For early technology adopters, it may come as a surprise that many businesses today are still reluctant to implement technologies; IBA’s recent Top Technology survey revealed that 19% of insurance agencies don’t use an AMS, 20% don’t use a comparative rater or quote tool and 73% have yet to implement a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Modern consumers, especially millennials, have challenged traditional sales methods and technologies. “[Many] insurance agents still use old selling processes and techniques,” says Don Hobdy, vice president of sales at Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC). “When you try to sell to the modern insurance buyer, here are some things to remember.
“First, stop selling insurance. Whether you sell to a consumer or a business, you’re selling the same thing: You. Selling is not business-to-business or business-to-consumer. It’s human-to-human. Remember the saying ‘Everyone likes to buy, no-one likes to be sold’? You want to help them buy.”
Understanding why a consumer needs insurance means more than the price of a policy, and the quoting process is an opportunity to dig deep into what brought the consumer to your agency. By using a CRM, the handling of underwriting information becomes a breeze so you can focus on why the consumer needs the insurance quote in the first place, shares Hobdy.
From there, the relationship can evolve past the quote.
“Keep communicating through text or email, but don’t try to sell them. Give them information about insurance that helps them as a consumer,” he says. In fact, clients prefer a mix of online and offline communication, according to a 2018 study by J.D. Power, and an agency website with a great user experience can provide clients with an easy way to communicate with an agency and access information about products and services.
Finally, listen to clients and prospects.
“Listening is about understanding,” he says. “In today’s market, if you want to understand prospects and clients, you need data. Look beyond your closing percentages and retention rates. Study the types of clients you have higher closing percentages with and which carriers you have the best retention with. You want to know why they chose you and why they continue to stay. If they leave, find out what factors other than price contributed to the cancellation. When you update how you sell, you adapt to the buyer. This can lead to longevity in a changing insurance environment.”