Washington agent Doug Wolford is a car guy at heart. Over the years, he's owned about 175 different vehicles – both collector cars and daily drivers – and he belongs to a couple of car clubs.
"I've been into cars since I was three years old. By the time I graduated from high school, I had owned 11 different cars," he said.
So when Doug decided to start selling collector car insurance nine years ago, it came naturally. Still, he worked to build his business through targeted and consistent marketing.
Today, Doug has as many policies with Hagerty as he does with his regular carrier, and he credits much of his success to routine face-to-face contact with collector car owners at car shows and club events.
Doug's first marketing endeavor as a collector car insurance agent was tremendously successful. "I printed a car show schedule with my contact information on it as a giveaway and it just took off."
From there, he started handing out goodie bags stuffed with Hagerty marketing materials at various car shows and speaking regularly at club meetings, using PowerPoint presentations downloaded from the Forms and Materials section www.hagertyagent.com. He also helps to sponsor an annual Mustang show, a Buick show, and a Christian car club show, and acquaints himself with local restoration shop owners and mechanics to help spread the word about his business.
"I'll stop in at shops and leave cards and brochures. It's fun. I'd rather do this than anything else," he said. "I love getting out and meeting other car guys. I enjoy talking to people who like what I like."
A couple of years ago, Doug met likeminded agent Bill Smallwood at an event and they found they shared an interest in the collector hobby.
"Bill had a booth at an event I attended. We started talking and just hit it off instantly."
Now, the two will occasionally partner to work a show. Their tag-team approach provides a dynamic and welcoming booth environment and – since Bill lives north of Seattle and Doug lives south of the city – allows them to serve a wider geographical range of clients.
"We'll do shows and swap meets together. It really helps to have two people working a booth. He takes the business near him and I take the business near me. It works really well," Doug said.
Over the years, Doug has learned a lot about marketing to collector car owners and he offers tips to those looking to leverage hobby events as business-building tools.
"Get out in front of the people you're trying to reach. Pass out brochures and make yourself known. Advertise as much as possible."
He also notes the importance of not getting discouraged if business doesn't immediately spike after a big marketing push.
"You don't always see immediate results, but you have to be patient. It trickles in. I just quoted a friend who I've been after for years."
Finally, he offers this bit of advice:
"If you do a job and it's not fun, you shouldn't be doing it. I am so lucky to have a job that I love. I'm not in it for the money. The money will come."Hagerty can help you build your business and have fun at the same time. Call us at 800-747-5348 today to learn more about working collector car events, or to request free marketing materials.