Here’s a challenge for every insurance agent, whether they’re a 40-year veteran or just starting their first week: Offering a product that isn’t a product. A product is something a customer can hold — shoes or books, for example. A service is something that a customer can use — house cleaning or a massage. Shoppers can’t hold a massage in their hands, but they can get a five-minute sample to encourage them to pay for an entire session.
Insurance, though, isn’t something that can be held in a hand (unless you count the actual paper the policy is printed on). It’s not something that can be taken for a test run, either. A customer knows he or she needs coverage on family, business, vehicles, and more. It’s the agent’s goal to explain why an insurance policy is important and how it can help… hopefully by making use of some of the useful information right here on the Mutual Understanding blog.
And really, even a company that does sell a physical product is selling something intangible — the feeling of value and trustworthiness. Every company claims to treat its employees and customers “like family,” but it’s harder to demonstrate than it is to say. Here’s a few ideas on how to sell intangibles, whether you’re an insurance seller or are offering an entirely different item or service.
The unique selling proposition [www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/unique-selling-proposition-usp] of your business is what makes you stand out from the rest, what customers have to come to you specifically to get. Here’s what it isn’t:
• Competitive rates
• Great service
• Friendly people
• Understanding the community
• Up-to-date computer systems
These aren’t helpful USPs because they’re the same things everyone else offers, to one degree or another. Here’s something you can offer that no one else can: knowledge. A customer comes to you because they want a product… but you know that, of all the products you offer, one is the best one for this particular customer. Computers can help you narrow down the options, but person-to-person know-how can’t be beat, especially for something that touches so much of a customer’s life like insurance.
There’s a reason we offer videos on topics as far-ranging as good posture (which can help with workers’ compensation issues) and taking care of your home in winter. They offer simple, helpful things you can do to improve yourself and your family. They illustrate what we do to help our policyholders — in the same way our independent insurance agent force assists our policyholders every single day.
Another tactic is to offer testimonials from customers, like positive statements about your products and service, or “real life” stories from clients. In testimonials, ordinary people — your customers — talk about what led them to need you, and what you did to make their situation better. These can be written comments, like the ones on the bottom of the page here, or videos, especially if there’s great imagery to go along with speakers.
Hastings Mutual Insurance Company
404 E. Woodlawn Ave.
Hastings, MI 49058
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (EST)