Today’s insurance clientele are much less loyal than in the past. Technology, increased competition, and the expansion of the types of risks and exposures that need insured all play a factor into this shift away from partnership and more toward transactions. Whether your client is a Millennial or not, the movement to “ease of business” will continue to shape the direction of distribution. But with this shift in the method of doing business, and the dilution of loyalty as we once knew it, comes a new version of a loyal customer.
Creating a service that provides the access to the information needed to make an informed decision, whether through technology or not, needs to be supported by people who can navigate through the process to ensure their customer that what they have found is accurate and valuable. Adding additional selling points and concepts to their pitch creates value, which in turn develops a sense of loyalty.
Here are some ideas on how to establish that position:
- Build a strong understanding of what your customer needs: Find out where their pain lies, what opportunities they have, how they traditionally use your competition, and where they see themselves being in the future. All of this allows you to create a service profile where you can focus on the areas your customer needs, and not waste time pushing things they don’t.
- Don’t only know your product, but know how it will fit into your customer’s needs: Don’t just sell, solve. Creating a relationship with your customer where you take the extra steps to be more than a transaction creates a bond much stronger than just the sale.
- Know your competitors: Don’t only focus on your product or service, but know the position of your competitors and possible distractions. Selling against possible concerns is equally as strong as selling your advantages. Anticipate and create a platform that places your product or service at the forefront, while establishing key points against your competition you believe will arise during the sale.
- Follow up, and be actively present: Markets and needs change, and the only way to stay on top of those is to remain actively engaged with your customers through the life cycle of the transaction. Not only will this strengthen the relationship, but provide you the upper hand on any changes that may require you to offer new or adjusted terms.
The sad reality is that loyalty as we know it has indeed changed. However, it doesn’t mean that it is dead and that opportunities don’t exist for long term, and profitable relationships in business. It’s not just about being known, it’s about being needed.
By Troy Fornof, Director of Branch Development and Operations, USG Insurance Services, Inc.
Originally appeared on LinkedIn Used with Permission
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