With independent agents facing competition from others who may be more advanced in sales processes, procedures and technology, it is no longer enough to sell clients only home and auto insurance policies. Independent agents need a strategy for cross-selling a broader range of coverages intended to address all the personal risks of their clients.
When looking at today’s scattered insurance sales environment, where many people buy single policies to fill an immediate need, there’s an opportunity for independent agents to streamline their sales, slow down the review process and promote insurance bundling. For insurance, a client buys a car and needs a binder today. She isn’t interested in anything else today because she wants to take a long drive in the country. Don’t miss an opportunity here. Congratulate the client on the new car, and let her know you will call in a week to discuss policies that can be bundled to save her money.
It’s five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one, according to Hubspot. When you do retain a customer, they’re more likely to spend more and purchase more frequently. “Existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more when compared to new customers,” according to a report from Invespcro.
The cross-selling opportunity for agents is clear, which is why it is so critical to have a consistent approach and a plan in place. Clients trust independent agents to offer products that protect them. Take the time to ask what other policies will benefit them and reduce their risk, and then cross-sell those policies to them. This tactic will strengthen an agent’s book of business and build loyalty with clients.
First, Build Up Your Client Profiles
In order to compete, independent agents have to provide value, establish trust and communicate with their clients regularly in the method their clients prefer. Building a dynamic profile for each client takes time, and helps the independent agent anticipate additional insurance needs as clients’ lives evolve. Use an agency management system (AMS) to run your business efficiently, gather critical information and track client relations. Prepare relevant questions and a needs analysis to review with clients at every opportunity. The AMS should be the hub of your business, from which all spokes of opportunity branch out. Having a quality AMS helps to streamline an agency’s work and provide efficiency when cross-selling. The system will keep the independent agency active and organized, and along with a customer relationship management database, help target new sales constantly.
Sell Value vs. Insurance as a Commodity
Today, consumers generally do their homework before they buy. But some skip the research and simply buy a policy based on the lowest price, often buying online. This means they may not be getting the coverage they need.
It is vital that clients review coverage with an independent agent and know what’s covered and who’s not. For example, insureds may not realize the auto policy they purchased contains exclusions, finding out too late that they saved $50 a year on premiums, but the policy doesn’t cover them under specific circumstances. By alerting clients, independent agents can open the door to reviewing other policies and advise them on options with greater value that don’t skimp on coverage.
Read the full article, written by SIAA COO Jeff Holmes, published June 14, 2019 in The Standard. Reprinted with permission from The Standard, Copyright 2019, Standard Publishing Corporation, Boston, MA. All rights reserved.