Hanging onto insurance customers can be tough. Sometimes a client will leave you for a random reason—their best friend just became an insurance agent, and they really want to be supportive of her new business. Or maybe they’re selling their home and cars and moving to another country. More commonly, it’s because they found a great price that youncan’t beat or coverage that you can’t offer. 

Customer churn is inevitable, but that doesn’t make it a bad thing. For every customer who leaves you, there’s another out there who is ready to leave their insurance agent. That gives you many opportunities to pick up new clients.

To do that, you need intel on their motivation for switching carriers so you’ll know how to fill whatever unmet needs they currently have. Asking the right questions will help you get to the heart of the matter—here are a few to keep in mind:

Question 1: Would it be all right if I asked you a few quick questions about why you’re looking to switch?

This is a closed-ended question that in most cases will garner a yes response. Why should you ask it? It’s a quick and easy way to get alignment between you and this customer. With a few words, you’ve set expectations for your conversation (I’m going to be asking you questions), and you now have their permission to probe further. 

If you get a curt no, that can tell you a lot, too. “No problem…let’s get this quote done” is all you need to say in return. 

Question 2: What circumstances have led you to shop for insurance at this time?

Assuming you’ve gotten permission to ask more questions, this is a relatively open-ended one that could elicit any number of responses: They raised my rates; I finally found 10 minutes in my crazy life to get this done; My agent retired, and I don’t like the new guy they assigned to me, etc. 

From here, you might choose to probe further. (Is there a maximum premium amount you’re hoping to stay under? What was it about the new guy that rubbed you the wrong way?). Or you could get right to quoting for the person who only has 10 minutes to get it done.

If you get a vague response, it could mean that this particular customer needs to feel a greater level of trust before they open up. Let it lie until you’ve established more rapport, which could easily happen after just a couple more minutes of conversation. 

Question 3: Who’s your current agent, and how long have you been with them?

This information can give you several helpful clues. If you know or know of their current agent, you’ve got insight into what this customer is rejecting. If you don’t know the agent, you could still look that person up to get an idea of the type of agency they run. If they don’t even know their agent’s name, that tells you a lot, too.

As far as tenure with that agent goes, a person who switches insurers every year might be more focused on price than relationships, while someone who has been with the same agent for 20 years may value loyalty. You can confirm hunches like these with additional questions such, “Has price been a factor in your decisions to switch?” or “Would it be helpful if I told you about how I advocate for my clients who have insurance claims?”

Question 4: How will you be making your decision this time?

Now that you’ve gotten acquainted with each other, you want to figure out how to make the sale. In some respects, this is the most important information you can gather. This question might reveal other decision-makers (I’ll decide after I discuss it with my wife), a timeline (my current policy expires in two weeks so it’ll definitely be before then), information about your competition (I’m waiting for three other quotes) and more. 

All of this can help you understand if you’re dealing with someone who is a serious potential customer (you have great rapport and insurance products that fit their needs) versus a client you are unlikely to land (you know other insurers in your area are currently offering lower homeowners rates). With this information, you can decide how much time and effort you want to put into making the sale.

Remember that you should never burn bridges by displaying sudden disinterest. A client who isn’t the right fit now could be a perfect fit further down the road, so it always pays to be professional, affable and thorough with every prospect.

To find prospects, Hometown Quotes is a great source. Our leads are actively shopping for insurance, and their contact information is prequalified and sent to you within minutes after they fill out a form asking for a quote. To get started with your first batch of leads, call us at 800.820.8921 or visit www.hometownquotes.com.


Bailey Hubner

Bailey Hubner is the Email Marketing Manager at Hometown Quotes and Staff Writer for Hometown University.

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