In today's marketplace, anybody can sell on price. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the only thing that matters to consumers is price.
A professional insurance salesperson (like you) must be able to connect with prospects and help them understand and internalize the value of the insurance you’re selling.
If you only sell insurance on price, you will eventually be replaced because:
- There will always be another company with lower rates.
- When people buy from you just to save money, they’ll leave just as fast.
- A call center employee can quote more people faster and cheaper than you.
- A website can give millions of quotes per second even faster and cheaper.
Now, I know that price is the primary driver of insurance sales. But I also know that selling on price alone will be the downfall of you, your agency, and the entire agency sale model.
Here’s our top 10 tips you can implement today to sell insurance on value. All of these tips take little effort, and can transform your agency and showcase the value of your products.
1. ASK ABOUT COMMUNICATION PREFERENCES
During your sales conversation, ask your prospect how they like to communicate with companies they do business with. Do they prefer to use the phone, send emails, meet face-to-face, online accounts, text messages?
Once you understand how they like to communicate, it’ll be a lot easier to frame the benefits of your agency around that. Make sure your prospect knows that you’ll be there to communicate with them in the way that fits their life.
Don’t brag about your iPhone app if the prospect doesn’t have a smartphone and don’t oversell the convenience of an agency website with online support for customers if your client prefers to speak to a human on the phone. In either case they’ll perceive that they’re paying extra for benefits they don’t value.
2. ASK WHY THEY BOUGHT THEIR INSURABLE INTEREST
When you find out what kind of car, home, motorcycle, etc. the prospect owns ask them: “What made you choose that one?” It’s very rare that someone responds with, “It was the cheapest.”
Instead, they’ll say, “It had the best crash test ratings” or “It’s is in a really great neighborhood with amazing schools” or “After all these years of working hard, I deserve a few nice things”.
An expensive insurance policy is certainly not as cool as a brand-new Harley but getting prospects to answer this question aloud will remind them that they don’t make every purchasing decision on price alone and you will activate the part of their brain that makes more value-oriented decisions.
3. Talk About Claims
When shoppers come to you for a quote they’re only focused on one thing – the price.
Explain the claims process and how your agency helps guide customers through it as smoothly as possible. Use a specific example of how your process helped a previous client have a better experience.
Find every way possible to talk about claims – it’s the best way to get people thinking outside the price box.
It’s your job to make them recognize and internalize the fact that they’re making a decision about more than just how large of a check they’re going to write every month.
4. ASK ABOUT THEIR LAST CLAIM EXPERIENCE
It’s probably already part of your quoting process to find out about the last insurance claim. Ask a follow-up question like, “How did your claim experience go?”
Sometimes you’ll get lucky and stumble into someone who had a bad experience and your claims handling processes might offer clear advantages. But even if they had a wonderful experience, forcing your prospect to mentally “re-live” the claim experience will pull them further from the “only price matters” mindset.
5. EducatING Your Prospects IS KEY
No matter what your potential new client tells you, most consumers don’t understand how insurance works. If you can explain it to them in a way that makes sense without being condescending you’re already providing an incredible amount of value!
When clients see how well you understand insurance they’ll feel more comfortable about the decisions you’re guiding them to make and they’ll feel more confident you’ll be a positive resource in the event of a claim. It's all about being a trusted advisor for your clients and potential clients.
Experts don’t just spit out a bunch of terminology. The mark of a real expert is the ability to explain a subject to anyone regardless of age, background, or education. Don’t lecture; ask questions and engage.
6. Explain Discounts
People love discounts, and when they see how well you understand discounts they’ll trust that you’re getting them all the discounts they’re entitled to and will see the value in buying through an agent like you.
When you identify discounts your prospect qualifies for, take time to explain how much money each discount saves, why they qualify, and why the carriers offer that discount.
Explain to prospects that you regularly check their policy to make sure they’re getting every discount they deserve.
7. Qualify Your Experience
If you’ve been in insurance for a while, find ways to get this point across to every prospect. One way to do this is by identifying something that your prospect is very experienced in to make a comparison.
If you’re brand-new, that’s okay too. You can reference the combined experience of all your coworkers. “In our agency, we have over 30 years combined experience in insurance.”
If you’re inexperienced and so is everyone else, well… I guess you can just skip this one.
8. Explain That Having an Agent Doesn’t Raise The Price
Okay, so YOU know it’s not more expensive to have an agent but everyone else doesn’t. In fact a lot of people assume buying through an agent is more expensive.
Explain to prospects that agents are field underwriters who allow carriers to provide more accurate rates for every risk. There’s a lot more room for fraud when people get insurance through a website and that makes the honest people pay more.
A good agent who understands rating criteria and discounts can be a real asset when it comes to getting the cheapest price. Make sure your prospects know this.
9. Ask Questions and Listen
It’s hard to sell the value of your products and agency when you don’t know what’s most important to the client.
We’re inclined to believe everyone else thinks just like we do. Most salespeople mistakenly believe the product features and benefits most appealing to them will also appeal to our clients and this can lead to selling the WRONG value.
To find out what product values to focus on ask more questions. Here’s an example: “What’s the second most important thing to you about insurance? I’ll assume price is number one…”
10. Don’t Apologize For Your Price
I get it. I know everyone wants to save money on insurance – I do too. I also know most of your sales happen because of saving people money. But guess what:
Sometimes nice things cost more.
Does the Mercedes salesperson apologize because you can’t get an S-Class for the same price as an Kia Forte? Of course not, he believes it’s a better car and it’s worth the extra price.
If you don’t believe your product is better than everyone else’s and worth the price either convince yourself otherwise or don’t expect long-term success.
I’m confident that local insurance agents will survive against threats like online direct writers and call centers but it will not happen unless you can sell value.
Start selling more VALUE today, or we’ll all face the consequences tomorrow!
Tell us what you think? Have you used these tips in your agency? How do you overcome the argument of value over price?