You’ve heard the old adage, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” right? And no, we’re not talking about diversifying your stock portfolio. We’re talking about diversifying your revenue through making an insurance cross sell.
Cross selling in the insurance industry takes strategy, a carefully curated mix of understanding your client, positioning yourself just right, and implementing a systematic process.
Let’s walk through how to unleash your insurance cross selling potential.
- What is Cross Selling in Insurance?
- Position Yourself Correctly
- Build a Deep Relationship
- Implement a System or Process
- Solve Problems. Don’t Sell Products.
- Connect Your Solutions
- Make the Insurance Cross Sell Today
What is Cross Selling in Insurance?
Cross-selling in insurance is the practice of offering additional products or services to existing policyholders. This can be insurance products or more broad risk management services. The art of the insurance cross sell has been around nearly as long as insurance itself (see every “bundle and save” advertisement in the industry).
This comes with a caveat, however. Cross selling isn’t so much about literally making a sale as it is about finding new ways to bring value to your client.
Think of it this way: If you’re looking to hire a lawn care company to simply cut your grass each week, you probably don’t want to hear all about their fertilizer, aeration or weed mitigation services. But, after they’ve done an excellent job cutting the grass for a few months, maybe they mention that they are noticing bare spots or weeds popping up and they can take care of that for you at a discounted rate since you’re already a customer.
You’re far more likely to deepen your engagement with the company once you trust that they are looking out for your best interests.
So, what is cross-selling in insurance? Providing more value while keeping your client’s needs first and foremost in your mind.
When pointing out the value in each insurance cross sell to your clients, keep several points in mind:
- Customer convenience: You’re able to meet multiple needs in one place, which simplifies their insurance management and reducing the hassle of dealing with multiple insurers.
- Enhanced coverage: By cross-selling, you can offer customers additional coverage options that complement their existing policies, ensuring comprehensive protection against different risks and ensuring all their policies work together.
- Simplified renewals: Rather than meeting with multiple insurance companies, your client can reduce their annual renewal process to just meeting with you, vs. spending time with multiple risk advisors across multiple companies.
- Holistic risk management: Again, look to add value through comprehensive risk management. Are you writing a company policy? Ask about who is managing their personal lines. Do they need umbrella coverage? Are they protected against industry-specific risks? Take a holistic approach vs. trying to write individual policies.
As you focus your efforts on providing value to your current clients, emphasize the importance of holistic risk management and create a streamlined client experience, you’re well on your way to mastering the art of the insurance cross sell.
Position Yourself Correctly
When you’re first pitching to a client, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the product you are offering right now. But don’t pigeonhole yourself into being the XYZ Product Person! Remember, you’re not just a one-trick pony. From the start, make it clear that you’re not just selling them one policy—you’re a veritable Swiss Army knife of risk solutions.
Position yourself as a risk advisor or comprehensive insurance advisor and make it mean more than just your title. You want the client to understand that they should come to you first when they need something new.
It’s important to state that 61% of policyholders only have one policy with their agent. That’s a whole lot of missed opportunities in the marketplace.
You don’t want to be looked at as the “insurance cross sell” agent by your clients, but you do need them to understand you have all the tools in your toolbox to build what they need. Making sure they believe the latter rather than the former is all about your relationships.
Build a Deep Relationship
Listen up, folks. If you take away just one thing from this post, let it be this: understanding your client is the secret sauce behind the insurance cross sell.
Get into your client’s shoes, walk a mile, and then walk a mile more. The better you know your client, the more you will understand what products will provide them value and when is the best time to approach them with that product. Track their policy purchases, coverage, even their favorite baseball team—every piece of information paints a more detailed picture of their needs.
Many folks in the industry want to try and pinpoint the best spot in the process to offer a new policy. I don’t think there is an optimal part of the process for every client. Every client is different and your ability to cross sell other insurance products depends on connecting their need in the moment to your product or solution. To do that you have to know them really well and be ready to engage on their timeline – not yours.
Implement a System or Process
I am not talking about the sales process here, although, you should have a consistent sales process you are already going through. I am talking about the system or process you are selling to the client – what will their experience or journey look like? What are your touch points? How will you implement the program or products you are recommending? In many ways, this client plan will act as your cross sell model for insurance.
Be specific with your process. When you have it dialed in, you will be able to insert certain insurance cross sell touch points very organically. Now, the cross-selling touch points that you put into your plan should fit the client’s needs and situation. Don’t just make one up because you want to cross sell insurance products.
Your client plan pairs with the relationship you’ve built. You need to provide value and earn trust – and you do that with a solid process that the client will get behind.
Having a technology solution to help you stay on top of that process is just as important. If you’re just meeting with a client annually, they likely don’t remember all you talked about last year. LAUNCH helps hundreds of risk advisors take their clients through a true risk management plan, provides scoring across key risk areas for each client, and clearly articulates where a client could be susceptible.
Solve Problems, Don’t Sell Products.
As you’re probably starting to realize, the art of the insurance cross sell isn’t about peddling products—it’s about solving problems. The more you focus on what your client needs rather than what you have in your inventory, the more you’ll become a truly trusted advisor and less of an annoying salesperson.
How do you learn your client’s problems? Be genuinely curious and ask great questions. When you are genuinely curious about getting to know your client better, the problems are much easier to uncover. They begin to look at you as an advisor who makes their life easier, and they naturally confide in you when they are concerned about things.
Keep your eyes and ears open and you will notice some problems you can solve.
For example, if a client tells you their side business is taking off, it might be a great time to learn more. First, ask follow ups—see why that business brings them passion. Once you have a good understanding and they know you’re genuinely interested, ask if that side business has proper coverage, or if they have enough personal life insurance now that their income has gone up, or check if they plan on buying any additional vehicles or “toys” that might need to be added to the policy.
Connect Your Solutions
This one’s a game-changer. The more problems one solution can solve, the more value it offers. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone, or in this case, one policy.
For instance, offering short term disability as a part of the benefits program not only adds value to the program, but can also reduce fraudulent Workers’ Compensation claims. You don’t even have to worry about the insurance cross sell because it naturally sells itself.
This is one I can’t stress enough. Begin to look at the value your solutions bring on a broader level and connect the dots for your clients. That’s what LAUNCH does for hundreds of insurance agents across the country.
Make the Insurance Cross Sell Today
As you probably realize by now, the art of the cross sell isn’t really about selling. It’s about providing value, building relationships, having a proven client plan and creating synergy across all that you offer.
Cross-selling insurance doesn’t have to be a daunting task.
Start building deeper relationships with your clients and you’ll be making the insurance cross sell with ease as you watch your business grow!