This blog post was originally published on the Engagex blog on January 18, 2021.
Updated and republished on March 21, 2022.
Imagine you're on a first date with someone you are quite interested in.
Someone you could even see yourself marrying and having children with.
Things are going well as you're enjoying pleasant conversation.
The dinner is good and so is the atmosphere.
You’re pretty confident your date is interested in you, after all, they did agree to the date.
You had made a determination not to say anything too hasty, but eh what the heck?
“I think I love you.”
As the words escape your lips, you're stunned by how they sound out loud.
The discomfort on your date’s face reveals how inappropriate your timing was.
You can’t take it back.
By jumping the gun, you've most likely ruined your chances at a relationship with this person.
When you meet with your insurance clients, act like you’re on a first date and think of hard-selling a policy equal to saying “I love you.”
We know that customer insurance reviews are one of the best ways to identify opportunities to sell new policies to your existing customers.
It may be the main motivator for many agents to meet with their customers at all.
The truth is that sometimes your clients are at risk because they have too little coverage or recently had a change in their life that requires a new policy.
To get them the coverage they need, you have to up-sell them.
However, the customer insurance review meeting is NOT the time and place to try to sell them the new policy.
Read that again.
So, if you can't hard-sell during the meeting, how are you supposed to up-sell or cross-sell your customers? Let's get into it.
The purpose of the customer insurance review meeting is to investigate and educate.
People don’t want to be sold to, but they do want adequate insurance coverage.
They don’t want you to milk them for more money, but they do want you to take care of them.
In the insurance review meeting, rather than simply telling your clients what they need and how much you would charge them for it, educate them about the purpose of specific policies and help them see how it applies to their situation.
Offer to send additional information that they can become familiar with, but do not close the policy during the meeting.
Instead, call your client a week or so after the meeting to find out if they have had a chance to review the information you sent them.
If you did a good job explaining the importance of the potential policy in the meeting and how it applies to their circumstances, it will be a natural conversation to sell the policy.
Armed with the information necessary to make a decision, the client will feel like the new policy was their idea, not yours.
By waiting until after the meeting to make the sale, your customer leaves with a feeling of gratitude for your help and proud of the new things they learned.
If you sell in the meeting, your clients may feel like they were taken advantage of.
Make them feel like the meeting is for them, not for you.
There may be a few clients that you know well and are already comfortable around you.
If they ask specifically to be sold to, by all means go for it.
But as a rule of thumb, do not sell in the customer insurance review meeting.
It can weaken your status as a trusted advisor, and you may not get that second date.