Agencies Bind More Policies Through Cross Selling
In the world of insurance, we are always looking for more. More clients, more policies bound, more business in general. But prioritizing quantity over quality is where some agencies are getting into trouble. Agents continue to look “out there” for new business in unusually brutal market conditions when research suggests that there are endless opportunities in our already existing customer base. In fact, the average family has five insurance policies, but the average agency writes only 1.3 policies per family, which proves that there is ample room for growth with nearly every current customer.
So why try to reinvent the wheel when we already drive fast cars?
There is a well known concept of 80/20, where 80 percent of profit is derived from 20 percent of a previously existing customer base. These metrics stem from the practice of cross-selling. Not to be confused with up-selling (a sales technique to promote the purchase of more expensive items), cross-selling encourages the purchase of any other product to an existing customer – and we can prove that it works.
The agencies who cross-sell as their primary sales tactic not only help increase renewal retention by up to 9%, they lower E&O claims because they can’t be faulted for not offering their consumers coverage.
Sue Geckler, one of our MacNeill Personal Lines underwriters, offers Personal Umbrella policies as a cross-sell to anyone purchasing homeowners or renters insurance with the help of the USLI Asset Calculator which can be found online in MOUS in the Resources & Links section.
Someone buying Homeowner’s insurance will possibly be open to the idea of purchasing Flood. Checking for missing coverages is key. Dave Meehan, president of Bankers Insurance Group of St. Petersburg, FL says that “a simple review of your Homeowners files, coupled with a telemarketing follow-up, could produce some nice (Flood) premium.”
Here are 5 ways our agents cross-sell to their policyholders:
1) They know their policyholders and their products.
We know that quoting criteria for different carriers shifts on a seemingly daily basis. Being aware of those changes will ultimately propel you into more door-opening conversations. You want your clients to trust you as much as you want to be trustworthy, and nothing wins over clients more than an agent that is honest and knowledgeable of the minor adjustments in the guidelines for different carriers.
2) They create tracking systems.
Creating a tracking system will be helpful when learning which products cross-sell well together. Checklists will help keep agents reminded of potential opportunities. Ultimately this step will save your agency time and will help agents turn prospects into buyers. Think ahead about how tracking systems can fill the needs of your preexisting clients. You may already know that you have a good fit for someone based on previous purchase patterns.
3) They incentivize their team.
Finding someone at your agency to be responsible for encouraging cross-selling can help to keep everyone in the game. In fact, teams work best when there is an element of competition and if there is an incentive in place, even better! Issuing extra commission to agents who cross-sell is one example of how to reinforce this habit.
4) They get online.
Using online tools like lead generation (CRM’s) specifically for current policyholders can help determine key search words. Perhaps a customer is searching online because they are not aware of the opportunities with their current agent. A phone call from the agency with a reminder of what’s available is the perfect way to reverse this situation. Agencies who utilize social media platforms like facebook and instagram can also creatively highlight an array of different policies to remind their policyholders of the diversity of the agency and market potential possibilities to their audience.
5) They are patient.
They understand that not everyone is interested right now, but they might be next year when their current policy expires. Instead of worrying about getting a yes or no immediately, they politely inquire as to when their client’s policy will expire and they note it in their tracking systems to call back at a later date. Remember that this conversation doesn’t initially need to take place in a “cross-selling” phone call, because questions about their other policies can all be asked during the quoting process.
There is only so much to gain through cold calling. With these tools, the control over renewal retention will ultimately be the success of an agency.