Insurance Marketing HQ

Insurance Cross Selling at Your Agency

Posted on May 1, 2013

Barber InsuranceBy Cheryl Fessenden
Barber Insurance

It’s a tactic all independent insurance agencies should be using: cross-selling to the consumer. Any agency can repeatedly practice this act as a way to ensure they’re doing their best to offer all the varying services they have to their customers. While many insurance agents may see this as a way to just sell additional policies, we at Barber Insurance view it as an opportunity to sustain lasting connections with our customers.

To successfully cross-sell, or “pivot” as we say, to your customers, you need to know the two main objectives:

• Protect the relationship with your client.
• Make sure you put the needs of your client first. Don’t focus so much on trying to sell additional policies.

Pivoting is a way for you to ease into approaching your customer as you go about offering them a secondary product from your agency. For example, when discussing a homeowner’s policy with the intent to ask a customer about their auto coverage, you can bridge that gap with a single question: Really? What kind of car do you have? This way, as the agent, you’re able to counteract any question or objection your customer may have! By doing this, you’ll then have the confidence to get them the info they need and present them with a better auto policy from you.

Go ahead – test this theory out right now within your own office! Just by having a casual conversation with one of your fellow agents you’ll be able to experience firsthand how this method really works.

I’ve had Allstate Auto Insurance for a while and I’ve been pretty happy with my coverage.
Really? What kind of car do you have?

I’m ok with the payments I’ve been making and am not sure I could find a better price right now.
Really? What kind of car do you have?

I’ve been working with the same, great agent for over 20 years. I wouldn’t want to leave him.
Really? What kind of car do you have?

There are so many driving discounts I already get with my current agency.
Really? What kind of car do you have?

You can see how you’re able to take control of the conversation and steer it toward the services your agency can offer and then show your customer why going with you is the best option for them. Remember: The initial objection (without them coming out and saying it) is around the length of time they imagine it will take for us to shop it. This could have been someone just calling to correct their zip code or something, and we are suddenly asking them for another line of business.

They don’t have their declaration sheets in front of them, and weren’t in that mind set. So by asking that one simple question, they are easily drawn in to the remaining questions, realizing it can be just a few simple questions to start a fairly simple process.

Trying out this technique lets you sustain that relationship with your customer that you wanted to keep all along. You’re not coming off as demanding, nor are you being obvious that all you care about is selling another policy. Playing it this way makes it very clear that you’re interested in the needs of your customer and providing them with the absolute best coverage for whatever kind of policy they could need from your agency.

Who would have thought that such a simple question could help you become a master at cross-selling?

About the Author: Cheryl Fessenden is CFO of Barber Insurance, a California-based insurance agency that offers a number of personal and business insurance solutions to residents throughout Santa Rosa, Sand Francisco, Berkley, Napa, and all of Northern California.

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