Cross selling is hardly a new concept. Marketing different products to existing clients has been so thoroughly drummed into generations of agency owners and producers that we think of it as common practice.
Yet the average independent agency still writes fewer than two policies per household—disappointing considering the average household has seven to 10 policies available.
It’s clearly time for a different approach. The answer lies in thinking in terms of what your clients need—in other words, shifting to a client-centric sales approach.
Being a client-centric agency means focusing on client needs and offering the full range of your services to both personal and commercial clients. It means addressing the complete client life cycle, while demonstrating value and creating a seamless experience. And it means breaking out of your property-casualty comfort zone to find solutions for your clients’ life-health needs.
Consider the opportunity the Affordable Care Act and changing group medical plans has created. For the average consumer, navigating the online insurance policy portals is challenging. For small business owners, choosing the right group plan can seem impossible. Everyone needs a place to turn for health insurance advice—and who better than their trusted insurance agent?
Get set up to offer l-h policies, and ensure your existing customers know you have recognized their struggles and are equipped to offer them guidance. It’s one important way to center the client experience in your agency’s sales.
But how do you develop options for individual l-h products if you lack expertise? Do research, hire new specialist agents and grow over time. Or partner with carriers or third-party vendors to start a benefits department with minimal upfront investment. Third-party providers enable agents to cobrand benefits and fulfill client needs for medical and supplemental coverages.
The next time you hear about a new automated cross-selling tool, remember it all begins with a client-centric approach that requires you to fulfill more of your client needs.
Matt Masiello is executive vice president & COO of the SIAA, the largest alliance of independent insurance agencies in the country, and CEO of Strategic Independent Insurance Agency Solutions.
This article was published in the June 2016 issue of IA Magazine, written by Matt Masiello