Where has the time gone this semester?! I swear yesterday was the first day of my internship and now it is coming to an end. I learned a great deal this semester interning for the marketing department at GEICO. My main role this semester as an intern was really working on the dealership referral program. Here are the top three things that I learned at this specific intern task more than anywhere else

1. Building relationships is created purely out of how two parties can benefit from each other

When you have a beneficial relationship, whether it be a friendship or a business relationship, it is based on the good that you both do for each other. The Dealership Program that I helped with at GEICO is made to help both the car dealership in the partnership and the local office. The dealership get a $25 American Express card for every referral they make of their sales to our local office as well more personal relationship with a local GEICO agent. The local office in return gets a referral to their office, more marketing for the local office, and a better chance to create a sale on an insurance quote. Everyone gets something beneficial out of the relationship, and it’s not just the two businesses, it’s the customer too!

2.  Marketing collateral helps to ease the pitch.

You may be thinking: “Wait… What… Marketing Collateral?” I can’t tell you enough how many smiling faces I saw over this semester when they got free branded goodies. We gave away branded cups, pens, bags, calendars, stuffed Geckos, bobble heads, stress balls, and my personal favorite Baseball caps. Of course, the people only got the gear if they heard our pitch. However, it really did help to ease into the conversation as people were getting something right away. If you’re going to take time out of someone’s busy day, make sure they are getting something from it. Their’s just happened to be an awesome dealership program and some free little Geckos! Of course this won’t work in every pitch you do in advertising, but giving some type of value added (+) will always help the pitch.

3.  Don’t let the No’s overcome all of the great work you have built with others.

During my pitch, I had many times where the people I talked to didn’t want to be involved the program. Sometimes they would emphasize how other insurance companies had better rates or that they already had a partnerships with another group. While the No’s can be frustrating, I learned to wok around them. If being a second option is the only option, we would try and push for that relationship instead. As the other intern and I became more comfortable, we used our confidence to show the sales people we were speaking with why they should change their minds. Most of the time it worked and even if it didn’t, we were on to building an even better partnership with the next dealership.

These three takeaways are something I really had only learned for the first time during my time at GEICO. I had a great semester interning for GEICO and it’s something I will definitely take with me as I continue on to more opportunities and my job seeking in the next year!