Implementing The Art of Cross-Selling Into Effective Insurance Sales Strategies
Every insurance agent is tasked with the challenges of customer retention and the steps needed to meet and exceed specific sales goals. A smart and effective sales plan includes ways to both maintain customer loyalty while also increasing overall sales. That’s where cross-selling comes into the picture. But where and how does cross-selling truly fit into an effective sales strategy? At GS National Insurance, we have suggestions to help you build a cross-selling structure that can further your success.
Here are 10 cross-selling concepts to keep in mind:
1. Statistically, sales involving a brand-new customer have a likelihood of only about 5% to 20% compared to a likelihood of closed business with an existing customer averaging closer to 60%-70%. This means that, right off the bat, your best customer is likely going to be an existing customer. Be sure you’re maximizing all of the potential that may be right in front of you. Think about ways in which you can add value to your customers’ policies by incorporating qualifying discounts and other special offers that may apply to your current customers who work with you on a variety of insurance products.
2. When you offer increased value to your customers and integrate your products and specific services more deeply into their overall insurance needs, you immediately increase the probability of improved customer retention. With a stronger sense of trust added to each and every level of service, you’re working to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations.
3. Don’t confuse cross-selling with upselling. While many agents intertwine the use of these two sales terms, they’re actually quite different. When you cross-sell, you’re promoting related products to customers based on their specific purchases. Upselling is the process of presenting an upgraded product (or one with added benefits), based around the original product in which your customer has an interest. Both techniques have their place within your sales strategy, but it’s important to understand the difference and to know when and how to use both techniques effectively.
4. Cross-selling can backfire if you come on too strong. Remember, your customers expect authenticity in all that you do. Always avoid aggressive tactics that can appear self-serving or not in your customers’ best interest. Only offer additional products when the benefits to your customers are valid and easy to demonstrate from a perspective that puts their needs and interests at the forefront of the conversation.
5. Remember to go through your book of business and review older, more established customers as candidates for additional products. Many times, insurance agents focus almost exclusively on brand new accounts. Keep in mind that both new and old business can provide opportunities to introduce new products and to expand the services that you’re providing.
6. Be sure that you know about all of the insurance products that your customers have purchased. As their agent, remember that it’s your job to perform annual reviews and get to know the details that surround all of the insurance products that your customers possess — even (and perhaps especially) the products that you don’t facilitate. Be careful not to recommend a product that your customers have already secured. You don’t want to send the message of being out of touch or risk losing credibility.
7. Show you care. One of the best ways to sell a second product is to do an outstanding job of selling the first product. By demonstrating a caring, attentive approach to your first sale, you’ll be better positioned to offer your customers additional products that may be right for them.
8. Be knowledgeable. It may seem obvious, but it’s important to note that you’ll have a much stronger chance of increasing your business with current customers when you regularly demonstrate a well-rounded understanding of the products that you represent. Provide valuable information about all products that are relevant to your customer and be well-prepared to answer questions about each product that you mention. As your customers get to know more about the products that are available to them, they’ll be more likely to sincerely consider all of the products that you’re discussing.
9. Don’t forget about your marketing. Incorporate cross-selling opportunities into your marketing campaigns, including your email marketing ventures. When you message an existing customer, use the opportunity to introduce lesser-known products and encourage questions from your customers about all of the products that you can help to provide.
10. Cross-selling can be a direct result of effectively following up with your customers. When you build strong relationships with your customers after an initial sale, you demonstrate that you value the relationship. As your customers engage in more dialogue with you, they will be more open to additional products and more ways to keep connected with you as their trusted agent.
Cross-selling, like any part of the sales process, requires a strategy and attention to detail. As you implement the specific steps of your sales approach and build your marketing plan, always think about how you can best incorporate cross-selling and take note of the specific additional products that may be well-suited for specific customers. For more ways to improve your sales process and grow success, get to know GSNI. Visit gsnational.com.
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