While gaining new clients is essential to grow your insurance business, you shouldn't forget about another potential source of income – your existing clientele. Your existing customers know you and trust you. There's a good chance they like the service you provide (after all, they're still your customers).
If you offer more than one type of insurance product, they may benefit from those additional services, too. You can encourage them to purchase additional policies through cross-selling.
The thing is, cross-selling can feel awkward or uncomfortable at first. You don't want to sound too pushy and end up annoying your customers, and you don't want to sound like you're nagging them to buy a service.
Believe it or not, though, cross-selling can actually improve your overall relationship with your current clients. Happy customers are more likely to renew their policies with you year after year.
One way to ensure their satisfaction is to continue looking out for their physical and financial wellness. Cross-selling allows you to do just that. At the same time, you, as an insurance agent, also benefit from cross-selling. It gives you a way to generate more revenue without having to find and sign new clients.
When you go about it the right way, cross-selling isn't a pitch aimed at getting more money from your current clients. It's about adding value and delivering solutions to the insurance-related challenges your customers face.
Here's what you need to know to cross-sell insurance more successfully and keep your clients happy.
Cross-selling insurance is the act of promoting products that are related or complementary to the one(s) your current customers already own or use.
For example, you cross-sell prescription drug coverage to an existing Medicare customer as a way to keep costs down. Another example might be offering an auto insurance policy to a current homeowners insurance client to bundle their policies and help keep costs down.
Whether you're new to the insurance industry or not, you've likely also heard of the term "up-selling." Some people use cross-selling and up-selling interchangeably, but they're two different concepts.
Up-selling is the practice of encouraging your existing customers to purchase comparable but higher-end products than the ones they currently have or are currently looking to buy.
In essence, when up-selling, you're looking to get your client to spend more money. For instance, if you know one of your customers recently got engaged, you might suggest a rider on their homeowners or renters policy to protect the engagement ring.
Both cross-selling and up-selling offer distinct benefits when it comes to selling insurance. You don't have to choose between one or the other, either. When done properly, they can be mutually beneficial, allowing you to provide maximum value to your customers while increasing your revenue at the same time.
To cross-sell insurance effectively, you need to be able to identify opportunities. One way to do this is by taking a look through your client database.
Look at the insurance products they purchased and see what complementary products they don't yet have that could be beneficial in their situation. Here are a few examples to consider:
When you first start trying to cross-sell the insurance products you sell, it can feel uncomfortable. Rest assured, you're not the only agent who feels this way.
With a little practice, though, it can become much easier and more effective. Additionally, the more you implement good cross-selling strategies, the more natural bringing up complementary and related products will become. Here are a few tips that can help you:
You want to respect your customers and address their immediate needs first. Don't neglect an opportunity to start the conversation about additional insurance products sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the less effective your efforts may be.
If you don't start the cross-selling discussion within the first 30 days, you may not make those sales. Keep in mind, however, that you should look for cues. If it isn't an appropriate time to cross-sell (for instance, if the customer is upset or in the middle of filing a claim), plant a few seeds, but don't make a big deal out of it—instead, follow up later after checking in.
If your customers don't know that you sell particular products, how can you expect to sell them? This is an easy issue to address.
Make your clients aware of everything you have to offer. When you first sign on a new customer, let them know about all of your products. You might even consider going a step further and creating an inventory of your offerings and making it available on your website, social media pages, and a brochure.
Another option to consider is updating your phone holding message to include information about your product list. That way, any customers on hold will be able to hear what you have to offer while they wait for you to answer their call.
Talking with your customers offers an effective way to get to know more about them and learn about their needs. They can also help you identify cross-selling opportunities. To this end, naturally work cross-selling questions into your authentic conversations.
When you ask questions, you show your clients that you genuinely care about them, their health, and their financial wellness, which is excellent for building relationships. At the same time, it gives you a great chance to learn as much as you can about them. The more you know, the better equipped you are to serve them and offer them additional products to meet their unique needs.
As you uncover cross-selling opportunities, raise your client's awareness about the particular product you want to sell. Get a feel for their interest at the same time. This allows you to position yourself for another sale, which may not necessarily occur at that moment. There's a good chance that if it happens, it'll happen a little later down the line.
Most insurance agents like to discuss discounts when they become aware of insurance opportunities. You can give yourself an edge by talking about the availability of multi-policy discounts upfront.
It's as easy as saying, "I know we're getting you a quote for a homeowners insurance policy today, but we do offer discounts if you have something else you might like us to insure. Would you like to know more?"
Listing your available discounts is a great way to make your customers aware of potential opportunities to save money in case there is another insurance product they're interested in buying.
If you're not already on social media, you should be. Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter allow you to connect with current customers and potential customers alike and make them aware of everything you have to offer.
You can create posts for each of the products you sell. Make sure that your existing clients know your social handles and that they follow you. This lets them share your posts on their own, potentially reaching other customers outside of your base.
One thing to keep in mind is that it can be difficult to measure direct return on investment (ROI) from social media. Regardless, it's an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of all you have to offer them.
Additionally, every connection you can make with your clients, including on social media, helps. The more they see your product selection, the more familiar with it they'll become.
Rather than waiting for your customers to come to you when they need something, stay in constant contact with them. That allows you to ensure they have adequate coverage and flag any dissatisfaction or uncertainty they might have before they feel the need to change their policies.
Here are a few opportunities to look for:
Your cross-selling success will depend heavily on how well you keep track of your existing clients' information.
You need to stay on top of their ages, the types of cars they drive, where they live, their homeownership status, if they have dependents, what policies they have, when those policies expire, and more. That's a lot to manage, and it can quickly become overwhelming, especially as you grow your business and take on more clients.
No one can expect you to remember everything on your own. You can make this challenge much easier by investing in a reliable customer relationship system (CRM).
Not only will you be able to quickly pull up a record to see what products a particular customer has, but you'll also be able to view vital information and past communications at a glance. It's a great way to identify the best cross-selling opportunities for your individual clients.
When it comes to using a CRM, it’s important to know that every CRM system comes with its own features, and there’s no one size fits all CRM for insurance agents. There are ready-made CRM-solutions as well as specially designed CRMs for insurance agencies. What works best for one agency may not work best for you.
If you’re looking for CRM software to start using, here are some common solutions for insurance agents and agencies:
Understandably, you want to take advantage of opportunities as soon as they arise. After all, if you don't, you might lose them, right?
Cross-selling is a unique sales situation. It's not like you have only one chance to close a deal. You'll have several opportunities to interact with a customer, so don't stress trying to fit everything into one conversation. That's a surefire way to make things harder on yourself and confuse your client at the same time.
Instead, be patient. Remember to ask questions and plant seeds along the way. The more you talk about potential cross-selling opportunities with your customers, the more cross-sales you'll make. It may take a little time, but it's well worth the effort and patience.
Cross-selling insurance products can help you increase your business and boost your success. The more clients you have, the more opportunities you have available to you. As such, lead generation is vital.
Let Nectar be your source for real-time insurance leads. Using the online platform, you can use preset or customized filters to ensure you receive high-quality leads that make the most sense for your business.
Additionally, potential customers get connected with an agent (you!) that offers what they need. They get a more personalized, excellent experience, which means they're more likely to convert.
You get to grow your business and continue to identify new cross-selling opportunities along the way. When clients and insurance agents win, it doesn't get much better than that.
If you're looking for more opportunities to grow your business and continue providing the best possible service to your customers, Nectar is here for you. Sign up today to get the process started. With more quality leads, you can convert more quality customers, allowing you to achieve higher levels of success.
This article reflects the features of Nectar as of the date of publication. Features are subject to change at any time. This article is meant for informational purposes only, it is not a guarantee that using Nectar will help you achieve specific business or financial results and is not intended to serve as the sole recommendation for any business financial decisions.