We've heard from insurance agents, time and time again, that the main reason they don't regularly meet with their customers for annual reviews is that they only get a few sales from the appointments.
Today, we're breaking down 9 reasons agents don't get the sales they expect and what they can do differently to close more sales from their customer insurance review program.
Reason #1 - Your clients haven't been adequately prepared for the appointment
Even if you've been regularly holding review appointments with your customers, many insurance consumers need to become more familiar with the concept of a review appointment. (I wasn't before 2017 when I started working at engagex as an appointment setter!)
Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to prepare them for the meeting!
Needs Assessment Form
If you're not using a Needs Assessment form (or something like it), you're missing out on some real opportunities!
The Needs Assessment form is a simple questionnaire about the risks your clients face compared to their current coverage selections.
It also helps to identify your client's long-term goals, top concerns, and any life changes that have recently taken place.
Ideally, your customer should complete it before the review meeting (or at the beginning of the meeting if they're unable to do it beforehand.)
Filling out the form gets your clients into the right mindset for the meeting.
This way, you're not telling them their needs; they're already starting to identify them for themselves!
Download your FREE Needs Assessment Form PDF here:
Set Expectations with New Clients
When onboarding a new client, simply let them know that you'll reach out periodically (once a year or so) to schedule a review appointment.
Explain the benefits and value of the review meeting:
Checking for gaps and overlaps in coverage
Making sure coverage is up to date with life changes
Answering any questions they have
Checking for possible discounts and bundling options
Educate Your Clients About Review Appointments
Along with the heads up, you'll need to educate your clients on the values and benefits of reviewing their coverage regularly so they'll see the importance.
Easily educate your clients through email newsletters, social media posts, direct mail/postcards, etc.
You can also email the customers you plan to call within the next month or so to inform them that it's that time again.
Then, when you call to schedule, they'll already be warmed up to the idea, which makes setting the appointment much easier.
Reason #2 - You're not sufficiently prepared for the appointment
Your clients can tell when you're winging it - no matter how good you think you are at it.
Trust can be quickly lost if they don't feel like you've taken time to prepare for them.
They're taking time out of their busy lives to meet with you, and if it doesn't end up being worth their time, their chances of coming in for a future review are sparse.
Before the meeting, review the working file you have for your client.
What are their current coverages?
Have they had any recent claims?
What have you previously discussed in past phone calls or appointments?
What other products might be beneficial to them?
Do you need to update any contact information?
Preparing for the meeting will give you more opportunities to sell more policies.
Reason #3 - You're not targeting the right customers
It's important to offer a review to each of your customers every year or so, but there are definitely customers that prove more profitable to your business than others.
Contacting your customers alphabetically or by birthdate is a great way to ensure you reach out to everyone.
Another way you can target your customers more specifically is by customer segmentation.
Lynn Thomas details how to segment your customers in this article from The Independent Insurance Agents of Dallas. If you want to learn how to do this, you should read it from her, but for the sake of this blog post, I'll briefly summarize what she says.
Each agency's customer base comprises a variety of markets (personal lines, commercial, construction, etc.)
Identify your markets and then segment them into "A," "B," and "C" customers. "A" customers being the most profitable and "C" being the least.
Recognize that your "A" customers are "the primary source of your agency's future growth."
While you're still aiming to contact all of your customers annually, make sure each month you have a list that consists of category "A" customers, "B" customers, AND "C" customers.
This way, you're consistently contacting your most profitable customers to keep their business and get in touch with their friends (who are likely to be "A" customers as well).
Including your less profitable customers in the mix will also help keep them from slipping through the cracks - and maybe even see them shift into the A or B categories.
Read her whole post here: Customer Loyalty And Retention Primer (IIAD)
Reason #4 - You don't have a consistent process for conducting the meetings
This one could fall into the preparation category, but it's so important that I decided to give it its own space on the list.
Following a consistent outline or agenda for each meeting ensures that you don't miss significant opportunities.
This isn't to say that you should conduct the meetings robotically - each customer has unique circumstances. Tailor the process to them, but don't throw it out entirely.
If you have other team members conducting appointments, it's vital that you're all on the same page and run them the same way.
Consistency is key!
In this post, we share a general outline for customer insurance review meetings:
Reason #5 - Your clients don't feel educated enough to make a purchasing decision
As their trusted insurance advisor, you're there to educate them on their risks and options so they can make a confident decision.
You also might be meeting with a partner who typically doesn't make significant purchasing decisions.
One of our customers told us that since his agency started holding virtual appointments, he has had much better success getting both partners in on the meeting.
This helps sidestep a frustrating game of telephone and ultimately makes the buying process much smoother.
And that leads us to the next reason you might not be getting enough sales from your review appointments.
Reason #6 - You're expecting (and pushing) to close the sale during the appointment
The purpose of the review meeting is to investigate and educate your clients.
Contrary to what many agents believe, the meeting is NOT the time to close the sale.
Occasionally, your customers will be comfortable and ready to move forward during the meeting; however, as a general rule of thumb, don't push the sale immediately.
People usually don't like to be sold to. However, they DO want adequate insurance coverage.
They don't want you to milk them for their money, but they DO want you to take care of them.
Take the time to educate them and send them home with additional material to help them in their decision-making.
Feel free to check out our Guide to Closing Sales Without Looking Like Just Another Insurance Salesperson.
Reason #7 - You're not following up
Closing the sale happens during the follow-up process.
If you've done your job to educate them during the meeting and sent them home with additional information to look over, you'll have specific things to follow up on.
Follow up about a week after the appointment to see if they've reviewed the information you sent with them.
Ask if they have questions about it.
Give them a quote for the specific policy and give a recap of the benefits they'll receive from it.
This is where you'll naturally sell new policies.
Reason #8 - You're not asking for referrals
..or maybe you're asking the same old question: "Do you know anyone who might need insurance you can refer to me?"
Asking for referrals is a science AND an art.
Timing, wording, and asking the right customers are just a few variables that play into receiving solid referrals that convert into sales.
We have some helpful tips on asking for referrals here: 7 New Tips for Creating an Agency Culture of Receiving Referrals
Reason #9 - Your primary reason for conducting customer insurance reviews is to get more sales
While sales come from customer insurance review meetings, that's not the whole purpose of the meeting.
Your customers should be the focus and purpose of the meeting - ensuring their needs are met and adequately covered.
When I was an appointment setter, one of the most common responses I got from clients was something like this, "I don't want to come in for a sales pitch.", or, "Last time I came in, he just tried to sell me a bunch of new insurance!"
When your main purpose of the review is to sell sell sell, your customers feel it and lose trust in you.
Selling new policies to your customers IS a way to take care of them!
Sales will come from these meetings when you focus on their needs.
Your customers will trust you more, refer more of their friends, and purchase more products from you when they know that you have their best interest at heart.