As an insurance agent, selling insurance is how your business grows. In your quest for new business, don’t forget one of your best target audiences is the clients you already have. Your current clients are with you for a reason—they trust you and are happy with the products you sell and the level of service you provide. That means you probably have a good shot at selling them more insurance products if and when they need them. You can encourage your current clients to purchase your other product offerings through cross-selling.
Cross-selling is a common sales technique across all industries, and for good reason. Not only is it a great way to sell more insurance, but it also benefits your clients by building loyalty and making them feel more understood. For clients, it’s more convenient to have all their insurance policies with one agency. They can get peace of mind knowing they have a single contact to help them with any type of insurance need they have. For your agency, the benefit is that the more products a client has with you, the less likely they are to switch agents.
Cross-selling refers to the method of recommending products that are related or complimentary to those that your client has already purchased. For example, if someone is buying a new pair of dress shoes, the salesperson may recommend the customer also buy a bottle of shoe polish.
Similarly, in insurance, if a client is already considering purchasing general liability insurance for their small business, an agent might recommend they also buy other complementary coverages like workers’ comp insurance and cyber liability insurance. The act of recommending a related product that the client may not have initially been interested in or even aware of is what cross-selling is all about. For independent insurance agents, you’ve got an opportunity to cross-sell when you first gain a new client, as well as in the months and years after a client buys their first policy from you.
When it comes to cross-selling, there are a few right and wrong ways of going about things. The main thing you’ll want to avoid is appearing too pushy. This could give your clients the impression that you are just trying to make a sale and don’t actually have their best interest at heart. Here are a few tips for cross-selling while maintaining a positive relationship with your clients.
Clients may come to you only looking for a specific type of insurance. Be sure to address their initial needs first, but don’t just stop there. For example, while a client may only be looking for workers’ compensation insurance now, it’s worth mentioning other commercial insurance policies they may need both now and in the future.
Make sure each of your clients is aware of all your insurance product offerings from the get-go and don’t hesitate to remind them periodically. You can do this by sending out regular emails or pointing them to a page on your website with a full list of your services. Just make sure you listen attentively to your client’s needs and don’t push them into buying coverage they don’t want.
Sometimes you can find opportunities for new business by reviewing what coverage your clients currently have, both with your agency and elsewhere. If you offer a free annual insurance review, you can gain a better picture of what types of insurance your clients already have and where they may have gaps in their coverage. You can also see their current rates and present them with opportunities to save money if you know you can obtain better rates for them.
A free insurance review is an excellent service you can perform for clients, with the added benefit that it may reveal cross-selling opportunities for your agency.
Again, while a client may have originally come to you for one specific type of insurance, that doesn’t mean they won’t also need other types down the line. Rather than pushing every product offering on them at once, use questions to figure out what policies might be relevant to their situation. For example, if the client came to you for general liability insurance for their small business, ask them if they currently own any company vehicles or are considering owning them in the future. This gives you an opportunity to cross-sell commercial auto insurance.
Asking your client questions gives you a better idea of what their future needs might be and helps you build a stronger relationship with the client. Remember, mention additional products as you see fit based on their answers, but don’t be too pushy. The client may not express interest at the moment but knowing they could have a future need for one of your other offerings could help you with a sale later down the line.
Nobody enjoys overpaying for the insurance they need to run their business. Insurance companies often offer multi-product discounts, especially on personal lines of insurance like homeowners insurance and auto insurance. Your clients might save even more money if they purchase their personal lines along with their business insurance policies from the same carrier through your independent agency.
Saving money is just one of the many reasons customers like product bundles. If your insurance agency has access to bundled pricing with insurance carriers, be sure to mention it when it’s appropriate. As with other cross-selling tips, make sure not to push so hard that it feels disingenuous.
What better way to get the word out about additional product offerings than through your marketing efforts? Social media is one fun and easy way to make sure customers are aware of everything you have to offer. Creating a post about each of your product offerings will not only remind your clients of your products but also help you maintain a consistent social media presence.
Another great way to keep your services and products top of mind is by sending out a monthly email newsletter with reminders about the policies you offer. Get creative with this and make sure each newsletter is relevant. For example, October is Cybersecurity Awareness month, which makes it a perfect time to remind your clients about the cyber liability insurance policies you offer and how these policies are necessary, even for small businesses, in today’s world.
Last, but certainly not least on our list of cross-selling tips is to stay up to date on any changes in your clients’ lives both professionally and personally. Major life changes like getting married, having kids, and starting a business can change a client’s insurance needs and give you an opportunity to sell new products. If you aren’t already doing so, this is a great reason to reach out to each one of your clients for a phone call, or better yet, a lunch meeting several times each year. You can build a great client relationship and learn about potential new insurance needs before your client even thinks to ask about them.
One of the most important things to remember about cross-selling insurance is that it’s not a one-and-done deal. Your goal is to keep clients for life, so don’t worry if they don’t want or need any other policies right now. You may also find some clients have policies directly through an insurance carrier, or even with another independent agent. Instead of making a “hard sell” and trying to push clients into bringing more business your way, focus on providing the best value to your clients now. When you focus on building relationships and providing exceptional service, you can increase your chances of cross-selling policies in the future.
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