Adapting Profiling Skills for Commercial Gain

Insurance brokers are well-versed in determining customers’ wants and needs, along with establishing other factors such as affordability, each individual customer’s knowledge of insurance, fact finds, etc.

But how many brokers have considered turning this profiling skill set towards marketing and growth?

Defining a customer’s wants and needs, problems, goals, and so on, is an essential activity in creating a truly customer focused marketing plan, which in turn is a key component of a growing business.

These profiling skills, along with more formal techniques, can be used to create buyer personas which help an organisation to better understand the make-up of their customer base and to also target their marketing activity better.

With many brokers already having this skill set within their business, it is a small step to re-focus profiling into the creation of buyer personas, which seek to answer broad questions in relation to growth, such as:

  • Which type of buyer persona do you most regularly see?
  • Which buyer persona is the most profitable?
  • How do personas change over time?
  • What drives change in buyer personas?

To establish buyer personas, the firm should consider asking the following technique. By asking basic profile questions, a firm can begin to define broad persona types and customer groups. This process can be supported by more formal research methods where required.

The aim is to create a clear picture of core customer groups, which will help to define messages and the selection of targeted marketing activity. For example:

  • Demographics - A brief description:

E.g. Female. 45-55. Married. Family.

  • Job or seniority level and experience:

E.g. Business owner. Director. 0 - 10 years in post. 20 years or more experience.

  • A day in the life of the person you are trying to reach:

E.g. Early start. School run. Arrives at work early, typically first to arrive. Focused on the business throughout the day, juggling customer facing work and admin. Last to leave work. Dinner time rush, then admin duties. Time for exercise or favourite TV show before bed.

  • Pain points. What problems can we solve?

E.g. This person is focused on doing things well, but is typically very busy so has little room for further meetings, which often present conflicts with core business delivery. Working with the client to help manage their priorities will be greatly appreciated e.g. meetings on site.

  • What does the person value most? What are their goals?

Support in helping them run their business efficiently. A stress-free life. Family time.

  • Where does this person go for information? Where should you market?

E.g. Recommendations from family, friends and peers. The internet. Trade press. Social media.

  • What experience would the person expect? What should happen?

We offer a personal, supportive and experienced service. Upon receipt of an enquiry, we should follow up swiftly with a personal phone call to discuss the enquiry further and schedule a formal fact find.

  • Likely questions or objections the person will have?

E.g. Price is a factor. Service and support is equally important. The likely objection would be that they, “don’t have time”, or “are happy with their current provider.” To overcome these objections, detail the benefit of allocating a finite amount of time to a meeting. Use open questions to arrange an initial introduction, etc.

With plenty of customer data and a good understanding of existing clients, most firms should be able to buyer personas and use them to find new customers matching each persona. Where a firm already has a strength within a vertical market, capturing buyer personas will help the firm to attract more customers within that vertical.

It should also be noted that buyer personas are highly transient and will change over time. A prospect that fits within one persona may, due to forces beyond their control, have a vastly different set of wants and needs which will impact on their persona. Firms should ensure that they regularly review buyer persona profiles to maintain a contemporary understanding of market opportunities.

To make this process accessible for all, each buyer persona can be personalised to make them more familiar to the firm.

Once you understand buyer personas, your firm will be better able to identify methods and messages that will resonate with each customer profile and how to communicate with them.

About the author

Tom has worked at RWA for over 12 years, starting as Operations Manager before taking on roles as Operations Director, CEO and most recently as Director leading the company into the digital age.

Before joining RWA, he was involved in helping develop the operations of one of Wales’ fastest growing utility consultancies as well as leading the Key Accounts team of a major commercial energy supplier.

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