The same parenting quote, “It takes a village to raise a child” applies to the business world. Regardless of the type of insurance your agency sells, you can’t achieve success without having a supportive team of agents. That’s especially true when it comes to cross-selling insurance policies. Reaching targeted goals requires the dedication of many individuals.
What Is Cross-Selling?
Before addressing some of the ways to build a strong team and the benefits of your entire agency working together, it’s important to understand cross-selling specific to the insurance industry.
With a cross-selling strategy, your insurance agency markets additional products or policies to the clients already served. Here are two examples of how this works:
- Bundling – An agent meets with a current client to talk about their homeowner’s insurance. During that conversation, the agent explains how the client can save money and benefit from the convenience of bundling their car insurance. Ultimately, that agent sells an additional policy.
- New Coverage – While discussing a current client’s home and auto coverage, the agent recommends some type of life insurance policy. With the right approach, that client sees tremendous value in purchasing an additional product.
In both scenarios, not only does the agent increase the number of policies your agency handles, but they also give their clients better service and peace of mind. It’s a win-win situation.
Why Does It Take a Team to Cross-Sell Insurance?
There are several reasons why cross-selling insurance is a team effort. The following is just one example.
Different Areas of Expertise
It’s common to have multiple agents working for one insurance company, with each specializing in a specific area of coverage. In other words, you might have one or two agents who do nothing but sell automobile insurance. Then, you have other agents with vast experience in and knowledge of homeowner’s insurance.
Although the concept of insurance is pretty much the same across the board, each type has unique characteristics. So, for one agent to have expertise in every aspect of the insurance industry would require them to learn, retain, and stay on top of a tremendous amount of information. That’s a lot to ask from one person.
Using the cross-selling strategy, all of your team members work together. If a client is speaking with a CSR about their auto insurance, and they notice that your agency isn’t handling their home insurance, it’s the perfect time to ask. Cross-selling insurance is a team effort and, for agencies to remain successful, everyone needs to work together to round out those accounts.
Enhancing Your Agency’s Cross-Selling Efforts
To succeed at cross-selling, every agent and CSR in your agency should follow the same guidelines. Below are several tips on how you can enhance the efforts of the entire team.
Focus on Improving Client Relationships
You might’ve heard someone say that 80 percent of your agency’s future revenue comes from 20 percent of your current client base. That’s completely true. To become more effective at cross-selling, every agent in your company needs to focus on relationships, client-by-client. The key is to offer solutions that meet their specific needs. This builds trust, which strengthens existing relationships.
Know the Client
Every client is unique. Even if you have 10 people who want homeowner’s insurance, their needs and criteria for coverage vary. So, it’s important that your agents get to know the clients they serve. That includes learning tidbits about their careers, families, hobbies, retirement plans, and more. This makes cross-selling much easier.
Look for Better Opportunities
What this means is that your agents should always be on the lookout for better and more affordable coverage for their clients. For instance, one of your agents identifies a more cost-effective insurance policy that provides identical coverage to what one of their spend-thrift clients has.
First, approaching the client about a better deal as opposed to them going to the agent looking for one goes a long way in building a solid relationship. Second, this opens the door for the agent to cross-sell. The agent can promote a life insurance policy, thanks to the money the client would save on automobile coverage.
Build Cross-Selling into Your Insurance Agency’s Standard Operating Procedure
Rather than view cross-selling as an occasional opportunity, build this strategy into the way you run your business. Make sure your agents meet with the clients regularly and stay current on insurance trends.
Take Advantage of Social Media Platforms
Without question, the most effective way for your team to cross-sell is by meeting with their clients. However, that doesn’t mean they should overlook the potential reach of the insurance agency’s website and social media platforms.
One option is for your agents to write blogs that focus specifically on the benefits of bundling, having life insurance coverage, working with the right agency, and so on. The goal is to keep both prospects and current clients informed while also enticing them to bolster their protection.
The Bottom Line
When done correctly and as a team effort, cross-selling can take your insurance agency to a new level of success. Your part is to ensure your agents have the resources and tools available that they need to succeed at cross-selling. Also, you want to maintain a positive work environment and motivate, as well as mentor, your entire team.