You know that insurance and selling is mostly about adding value. Every expert says it, every conference has classes on it, and even in your own strategic planning there is some mention of how you add value.
But have we become numb to what value really means? Are you adding more value than other agents around you or are you adding just enough value to stay in business?
I see many agents falling short because they assume being an advisor and a real person means you are adding value. Sure this is sometimes valuable to the consumer but look around you, there are 1000 other agents within a 30 mile radius that offer the same value as you. Not to mention another 100,000 online.
Insurance agents have to move beyond the thinking that because they are the local agent that they are providing value. How consumers perceive value in 2018 has changed. Make sure your agency is meeting the needs of the consumers not just your assumptions of what the consumer wants.
Know your buyers without assumptions
Before we get into the six ways you can add value as an insurance agent, you need to know who you are adding value to. Take time to know and understand your clients. Step out of your office and experience buying insurance from your client’s point of view. NO ASSUMPTIONS!
I created a video after going through this process myself:
(watch on Youtube -> https://youtu.be/j2cafI3VA_8)
What can you do to really add value to your clients?
The rest of this blog is going to highlight some of the major issues people run into in their search for buying insurance and things that any agent can easily implement to bring value.
1) Be found
One of the most annoying things for consumers is actually finding an agent. Because it is easiest, most people will go to Google. 80% of people consult a search engine before buying a product. Something% are searching for a local result.
While this may seem silly, being available and easily accessible makes is a great way to add value from the get go.
So make sure you can be found on Google. Make sure your social media accounts are live and active so if you get a mention or referral or someone wants to research you they can easily find you.
2) Establish how you are different and showcase your value proposition
We always look at this from the business point of view as to why you should do it, but honestly it adds TONS of value to the consumers.
Do you know how many insurance agents are out there? Even locally? Do you know how hard it is to find out if someone is going to be a good agent or not?
No one wants to call around and interview agents. No one wants to call an agent who is going to be a jerk either. If you wonder why consumers spend so much time researching products and companies before purchasing is because we are looking for someone who is going to take care of us.
So do an intro video of your agency, have clients give you [honest] Google and social reviews, use social stories or Go live so that people can hear your thoughts and get a taste of what doing business with you is like.
3) Follow up…… with value
My experience with insurance (outside of the agency I worked for) is not short of “What do you want? Here’s your quote. Do you want to buy?”
Imagine how powerful it would be for your prospect if after the quote and during the “let me think about it” phase, they receive an email saying “I know you’re having questions about whether you have the right product, and price and whether we would be a good fit for you. No worries, everyone thinks about these things. Here are a few resources that can help you figure it all out. Let me know if you have any questions – my line is always open!”
Many people do not simply make a decision anymore. We want to know we are making THE right choice and unless you make it clear that you have the consumer’s best interests in mind, they are going to hesitate. So use automation and send resources to your prospects throughout the buying process.
4) Be accessible after the purchase
One of the most frustrating things about having an insurance agent is having to talk to an insurance agent. I know you probably believe that all the value you provide comes from people being able to call and speak to a real person but that is only 50% true.
If I have a problem or have a claim then I definitely want to speak with a person, but if I just need a new ID card, want to send a simple question, just want to take a look at my insurance information I do not want to dig out your phone number, call, wait on hold, and explain what I’m trying to do. I simply want to click a couple buttons and do it.
While we are on the subject of contacting you. Why is it so difficult to contact you!? I love the magnets we get with your name, face and number. But this does me no good when I get off work at 5 and have to come home to call you and your office is already closed.
With social media and phone apps, you should be accessible at the touch of a button. This may not be convenient for your agency to implement, but it speaks volumes in terms of value to your clients who are busy as well.
5) Keep in touch
6 months or a year is a long time not to talk to someone. If I speak with you once a year, you better believe I will not remember your name. Also, because I really don’t know you, I’m not going to lean on you or reach out to you when I question things.
In order to build this trust keep in touch. It can be something as simple as an automated email saying “Hey Zach, have any questions on your policy info or the free resources we offer? Oh and have you downloaded our app to handle your insurance experience easier?”
So simple. But so powerful. I don’t need a call, I just need to know you have my back. And if I don’t respond to the email, have an automated follow up email that makes sure I got the info.
6) Use the resources that matter to us
I understand that you have invested in new technology. You purchased a new website, you have an updated version of your management system, you have new computers in your office, etc… This is all great, but really doesn’t help the consumer.
While some of this is necessary for agency’s operations to run smoothly, you must also think about the resources that are going to help your clients.
Things like video conferences to explore policy information in person without actually being in person. Apps to click and contact you. Platforms that allow me to save and store information in the cloud making claims easier.
There is a lot of technology available that can help agencies offer value. Just make sure that it is in line with your ideal client’s needs and not based on assumed wants.
Don’t throw out your old playbook just yet!
This blog discussed modern ways to showcase your value. This does not mean that traditional ways of adding value are no longer valid.
You still need to care about your clients. You still need to do a good job explaining coverage and advising the consumers. Your staff still needs to be friendly and care. The core values are very much the same as far as adding value but there are areas that are becoming more of a convenience for agents than a value added option for consumers.
So take some time and address this. How can you combine the core reasons people have done business with you in the past with modern technology and the buying experience that people nowadays expect?