Why Your Agency Should Re-Examine the Hard Sell

By | October 1, 2019

This post is part of a series sponsored by ITC (Insurance Technologies Corporation).

Floppy discs. VCRs. Cell phones the size of bricks. Once, these devices were cutting edge technologies and part of our everyday lives. Today, they are nostalgic and symbolic of times gone by. Now, the floppy disc is merely a save button. It can even be hard to find a cell phone with buttons.

It would be silly to think a business owner would use these old-fashioned technologies. However, plenty of agents still use old sales techniques. When selling to the modern insurance buyer, consider the following.

Quit The Hard Sell

Whether you sell a personal lines or life policy to a consumer, or worker’s compensation to a business, you’re selling the same thing: You. Selling is not B2B or B2C. It’s human to human. There is a saying, “Everyone likes to buy, no one likes to be sold.” Instead of selling policies, you want to help them buy.

You Are The Adviser

What is more valuable than presenting a client with a price? It is understanding why they need insurance in the first place. Each quote should have a discovery process. Do more than simply gathering underwriting information. A comparative rater makes the underwriting easier for you. Then, you can focus on discovering why the client wants a quote, and build the relationship from there.

Stay Top of Mind

Don’t desert your prospects after a quote. Continue to build the relationship. Communicate through email or text, but resist the urge to try and sell them. You can give other useful information about insurance. You are the adviser, after all. Send information about your agency and the good things you do in the community. A slow drip of communication can help your agency stay top of mind when they are ready to make an insurance decision or make a recommendation to a friend.

Also, your insurance agency website doesn’t need to be a digital yellow page ad or an online business card. Make it work for you. According J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, consumers prefer a blend of online and offline communication. So, consider your website as an agency employee. You want an insurance website with a recent design.

Listen to Your Data

Listening is understanding. Today, if you want to understand clients and prospects you need data. Look past your retention rates and closing percentages. What types of clients do you have higher closing percentages with? Which carriers do you have the best retention with? Learn why clients chose you and why they stay with your agency. If clients leave, learn what reasons (other than price) contributed.

Instead of going straight for the hard sell, adapt to the buyer. This will lead to longevity in a changing insurance environment. Meanwhile, not adjusting could make you the 8-track of insurance.

About Becky Schroeder

Schroeder is the Chief Marketing Officer at ITC, which provides websites, marketing, rating and management software and services to the insurance industry. You can follower her on Twitter at @beckylschroeder. To learn more about ITC, visit GetITC.com. More from Becky Schroeder

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