Most consumers shopping for insurance focus primarily on price. You can’t control premium rates, so does that mean you have no sway when it comes to their purchasing decisions?
Of course not! A good insurance agent is always looking for ways to solidify their client relationships by adding extra value to their business. Go beyond the price tag and offer your clients extra perks they won’t find elsewhere. Here are five easy ways to do that:
1) Always Look for Savings
In a situation where your paycheck goes up when premiums go up, it might seem counterintuitive to try to bring your customers’ premiums down. But a short-term gain can quickly turn into a loss if that customer moves to a different insurer that you don’t represent in search of a better price tag.
Unless you have one of those rare customers who doesn’t seem to care about how much their insurance costs, you should ask the questions that might lead to lower rates. (Do you have a fire alarm system? Would a deductible of $1,000 work instead of $500?) Be sure to tell your client why you’re asking these questions—to save them money. Even if you’re not successful, the fact that you are mindful of their budget sends a good message about your desire to be their advocate.
2) Share Insurance Experiences
You’re entrenched in the insurance world. The average person is not. Sharing your experiences through stories can educate your clients and help them understand why sometimes it’s a good idea to spend a little more for the right coverage. Look for both cautionary tales and success stories in your insurance practice, then think about how you can make those episodes anonymous (yet specific) to illustrate important principles—choosing the right deductible levels, why it’s worth it to pay a little more for certain coverages, etc.
3) Demonstrate Empathy
People need insurance because bad things happen. Demonstrating empathy is a really simple way to build a bond with another person. And it’s not hard to do; one or two sentences are all you need. Here are some general statements for different situations:
“That must have been tough.”
“That sounds scary.”
“I’m sorry you went through that.”
Empathy works best when it stays pointed at the person who needs it. Sometimes it can be tempting to share your own experience. (“I was in a car accident, too!”) But use caution—it can feel dismissive or almost competitive if you turn the focus to you.
4) Keep Your Website Current
Another way to keep your client relationships strong is to make sure your website is a valuable resource. This includes keeping your information like your business hours, phone number and email up to date.
If you don’t have a Q&A page, it might be time to add one. Think about all of the questions you are regularly asked and answer them on your website. Current customers can use it when you’re not reachable after-hours. And you never know what prospects are out there doing an internet search at 3:00 a.m. who might come across your site because they Googled “how to choose a deductible amount.”
5) Answer Your Phone—Promptly
When you are part of a larger agency, someone should always be assigned to answer calls within two or three rings during your business hours. Ideally, they’ll be trained well enough to be able to assist with most inquiries. This can be tougher if you’re a solo practitioner. Since you can’t always answer your phone, consider hiring a virtual assistant or messaging service that you can forward your calls to during your down time.
We’ve listed five ways here, but your Hometown Quotes Regional Manager has plenty more ideas of how you can build a bond with your clients. Give us a call at 800-820-2981 to get inspired.