How to Better Understand Your Customers

The ability to understand your customers is the cornerstone of any successful business, and the insurance sales profession is no exception. As you grow to know more about your customers, you will be able to diagnose the things you need to do to build loyalty, and with loyalty comes a thriving business capable of sustaining itself without you having to be there every moment of the day or night to make things happen. So how do you know if you understand your customers well enough? Put each of these five key areas to use, and you’ll never need to ask that question again.


1. Their professional life

Obviously, income and choice of profession play major roles in understanding your customer’s professional life. You have to know income to know how much coverage your customer needs versus how much they can afford. The risk level of the profession is also important because it plays a major role in learning how insurable they are and how great their need is. Example: oil field workers are going to have more dangerous, demanding professions than office workers, so the urgency for insurance is greater.


2. Their personal life

Data can tell you a lot about your customers’ identities and needs. Married people with children tend to live longer and lead healthier lives than permanent singles. Does your customer have any marriages or children? Not only can this question provide a forecast on the likelihood of good health and life expectancy, but it can also give you an idea of the types of products your insurance leads want and whether they plan to buy a home in the next couple of years.


3. Their long-term plans

Say your customer does plan to buy that home in a few years. That tells you automatically that they may one day need a homeowners policy to go with the auto insurance they have with you. To prevent foreclosure in the case of a tragedy, you might also suggest they look in to life insurance for the appropriate amount to pay off a house in their price range. Don’t be afraid to quiz your customers on what their future plans are. Most will understand that you’re looking out for their benefit.


4. Their financial report card

How well prepared are your customers to meet current and future financial obligations (i.e. pay off mortgage, manage debt, etc.)? What would it take to replace a breadwinning spouse’s income for the extent of their working life? Are they a one-income household or two? All of these questions have clear insurance implications.


5. Disruptions

Last but not least, learning about any and all life disruptions is essential to understanding your customers. These disruptions could include car accidents, deaths in the family, disabilities that may cause long layoffs from — or the inability to — work, divorce, or the birth of a child. Any time such life disruptions exist, your client will likely need to change something about their insurance/financial portfolio. Being there to lend a helping hand will not only help the customer in a time of need, but it can also be these types of moments that lead to lifetime loyalty and generational business.


In Summary

To understand your customers, you have to get involved with them. Know what is important to them, what their values are, their future plans. They are your business, and the more involved you are with them, the more successful you will be. What are some good customer building tips that you have put to work in your life as an insurance agent? Sound off in the comments section.

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