Sheldon Berch, Account Executive at Siegel InsuranceI have been in the insurance business since 1991 –  the first 18+ years doing Life, Disability and Long Term Care insurance; then in 2009, adding the Property and Casualty business. I have also been on LinkedIn for over 10 years.  The first few years I had about 200 to 300 connections.

A few years ago I met with Stacie King to go over some uses of social selling.  Since I had been on LinkedIn for many years, I really didn’t think meeting with Stacie was going to be productive.  However, I agreed to meet with her since I knew her through our Insurance Association.  Stacie helped me understand why having more connections was important.  It wasn’t just who I knew, but it was who the people I know also knew; the second connections.  Quickly my connections grew to 500+.  I started USING social media, versus just being ON social media.  This includes Facebook as well as LinkedIn.

My office receives Internet leads.  Whenever someone contacts me, the first thing I do is see who we have in common.  One time I received a call from someone with an unusual spelling of her last name.  She found Siegel Insurance on the Internet through a Google search of Independent agents.  While we were on the phone, I looked her name up in LinkedIn and Facebook.   It turns out we had 1 person in common on LinkedIn, Michael.  When I mentioned this to her, she replied, “Oh yes, Michael and I went to college together. I think he is getting married soon.”  My reply was, “The wedding was 2 weeks ago, and I was there.” Now, in her mind, I am not just a person she found on the Internet, but someone who knows someone she knows.

Our business is all about relationships.  The more relationships we have, the better the chance of success we have in our business.  Success is helping as many people as we can help be better since they met us.  We are in a personal business.  My clients, who I consider mostly my friends, see me on Social Media and know about me.  I am in their community.  I attend events with them and their families and friends.  They attend our family holidays and events.  We socialize.   They see who I know that they also know.

I understand that in today’s electronic world, people are always researching others who they may be thinking of doing business with.  It is important for my clients to see what I do, and to know who I know.  I also love connecting people I know with one another, which helps them too with their businesses.  I highly encourage everyone who cares about making and keeping relationships, to USE social media and to not just be ON social media.

Guest Author: Sheldon Berch, Account Executive at Siegel Insurance