Insurance is and always will be a people business. New technology is flooding into the marketplace to make that people business more efficient and effective, but digital tools will likely never replace the value of the human touch in insurance.
Effective lead generation and prospecting is all about people, according to Tim Rooney, managing partner at Rooney, Earl & Partners and exclusive speaker at Insurance Business’s upcoming webinar ‘Lead generation and building referral relationships in a ‘hard’ market’.
“Rapport and relationship selling are still very much alive in today’s insurance industry,” Rooney told Insurance Business. “If a potential client likes one broker more than the next, guess who they’re going to buy from. It’s a simple equation and it’s something that should really be at the core of every broker’s business strategy. The concept of building really strong relationships and having a high touch communications strategy should help brokers differentiate themselves.”
Strategy is all about differentiation, according to Rooney. In order for small independent brokerages to compete against the deep-pocketed, they need to find and communicate a value-proposition that makes them stand out in the marketplace. The common perception of today’s buyer is that a purchase is all about price, but the broker can present value beyond that of the dollar.
“A good way for brokers to find success and add value is by focusing on a niche or vertical,” said Rooney. “Rather than trying to be all things to all people, brokers can become the so-called ‘go-to’ people for specific risks in a particular industry. They can get involved in a particular business community and build relationships with thought-leaders in those communities. Being known for your specialized knowledge is a great way to differentiate yourself.”
There are other ways for brokers to differentiate themselves, but Rooney cautions against trying to be all things to all people. Some independent brokerages are trying to match or mirror the technology capabilities of the insurance giants in order to offer 24/7 service and multiple touch points. While this is great if done well, Rooney stresses the importance of the personal relationship amid the technology noise.
“When there’s human interaction, people tend to buy emotionally and rationalize intellectually,” Rooney commented. “People buy because they like you. When prospecting new business, if you don’t know how to manage your relationships and present your differentiating qualities, then you’ve got a short-coming. Schmoozing can’t be done by machines.”
Learn more about effective prospecting and lead generation by registering for ‘Lead generation and building referral relationships in a ‘hard’ market,’ an online course presented by Rooney on November 01 at 2pm ET.