We all know that the insurance industry has changed. With more options available for securing insurance – not all of which involve working with an individual agent – not every prospect can be sold the same way. There are two types of sales that agents must learn: relationship sales and transactional (“one and done”) sales. Both have their benefits and if you want to stay competitive, you must learn to do both.
These days, people have busy lives and many of the consumers shopping for coverage simply want the best price. They want to buy insurance instantaneously – based on cost – and don’t prioritize a relationship with the agent. They buy first, and perhaps develop the relationship later. This type of prospect demands a transactional approach. The transactional shopper is focused only on the initial interaction and short-term solutions. In order for both agencies and carriers to thrive in this environment, individual agents must be able to close during the initial conversation with a potential client.
However, there are still insurance shoppers that crave the added value an agent brings. They don’t care about the cheapest price, but want a long-term relationship with a trusted advisor. Relationship selling is all about building a connection with your prospects and listening to their needs. With this style of selling, customers appreciate the time and attention you give them in order to find the right fit. Once you’ve built that relationship, shown you care, and earned their trust, you are on the road to making them a customer for life. This approach goes beyond business and addresses the customer’s wants and needs. Tactics used here may include setting up face-to-face appointments, calling to check in, or sending a thoughtful note every now and then. In relationship selling, you become a form of support for your customers. The goal is to provide the best possible customer service and to maintain a relationship over time.
Both of these sales models can benefit your business, and in today’s changing insurance landscape both are essential skills for agents to develop. Easily identifying which prospects require which approach, and being able to put it into action, is a talent that must be developed over time. Both types of customers have needs that you must be able to meet.
At Korsgaden International, we teach a Dual Marketing System that will help your organization capitalize on this shifting environment. If you are a Carrier Executive looking for help developing a proven sales strategy, you can find more information here. If you are an individual agent who wants to implement the different types of selling, we can help.