The greatest thing about insurance is everyone needs it. But this is also the problem. Because in many cases, since insurance is a requirement, clients don’t always see the value you bring as an insurance agent or broker.
Insurance consistently ranks among the least used, and least understood common financial product.1 Insurance literacy, the knowledge of industry policies and usage, is much lower than many in the industry may think. For the general public, the importance and usefulness of many insurance products is not self-explanatory. Many people do not even read the documents related to their policy. This lack of insurance knowledge is becoming an increasing problem with younger generations, with Gen Z’ers having the lowest insurance literacy of all age groups.
Yet, even with these inhibitors, today’s buyers are more tech savvy than past generations and spend more time comparing products and services offerings. Over 40% of insurance shoppers considered similar products from several insurers and almost 20% considered alternative products from the same insurer before deciding on an insurance plan.1 This leads to the conundrum of a less insurance literate consumers, who are information driven and research-oriented, that need insurance. Your value as a producer is to fill this literacy gap as you compete for policies.
The gap between rising premium costs and a client’s “willingness to pay”
What can you do to stand out and provide the best service to your insurance clients, improving their trust and perception of value? You need to increase the value of the product offering by showing the additional benefits of your support. As a producer you must increase your perceived value for the client by widening the gap between a client’s willingness to pay (WTP) versus the actual premium.
But here is another challenge. Every client’s WTP is different. Even more, a client will never tell you they would be willing to pay more. You must gauge this yourself. As a producer you want them to believe they are getting more for the cost of a product – therefore increasing the perceived value.
What can you do to increase a client’s WTP? It’s a delicate, multifold process unique to each client that includes a mix of education, trust and expertise. It is also a constantly evolving process, especially during a hard market where the perceived value shrinks as rates increase. A hard market requires you, the producer, to create value beyond that of rate increases to maintain the standard of value necessary to attract and retain clients. By driving value through your services beyond the policy or plan design – you can add to their WTP.
Strategies for Improving Client Trust in Insurance
Here are five tips to building trust with clients that can help elevate your perceived value:
- Understand the client’s communication style. How often do clients want to meet? Should you pick up the phone to call or send a text? Each client has a different expectation of communication frequency and type.
- Understand the client’s business. Ask genuine questions to better understand their business outside of insurance. This can not only lead to cross sell opportunities, but also makes for a more personalized experience. This individualized experience provides value beyond a policy that cannot be found on websites or self-service platforms.
- Establish creditability. Display your expertise and knowledge of the industry. Discuss case studies that show tangible outcomes and positive experiences. Communicating your firm’s story and problem-solving tactics can show the capabilities and value you bring.
- Give them peace of mind. Insurance is about reassuring your clients. By looking to the future and thinking ahead, you can calm and comfort your clients. This peace is highly valued, sometimes even more than what a policy can provide.
- Educate them on the process. Guiding clients through each step of the process takes the pressure and work off of them, and is vital to showing the additional value of your services.
Are you driving enough value with your clients?
When you review the services you provide to clients – does it significantly impact their challenges? Does it allow them to reinvest their time in other areas of their business? It’s not just driving value to save money but being able to highlight how your solutions can help drive up revenue for your clients.
More than increasing the WTP of each client, you must also show them the value you bring to the table beyond that of policy issuance. Insurance is a unique industry. And producers have unique roles and sales skills that can be further enhanced through specialized sales training for insurance agents. As sales processes develop over time, it is important to stay up to date with the most recent techniques. Training for the most experienced producer down to the newest team member is important to grow organically.
MarshBerry 360 Forum – Registration Now Open!
NYC 5/9 | CHI 5/11 | LV 5/18
Chart your path for success in 2023 by understanding the full view of insurance industry M&A market trends and organic growth best practices. At MarshBerry’s 360 Forum, you’ll join other insurance agency and brokerage executives, along with MarshBerry advisors, to understand the various strategies to help lead your firm to growth and profitability, as well as how to maximize shareholder value.
View the full agenda and register now at www.MarshBerry.com/360.