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Are You Looking In The Right Places For Your Insurance?

A More Effective Way To Think About Insurance.

Everyone is looking for a good deal on his or her personal insurance.  Some people define a “good deal” as getting the lowest priced insurance, much like buying gas or other products of a similar kind.  However, there is a different way to define the “best deal” in insurance terms.  We want you to get the best value.  Let me describe what I mean.

You Are Hiring Agent—Not Buying A Policy

Rather than shopping around for the lowest cost insurance, why not shop for an agent who can help you find the best value.  Independent agents represent many different insurers.  You will benefit from an agent who represents many insurers; especially an insurer who has experience with your individual needs.  When you allow an agent to market your insurance needs to several insurers, it is an excellent way to bring value to the process and ensure that you will be presented with the best options available on the market today.  You want a relationship, not just a policy.

Insurance policies are not all created equal. Insurance is not like a commodity; insurance companies offer many different kinds of policies that may or may not offer the coverage you need.  Why pay for insurance you do not need, or worse, pay for coverage you thought you had but did not.

As an independent agent, we will not sell you more insurance, we will provide the right insurance.  In some circumstances, we may even tell our clients not to buy insurance.

Ask your agent about their experience and qualifications. Are they investing in extra training and do they have accreditations?

A good agent will:

  • Ask questions
  • Educate you
  • Bring their knowledge and skills into the relationship
  • Act an advisor not a sale person
  • Become a trusted partner

Agents Help Fill The Gap

Many insurance policies are filled with coverage gaps. These are areas where you need certain coverage, but the policy may not provide it. A coverage gap may have policy limits or deductibles not designed for your needs.  An agent acting as your advisor can help you identify these gaps and offer solutions.

We often use the phrase, “You often don’t know what you don’t know.”  Our job as your trusted partner is to listen to you, educate you, then partner with you in developing the right insurance solutions.

Here Is How You Benefit

  • The complex becomes clear. When you have a relationship with the agent who is serving you, they will make the complex world of insurance understandable and how best to manage it.
  • Is Insurance the only option? Clients may not always understand that there may be other ways to handle risk.  A trusted advisor is in the education business – not the selling business.
  • Value-added benefits. With a trusted advisor, you the buyer will have all the resources and knowledge of the agent and his/her team.
  • You have access to other experts. Wouldn’t it be great if your agent brought to your team attorneys, accountants, claims experts, loss control professionals, and more?  Well, a trusted advisor will do just that.

Give me a call and let us talk about how we are different and can help you understand your insurance purchase with clarity.  I want to earn your trust.

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.

How We Put People Before Policies

We have used “How We Put People Before Policies” as our tagline for many years.  We use it because we truly believe that people are more important than policies.  However, a tagline is meaningless unless it is put into practice.  Here are a number of ways we carry this out this concept every day.

Each Client Is Unique

We know your insurance needs are one of a kind and require personal attention.  Your family may require certain kinds of coverage and we will make sure you understand that.

Education Comes First

Before we even talk about insurance, we want to educate you on your risks and how these risks may affect your family or business.  We believe that if you are educated about your risk you will make educated decisions.

Excellence Starts With A Human Connection

When a client calls, they get a licensed professional who can speak to their specific needs and respond accordingly.  We listen to your concerns, ask questions, and then provide a response.

We Never Stop Learning

Risk and insurance is an ever-changing field.  That is why we, as a team, continue to expand our knowledge base and further our education.  This allows us to provide you with the latest trends regarding your risk and insurance.

Relationships Matter

Insurance is a relationship between you the client, the agent, and the insurance company.  We look out after your interests—we do not work for an insurance company.  We enjoy making personal connections with our clients, and look forward to the next time we interact with them.

Why Are Auto Insurance Premiums On The Rise?

Why Are Auto Insurance Premiums On The Rise?

When we speak about insurance, we try to remind people that there are things you can control and things that are out of your control. It is essential to focus your attention on the actions that can help keep your auto insurance premiums as low as possible. These include; driving in a safe manner, keeping your vehicle in good repair, educating your teens through driver education, and using an independent agent to shop your auto insurance.

There are also factors that are out of your control. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these are the factors as to why auto insurance premiums are on the rise.

  • An increase in distracted driving accidents. Nine people die every day as a result of distracted driving, and 400,000 are injured annually. At any given time over 600,000 drivers are using mobile devices while they are driving.
  • Advance technology in newer vehicles. The cost to repair newer vehicles has increased due to the advanced technology utilized in newer vehicles.
  • Rising medical costs. Medical cost has increased by 3% in the last five years.
  • There are more vehicles on the road which increase the probability of having accidents.
  • The average cost of vehicle repair has risen by 24% over the past eight years.
  • Weather-related auto accidents cause billions of dollars each year.

There are many things you can do to keep your auto rates at the lowest level possible.

  • Review your deductibles. According to the Insurance Information Institute, raising your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your Collision and Comprehensive costs by 15 to 20 percent.
  • Encourage your student driver to get the best grades possible. Most major insurance companies offer a discount for students in good academic standing.
  • Select a safe car. Check out which cars are popular with thieves and avoid them. Also, the more expensive the car, the higher the premiums.
  • Be a safe driver. The more accidents and tickets you have, the higher the premiums will be.
  • Purchase a car with an alarm or LoJack. LoJack® Stolen Vehicle Recovery System provides car owners with peace of mind knowing that if their vehicle is stolen, they have the best chance of getting it back.
  • Be loyal. Many auto insurance companies offer loyalty discounts if you stay with them over time.
  • Check for other auto insurance discounts. These might include taking safe driver courses, senior discounts and more.

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 #autoinsurance

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

 

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

 

Agents…Learn to Be “Consultative” Rather Than “Transactional”

For those who have been following my posts over the past few years, thank you!  We have been talking a lot about how to better serve the needs of our customers.

If I had to put customer service into one thought, it would be this; be consultative rather than transactional.  It is hard to get your head around this because it seems like our business is nothing but transactional.  Binders, certificates, billing, claims processes, and renewals all seem to focus on the transaction process.

Transactional selling is about need, price, and closing, and the word “client” is nowhere to be found.  Conversely, consulting is client focused through discovery, education, and problem solving.

Here are a few ways you can break out of the transactional cycle:

  • Educate yourself on the client’s risks and potential needs.
  • Realize that you are creating value, not “low cost.”
  • Develop relationships with your clients.
  • It feels better to help someone—rather than sell someone.
  • There is real satisfaction in creating solutions.

Consultative customer service is the direction in which our industry is going.  Trusted advisors actually generate more business and sales, receive more referrals (via their customers), and have long lasting customer relationships.

As author David Meister tells us, “There is no greater source of distrust than advisors who appear to be more interested in themselves than in trying to be of service to the client…A common trait of a trusted advisor relationship is that the advisor places a higher value on maintaining and preserving the relationship itself than on the outcomes of the current transaction, financial or otherwise.”

Client Education Trends

We have been on a journey for over a year to educate both agents and buyers of insurance about the most effective way to secure insurance and risk management services. It appears our work may be paying off. We are seeing more and more articles related to the buying and selling insurance that include titles like:

  • “Educate Your Clients”
  • “Discover Solutions”
  • “Quality Relationships Matter”
  • “Buyers Value Partnerships”
  • “Sales People Can’t Wing It”

These are all good articles that directly relate to what we have been saying over the past twelve months. We have reviewed a number of these articles and picked out some of the best points for agents and insurance buyers to consider. These include:

  • See your buyer’s needs through their perspective. This involves active listening on the agent’s part. Agents should talk less, and listen 80% of the time.
  • Deliver your buyer a solution — not a product. Solutions are meant to address the client’s real needs, not sell an insurance product.
  • Focus on what’s important to the client. Determine what their true needs are.
  • Focusing only on your insurance product will cause you to miss what buyer’s value from you.

If insurance buyers demand these procedures of their agents, and agents practiced these guidelines, insurance coverage would be better designed, and overall cost of risk would be lower for businesses. Insurers would be happy because losses would be reduced, and businesses would be matched with the right insurer.

Sources: Jay Mitchell, Dive Inside the Mind of Your Buyer — and Discover a Solution to Serve Them. 2.28.17, Clayton Christensen, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, Deb Calvert, Research Reveals What Buyers Value…It’s Not What You Think, 3.2.17.