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Nov 17, 2018


Episode 17 - Welcome to another episode of the business of insurance podcast.

In the last episode, I was talking with Chris Cline of Westfield Insurance. He was a sponsor and an attendee of the IA&B futures conference and he is the podcast host for his insurance companies podcast called Closing The Gap. Half of the episode was talking about how agents can use podcasts and the other half was talking about how Westfield approaches its agents to provide added value that goes far beyond selling insurance. If you haven’t listened to that episode, I would encourage you to do so.

Click here to listen to my conversation with Chris

I’m trying something new with the IA&B series. I’m going to take a deep dive into one aspect of the conversation with the guests I interview. With Chris, I’m going to talk about podcasting. Not  about how to get started because you can learn more about that in a webinar I’m hosting in December which I’ll let you know more about at the end of this episode or you can check it out in the show notes at


If you want to learn more about how a podcast can open doors for you, join us for a free webinar. Click on the date to access the registration and webinar details.

Friday December 7, 2018  12:00 EST

Monday December 17, 2018 12:00 EST

Friday January 4, 2019  12:00 EST

Monday January 14, 2019  12:00 EST

In this episode, I’m going to talk about using a podcast as a sales tool and I’m going to give you some specifics to think about. A podcast is like a sales tactic that you make an investment in. Like attending a trade show or advertising in a magazine. Except in this case, you are creating a podcast to get in front of prospects.

In my opinion, aside from being a great sales tool, your marketing department can do so much with the content of a podcast that they will love you for coming up with this idea! I’m not going to dive into that part, but if you want to learn more about the concept, listen to my interview with Sydney Roe. In that conversation, we covered what you can do with a podcast fairly well. If you don’t have a marketing department, we should talk!

If you are intrigued about starting a podcast as a sales took keep in mind that this shouldn’t be a advertisement about your agency. If you want to mention your agency as the sponsor, that would be a fantastic. But other than as a brief infomercial, your agency should not be the focus.

If you are looking for an example of adding your agency as the sponsor, listen to the last episode where I am talking with Chris. In the middle of the conversation I talk about Constant Contact for 30 seconds. They were my sponsor and I gave them a plug. It was genuine and authentic, hopefully it didn’t come across as salesy! . You can create the sponsorship ad however you want and maybe I’ll cover that in another episode. If you create a show about you and your agency you are defeating the purpose if what I”m talking about here.

The podcast that I’m talking about creating should be something that would be appealing to your niche. (you could make this general, but honestly, the niches are in the riches) You want to focus on the people that you want as your clients.

Yes, there are people out there who talk about themselves all day long but that’s not what I’m referring to here and I don’t think that is the way you want to use the podcast as a sales tool. In my conversation with Chris at Westfield, he said they use the podcast to provide value to their agents. I think what they are doing is great, they are providing information. To me, that’s more of a marketing tool and I think Chris would agree. If they used it to interview agents that they wanted to represent them, then it would be more of a sales tool, in my opinion.

Are you wondering how you can do this? I’m going to give you some examples for both personal lines agents and commercial lines agents. My intent is to inspire. There are so many possibilities. If you target your niche right, you can focus on high end prospects and really hit a home run.

Think about this…..As a sales person, one of the biggest challenges is getting in front of prospects who don’t know you. Right. You call them, they don’t call you back. You email them and it’s crickets, you send them snail mail and you end up in the round filing bin! If you think about the concept, people need to know, like and trust you before they will do business with you. If you can’t get in front of them to talk to them, how can they get to know and like you? The trust part generally follows after that!

One of the best ways to get people’s attention is to appeal to their ego. When you reach out to them and ask them to be a guest on your podcast, I guarantee you, that if you position your ask correctly, 80% or more people will say yes!

Think about it...what’s your hit rate for cold calling? What about the advertising you do! How many dollars do you invest with the publication only to be recognized?

So let’s start with commercial agents and I’m going to give you 3 examples in completely different industries.

Let’s say you are selling to construction contractors.

What if you created a show around company culture and how it impacts the organizations hiring, employee retention, safety programs, etc. You might talk to companies about how they find employees, what they are doing to attract them to work for them, or what does their safety program consist of. Imagine a contractor with a tight safety program and no losses. They are your ideal clients from an underwriting perspective!

Another idea for contractors would be a show around finished projects or a project that has just begun. What their role in the project, what challenges did they face and what successes did they have. Feature them as the contractor on a project and then take pictures of their work to promote with the podcast. If you have a smartphone, this is easy!

Let’s say you are selling to government contractors - specifically those in technology. Your podcast could be around getting government contracts and the ins and outs. Maybe it’s a panel type of show where you bring on a government contractor and a contracting officer to discuss the success each has working together. what challenges your host has in getting the contracts.

What if your target market is accounting firms. Your podcast could be very similar to how this one started out (listen to episode 1 with our original plan and what you’ll see more of outside of the series) What does the accountant love about the industry and why do they think others would enjoy working as an accountant. Everyone has a story about how they got to where they are. If it is the prospect you want as a client, get the story recorded and promote the agency!

Another idea for accountants that is similar to the panel idea for govcon is to bring a business owner and an accountant together, maybe it’s the businessowners accountant and talk about how they work together, what they love and what they wish would work a little better! Depending on your spin, you could make it a bit like a reality show. Most accountants are fairly conservative, so you’d have to be creative in finding the fun!

You double your prospecting with both on the panel!

Let’s say you are focusing on medical supplies. You could create a show around how the owner got started or you could create a show around marketing challenges of medical supply companies! big pharm. So many possibilities!

What do you think? Are you inspired?

Think about who you really want to be doing business with, who’s your niche? Golf courses, car dealerships, surgeons. The possibilities are endless!

If you don’t have a niche, then we need to have another conversation but assuming you do, or you have an industry you want to target, that’s what you want to create your podcast around. It’s an incredible door opener.

There are some people who are already producing shows in these niches so you might partner with them to do the interviews so that you can get in front of the prospect but run the show under someone else's brand!

Now let’s talk about creating a podcast for those of you in personal lines. The first thing I would have you think about is, What is your passion or interest. Pets, sports, boating, hiking, golf, cars? Creating a podcast around something you love will make it more fun and keep you going. If you don’t have any hobbies or passions, then here’s a few ideas to get you thinking.

What if you created a podcast about the non profits in your community? You could interview the volunteer coordinators, executive directors or CFO’s about different aspects of the non profit.

Another idea around the non profits would be to interview the volunteers or donors. Why did they choose that non profit and what’s their passion. The non profit would love the extra attention that they’d potentially receive from your podcast and would most likely be eager to be interviewed. Now you are in front of them, building a relationship with them and when everything is over you can mention insurance.

You could also do a podcast around the events in your area. From music festivals to car shows, running events to charity balls. All of these events will have people there. Interview them. Get their contact information and tell them you will follow up with them when the episode goes live so that they can hear themselves. With their contact information, you can now call them and talk to them about their insurance.

So let's break down a couple of these examples so you can see the bigger potential..

Some running events have over 1,000 people. But even if they only had 100, that’s not a bad number. Obviously you can’t interview all of them, but imagine if you did a podcast on runners. They all have a story. I started running at 54 and I never had any desire to run. I was somewhat guilted into running, then I became hooked and I just ran my first (and only) marathon. I just ran the NYC marathon, which was really cool. I’ll put a picture of my medal on the business of insurance fb page if you are curious..

I can’t speak for all runners, but most of us have a story. Why do we get up at the crack of dawn or run in the freezing cold or the hot humid summer. What has running done for the runner and why do they keep going? From an insurance perspective, once you finish your interview you could ask about disability insurance. They get injured. Not all are out of work for months, but it’s an ice breaker to get the conversation started! You can design a short show or a long show but it will put you directly in front of your prospects. Every running race has at least 100 people and dozens of volunteers. Many cities have a race almost every weekend, providing you with an unlimited list of prospects! Something to think about.

What if you did a podcast around charity events in your area. Interview the attendees. Why are people attending the event and what is their connection. Not all attendees will have a direct connection but usually people attend these events because someone or something in their life has been impacted by the organization and they are there to support it. If you play your cards right, you might even be able to get a press pass to the event!

If you are looking for other ideas on what to create a podcast about that would put you in front of a lot of people, look at meetups in your area. Hopefully one of the activities will inspire you.

The podcast you create is designed to put you in front of people who can potentially become your clients. Create a show about something they are interested in and they’ll talk forever. Now you know them and they know you. They will feel like you care about them and they’ll most likely let you have a conversation with them about insurance.

Are you feeling inspired? Ready to go start a podcast? If you are spending hours dialing for dollars with no success, consider a podcast!

My intent with this episode wasn’t to tell you how to create a podcast but to get you thinking about how you can use the podcast as a prospect/sales tool. Getting started with a podcast isn’t difficult nor is it expensive. Depending on your recording ability, there might be an expense (or your time) involved with post production, but it is minimal. If you want to learn more, check out my webinar that coming in December. It’s free, all you need to do is register. Go to the business of insurance and look for this episode for the registration link. If you are listening to this after December, check a few of the recent episodes and you’ll probably find  a link to another webinar. I plan to do at least one a month in 2019.


If you want to learn more about how a podcast can open doors for you, join us for a free webinar. Click on the date to access the registration and webinar details.

Friday December 7, 2018  12:00 EST

Monday December 17, 2018 12:00 EST

Friday January 4, 2019  12:00 EST

Monday January 14, 2019  12:00 EST



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This episode of the Business of Insurance is produced and hosted by Debbie DeChambeau, CIC, AAI, CPIA. Debbie is an insurance agent with an extensive business and marketing background. Her focus is helping insurance professionals be more successful. She is the co-author of Renewable Referrals and hosts two other podcasts  Select Business Team and Divorce Exposed. Connect with Debbie on LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram.