Attracting and retaining customers in the insurance industry has changed over the years. Whether you’re used to doing things a certain way or learned at someone else's feet, there’s a chance you can incorporate specific approaches to land more sales. By examining how the insurance industry has changed and what you can do in the digital age to win more clients, you can discover room for improvement and better evaluate your tactics.
Like every industry, insurance has experienced digital transformation in recent decades. There have been several adjustments to the ways producers interact with customers — and there are more to come. Here are some of the most notable changes.
The screens of insurance shoppers are constantly filled with choices. At any given time, they are presented with three or more viable options above each screen “fold,” which is where one screen ends and the next one begins.
As a producer or salesperson, you can use this to your advantage. After a while, the lists of choices mean the uniqueness of each offering gets camouflaged by the qualities of the rest. As a competitor, you can outshine the rest by making sure you stand out from the crowd, using:
Returning calls a few days later won’t cut it nowadays. The same goes for answering emails, text messages, or video chat requests. Because everybody is connected via their smart devices nearly 24/7, customers expect their insurance producers and sales staff to follow suit.
Even though its impossible — and unreasonable — to answer all communications instantly, you can still meet customer expectations in various ways:
Winning insurance customers nowadays requires doubling down to provide the human element to as many interactions as possible. The advantage you have as someone selling insurance is your humanity: You can do things online bots cannot. Even though machine learning can emulate many human behaviors, it’s often underutilized, leaving holes you can fill in thoughtful, simple ways.
For example, you can take note of details of your customers’ personal lives and tactfully bring them up in your interactions. Ask about their kids, their new job, or a recent move. Provide some personal information about yourself, too, so they know you’re just like them — someone who’s working hard to provide for themselves and those they love.
Be sure to make it a point to follow up regularly. Even if it’s just to check in, it’s a good idea to reach out to customers to touch base. When you do, acknowledge the fact that they may not have a lot of time to chat, but you’d like to see how things are going.
That human touch is foundational for any insurance agent. But if you want to take your sales to another level, here are a few strategies you can use to ensure you’re maximizing sales with your leads and existing customers.
If you provide too many choices, you can paralyze your audience, forcing them to consider all of the options instead of homing in on one and committing to it. For example, if your client isn’t sure how much auto insurance they should purchase for a business vehicle, you could briefly discuss the kinds of expenses they may incur in the event of an accident and then offer two coverage limits, instead of the full gamut of choices.
In this way, you not only simplify their decision-making process, but you also streamline the conversation, helping move the process along.
Too many insurance salespeople try to use scare tactics to push their clients into committing to a policy or certain kinds of coverage. They present the horrors their client may face if they don’t get this and that coverage. This doesn’t work on today’s customers — at least not as well as spinning a positive yarn can.
For example, you can focus on how insurance saved someone’s business from what would have been a devastating lawsuit. Or you may highlight how the family of someone with life insurance had the time and emotional bandwidth to connect with friends and family immediately after their loved one passed away, instead of worrying about who was going to pay for what. In this way, you underscore the positive and help them envision their own success story.
It can be tough to make decisions about insurance, especially considering the number of options and how busy people are nowadays. By personalizing their experience, you offer customers the choices they need and a friendly helping hand, lightening the burden of the decision.
For example, suppose a customer comes to you concerned about the kind of cyber insurance coverage they need. They don’t know anything about cybersecurity tools and technologies. They’ve just heard about companies like theirs getting hacked in recent years. At the same time, they have people in their organization leaning on them to figure something out. They don’t want to be the next headline.
Instead of merely putting several choices in front of them, you can take the time to explain what the different kinds of cyber attacks are, how they work, and how they can be prevented. You may not do this for other clients who already have an idea of how cybersecurity works. But with this client, you personalize their experience by ensuring they walk away with enough background knowledge to understand what they’re protecting themselves from and what they can do to reduce their chances of having to file a claim.
As you personalize each customer’s experience, you may find that you spend considerable time discussing things that feel like a conflict of interest. Using the cyber insurance example, telling customers how they can prevent cyber attacks could, theoretically, push them toward a DIY approach without the security of insurance. But your objective is to gain their trust, because trust supersedes a quick sale.
The easiest way to prioritize which leads to contact is to organize them according to those who have the most time-sensitive situations. This will help you provide them with a solution at the best possible time and streamline your decision-making process.
You can also group leads according to other traits and then arrange those groups according to time. For example, you can put leads from a certain industry in groups by sorting them using that field in your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Then you can sort by date — using a due date you designate according to each situation.
Say you connect with someone looking to switch insurance policies, but they don’t have to do so for 10 months because their current policy doesn’t expire until then. You can enter this date in a field in your CRM, as well as similar time constraints for other prospects. You then sort them according to those dates. When the time draws near, reach out. You may want to connect with them about two months before their current policy expires. It's easier to onboard a new policy without the added pressure of having to make a last-second decision.
By limiting the number of options you provide, improving your storytelling, personalizing each customer’s experience, and organizing leads according to a timeline, you can better meet customers where they are, provide them with the service they need, and foster long-term relationships that’ll keep them coming back.
Still, it can take some time for these kinds of strategies to pay off. In the short term, you can rely on Nectar to provide you with driven, motivated buyers. We sell real-time, warm insurance leads who are currently shopping for insurance you sell. You can even customize the kinds of leads you’d like to receive and when you receive them. To learn more, connect with Nectar today.
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.