We’ve covered Effective Cross Selling Strategies in Insurance at length, and the past blog continues to generate great feedback, so I thought I would share a simple model that I created to better remember how a cross sell model in insurance works across your impact areas.
I call it the ACE Cross Selling Model. It stands for Assess, Calculate, Explain.
Step 1 in any cross-sell model for insurance is to assess the situation and understand the client’s risk profile. Most importantly, understand the areas where they are vulnerable or are experiencing pain in their business. Don’t silo this at first – you can provide enormous value to your client just by helping them realize they have unidentified risks in their business, even if you personally can’t solve them. However, as you assess these different areas, home in on those that you can provide solutions to.
You can be effective at identifying a client’s pain points just by asking great questions. I’ve covered effective question asking at length, and it’s a skillset that you should continue to build over the course of your career. The better you are at asking questions has a direct impact on your results.
Top-level producers have consistent assessments built so that they don’t have to recreate the wheel every time they dive into a new area with a client. They know what works and adjust over time to create optimal questions and a repeatable process. This allows you to get good at asking the right questions and really diving down to find the client’s pain. If you shoot from the hip, you can’t create that consistency to get better.
This is the most important step – so take the time you need to get it right. Go in-depth with your client so that you fully understand their pain points. If done correctly, when you leave that meeting, you should have a clear picture of the problems they are facing. If this is still fuzzy to you then you didn’t get enough information and need to do more discovery. I want you to know the client’s problems better than they do at this stage.
After you have these risks identified, we need to prioritize them. Prioritization allows us to systemically work through these so that we can make effective progress with the client. We want to tackle the most important issue to the client first. The next step in ACE, Calculate, will solidify our initial prioritization of these risks. However, we should have a really good idea of the priority level when we get through the Assess phase.
As we move into the second step of our cross sell model for insurance, we make the risks we assessed real to the client. We need to be able to show them the impact of the risk in terms that they will understand and feel. Provide examples. Quantify the risk. Use the information they gave you – not information you make up. Then, calculate the impact that they are potentially going to suffer if they don’t make any changes.
There are two ways that we can calculate this impact: financially and emotionally.
Calculating the financial Impact can be pretty straightforward for many of the risks you will discuss with the client. The most important thing to remember is that you must use their numbers. Use numbers that make sense to the client or that they give you. If it isn’t their number, they will not connect with the potential impact that you are trying to show them. They will always wonder if you are just making up numbers to sell them something.
If done properly, the client will be able to see the financial impact of doing nothing. You want to show them how exposed they are to losing money and then show them what it looks like if they hire you to solve it.
Here is an example of calculating the financial impact:
- If operations are completely shut down, how much income will they lose per day? (They tell you $100,000.)
- If they get hit with a cyber attack that shuts down the operation, how long will it take to get back up and running? (We’ll say 14 days.)
- Now let’s calculate the financial impact: $100,000 * 14 = $1,400,000.
Remember – the key is that you ask them for their numbers. If they aren’t sure, then you can give them some industry standards, but always make sure they tell you the number and then use that in your calculation.
There are many risks that will have more of an emotional impact to the business and owner. Think of risks like employee injury/death, brand reputation, loss of a key employee, etc. These risks certainly have a financial element attached to them, but the emotional impact can be far greater.
If an employee doesn’t come home to their family from work one day, how do you think the owner will feel? It would be very difficult to talk to the family of the employee, work with your current employees to help them through the situation, feel responsible for the accident and many other emotional responses. No business owner ever wants to go through that. When you can help frame a situation like that for the business owner it will make it much easier for them to see that they need better risk management practices in that area.
Calculating the risk so that the client can know and feel the impact is an essential part of your cross sell model for insurance. In our ACE process, we have now Assessed and have a deep understanding of the risks our client faces, we have prioritized those and Calculated the impact; it’s now time to put it all together and Explain it to the client.
You Explain through your presentation, but not your typical insurance presentation. Remember, your client is already trusting you in at least one area. This is a cross sell model for insurance – so you already have them as a client. Given that, you can adjust a bit of how you would normally present this information. The main elements still apply but the relationship is already there.
Our relationship gives us a leg up, but we can’t rely on that to win this new deal. We still must show the client what we uncovered in the Assess stage and how it could impact them.
You can use a lot of different mechanisms for presenting this to the client. For example, you can build a PowerPoint, design up a Word doc or use software like LAUNCH that has pre-built templates and graphics to help you tell the story.
You want to show the client what risks you identified in the conversations you had – if you did it right, the client should already understand and just agree with your assessment. Then, you walk through the impact that you calculated. This is where you want the client to feel and connect back to the conversation when you assessed these risks. You don’t want them to forget those feelings they had. People will make decisions first on emotion and then rationalize them with numbers.
The last thing you need to win the business is to paint the yellow brick road for the client. You need to show the client exactly what it takes to achieve success in these areas. You just showed them areas where they need to improve, made it real by calculating the impact and now you need to show them the solution to avoid that pain. This is where a Client Strategic Plan comes into play.
Your Client Strategic Plan should be the blueprint to solving whatever issues you uncovered for them. It is not enough to just tell the client you can fix those issues. You need to show them exactly what you will do to improve these areas. You do have a leg up since you are already engaged with the client – and hopefully already have a Client Strategic Plan in place for that impact area – but this is a new engagement for the client, so it is important that they understand that you know what you are doing. Create that level of buy-in with the Client Strategic Plan.
ACE – Assess, Calculate, Explain – is a simple process you can use drive your cross sell model for insurance. Your clients are your greatest asset – and it is far less expensive to sell to a current client, that already trusts you, than to sell a brand new client on hiring you.
Use ACE as the foundation to create your own simple, repeatable, and consistent process – and tap into tools designed to help you expand your existing relationships with clients, like LAUNCH.