There’s nothing like good old fashioned salesmanship to grow a business. Often times you get so caught up in the day to day minutia as an agency owner that you don’t pay attention to the most vital part of the operation; selling new business. Salesmanship is rarely practiced, taught or discussed in many insurance agencies. It’s usually insurance talk, underwriting or personnel issues. You have to ask yourself whether or not your agency has a sales culture. If you have a sales culture, your service is second to none because everyone in the organization works like a commissioned salesperson. Every client is important, every sales opportunity will be maximized and we give 100% effort to keep every account on the books.
When it comes to selling insurance everything is based on rate, rate, rate. Companies like GEICO, State Farm, Progressive and Esurance (to name a few) advertise that they’ll save you X amount by calling. You’ll love the savings… Call us to save money… 15% will….
Consumers and businesses are trained to focus on price when shopping for insurance so it’s up to you to sell the benefits of doing business with your agency. If you’re within 15% of your competition you should win the client every time. If you’re taking orders, you’ll only sell a policy when you have the lowest price the consumer received. If you need the lowest price to sell something, you’re not a sales person!
What benefits should you mention on every call? What about your agency’s value proposition? What about the benefits of the carrier and your agency? Your agency has something unique about its sales/service/renewal process that should interest a prospect. What about the ease of doing business? The ease of purchasing the policy? The variety of payment options? 24 hour claims service? Web access to their account? The list of benefits are endless.
Are you training your Producers and CSR’s? Are they good listeners? Do they know what their clients hot buttons? How do they answer the phone? How do they introduce themselves? When they give a price what do they say before delivering the price? After? Do they offer additional coverages? Do they ask for the sale? Do they send the quote in writing? Do they send by US Mail, Email or both? Do they explain that as a broker they can shop multiple companies every year to ensure they’re in the best policy possible? In other words, do you have a sales process?
Do they bore the prospect with product knowledge or give them enough information to understand coverages during the sales process? How do they handle price and other objections? Do they overcome objections or do they end the call hoping they’ll have the best rate for their next prospect?
We’ve heard numerous agents claim they prefer to focus on servicing their customers which is why they don’t produce as much new business as they should. The bottom line is you have to do both if you want to grow.
When the going gets tough the tough go back to basics. Ask for referrals, offer additional lines of business to existing clients and make sure you use a blended strategy when Marketing your Insurance Agency.
It’s impossible to grow without bringing a sales culture to your agency in this soft competitive market. It’s never too late to start, so develop a plan, and get your staff excited about selling.