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Are you a new insurance agent?
You're probably aware by now that selling insurance isn’t a piece of cake. Next to superb communication skills and extensive knowledge of the products you’re offering, you also need to assure your clients that you’re capable and dependable - someone worthy of their time, their money, and most importantly, their trust.
Insurance is a business built on relationships - and trust is an integral part of the valuable long-term relationship you’re aiming to build.
If you’re an insurance agent or insurance broker who seeks to build a good agent-customer relationship, here are 9 points to keep in mind.
1. Understand the products you offer well enough
Nothing turns a client off more than insurance agents who are not capable of answering their questions.
How do various coverage options work? What’s the difference between policy A and policy B? Who can benefit from them? What’s the process of filing a claim? What’s the breakdown of their monthly premiums? What are your clients going to gain from them?
Whether you focus on commercial or business insurance or personal property and health products, your job is to help your customers find risk management solutions for mitigating their financial risk. Make sure you understand the products you offer so you can completely and confidently answer all their queries.
2. Brush up on your communication skills
For sure you’ve heard this phrase: communication is key. It’s not just helpful for romantic couples, friends, and colleagues - it’s also fundamental in customer-agent relationships Communicating with your customers effectively will keep your face and agency in front of them.
Firstly, be accessible. Be proactive when communicating directly with your client, and be responsive when they’re reaching out to you.
Secondly, communicate clearly and concisely. One of the most annoying things for clients is when they have questions about their policy and they can’t get a straight answer from insurance agents. Besides, make sure you observe professionalism in your interactions by communicating politely.
Lastly, adapt your customer service to fit each client. Some clients will start zoning out if you give them too much information, while others would want to hear a full explanation of their benefits.
3. Don’t oversell and exaggerate
Insurance agents are persistent by nature; a strong skill that allows them to make it in the business. However, don’t let this strength backfire by selling as many products as possible.
Another quick way to lose customers’ interest and trust? Trying so hard to sell your products. You won’t build long-lasting customers if a quick sale is all you’re after.
Sell smart, not hard. Listen to get a better idea of what your clients are asking for. Only propose the products that are actually a good fit for your customer’s needs.
4. Never trash talk your competition
Several salesmen, whether they’re into small ventures like beauty products or huge ventures, like insurance, often use this foolproof strategy: bash their competitors in an attempt to convince customers to choose them. Don’t be one of them. The approach may backfire on you, making you look petty and deceitful.
Instead of trash-talking your competitors, focus on the strength of the product or solution you’re selling and how it’ll benefit your customer. Highlight why the services you’re proposing are a better fit.
5. Pick the right insurance carriers
Be mindful of the insurance companies you partner with. It doesn’t matter how great of an agent you are if you don’t have the right policies to sell. If you're an insurance broker, team up with reputable insurance companies you truly believe will meet your customer’s needs.
6. Be a problem solver
Insurance problems, like economic instability and man-made errors, may come up. When they do, the insurance agents respond to these issues can make or break their relationship with your clients.
Instead of making excuses, do your best to solve the problem and provide the answers to their questions as quickly as possible.
7. Value your customer’s time
It’s safe to say that your client’s time is precious. So no matter how good you are with handling conversations, you can lose their trust and respect if you consistently show up late.
Respect your client’s time by attending meetings on time, calling back when you say you will, and being mindful of the time spent on meetings.
8. Don’t break promises
Don’t make promises you can’t keep in the first place.
Like several sales professionals, insurance agents often offer too much to either make a quick sale or out of generosity. You can do such, but make sure to keep your word. Offer things you know you can realistically deliver in the long run.
9. Be genuine
Finally, don’t try too hard in an attempt to impress your clients. They can sense fake behaviors. Try to be as genuine as possible, and paint yourself as someone they can comfortably seek when they need help with their insurance policies.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the daytime writers for Insurance Advisernet NZ, one of the largest and most reliable general insurance brokers in New Zealand, providing high-quality risk management advice for business owners. She enjoys writing practical tips and tricks, making complex finance and business topics easier to digest.