The insurance business is a relationship-based business.
As an agent, your job is to help your customers find risk management solutions designed to limit their financial risk. That’s true regardless of whether you focus on commercial or personal lines, and whether your primary focus is property and casualty or life and health products.
Trust is an integral part of the agent/customer relationship. To be successful, your clients need to see you as capable, dependable, and as someone with integrity.
Follow these ten tips to create deeper, more rewarding relationships with your customer base:
1. Become a Subject Matter Expert.
Your customers have insurance needs — you have solutions. But you need to understand the products you offer well enough to be able to confidently (and completely) answer questions when they arise.
Educate yourself on how various coverage options work and who can benefit from them. When you can demonstrate a solid working knowledge of carriers’ products and operations, your customers will be more comfortable working with you.
2. Don't Sell Customers Something They Don't Need.
You’re in a sales profession, so of course you want to place new business whenever possible. However, one of the quickest ways to lose customers’ trust is by trying to make a quick sale when the insurance product isn't a good fit.
Only propose products that make sense and actually meet your customers’ needs.
3. Never Trash-Talk Your Competition.
It can be tempting to bash your competitors in an attempt to make yourself look better. But that approach will backfire on you. Instead of painting yourself in a better light, you can look petty and untrustworthy.
Respect the competition by showing customers why the product or insurance solution you’re proposing is a better fit.
4. Don't Make Excuses For Problems. Fix Them.
Mistakes or problems will invariably arise. When they do, the way you respond can make or break trust with your customers. Don’t make excuses for the error. It generally doesn’t really matter what went wrong – the point is there was a mistake.
Fix it as quickly as you can and move on.
5. Don't Make Promises You Can't Keep.
Insurance agents, like other salespeople, can sometimes fall into the trap of wanting to over-promise in order to get the sale. Don’t do it.
Never misrepresent a product’s features and don’t tell the customer you’ll do something if you’re not actually able to deliver on that promise.
6. Respect Customers' Time.
You have a busy life, and so do your customers. Being cognizant of that and being respectful of customers’ time can go a long way in creating trust — and helping you maintain that trust.
When you tell someone you’ll call them right back, do so. When you make an appointment for a certain day and time, be there.
7. Be Proactive About Communication.
Communication is one of the most important elements of the agent/customer relationship. Being both proactive and responsive demonstrates that you value the customer.
Reaching out to customers periodically will keep your name and agency in front of them. It can also help you uncover new insurance needs.
8. Offer Insurance Solutions From Carriers You Trust.
Be mindful of the insurance carriers you partner with, choosing reputable solutions you truly believe will meet customers’ needs.
When you can offer a variety of solutions, you’re demonstrating to your customers that you are genuinely interested in helping them get the coverage they need — not just selling them a product.
9. Be Professional In Your Interactions.
The way you comport yourself can go a long way in helping deepen relationships with customers.
Being polite, courteous, and respectful in all of your interactions shows customers you're someone they can depend on.
10. Always Be Yourself.
Finally, don’t try to be someone you’re not in an attempt to impress your customers. They’ll see through inauthentic behaviors and communications, and you’ll come off as untrustworthy in the end. Be yourself!
Building Trust is Key to Keeping Your Independent Agency Competitive
When you establish more meaningful relationships with customers, they’ll be more likely to return to you with future insurance needs. They’ll also be more likely to send their friends, family, acquaintances, and others to you to fulfill their insurance needs, creating a snowball effect of business that can keep your pipeline full.
Partnering with Voldico can help you establish and maintain customer trust by helping you streamline operations, access more carriers, connect with other insurance professionals, and much more. To learn more about becoming a member, contact us today.