Using Content Before, During, & After the Sale
One of your favorite clients calls you and says:
“Hi! I want to refer ABC Bank to you. I told them how you helped us when our health plan costs were getting higher and found another plan that worked better for us and actually saved us money last year. They said I could give you their contact info to reach out.”
This is great news! Your passion is helping employers save money instead of accepting continual rising costs, and here’s another opportunity handed to you to do just that.
What’s your game plan? The obvious answer is to call them up and schedule a meeting ASAP. But, what ELSE are you doing?
One thing you might not be thinking of at this point: content marketing.
When you provide relevant, valuable content to your prospects and clients throughout their experience with you, you're helping to create a lasting relationship. And while 86% of B2C marketers agree and think it’s important, 60% have difficulties creating content regularly.
Content marketing is a marketing strategy in which you develop useful content often in the form of blogs, eBooks, videos, infographics, and more with the intention to educate or provide value to readers.
Below is a video from Content Marketing Institute that describes the history of content marketing:
So, what does content marketing have to do with a referral you already scored a meeting with?
The methodology behind content marketing is all about education. Consumers have instant access to SO MUCH on the internet, so it’s important to figure out how you’re going to tell your story amongst the noise.
With referrals, you’re already a step ahead. You don’t have to wait for them to find you through the noise; you have their attention already.
BUT, the pressure is on to start their experience with you off on the right foot. Let’s talk about how content plays a major role here.
Content to Provide to Referrals
This is your one chance to make a first impression. Even if they're already likely to buy from you, you still need to make your case.
You know from your current client that ABC Bank is facing rising health costs. Think about all of the things you know as an expert in healthcare: what causes rising costs, what are all the different players contributing to in the fight against it, who ISN’T contributing to the fight, what plan options are out there that differ from traditional insurance, etc.
Even if all of this content isn’t 100% relevant to the plan you have in mind for them, it shows your expertise and authority in the space. It also shows you care about educating them and sharing your knowledge.
Content to Provide Before the First Meeting
What types of content could you provide to referrals before the first meeting?
- Brief history of your company, including mission & values—make sure the messaging is client-centric, not just rambling about yourself
- Intro/peek at technology partners you use and why (especially ones the employer and their employees might utilize, as well, like enrollment platforms and health/wellness programs)
- Blogs/articles you’ve written on any industry news that applies to their situation
IMPORTANT: Messaging is SO important when sending this information over to them. For each separate piece you’re sending, explain why it’s relevant to them.
Example: Our mission is to be part of the fight against rising healthcare costs. So, I wanted to share a brief history of where our agency started and where we’ve come so you can better understand our expertise and the value hope to provide to you.
Another example: We believe technology helps us better serve our clients. I thought giving you a glimpse at what technology we use and why might help you see the experience you’ll have with us.
Another example: To do the best we can for our clients, we’re in the fight to lower healthcare costs while bettering healthcare services. I wanted to share an article I recently wrote that explains where brokers can play a part and that also shares the stories of those who were in a similar position that you are currently.
The goal of this content before the meeting is to immediately provide a glimpse into the experience with your agency—it is not about bragging.
First and foremost, the goal of content during the first meeting with a potential client is to educate. Provide content that answers their questions and helps them make a decision.
Content to Provide During the First Meeting
What types of content could you provide to referrals during the first meeting?
- Case studies/stories from current clients—case study templates
- Needs assessment worksheet
- Comparison sheets
- Savings calculator/estimation
- Scenario/modeling worksheets
Example: Thank you again for meeting with me today. I’m excited to talk through your goals and how we can help. I brought a couple tools I think will help guide our conversation—a needs assessment worksheet, some comparison sheets, and some scenario worksheets. I’ll fill these out as we talk!
While you’re there to guide their decision making, content provides a non-biased, factual look at their options. And remember, content comes in many forms—even stories you tell out loud. It’s not always a printed handout.
And even once you close the deal, content is still important.
Content to Provide After the First Meeting
- What types of content could you provide to referrals after they become clients?
- “Welcome” email or handwritten card
- “Welcome” gift
- Important dates handout or calendar of dates you’ll plan to reach out by regarding renewals, etc.
- Option to subscribe to your email newsletter
Example: We’re so excited for the opportunity to work with you and your employees! I wanted to send a little basket of coffee since you told me how your employees love to try different kinds! (personalize the gift & message to what you talked about at the meeting!)
“Surprise them with something — even something small will do.” (HelpScout)
Plus, make sure to find a way to thank the person who referred your new client!
Putting Content Into Practice with Referrals
A referral is not an automatic sale and should be prioritized as highly as, if not more than any new lead that comes in.
With content before, during, and after the meeting, you’re able to tell your agency’s story and demonstrate your value.
Before that first meeting, send the referral content that shows your agency’s expertise and sets the tone for the experience they’ll have with you.
During the meeting, bring tools and stories with you to overcome obstacles and, above all else, educate.
And after the meeting, surprise them with a small gift or message and set expectations for when they’ll hear from you throughout the year.
What other ideas do you have to use content with referrals?
[Guide] Providing Value to Clients: Onboarding, cross-selling, & reporting
In this guide, we discuss the importance of having effective processes around client onboarding, cross-selling, and client reporting. With the right technology, your agency can deliver a positive and truly valuable customer experience.
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