Does your insurance agency have a great logo?

I’d be willing to bet that a lot of insurance agents would say that a great logo needs to be “memorable” and “creative”. While this might be true, having a creative and memorable logo is not an indicator that it will look great when it’s reproduced when printed on an item. A logo that prints well will enhance your agency while a logo that does not print well may hurt your brand.

I started working in printing and promotional products industry in February 1990 and I’ve printed everything from business cards to whoopi cushions to insurance card holders. Most of these items were imprinted with an insurance agency logo. I’ve printed millions of items and I’ve worked with 100’s of logos – some of the logos printed well while others looked terrible.

The characteristics shown below can help you determine if you have a great insurance agency logo. If you don’t have a logo and you’re hiring a designer to create one for you, insist on the following:

  1. The logo needs to be legible at just about any size. This may seem like a simple idea but I’ve seen logos that look great at one size then almost indistinguishable when reduced by as little as 25%.
  2. The logo must first be designed in black and white. When you have something that looks good to you, then you can add the color (or colors) later. There are times when you’ll need to have the logo printed in black or a single color due to cost restrictions. If the logo works in black and white, you’ll have more options on how it’s reproduced later.
  3. If you have a multiple color design, make sure none of the colors touch one another. If the registration is off (i.e.: the alignment of the colors) when the item is printed, it will be very noticeable. Also, touching colors sometimes add to the cost of imprint. Lastly, touching colors makes it difficult to reproduce the logo in one color when necessary.
  4. The logo should be solid colors and not contain any shading or gradients (for example: black that fades into gray). This effect cannot be printed on some items while on others it can make printing cost skyrocket.
  5. The best logos have no fine details or thin lines. They are difficult to reproduce and often get blurry or washed out when the logo is printed small.
  6. Lastly, make sure you acquire the “native vector files”, the PMS colors (ie: Pantone Matching System) of the logo and the names of the fonts used in your logo and the fonts in your logo are “outlined”. Perhaps what I just said is jargon to you, but it’s a language your designer will understand. A good designer should be able to provide these files and information to you. If your designer doesn’t know these terms and cannot provide these files to you, find a new designer. By the way, when you get these files, you most likely will not be able to open them. These files require design software to open them and use them. DON’T DELETE THEM! Simply save them to a drive and email them when requested.

In conclusion, your logo is probably the first thing a prospect sees before they contact you and it’s imperative to make a great first impression. They’ll see your logo on your on all your marketing communications including your website, billboards, printed communications like newspapers, printed collateral like brochures and on promotional items. My advice is to invest some time and money into having a logo designed for your agency that is not only attractive and represents your insurance agency well but also is easily reproduced. It will pay dividends for you over the long haul.

The Elevator Pitch: Sell yourself in less than a minute

Let’s be honest: to the average person, insurance is not very interesting or exciting. Adding insult to injury, I’d be willing to bet that most folks think insurance is a necessary evil and hate paying their premiums. Writing new business in an hypercompetitve marketplace is tough enough but, when folks perceive insurance salespeople as Ned Ryerson from “Groundhog Day”, the task of growing your book is even more challenging.

So, here’s the billion dollar question: how do you go from “I sell insurance” to something that will keep the listener from running away?

I suggest a short, well-designed commercial known as an “elevator pitch.” Imagine getting on an elevator and the person standing next to you asks what you do for a living. You now have less than a minute to spark their interest and hopefully get an opportunity for a future conversation. Wouldn’t it be great to have something planned for such an occasion?

In order to craft the perfect elevator pitch, you first need an intriguing yet vague headline. I suggest something unusual and short. For example, “I have an unusual business in a not so unusual industry” or “If I told you what I did, you won’t believe me” or “I have a niche’ business.” Hitting them with something different like that will create curiosity. If you lead off with “I sell insurance” you run the risk of losing the listener before the conversation even starts.

The next step is to let them know the type of people you want to work with. In one sentence or two, convey to the listener a little bit about your ideal client. Typically, the statement begins with the words “I work with…” Here are some examples: “I work with people who own more than one home” or “I work with people who own homes and businesses in the Wilmington area”. This is your chance to let the listener know what kind of business you’re looking for.

The third step is to give the listener a short example of how you solved a client’s problem. Typically, these statements start off with “A business owner was referred to me looking for ways…” or “I recently helped a client…”. Here’s an example of what a finished statement may sound like: “I recently helped a client who’s financially successful. She purchased a multi-unit dwelling and she needed some options to reduce her liability and protect her other assets.” Be careful, the statement should be no more than 3 sentences otherwise you may sound like you’re selling.

Lastly, you’re going to let them know who you are and that you’re in the insurance business and you need to do it in a way that maintains curiosity. Perhaps it could sound like this: “I’m Bob Smith. I’m in the insurance business. My clients come to me because I have a unique skill in handling complex insurance needs.” The purpose of the statement is to create a distance between you and your competitors by letting the listener know that you specialize.

So here’s what it sounds like when you put the whole thing together:

“I have an unusual business in a not so unusual industry. I work with people who own homes and businesses in the Wilmington area. I recently helped a client who’s financially very successful. She purchased a multi-unit dwelling and she needed some options to reduce her liability and to protect her other assets. I’m Bob Smith. I’m in the insurance business. My clients come to me because I have a unique skill in handling complex insurance needs.”

Finally, here are some ideas to help you create your perfect elevator pitch:

  1. Write several statements for each of the 4 steps. Use them interchangeably depending on the situation. The more ideas you jot down, the more options you’ll have.
  2. When creating the statements, brainstorm about what makes up your perfect client and the problems you’ve solved for them. Saying that you save people money on their insurance will attract price shoppers; saying you work with responsible people may help you insure more responsible people.
  3. Once you have created several statements for each step, practice, practice, practice until you can recite your elevator pitch in your sleep!