Can Selling And Customer Service Coexist?

Traditional insurance “selling” has not always gone hand in hand with good customer service. Traditional insurance selling often consists of a sales person trying to convince a buyer of the benefits of the product he/she is selling. Conversely, good customer service involves determining the customer’s needs and concerns first, and then determining how to best provide solutions. The difference is in the mindset of the sales professional. You can actually provide good customer service while “selling” if you view selling as offering a value added service to your customer. This starts with how the sales professional views the process.

If you are looking for something different in the insurance buying process, evaluate your next insurance meeting using these standards.

  • Does your agent ask questions to determine your needs and concerns?
  • How fast does the agent offer insurance products as the only solution, if it in the first 15 minutes you have a traditional insurance sales person.
  • Do you feel your agent knows and understands your business and industry?
  • Has your agent ever offered a non-insurance solution such as a contractual risk transfer?

We would encourage you to establish a set of standards by which you evaluate your insurance provider. Do they value relationships, do your values line up together and do they value the relationship? If you can answer these, you are on your way to developing a trusted partner.

Why A Trained Agent Is Better Than An Untrained Agent

Agents come in many shapes, sizes, and qualifications.  Every insurance agent must go through a basic level of insurance training in order to obtain a license. In order to keep their license, an agent must take a minimum level of training annually.  Unfortunately, many agents never do any more than the minimum. There is so much more to know about insurance than just the minimum of training.  It is imperative that all agents continually keep trained and educated in order to create, and deliver insurance and risk solutions to their clients.

Training benefits to agents and agencies

  • Enhances your company’s reputation. 
  • Employees desire professional development.
  • Helps agency attract and retain the best employees.
  • Increase the collective knowledge of your team.
  • Boosts your retention.
  • Allows you to truly provide “trusted advisor” solutions to your clients.

Training benefits to clients

  • Allows agents to bring a much broader knowledge base to problem solving.
  • Agents are more equipped to educate clients.
  • Provides a basis for providing business solutions beyond just insurance.
  • Trained agents are generally more knowledgeable about many different industries.
  • With a trained agent you can lower your cost of risk.
  • Professionally trained agents understand in greater detail how insurance is designed to work.
  • Highly trained agents can help you navigate difficult claims to your satisfaction.
  • Training is essential for knowledge transfer. It’s very important to share knowledge.

Professional development can come in many forms. But having an agent who is trained will always provide a broader depth of skill and experience to the client.

Our Holiday Wish… That Insurance Agents Become Trusted Advisors

This is the time of year when we give thanks.  We would like to thank our clients and market partners for their support this year. We would also like to thank all the agents who have followed us, and who are changing the way they do business. We continue with our mission to encourage insurance buyers to think about insurance as a service rather than a commodity, and to challenge insurance agents to strive to become trusted advisors.

Are you sought after by your clients for more than just your insurance knowledge? Do you spend time educating yourself on your client’s business needs? Are you aware of the trends and issues that will impact your customers next year? If you answered yes, you are on your way to becoming a trusted advisor.

What Is A Trusted Advisor?

A trusted advisor is an agent who becomes so important and valued by the client, that the client seeks advice from the agent on a number of issues other than just insurance. A trusted insurance advisor becomes part of the firm’s consultant team, which includes attorneys, accountants, and human resources consultants.  More than anything, being a trusted advisor is about establishing a set of behaviors.

Behaviors Associated With Trusted Advisors

  • Always put the client first. Do the right thing even if it means the organization does not get the work.
  • Solve problems rather than sell insurance.
  • Understand all the issues facing the client, well beyond insurance.
  • Be highly trained in business management.
  • Bring a portfolio of practical experiences, relationships with others, an understanding of business dynamics, and market trends.
  • Be willing to connect a number of business resources that will have a positive impact on your client’s business.

Why Hand The Baton To An Agent?

baton 3432drtLife can be like a race. We all are in our lanes going as fast as we can to get to the next place. Buying insurance can also be like a race.  Except with insurance, you have the option of passing the baton to an independent agent, and when the baton is passed correctly, you and your agent truly become a team that can accomplish great things.

What are some of the benefits of passing the baton to an independent agent?

  1. An independent agent is someone who knows how to run in the insurance fast lane. With an independent agent, you will be able to communicate more effectively with insurance companies, than you can on your own. This gives you an advantage of having an advocate on your team.  We know which markets are interested in your unique insurance requirements.  For example, some markets like contractors while others prefer retail businesses.  And still other markets like to insure motorcycles.
  2. When you pass the baton to an agent, you now have the experience and clout of a well trained professional to finish the race for you. The finish line includes having the insurance relationship and program design that meets your individual needs.
  3. When an agent takes the baton, you get his or her entire team as well. This includes qualified staff to help answer your questions and provide accurate information to you when you need it.
  4. Every race may have a point where claims do happen. If your agent has the baton they will be there to help you get back on your feet and get you back in the race. An agent will take the lead in working with the insurance company during the claims process.
  5. As your team member, we communicate with you. Our goal is to connect with you regularly throughout the year on hot topics that will affect you.

Together we will run the race with professionalism, excitement, experience, and customer service in mind, to deliver the best possible combination of coverage, service, and price.