Insurance Agents, Here’s How You Stand Out From The Pack
The insurance industry is a challenging but rewarding place to earn your living, particularly if you’re an agent connecting customers with family-protecting products. But with all the competition — not just from the Internet but from other agents — how can one distinguish themselves from the pack? Today we’re going to look at a few ways that should help.
Speak a second language.
While you certainly do not have to learn Spanish, the growing number of immigrants of Hispanic descent offer the bilingual Insurance agent a wonderful growth opportunity. If you do live in or near areas that are predominantly populated by another ethnicity — Japanese, Vietnamese, etc. — then you might want to consider learning one of those languages instead (if you haven’t already). It can be difficult picking up a second language later in life, but software like Rosetta Stone and apps such as Duolingo are making it accessible.
Build your web presence.
A great number of insurance agents have yet to embrace the Internet as an essential tool for reaching customers. Regionally, competition for keywords is low enough to results in an accessible barrier of entry. Establishing an informative blog to educate your customers, friending them on Facebook to learn of up-sell opportunities based on their life events and interests, and offering them your personal email are just a few ways you can command the web and stand out from the competition. Of course, to build a strong web presence, you’ll want to invest some money in a good computer and take the time to master it, so if your computer skills need some work, dig in and get busy.
Be a good listener.
During your interactions with insurance leads and customers, a trained ear will help you deliver upper level customer service that will be remembered anytime there is an insurance need. Something as simple as asking a customer with children how their son’s football game went or their daughter’s dance recital can ingratiate you as something more than an agent. That will make it easier to keep your customers for the long haul and sell additional policies.
If starting out, get some non-insurance sales experience first.
While the insurance world is unique and requires a specific set of knowledge, the sales part translates well to other professions. As you’re training to become an insurance agent or if you’re a qualified independent who has yet to ramp up his business, consider selling a non-insurance product. Not only can this add to your revenue stream, but it can also help you sharpen your skill set and make you more likely to convert sales leads as they’re acquired. Also, in many sales jobs there is less of a barrier to entry, so you can get a lot of experience quickly.
Don’t try to compete on price; always try to compete on value.
There may be a temptation to attract eyeballs through a low price point. In fact, many agents resort to this tactic. But more often than not, you’re only going to get temporary results. Actuarial data can change frequently, so even if you’re the lowest price now, you probably won’t be forever. Even so, it should be possible to get and keep customers if you’re using the right approach from the start. Never try to compete with another price. Only try to compete on value. To do this effectively, you’ll need to determine what value is to the customer. To do that, you have to know the customer — not just their name, their marital status, and how many kids they have, but what keeps them up at night, what their future plans are, and what their specific needs are for where they are in life at the present.
If there is one lesson that you can learn immediately from this post, it’s that you don’t always have to sell the cheapest product in town to stand out from the competition. There are other better ways of reaching customers, and each of the tips above should help you get there.