Posts

What Do You Want From Your Insurance Relationship?

The best relationships are built to last.  Long-term financial relationships are much more than a quick transaction or low price.  Recent surveys by JD Power & Associates found that consumers actually valued long-term relationships.  There are many ways agents can build value and create lasting positive relationships with their clients.

Why Lasting Relationships Matter

If you listen to most insurance advertisements, they tell you to shop your insurance every year and over time, you may save money.  The problem with this concept is insurance is not a specific “one size fits all” product that you might buy and expect to be what you need.  For example, when you buy a faucet, you would not buy all the individual components of a faucet, put it together yourself, and hope it worked.  Rather, you purchase a completed faucet, install it, and it works for years as promised when you bought it.

With insurance, you go into a contractual agreement with the insurer that your claim will be paid based on the terms of the policy.  Insurance is unique and it takes knowledge and skill to put together the right combination of coverage for each individual.  Why would anyone build an insurance product themselves when a professional, experienced, and licensed agent can do it better?

Your Agent Will Care About What You Care About

  1. An agent will get to know your family and your individual needs. Over time, agents develop close relationships with their clients and care about their well-being. Wouldn’t it be good to be on a first-name basis with an agent who knows you and your family, and lives and works in the same local community that you do?
  2. Your agent will know what risks you have. As in any relationship your agent will better understand your risks and be able to educate you on how to manage these risks.
  3. You care about convenience, choices, and control. Your agent will provide you with options of Insurance policies, the ability to control how you access your account, and the convenience of a simple insurance purchasing process.

How Agents Help Build Lasting Relationships

  1. By educating their clients rather than selling a product.
  2. Agents are always keeping up on the latest issues and trends to share with their clients.
  3. You can call their office and get a professional team member who knows who you are.
  4. Agents will meet you where you are.
  5. Life-changing events may require a meeting with your agent; we are here for you.
  6. Instead of calling a voicemail or making an appointment, interested consumers can speak directly with an agent immediately and ask any question they choose.
  7. Agents know what your insurance policies cover and do not cover, which helps you when you have a claim.
  8. An agent will take the lead and work through a claim to make sure you are satisfied.

In conclusion, our marketing plan is not based on internet ads, or catchy slogans, our marketing plan is to have completely happy and satisfied customers and build long-lasting relationships.

While the massive national agencies spend millions on television ads and offer barebones policies, they do not know you. When your needs change or your situation complicates, you don’t want an automated phone tree or cold cyber-agent. You want to talk to compassionate, honest insurance experts – that’s our team. You shouldn’t have to spend hours researching and comparing policies. Let the specialists at Reichley guide you through the complex insurance industry.

Call today to alleviate the worry and get covered – (937) 429-0655.

2019 New Year Resolutions For Every Buyer And Agent

As we move into a new year, I hope that every insurance agent and insurance buyer will think about how they view their relationships. Let us get away from the clever insurance advertisement’s attempts to bring our products and services down to the lowest common denominator, price, and commodity. Insurance products and services are used to build our local economies, allow people to dream, and help rebuild in the event of a disaster.

Therefore, here are my resolutions for 2019. I hope other agents and insurance buyers will embrace these as well.

Agents

• I will always put the needs of my client above mine.
• I will strive to educate rather than sell.
• It will be valuable to provide my clients with options.
• Insurance is a complex transaction, and I need to help my clients understand what they are buying.
• Risk management should always be part of every conversation; identify risk, assess the risk, manage the risk, and review again.

Insurance buyers
• I will select an agent who values relationships.
• Price is not an indicator of quality.
• Buying local is like the “farm to table” of insurance.
• I will seek an agent who is qualified to manage my risks.

At Reichley Insurance, our employees are committed to developing ongoing communication with our clients and striving to exceed your expectations. You are not buying a product; you are managing your risk. Remember, insurance is not a product; it is a promise and a trusted relationship.

Which Insurance Agent Is Right For You?

Selecting an insurance agent may be one of the most important things you do.  Every family needs a good accountant, financial planner, and insurance agent to be looking out after their interests.  However, in today’s world, it may be hard to move your thinking away from the idea that the lowest price is the best, to getting the best value for your dollar.

We want to offer you a fun way to learn why your agent is more important than your policy.  We do this in the “Dear Abby” format—except it is “Dear Perk.”

Dear Perk: What does an insurance agent do?  In addition, is one really needed?  From – Wondering Will.

Dear Will:  A good insurance agent will help you understand what kind of insurance you need, first by educating you, and then offering solutions specifically designed for your family.  An agent asks you questions like, “What keeps you up at night,” or “Tell me about your lifestyle?”  Without an agent, there is no one looking out after your needs. Your agent will be there for you in the event of a claim and can provide valuable advice to make sure you get the full value of your policy.

Dear Perk: Aren’t all insurance agents the same?  From – All The Same Sam.

Dear Sam: No, insurance agents come in many different forms.  I recommend independent agents who represent many different insurance companies.  They are familiar with all types of policies from different carriers in the marketplace, and will create a better value by selecting what is best for their clients and not just selling you what products they have on hand.

Dear Perk: Our family has been blessed with great jobs that have allowed us to afford many luxury items.  Do I need any special kinds of insurance?  From – Very Blessed Brian.

Dear Brian: There are some very specific kinds of insurance we might recommend to people who have a high net worth.  Of course, we would want to meet with you to ask a series of questions in order to educate you and create a personal insurance portfolio just for you. However, here are a few ideas to get you thinking about your insurance needs.

Have you considered:

  1. A personal umbrella policy. This coverage offers higher limits for people who desire to protect their wealth in the event of a serious claim.
  2. Insurance for collections. Many people have wine collections, art, jewelry,and other high-end items that need to be insured.
  3. Insurance for a second home. If you own a vacation or rental home it is important to have that insured.
  4. Loss of use coverage. In the event your home is damaged, and you need to move out during restoration, you need coverage for a hotel, food, and other expenses. These can be covered under your homeowner’s insurance.

These are just a few thoughts we have regarding the importance of your insurance agent. “We believe insurance is not a product, it’s a promise and a trusted relationship”.  Please make time to hire the right agent with whom you can build a trusted relationship.  Then follow their advice and direction.

 

 

Why Insurance Advice Is Better Than A Policy

The quality of your agent will determine the value of your insurance policy

If you watch any TV, you have seen the typical insurance ads that tell you their coverage is better than their competitors. Many of these ads are very clever, but they mislead the viewers into buying insurance the wrong way.

We want to offer you a different way of looking at insurance. That is, your agent should be your trusted advisor guiding through the insurance purchasing process. Insurance policies like insurance companies are all different, and you need someone you can trust to help you find the highest valued insurance, not the lowest priced insurance. What many people fail to understand is that policies or “promises” differ from company to company.

If We Ran An Insurance Ad, It Might Look Like This

  • We place people before policies.
  • Collaboration always leads to greater value
  • Insurance is a promise, not a product.
  • We would educate you then sell to you.
  • Insurance is not a one size fits all.

Let Get Practical

What does this look like to the average insurance buyer? It starts with us asking questions and listening to you. We help you identify your needs and risks, talking about possible solutions then providing options. Sometimes we might recommend not buying insurance.

What Are the Benefits To You?

Our clients have the security and peace of mind knowing that their agent is a partner with them. They have a trusted relationship with someone who understands their individual needs and is not trying to sell them a policy, but protect their assists. Our relationship approach provides our clients with the knowledge that someone understands their needs and they have more than just an insurance product they have a valued relationship that goes beyond a policy

Give us a call and following us on: Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn

 

What A Trusted Advisor Does

My insurance agent friend John and I had another conversation about how agents can and need to differentiate themselves from other agents.  We have attempted to help agents understand the value of educating and solving problems rather than selling an insurance product. This is such an excellent example of this that we just had to share it with you.

John told us of a prospect he had two years ago. It was a chain of three family restaurants that he had a chance to get involved with. John met with the owner and asked a series of questions to determine their needs and if John might be able to help them. It was agreed that John would provide options for insurance coverage for the restaurant chain. One request John had was that he would also be to review all the quotes and help the client select the best option. (That is the kind of service a trusted advisor does) The client agreed.

Once all the quote came in, John was able to review the one other quote and educate the client on his options. John met with the client and told the client that the other quote was a better option for him. The client about fell off his chair. John said the client asked why he recommended his competition? John said it was his moral obligation to do what is best for the client. Needless to say, the client was appreciative, and the two became more than just business acquaintances.

Forward about a year and a half; John gets a call from the restaurant owner saying he needs to meet. John arrives not sure what to expect. The owner says that the other agent has left the insurance industry and wants John to take over the account. John asked why? The owner said that in all his years in the business he has never seen anyone put the needs of the client above making money, and he wanted to do business with that person.

John was able to take the business over on a broker of record letter and has been the owners trusted advisor for the last four years.

“There is an old saying, “It is amazing what you can achieve if you are not wedded to who gets the credit.” ― David H. Maister

Reichley insurance believes insurance is more than a transaction. Insurance involves a trusted relationship built on a promise to put people before policies. Our promise is to listen to you, identify your risks and provide solutions. Every employee has the heart of a teacher. Connect with us to experience The Reichley difference.

Perk Reichley and Bob Lilly

#insurance #riskmanagement #customerservice #busienssinsurance #selling #educating

 

How To Develop a Great Relationship With Your Clients

One of the most important things an agent can do is to develop a trusted partnership with their clients. A trusted relationship does not come quickly and means agents and their clients must look differently at the insurance buying process. There are many things an agent can do to build productive relationships with their clients.

Agents Must Take Action

Listen To Your Clients. The best way to know and understand your clients is to ask questions then listen to them.

Spend Time With Them. Agents need to make time for their clients besides just the renewal. We recommend you find ways to touch your clients monthly, with a newsletter, card, visit, industry gathering or a personal visit.

Get Your Team Connected To Their Team. It is often a great idea to have your agency team, and your client’s associates meet to get to know each other. This can be done at a social event or something like a lunch and learn.

Do Something Without Being Asked. Agents tend to get in a mindset of insurance, stop that way of thinking. If you just finished reading a good business or management book give a copy to your client. If you are heading off to a seminar, ask your client to go with you.

Be A Problem Solver. Get educated in your client’s industry, and then you are better able to help them solves all kinds of problems other than insurance.

Be Willing To Sell Less Insurance. This a tough one for agents to get over. But a trusted relationship starts with your client believing you are interested in what is best for them, not the agent selling more insurance. There are many other risks and none risk solution to your client s issues and concerns, get educated in these and be willing to educate and inform rather than sell.

If agents started to practice these six items, clients would become more interested in sharing all of their concerns, and you will become a valued business partner.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”– Dale Carnegie

Reichley insurance believes insurance is more than a transaction. Insurance involves a trusted relationship built on a promise to put people before policies. Our promise is to listen to you, identify your risks and provide solutions. Every employee has the heart of a teacher. Connect with us to experience The Reichley difference.

Perk Reichley and Bob Lilly

#insurance #riskmanagement #customerservice #busienssinsurance #selling #educating

 

What Is Your Value Proposition?

Most business owners can see an insurance agent coming a mile away. Agents, that is not a good thing. Insurance buyers have created a defense mechanism that makes it hard for agents get through. The primary reason for this is agents are far too often just interested in selling a product, not providing a solution.  Business owners don’t want to feel like they are a number or that the agent is only there to make a sale. Business owners want to be understood, they want to be educated, supported, and they want a trusted advisor.

Here is what has become the “industries” value proposition

  • Save 10 percent 15 minute or less
  • It is so easy, even a caveman can do it
  • You name your price
  • It is so simple a lizard can guide you
  • We have a special gun, and it knows how to save you money

A value proposition is what makes your agency unique and explains why someone would want to do business with you.

One way an agent can help is to develop a value proposition. Your value proposition should go beyond the product pitch and go deeper into the why and how you are an agent. When you build your unique value proposition, you need to start with answering a few questions

  1. Who are your clients?
  2. How do you help your clients?
  3. What problems do you solve?
  4. Why are you different than other agents?
  5. What services other than insurance do you offer?
  6. Why would anyone do business with you?

These are not value propositions

  • We have been in business for 50 years
  • We are a third generation agency
  • We have more markets
  • We are local

Here is our value proposition

  • We listen to your needs
  • We place people before policies
  • Insurance is a promise, not a product
  • We would rather educate you than sell you
  • There is no one size fits all insurance product

The benefits of redefining your value proposition are that clients will see it and it will enable you to build longer more valued relationships.

Reichley insurance believes insurance is more than a transaction. Insurance involves a trusted relationship built on a promise to put people before policies. Our promise is to listen to you, identify your risks and provide solutions. Every employee has the heart of a teacher. Connect with us to experience The Reichley difference.

Perk Reichley and Bob Lilly

#insurance #riskmanagement #customerservice #busienssinsurance #selling #educating

 

Make This Year Even Better Than Last Year

We have been encouraging insurance buyers and agents, over the past few years, to seek out new ways of looking at the insurance buying process. We have found that things are changing for the better in regards to the agent buyer relationship. We invite you to be part of the change that can impact our industry for years to come.

These are the values to which we continue to aspire to in 2018 and beyond.

The customer relationship involves face to face time. It takes regular contact over time to build trust and create a valued based relationship.

Knowing your client’s needs, concerns, and issues is the first step in creating a value-based relationship.

Educate your clients on how to identify, treat, and manage risk.  This allows for informed decisions.

Work to become a trusted advisor.  A trusted advisor becomes someone who helps with business decision and issues.  A trusted advisor comes to the table with resources to help the business with legal, accounting, marketing, and human resources strategy and issues.

Find a balance in the use of technology to communicate. We understand that the modern communication technology can have its benefits, but, face to face communication is the foundation of your relationship.

Believe that there is inherent good and value in being an insurance agent. This noble profession involves protecting society from devastating losses that in the absence of insurance could not sustain itself.

Work to understand the difference between consultative and transactional. The agents value proposition is that we know and understand risk. Our true value is to help others evaluate risk and provide meaningful solutions. It goes way beyond an insurance policy.

Understand what customers really want. Your customers want creative and different ideas.  They want you to have client services standards.  Customers desire more, and better, communication.  Finally, they want you and your team to be constantly learning.

We are making progress, but be vigilant. Don’t get sucked into the old way of thinking. Don’t be fooled by Madison Avenues selling the idea that complex risk and insurance topics can be boiled down something simple.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”  George Bernard Shaw

Reichley insurance believes insurance is more than a transaction. Insurance involves a trusted relationship built on a promise to put people before policies. Our promise is to listen to you, identify your risks and provide solutions. Every employee has the heart of a teacher. Connect with us to experience The Reichley difference.

Perk Reichley and Bob Lilly

#insurance #riskmanagement #customerservice #busienssinsurance #selling #educating

 

How an Agent Can Go From a Vendor to a Trusted Advisor

My goal in these articles is to create a dialogue among agents and insurance buyers about the differences between being a vendor and becoming a trusted advisor.  This concept starts with how insurance is viewed.  Insurance cannot be viewed as a product, but rather a relationship.  Insurance buyers need to understand that the insurance relationship consists of the agent, the buyer, and the insurer.  The insurer does not really care about the buyer; they offer a set of products.  The agent is the one who should care about the buyer, and develop a relationship through education, not selling.

You will not move from a vendor to trusted advisor overnight.  Here are the stages that include a process from: vendor, credible source, problem solver, then trusted advisor. To go through these steps an agent must consider the following.

What Are the steps an agent should consider?

  • Understand the needs of your client
  • Know your client’s industry
  • Be willing to do some work without compensation
  • Stop selling and do more educating
  • Develop other contacts within the business
  • Be willing to evaluate business processes
  • Don’t assume insurance holds all the answers
  • Ask your client to allow you access to information
  • Help them identify emerging issues and needs of their business and industry

Reichley Insurance believes insurance is more than a transaction.  Insurance involves a trusted relationship built on a promise to put people before policies.  Our promise is to listen to you, identify your risks and provide solutions. Every employee has the heart of a teacher.  Connect with us to experience The Reichley difference.

“The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.”  – Henry Ford

An Example of How Not All Agents Are Alike

I was having a conversation with an agent friend of mine discussing how we can differentiate ourselves from other agents.  He told me a stunning story that I want to share.  This story goes to the heart of my quest to educate agents and customers about the value of relationships.

My agent friend (call him John) told me that he recently was hired by a business to help them manage their commercial insurance and risk program. The client had been with their previous agent for ten years, so the change was a big decision for them.  John asked the new client why they decided to change, and they told him that they felt like all the previous agent did was renew their insurance.  They only saw him when a bill needed to be paid.  The client checked around, and another business associate recommended John.

As part of John’s relationship building, at the first meeting he asked a series of questions about the client’s business.  One of the questions led to the client telling John that they owned an underground storage tank that had been un-used for about 10 years.  The client never thought to tell their previous agent about the old tank.  The client said it just never came up.  John explained the risks of owning an underground tank, and directed them to various web pages showing the possible fines if there was ever an issue.  Obviously, the client became very concerned.  However, John suggested a number of solution options and the client decided to have John secure a quote for pollution liability.  The client ended up with a $1,000,000 policy at a cost of only $10,000.

This is where the story gets good.  About two years later as part of the annual client review meeting, John asked about the tank, and the client said they were removing the tank as part of a plant expansion.  Well once the tank came out, there was found to be $450,000 of soil damage and pollution cleanup.  That is a $440,000 cost benefit (minus the deductible).

Needless to say, the client now truly understands the value of relationships and the importance of having an agent who provides insurance and risk solutions.

Reichley insurance believes insurance is more than a transaction.  Insurance involves a trusted relationship built on a promise to put people before policies. Our promise is to listen to you, identify your risks, and provide solutions.  Every Reichley employee has the heart of a teacher.  Connect with us to experience The Reichley difference.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”  – Simon Sinek