To anyone who hears the word ‘symbiosis’ and is immediate transported back to high school biology, I apologize. It’s important to understanding that symbiosis doesn’t just refer to biological relationships, but also inorganic entities like your agency and your referral sources. Adopting a symbiotic business strategy can boost your agency’s visibility and prominence in the local community, as well as attract more prospective clients.
What is Symbiotic Business Strategy?
This is a type of business strategy that focuses on building and maintaining key partnerships with other businesses. As an insurance agent, you probably want to focus on local real estate agencies, roofing specialists, plumping companies, etc. Reach out to these companies and propose a mutual referral program that states you will recommend their organization, and they will do the same for you! Remember, when you think about a symbiotic relationship, think: Mutually advantageous association!
Why do most companies struggle with this?
One thing that independent agencies need to understand is that you cannot create a symbiotic strategy alone. Both companies involved need to respect and understand the value of the partnership in order for it to be successful. Here are some guidelines that independent agents should follow.
Identify the Cost-Benefit:
A symbiotic partnership is formed to solve a problem or fulfill a need. Sometimes one company benefits more than the other — but it does not matter; if both sides can increase their profits and grow the relationship is successful. “Animals don’t work together because it’s ‘cool’ or to ‘diversify their assets,’ they work together because it solves problems,” is how Collabink.com describes symbiotic partnerships. Businesses come together because they can both benefit from each other.
Make it count
The most incredible thing about symbiotic partnerships is that the outcome can never be predicted by looking at the two businesses individually. The only way to ensure the creation of a successful partnership is through dedication and communication. The Harvard Business Review says, “You can’t plan for serendipity, but you can at least create the needed space for the emergent properties for a symbiotic relationship to work for both parties.”
Symbiotic relationships take time to build and maintain but prove their value by generating consistent interest and revenue. It is also a free way to get more people mentioning your agency. Building these relationships also reinforces your presence in the local community, so you are more attuned to the audience and the market you are trying to appeal to. You know what they say: it pays to advertise.