Political unrest, a global pandemic, and supply chain crises are just some of the issues that may be causing financial stress for your clients — and for your own insurance agency or brokerage business. You may also be feeling competitive pressure from low-cost, commoditized insurance and insurtech companies.
Like strapping on your oxygen mask during an in-flight emergency, you can’t be of service to your clients if your own business isn’t getting the attention it needs to thrive. So, how do you safeguard your well-being when constant change is the norm? Here are some tips to help you navigate the current insurance sales landscape and differentiate yourself from competitors.
Responsible business owners understand that insurance is a financial necessity, and now more than ever your clients are aware of the potential devastation that can be caused by unforeseen events. But while clients may be more open to advice, you will likely need to adapt your methods of approaching and engaging with them during times of instability.
Before contacting an existing or prospective client, make sure you have crafted your outreach with empathy and appropriately acknowledge the stressors they may be experiencing. As you converse, go deeper and ask more probing, consultative questions throughout the sales process to understand their unique needs. This will help you recognize the emotions behind client inquiries and solve for their underlying concerns. Showing interest in your clients’ well-being is essential to building trust and maintaining relationships.
Remember that while there may be people eager to meet in person again, many are still concerned about health risks. Be flexible when reaching out to prospective clients and take advantage of virtual networking tools when needed so you can always offer the option to meet virtually as a courtesy.
Having a consistent, value-added communications plan in place can also ensure that clients remember your name and favor your business. For example, regularly sharing information about relevant emerging risks or recent client satisfaction stories that demonstrate how you have worked with them to solve problems. Be prepared to use the communications platforms that work best for your clients and prospects—whether it’s a monthly email newsletter, timely social media posts, or a periodic video chat or phone call.
Help your clients understand – and prepare for – the types of serious risks that might not be top of mind, including:
And, of course, make sure you’re attending to these risks for your own business as well.
In your conversations with clients, it’s important to address their ongoing resilience. You should explain the importance of having a business continuity plan (BCP), a risk management program, and have them consider business interruption insurance.
Your clients want reassurance as well as insurance. Present solutions in a way that helps them see the insurance they’re buying is financial protection and an important resource for future business stability. Let them know that, if a catastrophic event occurs under the pressures of uncertain times, having inadequate coverage can prove to be even more devastating financially than usual.
To help them look beyond the immediate instinct to cut costs, focus clients on the bigger picture by asking a question like, “How would an unexpected loss in the future impact your business stability or growth plans?” Remind your clients that the overall value of a policy goes beyond price. Risk management and claims services provided by their insurer can make the difference in both minimizing their risks and addressing damages quickly in the event the worst should happen.
Finally, don’t forget to communicate your consultative value by addressing your clients’ unique needs and demonstrating how your insurance solution is individualized for them. This will differentiate your proposal from a “one-size-fits-all” plan.
Your business is critically important to your clients — and we want to help you be proactive about meeting their needs. Visit the Chubb Commercial Agent Resource Center for a variety of tools and resources to support your insurance sales endeavors.