Sell on Value, Not Price
It’s no secret to most P&C insurance agents that many consumers select their insurance agent based on price. In fact, 50% say their loyalty to their current insurer is dependent on the cost of the coverage they are providing. [i]
That means that every renewal, half of your customers are shopping around for new coverage, ready to switch, even if it means saving only a few hundred dollars.
Competing in a market where consumers see price as the biggest differentiator between competitors requires agents to understand what their service is worth and how to turn it into a competitive advantage that helps to attract and then retain more customers.
Know Your Customer
For new agents, it’s tempting to try to sell to everybody, mistakenly thinking that casting a wider net will return more sales. Seasoned agents understand that a wide net just means too much money is spent on advertising and time with consumers who aren’t going to buy.
For example, if you primarily sell home and auto insurance, reaching out to college-aged students will return little in the way of sales, as the vast majority do not own a home and many don’t own a car or pay for their own insurance.
On the other hand, older adults are more likely to purchase the coverage you are selling and have also reached a financial security where they value service as much as price. The bottom line is, with a little research, you can understand who is going to buy the policies you are selling, what it is they expect when purchasing insurance, and how to align your own marketing and sales strategies to improve acquisition and retention.
Know Your Role
Increasing numbers of consumers are moving toward digital channels to research coverage, 68% in fact. [ii]
That means your role as an agent is changing as well.
As consumers continue to embrace online buying, agents are becoming even more of a trusted advisor, expected to do the heavy lifting, by reviewing coverage and making sure their customers are adequately covered based on their life needs. On the other hand, consumers are taking the more mundane tasks on themselves, such as entering application details online to receive initial quotes.
To ensure that you can convince consumers of your value as their preferences continue to evolve, be sure you know and can articulate your own differentiating characteristics. What can you do for them that other agents—and especially online competitors—can’t?
Emphasize Your Excellent Customer Service
Of course, customer service is the most important part of your differentiating proposition.
For an example, imagine you want to purchase a car. It costs $20,000 at two dealerships in town, but one has a reputation for going above and beyond when it comes to customer service. The other has mediocre reviews at best. Which one would you purchase from?
Your customers feel the same way when it comes to working with an independent agent. Your dedication to your customers and the steps you take to go above and beyond will set you apart, particularly as consumers consider the speed and anytime, anywhere convenience of online buying.
It is also important to remember that customer service extends beyond making the sale. Contact your customers a few weeks after the purchase to thank them and ask if they have questions. Show your customers that you are serious about mitigating their risks and protecting their assets, not just making a buck.
Meet Them Half Way
Consumers may be changing, but your role as an agent still has value. Be prepared with clear and concise points to demonstrate your value, but be flexible to consumers’ needs and preferences.
If consumers want to research and quote coverage online, find a way to provide the opportunity through your own website. Consumers who prefer online channels aren’t necessarily saying they don’t appreciate agents. Instead, it’s a reflection on how consumers’ lives are changing and demanding greater flexibility. The ability to look at coverage from the sidelines of a child’s soccer game or at night after everyone has gone to bed is a fact of life for many consumers.
Meet them half way by combining the flexibility they are seeking with the expertise and dedication you naturally provide, and you’ll see acquisition rates start to climb.
Are you ready to learn more about selling value vs. price? Check out Superior Access for more information.
[i] “The Voice of the Customer: Identifying Disruptive Opportunities in Insurance Distribution.” Accenture, 2017. Web.
[ii] “The Voice of the Customer: Identifying Disruptive Opportunities in Insurance Distribution.” Accenture, 2017. Web.