There’s a simple song known to every Girl Scout that begins like this:

Make new friends,
But keep the old.
One is silver
And the other’s gold.

In insurance sales, this is definitely true. The focus of this piece is on the old—you don’t always need to acquire new prospects to grow your agency; the pool of customers that you already have can be a rich source of new sales. We have put together four ways that you can improve your ability to cross-sell and thereby maximize the sales potential of your existing clients.

Anytime is a Good Time

There’s no right or wrong time to cross-sell to a customer—you can create an opportunity at any point in the sales process depending on how much rapport you’ve established, whether the customer is in a hurry at the moment, if they’ve mentioned something that leads you to think they may need other insurance, etc.

Here are examples of how you can ask the same question different ways depending on timing:

Before: “So before I get all of the information I need for an auto insurance quote, let me ask: would it be helpful for me to get you a quote on homeowners insurance, too? We might be able to save you some money if we bundle both together with the same company.”

During: “I’ll have an auto quote for you shortly. In the meantime, would you like to get a homeowners quote going too, just to see if you can save some money there?”

After: “I’m glad we were able to get you a great auto policy. I’ve got some terrific homeowners options, too. Would you be interested in a homeowners quote now, or would you like me to check back in with you in a month or two?”

Listen to Your Customer’s Needs

Every conversation with a customer is a chance to learn more about who they are and what they need from an insurance point of view. Sometimes a casual mention can easily lead to additional questions.

For instance, if a client calls you to check on what their homeowners policy covers during a remodeling project, you could answer those questions, then ask about their anticipated home value after the project is done and explain about umbrella policies and why it might be a good idea to consider one.

It’s OK to be straightforward about why you’re asking. “I’m wondering if you think the value of your home is going to increase to the point that we should consider other insurance options. Do you mind telling me what your construction entails and how much you think your home might be worth when you’re finished?” This will feel much less intrusive than if you try to suss out the value without an explanation of why you’re doing so.

Offer Bundled Discounts

It’s a pretty simple idea—people like to save money. Be sure to always mention any discounts that you can offer if a customer bundles their policies. Again, you can do this before, during or after a sale.

Make It Easy

You know how sometimes you call a business like your cable company and they make you enter your zip code and the last four digits of your social security number and your birth date before they’ll let you talk to an agent, and then the agent makes you repeat all of that information again when you finally get them on the line? Is there anything more frustrating?

Don’t do that to your customers. Have a process in place that allows you to transfer all of the information they’ve already given you and ask only for the additional information you need to complete a quote on a different product. An easy way to do this is to take a screenshot of each page of a completed online insurance form before you close out to start a new quote on the other type of insurance. Put the onus on yourself to fill in any duplicated information after you’ve hung up the phone with your client.

When you position cross-selling the right way, it can come across as a real benefit to your customers, saving them both time and money. If you’ve never tried to cross-sell before, you may be happily surprised at how easy it is to do. Give it a try and you may find that you end up with more silver and gold in your bank account.