Are You Approachable?

GS National
Nov 17 · 6 min read

How Insurance Agents Can Build Faster, Stronger Relationships with Clients and Potential Clients

Helping Insurance Agents Build Stronger Connections, Faster

Approachability and relatability are two of the most important characteristics for any salesperson to possess. As an insurance agent, you work to earn the trust of your customers and then reinforce that trust time and time again by providing excellent service. So how does the process really begin? It all starts with being approachable. When your insurance customers feel as though they have a personal connection with their agent, they’re ready to give you the opportunity to earn their trust. In fact, providing accessible, personal customer service is so important that 73% of surveyed consumers rank it as a significant factor in their purchasing decisions. What’s even more staggering is that when consumers feel as though they’ve had several negative experiences, 59% say that they will walk away and 17% say they will pull their business after just a single negative experience…even if they love the product or the agency. What can you do to be more approachable? GS National Insurance has suggestions for independent agents and agencies that can help insurance customers form stronger connections with their agents, faster.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind:

1. Listen. It may sound cliché, but listening truly is the key to customer service…especially within the insurance industry where customers may be experiencing difficult situations that affect their emotions and their reliance on prompt communication. If you’re meeting with your client in person, be aware of their body language. That awareness is all a part of being present for your client and will go a long way to help you better understand what they’re communicating to you. If they’re an established client that you’ve had time to get to know, draw upon previous conversations to link the current discussion to those in the past so that you can offer the kinds of solutions that have historically been a good fit for this client. When you combine your knowledge of the insurance industry and specific products with your knowledge of your client, you will be in a better position to offer them what they need while communicating that their specific preferences are important to you.

2. Smile. What could be simpler than offering a welcoming smile? Unfortunately, this powerful form of communication is often overlooked. Did you know that smiles are contagious? It’s true! More often than not, when you smile at someone, you’ll get a smile in return. Shared smiles quickly convert into a sense of comfort and ease — two important factors in approachability. When potential clients perceive that they’ve already had a positive connection with you — even one as simple as a smile — they are much more likely to take you as someone who is friendly, approachable, and welcoming. This instantly sets the scene for a positive interaction and increases the likelihood of converting a prospect into a client. Meeting by phone? You should still smile during your conversation! Your voice will communicate your smile helping you to communicate in a cheerful, pleasant tone which can have similar effects as a smile shared face-to-face.

3. Keep Your Word. It can be easy for well-intentioned insurance agents to become so involved in the process of providing support for their clients that they find themselves accidentally over-promising. If a client’s situation has you optimistically thinking about a product or discount that may be perfect for their needs, be careful not to mention it until you have all of the facts and can be sure that it’s truly a good fit for their situation and that the information that you can offer is accurate and up to date. Insurance products, as you know, can be complicated and things can change quickly. From regulation changes and subtle differences that can vary from state to state, there are always many factors at play when it comes to any specific insurance product. In order to help maintain trust with your client, you’ll want to try and avoid having to walk back any promises that you’ve made. Rather than over-promising or discussing too many unknown variables, focus on committing to the things over which you have control. Tell your clients when they can expect to hear back from you. Let them know what action items you’re taking with you and how you’ll be working to address their concerns or circumstances to provide the best options for them. Once you’ve committed to the timing of your follow up, be sure to follow through! Unless it’s completely unavoidable, always get back to your clients when you say you will and consistently demonstrate that keeping your word is all a part of how you conduct business.

4. Be Clear and Be Positive. While we’ve just warned you about the risks of over-promising, we don’t want to imply that you shouldn’t seem optimistic when communicating with your clients. You always want to send the message that, as an insurance agent, your top priority is to be there for your clients when they need you. You provide the support, information and assistance that they need through some of life’s most trying times and you want to be sure that you communicate how much you care about the things that are important to them. Use positive, support-affirming language as you communicate with your clients. While you can’t change their situation, you can be a vital part of their support system simply by sharing your expertise and being there for them when they need you. The key is to communicate with clarity. Respect that during challenging times, your clients may not be listening as intently as you may assume; so misunderstandings can happen. Rather than downplaying a misunderstanding — or worse, ignoring it, work to proactively clarify the message right away. Never wait for your client to complain about a misunderstanding. Be quick to clear up any mistakes in communication and reiterate the facts in positive, supportive language that reassures your clients that their satisfaction is important to you.

5. Be Memorable. While you can’t fully control how new clients will receive your approach, you can increase the likelihood of leaving them with a positive perception of you and your agency when you work to make every client — or potential client — feel as though you value them, their budget, their unique circumstances, and their time. Be polite, courteous, and don’t hold back on providing extra advice or added information that you think could be beneficial for them to have. When you’re just starting to build a new relationship, you want to make it clear that you’re the type of agent who is truly committed to providing the expertise that they deserve. Again, insurance can be complicated and overwhelming for your clients. You can help demystify the products and provide your clients with professional guidance. So don’t hold back. Send the message that you’re a valuable source of quality information and that sharing that information with your clients is part of your passion for the industry. This will help your clients remember you when they’re ready to make a buying decision — and remember to call on you when they experience a life change that could affect their insurance needs.

The art of customer service isn’t abstract art. It’s actually pretty clear and simple. For more resources on how you can optimize your sales approach and build stronger connections with your clients, get to know GSNI. We’re a unique FMO that focuses on the success of our partners, and we want to help you achieve more success, more efficiently. Visit us at gsnational.com to see how we can partner with you.

Sources:

· https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/customer-service-tips.html

· https://blog.hubspot.com/service/personal-customer-service

· https://www.pwc.com/us/en/advisory-services/publications/consumer-intelligence-series/pwc-consumer-intelligence-series-customer-experience.pdf

GS National Insurance is an independently owned insurance marketing organization. We specialize in helping independent advisors increase their Health, Life, and Annuity Business. Our primary focus is the senior health insurance marketplace. We combine technology and experience to deliver high-quality service and support. Learn more at gsnational.com

GS National Insurance

Insurance Marketing by Advisors, for Advisors.