Every insurance agency wants increased revenue and greater customer loyalty - Who wouldn't want to sell additional products and services to existing customers? Cross selling insurance is a great opportunity to give a better customer experience, build your customer relationships, and even get bigger commissions from the insurance companies you work with.
The insurance industry is all about client relationships, and the right approach to cross selling will make your clients feel like you’re more than an insurance agent intent on selling them life insurance or medicare supplements - they will feel you are a partner and trusted advisor who has their best interest in mind.
Offer Appropriate options
It has been a staple in my sales vocabulary to tell clients or prospects that my role is to provide good options, so they in turn can make good choices. Providing options is never about making a sale, it is all about using your professional skills to bring forth ideas and solutions that are aligned with the client / prospect needs.
Are you serving in the client’s best interest?
We talk about cross selling all the time, and how the more lines of coverage we place for a client, the higher the retention percentage. I would argue that when you “serve your clients’ best interest” you automatically create the opportunity to sell other lines of coverage without making any extra phone calls.
Are you acting as a professional advisor?
Cross selling is not about client retention, it is arguably more important for reducing gaps in coverage and elevating your relationship to a trusted professional advisor.
If you position yourself as your clients’ risk consultant, you must look at all current exposures and present suitable solutions that can shore up coverage gaps.
Why does cross selling insurance seem hard?
In my opinion, most cross-selling opportunities get passed over due to a lack of confidence and/or the fear that a salesperson will be perceived as being too pushy. If you sold a line of coverage, your client has indicated their willingness to work with you - why not act on that sentiment? Confidence is gained by improving your skills and knowledge through education and repetitive actions that demonstrate one’s competency. Honing your skills should be a lifelong endeavor to improve yourself and how you serve your clients.
Who is harmed by not cross-selling insurance?
If a client has an uncovered loss, it is a heartbreaking experience for everyone involved. Not every product we present will be accepted by our clients. But if we have solutions and fail to present them to our client, I believe that we fail in our professional role.
to present coverage options or explain a gap in their exposure may create an Errors and Omission (E&O) exposure. Even if that does not materialize, a disgruntled client can disparage your reputation, which can result in lost business for your agency.
Be professional and take control
Clients can try to bully and place unreasonable demands on us. When this happens, many agents do the minimum to get what the client wants; this is destructive to your reputation. It is not a productive relationship when the actions of a client limit your ability to execute effectively. Control the conversation, ask questions and do what you know is best for the client. Selling one line of coverage, when other exposures are going unanswered can relegate the actions of an agent to that of an order taker. Throughout my career I wanted to be viewed by my clients as professional. I accomplished this by regularly reviewing coverage options and presenting a compelling reason why my client should take my advice. Cross selling is a professional action that every agent must embrace if they wish to be deemed relevant to a client.