Why Trust is Hard to Come By

Trust is the way to sell yourself. People won’t buy from you if they don’t trust that your services are good, or that your product will improve their lives. That being said, trust is relatively easy to build as long as you follow a solid formula.

For insurance agents, this formula is about the same as other sales-focused jobs, but it must come off naturally. It takes a little more work on your end to master this but once done, you’ll see a huge shift in your interactions with people. They’ll buy easier, spread positive reviews, and increase your sales in the long run.

man on phone building trust with customer
It’s all about how you talk to people. Be professional, knowledgeable, and courteous.

Do Reputable Work

The baseline of any trust building is to show that you provide consistent value with your work. This is why bigger sites rely so much on positive reviews of their customers; it demonstrates hard evidence that people like what they do.

If you don’t have a profile that allows for reviews, then just word-of-mouth will do. Building strong trust with your customers comes from honest hard work. Also, to support this concept, make sure you’re giving yourself deliverable goals, i.e. if you say you’ll have someone signed up with a new policy within a week, you must do everything you can to accomplish this. If it’s not reasonable, don’t promise it.

Be Personable

They say you’re underdressed without a smile. Being a friendly, courteous person will get you far with any customer interactions. Of course, don’t pile on the cheese or be overly complimentary. People are more aware now of those that seem overly friendly as it comes off as manipulative. Steer clear of anything that makes you seem fishy.

This means genuine compliments only. If you like someone’s car or their new scarf, then by all means, openly share your admiration. It can spark a conversation as well as the possibility of connecting with shared stories. Did you both buy your car at the same dealership?

These personal connections get you far in building trust. It also works on social media. If you have a welcoming profile with visible content, people can examine your page and make decisions based on them. This means being meticulous with the content you share or allow posted. 

The last note on personability is consistency. Like your work, your personal profile needs to be on par with who you are in real life. Red flags will be set off if someone expects a particular detail they found online, and then you’re completely different in real life. 

Emphasize Security

Every day, tons of people are subjected to scams. Whether they fall for them or not, it can leave people on edge in who they deal with.

people having a meeting about trust
People want to trust you because they need to purchase coverage. Go into each meeting with a positive mindset.

Simple actions like mentioning you keep information confidential or placing a security certificate in your profile (or a physical one on your desk) can put people’s minds at ease. This is especially needed in an information trading industry like insurance.

People release detailed personal info when they purchase insurance. They need to be reminded, subtly, at every turn that they can trust you with their address, phone number, and email addresses.

One last note before we leave you is availability. None of these trust-building tactics will work if you’re not available to implement them. This means taking the time to answer phone calls, emails, or even text messages if you see fit. 

A trusting customer is a loyal one. At the first sign of deception, a person will view everything you say or offer as negative like you’re trying to take advantage of them. And once lost, trust is the hardest to win back. Start off on the right foot with these tips, and you’ll build a solid, reliable reputation that places you on a higher tier.

 

Understanding a Customer’s Needs

The marketing world runs on its customers. After all, without the customers, there’d be no income. For insurance agents selling policies, you are not exempt from the overall push to satisfy your customer’s needs. Doing so in a smart way will net you more than just a sale, it’ll get you positive reviews which increases the chance of future sales.

Talking about it is easier than doing it. Any sales rep will tell you it’s hard to teach good salesmanship. However, we’ve found a few solid tips that, if practiced, will sharpen your skills. They all fall under acknowledging what a customer wants and needs.

customer wearing an earpiece to search for insurance
Anyone you work with deserves to know that you care. That’s the first step towards understanding.

Research What People Are Looking For

It helps to start on the right foot, and that comes from insight using research tools. There are search engines available online that comb through the questions people ask about your industry. Taking the time to see what people are looking for can give you a leg-up when it comes to the first conversation.

Answering those questions before a customer even asks can surprise and delight them. It puts you in a knowledgeable position and builds trust that they can rely on you for solid information. People want to know that they’re placing their time and money in the right hands.

This same concept can be applied to data collection in general. Once you start a database(Customer Relationships Management System or CRM), you can stock up on important info that your client base is searching for. This way, you can keep tabs on how questions evolve in your industry, plus you can see which patterns come out of it. Are people talking more about purchasing a policy during January? Does this correlate with anything else like perhaps sales in your area, or real estate pushes?

See From Their Perspective

The easiest way to gain perspective is to stand in someone else’s shoes. Think about what you would want if you were in their position.

This can be done by building a customer model. You can use the CRM we talked about earlier (which would be a great use of the tool) or simply grab a notepad and jot down ideas. These are some questions to get you started:

  • Why is this person contacting me?
  • What are they trying to protect? (What’s actually important to them?)
  • How would I want to be treated?
  • What would I expect in this situation?

After answering these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what you should do when interacting with a customer. The best rule is this: act with integrity and transparency. The majority of people will react positively to this type of interaction.

Ask for Reviews

Do you already have an established customer base? Are they satisfied? Great, then you have an amazing source to get information from to improve your communication. Ask these happy customers what you did that satisfied them, and what you could do to improve for the future.

customer talking on the phone
People need insurance to protect what they care about. It’s not about selling insurance; it’s about selling protection.

This can come in the form of surveys, polls, or simple conversation. Pay attention to the areas that people focus on, for that is where you’ll find the most insight. If the majority of your customers talk about your office and how nice it was, then that can be telling of a few things. 

Perhaps people in your area prefer a calm environment. It puts them at ease. So, using this knowledge, a welcoming office is an excellent asset to invest in.

When you start down this path, be prepared to make changes (even if they’re uncomfortable at first) to your conversation style or even your surroundings. When your customers see you taking the time to make them feel welcome, and you’re attentive to their needs, it sparks a realization for them. That you want to help them, and this is the most powerful tool in your arsenal. 

 

2 Simple Tactics to Build a Solid Customer Relationship

As a freelancer, I have learned over time that the customer connection is your strongest selling point. Therefore, a great relationship can take your career to the next level. For agents, your needs are the same as my own: you want strong, solid customer relationships that bring you sales time after time.

But that’s the issue. It’s hard to cultivate these relationships if you’re coming from the wrong standpoint. Throw away outdated sales tactics like “not taking no for an answer.” From here on out, engagement is your cornerstone.

Engagement Tactic: Communication

Take a solid partnership for instance. You won’t have a successful marriage if you don’t communicate with one another (or at least make it happily). Like any relationship, the one with your customer needs to come from a place of genuine connection. 

You can build this connection through email outreach, phone calls, and even texting. Studies show that people connect faster online than ever. So, utilize the technology available to reach out to a wider audience.

a customer relationship built with a woman holding a credit card
It’s easy to convert someone to a sale! Just remember that they’re buying with their heart, not their head.

This emotional attachment will keep your connection strong from typing to talking. When you chat with someone, you don’t just want to go on and on about your business. That’s boring. Engage the customer on their level by listening to them, and responding to their needs. 

For example, if you’re building a customer relationship, obviously your sales pitch is going to be a topic at some point. The first point in communication is listening to them, show them you’re human too. This can be as simple as talking about a shared hobby sport, or even volunteer work.

Once you get a customer laughing or sharing a story, you collect on the most precious coin of all: emotion. Engaging in the emotional pull will almost guarantee you a sale.

Engagement Tactic: Reaction

Why do people like playing difficult games? Why did you get into sales in the first place? You wanted a reaction.

People like to be in competition because they get something back. It’s why we play sports, video games, and enter contests. The same tactic can be used in your relationships.

Don’t force your connections into one-sided conversations. You need to ask questions that require more than yes or no answers, then listen (take notes if you have to) and react. People want feedback to their own problems, just make sure your feedback is positive.

Remember, they’re answering the phone, or coming to you with a problem. You have their solution, but it can’t be dressed as a sales pitch. That’s one of the quickest way to lose someone, a fatal mistake. It doesn’t say “hello, I want to help you.” It says, “Give me your money. You’re a number to me.” 

That’s the last thing anyone wants, including you.

building a customer relationship through a phone call
Use what you’ve learned! Take the time on your phone calls to connect with someone, even mentioning small human things (like a holiday) can help.

So, to wrap up, engagement is what you’re going for. Connect to someone on a personal level, and find out exactly what problems they’re having. You already have their solution; you just need to show them that you care.

Then, react to them. Ask for feedback on how you handled their case. Show gratitude. Give them a bonus gift. Really, anything can be done here to reinforce the fact that you’re offering a service, not a price tag.

Use these simple tactics for a customer relationship, and watch your sales shoot through the ceiling.

All Customers Are Not Created Equal

Unfortunately you cannot build a relationship with all your customers. Nor should you realistically expect to. Instead, aim for the best ever connection with the regular customers that come back year-after-year and consistently buy insurance from you. Call them your core users. It is the core users that need to be nurtured in the fashion best known to relationship marketing — great customer service above and beyond the call of duty. Pull out the stops and do it all for the core users and they shall stay.

This does not mean you do not attempt to cultivate new users and customers. It just means that your rightful focus really needs to be the core customers first to keep them. Only after you establish core users, then you bring new customers into the fold.

Slightly different marketing approaches but the fit together quite well. Break out your sales figures at the end of the year and see where the largest customer gains occur. Chances are it is from the loyal, always there customers.

Are You an Expert at Assessing Your Existing and Potential Customers?

By being an expert at assessing your existing and potential customers, we mean do you understand your audience? Do you know their desires, needs and wants? Do you know what is likely to motivate them to buy insurance? What solutions do you have to offer those who want insurance but are not sure it is right for them, right now?

Always ask yourself, who is your target audience? Are you aiming to market to seniors, college age students, those with new families or individual policies? Do you have a clear vision of whom you want to sell to and what products would suit the lifestyles they may live? Better yet, have you written down what you want to accomplish, who you want to market to and how you plan to do that?

The fundamental point here is that having a clear marketing plan and having a record of how you want to get where you want to go is part of understanding your audience. The last thing you want to do is try to sell the wrong kind of insurance because you were not clear about your client’s needs.

What is Relationship Marketing and How It Benefits Insurance Agents

Agents who may be new to the business or who are struggling with obtaining leads, need to remember a simple rule: People buy what directly benefits them. Thus, to increase their customer base, agents will need to work hard at fining the benefits in buying insurance for their individual clients. After all, people typically make buying decisions based on what is good for them and how it benefits them.

While insurance is more than just beneficial, it is one product that many people think they can do without. Not having insurance can be a bad choice if a family member has an unexpected accident and requires a fair amount of medical care. On the other hand, having insurance would significantly reduce medical costs for sudden illnesses, injuries or damages. For any insurance agent, the key to discussing insurance policies with potential and existing customers is knowing what would work for them. In other words, what would prompt current or perspective customers to purchase an insurance policy.

Many insurance agents, new and more experienced, forget that in order to successfully sells insurance they need to establish a relationship with their leads and customers. This strategy is also known as relationship marketing.

The simplest way of approaching relationship marketing is by engaging with warm leads, those people you already know. Warm leads are more likely to do business with you because they know you and because you know them and have an idea of what their individual wants and needs may be. Warm leads may require a little less effort, but you will also need to inspire them with the depth of your knowledge on various policies, benefits, prices and coverage.

Now, if you apply similar tactics that you used on your warm leads to all other leads, you will see success. In other words, if you market yourself just as you would choose to market your product to warm leads, your chances of converting new leads and customers incrementally goes up.

What potential customers want to hear is how they can benefit from buying insurance and they want to hear it in simple terms. This is where being able to take various policies and present them in a manner that is easily understood is helpful. Cover what the policy pays for and what it does not. Lay out precisely what coverage the individual or family has and what they will pay for premiums. Being honest, upfront and detailed in your explanations earns customer loyalty and repeat business.

Always remember that customers clearly appreciate an agent that not only knows their business and products but conveys the impression that they really want to help their customers choose what works best for them. If you genuinely care about your customers, they come back and spread the word about your services and expertise.

Lead Types

Get Your Free Guide to Selling Exclusive Insurance Leads!

    Hey there, I’m Ben, your personal assistant. What brings you to Benepath’s website today?