I talk to people regularly who tell me that they are not happy with their agent. I hear statements like, “My agent does not understand my business”, “My insurance program is not matched to my business”, or “My agent always tries to sell me more insurance.” These are common issues in the business community. I have found that the key issue with most of these concerns has less to do with the agent, and more to do with how the customer goes about selecting the agent. What?–How can that be true?
Most agents are just trying to sell insurance and move on to the next account. They are not bad people, but they have been trained to sell. Our agents are different; first and foremost, we are trained to serve.
Too often customers go about selecting their agent through bidding out their insurance and then selecting the lowest bidder.
Here is a great quote form the movie Armageddon, when the team of oil drillers are sitting in the space shuttle ready to lift off, and having second thoughts. “You realize we’re sitting on 45,000 pounds of fuel, one nuclear warhead and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder? Makes you feel good doesn’t it?” Rockhound played by Owen Wilson.
My contention is that the process by which clients select their agent is flawed, and there is a better way. By only looking at the lowest price, you are missing the most important part of the process; getting the best possible combination, of coverage, risk management, customer service, and price designed for your specific business.
If buyers were to select agents on something other than price, they would be much happier. Here is what to look for in an agent:
- A good agent will have access to many markets, making price consistent between most agents.
- Staff experience.
- Special training and credentials.
- Have conversations with prospective agents. Simply asking questions does not mean you have to work with them. This is a chance for you to get a feel for how they work and if you feel comfortable with them.
- A good agent needs a high emotional IQ. This includes the ability to listen and empathize with clients on a deeper level in order to discern what they really want and need.