some ideas to generate leads if I'm going to stay afloat. - by drobs
drobs,

The street signs will probably alienate more people than anything else. I live in Houston and most of the people I know really are put off by these signs as there are anywhere from 5 to 15 on any given major intersection. They just junk up the place. Most of the salespeople I've spoken to that use them have had little to no response from them.

What type of insurance do you sell? Cold calling isn't going to help if you're just hitting the same places as your telemarketers. And most people aren't going to be looking for insurance from a flier stuck to their windshield. Networking through organizations and associations is a very viable option. Don't think in terms of the chamber because every other insurance agent is doing that. Instead look at industries where people can use your product. If you sell individual health insurance, think of industries that are dominated by small and independent businesses and begin attending their association meetings. If you sell life, many of the same small business people could be prospects.

With targeted business and industry associations you'll find far less competition. Most salespeople tend to think in terms of the chamber and like organizations. Most think industry associations too narrow a market. That works to your favor. Go where your prospects are and if your competition isn't there, that's even better. - by pmccord
My opinion is to leave the signage to the politicians.

Your boss will tell you to use every tool you can - that is his job. The signs might have worked for him - how long ago was it? Attitudes have changed drastically in a short amount of time - anyone heard of telemarketing rage?

I am not an insurance expert, nor claim to be. There is tons of insurance people here who can tell you the tricks of the trade. The one thing that I know is successful in that industry is personal relationships and trust. I know an insurance guy who became "that insurance guy" by being everywhere. He was involved in the Chamber, charities, local sports, and branded his face on every local ball field you could imagine - the result, when you think of insurance, you think of him.

Good luck in your new venture. Again, I am not the insurance guru, but it has some merit. - by Ed Callais
drobs,

Personally, I hate those signs, but I've also heard anecdotal reports that they work (albeit in a different industry than insurance). Depending upon how tight money is for you, I might be inclined to suggest that you go ahead and spring for the signs and give it a good try to see what happens.

But you should know that my marketing bias is sometimes of the "nothing ventured / nothing gained" mindset.

The best to you! - by Skip Anderson
Signs can be eye catching but are not a tangible form of advertising that your potential customers can be reminded of your details whenever they reach for it. Why don't you consider other forms of branding, such as promotional products? This will attract people to your stall and they will be able to walk away with a product that has your details printed on it. Personally I find printed pens to be very affordable and effective. People never throw them away and they are useful. Give it a go, I bet your sales will improve. I have included my supplier as a link for you and I am located in Australia. - by minphat
Can you use direct mail? I would step outside your company and send out direct mail pieces.

As was mentioned above, getting your brand (you) noticed in town will be helpful!

Are you selling to businesses only? How well do you know/understand your target market? Do you have a niche within that target? Can you?

When your potential clients are not at work, what are they doing? Are you there? Is your brand there? How are they learning about you? Do they have your card? Why not?

Hope this helps!

Lance Best - by Lance_Best
Signs can be eye catching but are not a tangible form of advertising that your potential customers can be reminded of your details whenever they reach for it. Why don't you consider other forms of branding, such as promotional products? This will attract people to your stall and they will be able to walk away with a product that has your details printed on it. Personally I find printed pens to be very affordable and effective. People never throw them away and they are useful. Give it a go, I bet your sales will improve. I have included my supplier as a link for you and I am located in Australia.
Hey minphat,

That was your first post! Thanks and welcome! - by Skip Anderson
I sell advertising specialties, which could include the type of signs you are describing.

I'd not recommend this type of advertising. You might consider a magnetic sign on the door of your car.

Because of the laws limiting the use of the phone for cold calling I sell a lot of inexpensive items that work well for insurance agents, real estate agents, loan brokers and such.

Most of them buy imprinted pens, refrigerator magnets, calendars, fly swatters, jar openers, all with their name and contact information on them. They buy minimum quantities, usually 500 each of something so their investment is very low.

The task is to hand out something to everyone you meet. Even consider farming 500 or 1000 homes. We can provide a nice door hanger that separates into a magnetic business card that can be saved on the fridge.

I'm only one of thousands who sell this kind of promotional material. I'd suggest you contact someone local to you, give them a call to sit down to have a cup of coffee to throw some ideas around.

Good luck.

Chuck - by Sales Pro 1000
The marketing methods and materials a salesperson chooses to use send a message of their own. If 'that' message is congruent with your marketing campaign and it's legal and the ROI is there then why not. - by AZBroker
Not knowing what type of insurance you offer, a suggestion I have if you sell home owners or renters insurance:

See if you can do some cross promotion with a local real estate office/agent or send agents prospects.

They/we (I'm an agent) place signs on just about every property listed.

You can get small "rider" signs to place under the agents and they get very good exposure, are legal and may generate quite abit of additional revenue.

I know if I had someone in a supported business sending me leads and business, I'd help promote themselves as well.

Just a thought :) - by jessiesc
See if you can do some cross promotion with a local real estate office/agent or send agents prospects.

They/we (I'm an agent) place signs on just about every property listed.

You can get small "rider" signs to place under the agents and they get very good exposure, are legal and may generate quite abit of additional revenue.
Jessie that is a bang-up idea. A similar idea is placing alliance member's adverts on the back of the property fliers. - by Houston
It is a good idea. - by sreeja
Thanks for the compliments :)

Every once in awhile I get one ;) - by jessiesc
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