Upselling and cross-selling are two tools that every insurance salesperson should have in their toolbox. Like a wrench and screwdriver, both can be used differently depending on the job you need to get done. And they can sometimes be used together for even greater effect.

The two sales techniques are related but different. Upselling occurs when you already have a customer interested in a product—say, auto insurance—and you recommend a few add-ons that will broaden their coverage, thereby increasing their total premium. The sale is focused on auto insurance the whole time, but you’re pointing out the benefits of some of the additional bells and whistles that are available on that policy.

Cross-selling, on the other hand, involves introducing other lines of insurance that your client might want or need. Do they own a home? Should they have life insurance? Don’t be afraid to ask a few questions to highlight the benefits of keeping all their policies under one roof.

If a customer truly just wants to get their auto insurance and be done with it, they may not be as receptive to hearing an additional pitch. Even then, though, there’s an opportunity to plant seeds that could grow into additional sales in the future. Two of the things you can emphasize here are savings and convenience. You’re also selling yourself as the person who will take great care of all of their insurance needs.

When to Upsell and Cross-Sell

While you can and should try to upsell at any point during your relationship with a client, many agents find that they are most successfully able to upsell during the initial sales process. So it’s important to have your ducks in a row from the start. You should be able to clearly explain every feature of the policies you are selling and give strong reasons why adding each would be a good thing.

With already-existing customers, a great time to upsell is when there is a rate decrease. Here’s a script to follow: “I’ve got some good news about the rates in our/your area—I’ve been seeing decreases in many instances. Could we do a quick review of your policy and see if we could get you better coverage for the same or lower price?”

You can say something similar when a customer or someone on their policy reaches a milestone of some sort, like a birthday that results in a lower premium. Once a customer has budgeted a particular amount for insurance, they’re used to that flowing out every month. Keep that amount constant by upselling.

When it comes to cross-selling, you can also find success during your initial sale and down the road. From the start, you can focus on cost savings, making sure your prospect knows about bundling and the significant savings they could see as a result.

And don’t forget to ask questions during your onboarding process like, “I’d like to make sure you always have the coverages you need. Do you have any plans to buy a home in the near future?” Aim for a light touch and continue with questions like, ”What about a new vehicle? Will you be adding any/more kiddos to your family?” Make notes and set reminders for yourself to check in based on their responses.

Make Upselling and Cross-Selling Part of Your Sales Processes

Upselling and cross-selling can help you grow your book and put more money in your bank account. So be sure you are well-versed on the products you are selling and that you are looking for opportunities to do both regularly.

For more ideas or to practice upselling and cross-selling with someone who knows how to do both, call your Hometown Quotes Regional Director at 800-820-2981. Follow Hometown Quotes on Facebook or Twitter, or sign up for our monthly newsletter to get the latest updates, read helpful articles and ask us questions.