Onabanjo Babajide Consultant at Microsoft inc. Phone: +1 213-599-3276 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Especially in niche markets that you believe in (hardware & crypto, for example). If you know someone well enough you might get access with $50k–$100k, which is what you would put on 2–3 deals anyway. They’re going to do a better job than you do (although I’m not saying they’ll provide a great return…
Call me for more info...
Senior Branding Specialists are more seasoned writers and are LinkedIn experts. They offer a high-level, professional experience from start to finish. Your Senior Branding Specialist will create a unique and compelling profile that spotlights your background, experiences, and brands you as a high-level individual.
The following article focuses on importance of validating your marketplace idea and enlists a few steps to validate your marketplace idea.
Hi Entrepreneurs! In an earlier article, we discussed different ways to generate online marketplace ideas. By this point, I believe, you have already finalized on your big marketplace idea. But before we can go ahead and build the marketplace, let’s answer a simple question.
Why do 90% of startups fail?
Industry experts attribute the failure to a lot of varied reasons. I have mentioned a related article towards the end of this article. One of the major factors is lack of validation of the marketplace idea. Validation of ideas is vital to all businesses alike; an online marketplace is no different. But it is easier said than done. Everybody thinks their idea is genius. Let’s call it The Entrepreneur Syndrome. So how do you overcome the hurdle? Let’s take a quick walk through some questions which would help you understand the steps to validate your marketplace idea.
1) Is Your Online Marketplace Solving A Problem?
This is the first of the steps to validate your marketplace idea; probably the only question that you need to keep asking yourself. Unless you are solving a problem, it makes no sense in going ahead on the journey of creating an online marketplace. A lot of online marketplaces (about 40% ) close down in the first 6 months of operation because they did not solve any problem. In some cases, there was no problem to be solved.
Steps To Validate Marketplace Idea
To get an honest answer to this question:
1) List down all your assumptions pertaining to the problem. Every Single One.
2) Interview a few people, the more the better, if they are facing a similar issue.
3) Ask them how are they tackling the issue at the moment.
4) Look online if there are any existing solutions in your target market.
If not, check if your solution solves every issue. And if there exists, check if your solution offers any additional value.
Do Not Reinvent The Wheel
2) Is There A Market For The Online Marketplace?
Before launching any product, you must analyse if there is a market for your solution. A key metric is to calculate the total addressable market (TAM). In simple words, it is the total revenue you will make if all the users of your product in your target market would use your product. The more niche your marketplace, the smaller the TAM. Once you have the TAM, it becomes easier to qualify your marketplace idea.
Since a marketplace is a two-sided market, you have to look at both sets of consumers. If there is a market for only one of them, the marketplace is bound to fail. One way to find out if there exists a market is talking to people. Interviewing your potential customers would help you understand if there is a market for your solution.
Steps To Validate Marketplace Idea
Rob Infantino, the CEO of OpenBay, a marketplace for the discovery of local services, said “After formulating the idea for this online marketplace, I got out of the building and spoke to potential users of the service. The idea needed validation by real users. Since I was planning to build a two-sided marketplace, I had to speak to vehicle owners and automotive service providers, both of whom consistently offered valuable feedback about their challenges, their needs and what they’d want to see. “
Creating A Market For Your Product Is Like Creating A Car For The Wheel.
3) Are People Looking For Solutions?
Often in the entrepreneurial zeal, we forget to analyze if people are actually looking for solutions. There might be an existing problem in your market but unless people feel it is causing enough inconvenience to look for solutions, it will never work out.
One way of understanding if people are looking for solutions is looking for search engine searches in your target market. Search Engines like Google offer platforms to analyse search queries. Once you have a comprehensive list of users looking for solutions, you can ascertain that there will be a demand for your marketplace. Another way, a more traditional approach, is to interview people.
Alex Brola, co-founder of CheckMaid.com, that runs an online on-demand cleaning service said ” We actually validated [the idea] without having any cleaners to do the cleanings. We threw up a site, a booking form, a phone number, and ran some ads through Google and Bing, and saw what the conversion rate would be had we actually had cleaners.”
Nobody Pays For A Great Idea, People Pay For Solutions
4) Would People Pay For The Online Marketplace Solution?
One of the last steps to validate is to actually understand if people will pay for the online marketplace. Most people, especially friends and family, think every idea is great. But ask them if they would pay for the solution and most would say No. The online marketplace would only make business sense if you have a set of customers adding transactional value to it. To understand different revenue models in a marketplace, read a related article.
Steps To Validate Marketplace Idea
Mike Matousek, Founder of Flashnotes.com, that offers a marketplace for study guides and class notes said “I started creating these detailed study guides for our exams and sold my final exam guides for $10 a piece. Not only did they sell, I was literally hunted down on campus by more and more of my classmates — easily making over $1,000. After this initial interest, I knew I was onto something and had my friends test out the idea of selling study material in their own classes.”
These were just 4 questions, the answers to which would help you understand the steps to validate your marketplace idea. The list may not be exhaustive but paints a pretty broad picture of the process of validating your marketplace idea. There are many other viewpoints on the same topic which would help you in validating your marketplace idea. Here is one of them.
There are many reasons besides lack of validation that result in failure of marketplaces. Here is an article by 500 highlighting some of the major ones.
If there is something that I have missed, please do leave a comment.
7 Niche Marketing Ideas for Specialized Businesses
Last updated: August 29, 2017
If you’re a marketer working in a highly specialized niche, you might be wondering about how you can maximize your impact and make your mark. Some marketers mistakenly believe that being in a niche industry is a disadvantage, but it’s all about how you look at it.
Niche marketing Homer Simpson magazine holder's magazine
Being a glass-half-full kind of guy, I thought I’d offer some smart, proven niche marketing tips to poor, beleaguered marketers working in very specialized industries. Follow these seven smart strategies to get the most out of your niche marketing campaigns.
1. Know Your Target Niche Market Inside Out
Just because your product or service only appeals to a narrow range of people doesn’t mean you can be lazy when it comes to researching your target market. In fact, running a business offering a product with limited or niche appeal can make it even more difficult to figure out who your ideal customer actually is.
Niche marketing Dilbert target marketing comic strip
Segmentation is crucial to defining a smaller target market for a niche business. It’s not enough to know the basics – age range, income, marital status – without a deeper understanding of more granular attributes your target markets might have. The smaller your market, the better you have to know your customers.
Niche Marketing Example: Vermont Wooden Toys
One company that really knows its target market is Vermont Wooden Toys.
Niche Marketing Vermont Wooden Toys
Ron Voake, proprietor of Vermont Wooden Toys. Image via NBC News
Vermont Wooden Toys, based in the verdant countryside of the Green Mountain State, doesn’t have a flashy website. Most of their orders are taken over the phone. The only online payment offered is PayPal. The best part? Their customers don’t care about any of that in the slightest.
Craftsmanship, dedication, and a fondness for days gone by are what Vermont Wooden Toys’ customers expect, and that’s exactly what they get. Each piece is handcrafted by proprietor Ron Voake, who knows that his customers aren’t looking for bells and whistles – they want authentic, handmade toys made with love.
Voake’s business attracts a diverse clientele – predominantly parents, perhaps obviously – but he also knows that the type of person who buys from him values time, skill, and craft. As such, they’re willing to pay for quality products.
Many of Voake’s customers also value their children’s safety in the highest regard – so much so that, following a major product recall of children’s toys in 2007 over lead paint fears, customers began flocking to Vermont Wooden Toys in droves. The surge in interest even caught the eye of The New York Times and NBC News, providing Voake and his company with the kind of publicity and free marketing money can’t buy.
Get our Free Download! Hacking AdWords: How to Get a NEAR Perfect Quality Score
2. Solve Your Customers’ Problems
In addition to knowing everything there is to know about your niche market, it’s also vital to know how your product or service will fulfill a need not currently being met by another company in your industry. What makes your business so special? What’s your unique selling proposition? How are you taking care of your customers?
Niche marketing solving customer problems
Small, crowded markets are just as competitive – if not more so – than their larger counterparts. For this reason, it’s essential that you genuinely think of the customer first, and make this commitment to excellence a cornerstone of your niche marketing strategy.
Niche Marketing Example: Pansy Maiden
Few small businesses I know of operating in the niche marketing space know how to take care of their customers quite like Pansy Maiden, a handmade bag and accessory business based right here in Boston.
Niche marketing Pansy Maiden bags
All of Pansy Maiden’s products are vegan (PETA-approved, no less), meaning that they appeal to a highly specific type of customer (see point 1). However, while Pansy Maiden certainly know their target market, it’s their consistently excellent approach to customer service and putting the customer first that sets them apart.
Pansy Maiden maintains an active social media presence, and they frequently thank and interact with their customers on a personal level, further strengthening their perception in the eyes of both existing and potential customers.
Pansy Maiden also go to great lengths to accommodate special requests, such as timely orders for special occasions. Overall, doing business with Pansy Maiden is a genuine pleasure, and one that has enabled the business to expand its loyal customer base in just a few short years.
3. Rethink How You Spread the Word About Your Business…
Niche marketing isn’t like “regular” marketing, only smaller – it requires an entirely new approach to how you spread the word about what you’re offering. It’s crucial that you assess the strengths of any marketing channel in relation to your business.
Niche marketing spreading the word
For example, social media advertising has proven increasingly lucrative for small businesses operating in niche markets. However, the granularity of the targeting options offered by Twitter, Facebook and the like may not necessarily be cost-effective for your business, as social media platforms know exactly how valuable these targeting options can be. If this is the case, paid search might be a more viable solution. Whatever your situation, you need to scrutinize the potential return on investment of any niche marketing strategy to ensure that you’re reaching your target market in a cost-effective way.
Niche Marketing Example: Powell’s Books
When it comes to mastery of social media, Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon, knows a thing or two about self-promotion.
Niche marketing Powell's Books twitter page
You could be forgiven for thinking that a bookseller isn’t a niche business, but you’d be wrong. Selling books requires an extraordinary breadth of knowledge and a great deal of strategy, both of which Powell’s has in spades – it’s not known as “the legendary independent bookstore” for nothing.
In addition to actively supporting local authors, Powell’s also contributes to online discussions about books and literature in general, uses hashtags to great effect through giveaways and other promotions, and even highlights the work of other independent bookstores across the country. Powell’s social media marketing plan, combined with its remarkable commitment to books and its customers, have earned it a cult following across the U.S., and for good reason.
4. …And Invest in PPC Advertising
If you’re offering a niche, boutique product to a small market, paid search is virtually essential.
Maybe you’re already sold on the concept of PPC. If not, stop and think about it for a second. Somewhere, out there, someone wants what you’re selling – yes, even that.
Niche marketing cat hanger
PPC is perfect for niche marketing campaigns. Include long-tail queries as well as high commercial intent keywords, optimize your campaigns for mobile (and be sure to make use of the appropriate ad extensions), and get your message in front of the right people.
Niche Marketing Example: Lefty’s San Francisco
Even though one-in-ten people are left-handed, products for the southpaw in your life could still be considered a niche market. Many small businesses claim that PPC doesn’t work for them, or that they can’t compete with the big retailers, but in many cases, that simply isn’t true. Case in point, San Francisco-based left-handed retail specialist Lefty’s.
Niche marketing Lefty's Left-Handed Store San Francisco
Lefty’s San Francisco. Image by Reese Dixon.
In addition to ranking strongly on organic search terms, Lefty’s is leaving nothing to chance, and also invests in PPC advertising for search terms that southpaws are likely to be using, including this example below:
Niche marketing left-handed scissors SERP
Lefty’s is a great example of a business that is covering all its bases. This small store on San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf proves that PPC can be highly valuable for small businesses, especially those catering to niche markets.
5. Keep Tabs on Your Niche Marketing Competitors
For businesses in niche markets, it’s vital to know what your competitors are up to. Fortunately, you don’t need to resort to corporate espionage to get the dirt on what’s working for other companies in your niche. In fact, you don’t even need to leave your office.
Niche marketing competitive intelligence
Image via Lifehacker
Numerous software tools – including WordStream Advisor – offer competitive intelligence that can yield remarkable insights into what niche marketing strategies your competition is using, and which are working. Other tools you can use to snoop on your competitors include Adbeat, MixRank, and WhatRunsWhere.
Niche Marketing Example: GetOutfitted
Colorado-based winter sports clothing rental company GetOutfitted knew that AdWords was a potential win for them – they just didn’t know how. After trying to manage their PPC campaign themselves, they decided to enter a competition that WordStream ran last year. Little did they know how much this would change their business.
Niche marketing GetOutfitted homepage
After running the AdWords Performance Grader on their AdWords account, GetOutfitted’s VP of Marketing, Kristi Anderson, discovered how her PPC campaigns stacked up against similar businesses.
Kristi learned the importance of negative keywords, how to manage her daily budget more effectively, and several other valuable lessons that helped GetOutfitted more than double their Quality Score, achieve a CTR 24 times higher than it was before running the Grader, and improve the positioning of their ads, among other improvements.
To see how WordStream’s AdWords Performance Grader helped GetOutfitted, read the full case study here. Alternatively, evaluate the strength of your own AdWords account for free in 60 seconds or less!
6. Be Open to New Opportunities
Just because you’re in a niche market doesn’t mean you can’t think about expansion or ways to improve what you’re offering. It’s crucial that you do what you do well, but don’t discount the possibilities of opening up your product line or serving new target markets.
However, while it’s a good idea to consider expansion, it’s just as important to think about whether doing so is viable. Can you afford to take a chance on a new product line? What about test marketing an existing product or service to a new demographic? Experimentation can lead to valuable new opportunities, but only do so if you can afford to conduct a thorough evaluation of your new ideas without compromising the quality of your existing products and the standard of your service.
Niche Marketing Example: Long Made Co.
Husband-and-wife team Jamie and Carissa Long are the proprietors of Long Made Co., a boutique home lighting business based in Houston, Texas.
Niche marketing Long Made Co.
The Longs have been making custom lighting solutions together since launching their company in 2012. Having grown their business through popular online marketplace Etsy, the Longs are now looking to move beyond the lighting vertical to include home furnishings and décor.
However, they are still gauging the market for such products, and are continuing to pour everything they have into running their business the way they have – with a dedication to craftsmanship, and a commitment to providing quality customer service.
7. Listen to Your Customers – REALLY Listen
You might think that nobody knows your business better than you, but you’re wrong – your customers do.
Niche marketing listen to your customers
Even the best-laid niche marketing plan is doomed to fail unless you’re committed to genuinely listening to your customers. Don’t worry about having to ask them what they think – they’ll tell you.
If you’re not using social media as a niche marketer, start. Right now. Social media is simply unbeatable for instantaneous feedback on your product or service and how well you’re doing at keeping your customers happy. If a customer has a problem, do everything in your power to solve it as quickly as possible. It’s hard to understate how important this is – just because your operation may be small or you’re marketing a niche product doesn’t mean you can slack off when it comes to taking care of your customer base.
Yes, monitoring online mentions of your business is time-consuming. However, it’s a hell of a lot less work than mitigating the damage of a negative review, fighting a tide of critical tweets, or trying to convince new customers that you really do care when your previous actions say otherwise. Word of mouth marketing is incredibly powerful – when things are going well. In niche marketing, you need to listen carefully to what people are saying, and act immediately to rectify your mistakes.
Niche Marketing Example: Wistia
As one of the most awesome companies out there, video hosting firm Wistia rarely have to go groveling for forgiveness on social media. However, that doesn’t mean that Wistia isn’t constantly listening to its customers and providing them with what they really want.
In this example, Wistia recently expanded the number of videos that members with a free account could host on the service from three to fifty. The response on social media was immediate and overwhelmingly positive – and Wistia was quick to act on the goodwill.
.@philcampbell @csavage Love back at ya from Cambridge! pic.twitter.com/ZHfmStqdH0
— WISTIA (@wistia) October 21, 2014
Since launching their free plan just two years ago, Wistia has expanded its user base from 3,000 to more than 110,000. This kind of success simply isn’t possible unless you listen to your customers, provide them with an excellent product, and remain committed to their success and not just your own. Wistia knows that customer happiness is everything – even customers who aren’t paying subscribers. This kind of responsiveness not only generates a lot of positive buzz, it also helps businesses with small (or nonexistent) budgets grow, a win-win for everybody.
‘Niche’ Rhymes with ‘Quiche’
So, there you have it – seven tips for nailing niche marketing. If you’re a marketer working in a highly specialized field, I’d love to hear what strategies have been working for you.
How to lower car insurance — in 4 steps
Step 1: Find how much coverage you need
Most U.S. states — besides New Hampshire and Virginia — require you to get car insurance as well as a certain amount of liability coverage you need.
When it comes to the amount of liability that’s required, you’ll typically need to find coverage in three areas:
Bodily injury (per person). This is the amount that is covered for each person who gets hurt during an accident.
Bodily injury (total). The most an insurance company will cover for bodily injury per accident.
Property damage (total). This does not include your own property. This amount only covers the damage sustained to the property of others.
Though every state requires you to get a certain amount of liability coverage, the full amount of the coverage varies.
Here’s a comprehensive list of car insurance minimum coverage requirements for each state (e.g., Alabama requires $25,000 for bodily injury per person).
STATE BODILY INJURY (PER PERSON) BODILY INJURY (TOTAL) PROPERTY DAMAGE (TOTAL)
AL $25,000 $50,000 $25,000
AK $50,000 $100,000 $25,000
AZ $15,000 $30,000 $10,000
AR $25,000 $50,000 $25,000
CA $15,000 $30,000 $5,000
CO $25,000 $50,000 $15,000
CT $20,000 $50,000 $25,000
DE $25,000 $50,000 $10,000
FL Not required Not required $10,000
GA $25,000 $50,000 $25,000
HI $20,000 $40,000 $10,000
ID $25,000 $50,000 $15,000
IL $25,000 $50,000 $20,000
IN $25,000 $50,000 $25,000
IA $20,000 $40,000 $15,000
KS $25,000 $50,000 $25,000
KY $25,000 $50,000 $25,000
LA $15,000 $30,000 $25,000
ME $50,000 $100,000 $25,000
MD $30,000 $60,000 $15,000
MA $20,000 $40,000 $5,000
MI $20,000 $40,000 $10,000
MN $30,000 $60,000 $10,000
MS $25,000 $50,000 $25,000
MO $25,000 $50,000 $20,000
MT $25,000 $50,000 $20,000
NE $25,000 $50,000 $25,000
NV $25,000 $50,000 $20,000
NH* $25,000 $50,000 $25,000
NJ $15,000 $30,000 $5,000
NM $25,000 $50,000 $10,000
NY $25,000 $50,000 $10,000
NC $30,000 $60,000 $25,000
ND $25,000 $50,000 $25,000
OH $25,000 $50,000 $25,000
OK $25,000 $50,000 $25,000
OR $25,000 $50,000 $20,000
PA $15,000 $30,000 $5,000
RI $25,000 $50,000 $25,000
SC $25,000 $50,000 $25,000
SD $25,000 $50,000 $25,000
TN $25,000 $50,000 $15,000
TX $30,000 $60,000 $25,000
UT $25,000 $65,000 $15,000
VT $25,000 $50,000 $10,000
VA** $25,000 $50,000 $20,000
WA $25,000 $50,000 $10,000
D.C. $25,000 $50,000 $10,000
WV $25,000 $50,000 $25,000
WI $25,000 $50,000 $10,000
WY $25,000 $50,000 $20,000
*(Coverage is optional but this is the minimum if you purchase it)
**(Required if you choose to purchase coverage. If not, you must pay a $500 uninsured motorists fee)
Other coverage options
Aside from state requirements regarding liability, most car insurers will provide five other coverage options. Deciding which ones you want is a matter of personal preference and factors like how old your car is.
The coverages are:
Uninsured motorists. Some states require you to be insured to protect against uninsured motorists. This coverage helps you in the event that you get into an accident with someone who isn’t insured and can’t pay for your car repair and/or medical bills.
Medical costs. If you’re injured in an accident, the insurance company will pay some or all of your medical bills (depending on the coverage and how much the bill is).
Personal injury protection. Like uninsured motorists coverage, some states require you to get this as a minimum. This pays for any medical expenses or lost wages you might encounter due to a collision.
Collision. This coverage typically protects your vehicle against collisions with other motorists or objects. Good if you’re prone to accidentally backing up into the mailbox.
Comprehensive. This coverage tends to cover the whole gamut of things that might happen to your car such as hail, water, and fire damage; if it gets stolen; vandalism; or total destruction. I wouldn’t suggest getting this coverage if your car is already pretty old or isn’t worth much.
As I discussed in my article on how much auto insurance you need, I highly suggest you get collision and comprehensive coverage as well. Along with liability insurance, you’ll be insured against the likeliest of events that will occur to you and your car.
There’s even a good chance you’ll need those policies anyway if you’re leasing your vehicle.
So consider your options and decide what you want out of your insurance coverage. Once you do that, you’ll be ready for step two.
Step 2: Find your current plan
If you don’t have your current plan in front of you, how can you know how to lower your car insurance?
That’s why you need to find out what your current policy looks like. Go digging through the glove compartment for it, check your files, or call your insurance company. This is important information you can leverage when negotiating with your current insurance provider.
At the very least, you need to know how much you’re paying and for what services.
Here are the numbers of the most popular car insurance providers that you can use to call to find out your policy now.
State Farm: 1-800-STATE-FARM (1-800-782-8332)
By now you should have your policy in front of you. This includes what type of car insurance coverage you have as well as your deductibles and how much you’re paying in premiums.
You’re now ready to begin comparing it with other car insurers.
Step 3: Shop around
To start, you can use a rate comparer tool such as this one to compare quotes from different insurers.
I prefer talking to a rep on the phone, though, because they always tell me about other deals that the websites don’t offer.
When consulting with a rep or looking up quotes online, be sure to find out how much exactly you’ll be paying in these two areas:
Premiums. This is the price you’ll pay for your plan. Typically, insurers offer 6-month and 12-month policies, and provide options for payment plans including paying for coverage all at once, quarterly, or month by month.
Deductibles. This is the portion you’ll pay out of pocket before your insurer pays the rest.
Not many people know this but you can actually lower your premiums by opting for higher deductibles. According to a report from InsuranceQuotes.com, you can lower premiums by 9% by raising deductibles from $500 to $1,000.
This is all a matter of personal preference though. If you’re a good driver and/or don’t typically drive your car often, opt for higher deductibles for lower premiums.
If you’re accident prone, drive a lot, or have kids that plan to learn how to drive soon, definitely opt for the lower deductible.
No matter the case, you should know exactly the coverage you want along with the limits for each. That way it makes everything much simpler to compare.
To help keep everything organized, you can use an Excel or Google Spreadsheet. Here’s a good template to leverage during your search.
Once you get a few solid quotes, compare them to what you’re currently paying. You’re going to be able to make a sound argument with your insurance rep as to why you should get a lower rate once you do.
Which brings us to…
Step 4: Lower your car insurance with this script
Now it’s finally time to call up insurance reps — including the one you currently have — and negotiate an awesome deal with scripts.
This is the meat of how to lower car insurance payments.
Before you do that, though, there are two things to keep in mind when speaking to a representative.
Stay polite — but firm. Don’t just call up the rep and scream, “GIVE ME LOWER CAR INSURANCE!!!!” (I’ve tried, it doesn’t end well.) You need to handle the negotiation with finesse and civility — even if the representative is short with you. Nothing throws a wrench into negotiations quite like pissing off the one person who can help you.
This is not a win/lose situation. You can’t just make a demand and expect the person to give it to you. However, insurance companies are willing to offer discounts to make or keep high-value customers. Prepare to make your case as to why you’re such a good customer and you’ll see results.
Keep those two things in mind when you call up the representative and I promise you, you’ll find a great deal.
Renegotiate your current policy
If you already have a car insurance policy but just want to negotiate for better rates, use the following script.
ACME INSURANCE: Hello, Acme Insurance. How may I help you today?
YOU: I’d like to negotiate a policy. [Other insurance company] is offering to insure me for $XXX less for [coverage]. I’d like to know if there’s a better deal from you, please.
Wait for their response. Negotiating with this technique is much harder to do with car insurance companies than banks — but it is possible. If they’re stubborn and try to shoot you down, keep pressing at it. Don’t make it easy for them to say no.
ACME INSURANCE: Sorry, but our rates are fixed at this time and we can’t change it due to [some BS excuse about why they can’t give you a lower rate].
YOU: Well, I’ve been a good driver for X years now and would love a lower rate. What else can you do to help me?
ACME INSURANCE: Hmm, one second sir. I see that you’re a really good customer. I’m going to check with my supervisor. Can you hold for a second?
I was able to check with my supervisor and can lower that policy by X%. Does that work?
Getting a response like that is the best-case scenario. However, there might be the chance that they deny you a discount based on this tactic alone. If this happens, I suggest you do the following:
Don’t stop until you get a yes. Persistence is integral in negotiations. If you keep at it and make a strong case, they’ll be backed into a position where they’ll want to give you what you want.
Try again later. Like the Magic 8-Ball says, sometimes you just have to try again later. If the first car insurance rep keeps shutting you down, thank them for their time, hang up, and dial again for a new rep. This one might be a little more amenable to your suggestions.
Refocus your negotiations. If they won’t give you a discount because their competitors are offering better rates, don’t worry. There are still other ways to get fantastic deals — which I’ll go into in the next section.
This isn’t the only way to get a lower car insurance rate, though. By asking certain questions, you’ll be able to unlock deals you didn’t even know existed.
Negotiate a new policy
You might be searching for your first car insurance policy ever. Or you might be looking to see what’s better than your current one.
No matter the case, it’s time to start digging deep and asking detailed questions to uncover the savings these companies have hidden from you. The majority of people won’t even ask questions like these, so reps will be caught off guard — giving you the advantage.
First, you’re going to want to start the same as above. Here it is again.
ACME INSURANCE: Hello, Acme Insurance. How may I help you today?
YOU: I’d like to negotiate a policy. [Other insurance company] is offering to insure me for $XXX less for [coverage]. I’d like to know if there’s a better deal from you, please.
If they shoot you down, remember you can always:
Reiterate the fact that you want a better deal and keep persisting.
Hang up the phone and call back to negotiate with a different rep.
If one insurance company refuses to budge after three to five calls, change course and call a different one on your list. Rinse and repeat until you have a lower insurance policy.
10 scripts for lowering car insurance
If you get the lower rate — or even if you don’t — you can refocus the negotiations and start asking for the hidden deals that many car insurers don’t tell you about.
Here are 10 good scripts to ask to uncover those gems:
“How much would I save if I insure my car and house with you?” Some insurers will discount you if you insure your house through them as well as your car.
“What about renewal discounts? What can you offer me as a discount for long-term membership?” Reminding them of the fact that you’re looking to be a longtime customer goes a long way in ingratiating yourself to them.
“Can I save money by prepaying my entire year up front?” Many insurers will offer huge policy discounts if you prepay for an entire year.
“Let’s check my car. I know other firms offer discounts for features like anti-lock brakes. What about you?” Not many people realize this, but many car insurance companies will offer better premiums if your car has safety features such as anti-lock brakes, airbags, and four-wheel drive.
“What kind of low-mileage discounts do you offer?” If you find yourself taking the bus or biking to work more than you ever drive, you might qualify for a low-mileage discount with car insurance companies.
“If I enrolled in a defensive-driving course, what kind of discount would you offer? Oh, really? Which courses qualify?” Car insurance companies want you to be a safe driver. That’s why some are willing to discount you if you take a course aimed at making you one.
“What about discounts for my employer? (Tell them the specific name of your employer.)” Some employers partner with car insurance companies in order to get great rates for their employees. Check to see if your company does this.
“Some insurance companies offer discounts for low-risk occupations (engineers). What kind of competitive rates do you offer?” Insurance companies take a look at many things when it comes to determining your rate — including your employment. After all, a NASCAR driver is probably going to have higher rates than a CPA.
“Am I paying for roadside assistance? What other additional benefits am I paying for?” Many times, you don’t need certain benefits such as roadside assistance (if you’re in AAA, you already have it). In fact, many credit cards offer roadside assistance as well. Getting rid of these “benefits” could give you a good discount.
“Can you walk me through the deductible changes I could make to save money?” Deductibles are what you pay before your insurance policy kicks in. By requesting higher deductibles, you can lower your costs substantially. For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision and comprehensive coverage cost by 15 to 30%. Going to a $1,000 deductible can save you more than 40%. Before choosing a higher deductible, be sure you have enough money set aside to pay it if you have a claim.
Learning how to lower your car insurance seems like a lot of work — and it is.
But this is the work that 99.9999% of people out there won’t do, which means your returns can be substantial if you do them.
Try some of these tactics out this week and let me know what you find in the comments.
Beyond car insurance negotiations
If you couldn’t tell already, I LOVE negotiations — mostly because I got it from my parents.
I remember my dad once dragged me with him as he spent an entire week negotiating at a dealership on the price of a car.
After many days of back and forth with our salesperson, they finally reached a price they could agree on. BUT as he was literally about to sign the contract, he asked the dealership to throw in some extra floor mats.
They said no.
And he walked away.
An entire week’s worth of bargaining them down to an incredibly fair price, only to walk away when they didn’t give him something he could have bought for less than 50 bucks at Target.
What’s my point? Two things:
My mom and dad are incredibly Indian.
You have to be stubborn to be a good negotiator.
I’m a big believer that negotiations can open up HUGE savings for you.
That’s why I want to give you something that’ll help you save and earn more money through negotiations and other proven systems: The Ultimate Guide to Personal Finance.
The money you save on lowering your car insurance is great, but it’s small compared to everything you can save when you optimize your personal finances.