As an insurance agent, your customers’ trust is often earned after you have delivered the business outcome. It allows you to connect with your customers to build rapport and relationships. But how can you build trust during the sales process? This article will outline ways in which you can increase trust with current and potential clients, while turning them into loyal, repeat-customers. Let’s get started!
Here are seven ways to increase how much you are trusted with new potential customers:
I. Treat Everyone Like Family.
- How would you handle the sale for a member of your family? Chances are, you want the best for your family, and you would try to find the best options for them, without purely thinking of the sell. Keep the conversation casual and relaxed, and help the customer without being pushy, and instead view them as a person you truly care about.
- Try to get to know the type of person that your customer is and use that knowledge to anticipate the types of questions they will ask. This will help you be prepared and have their answers ready and waiting.
II. Know Your Products.
- Make sure you know everything there is to know about your products, including your competitor’s offerings. Know the facts about them inside and out so you’re prepared to answer all types of questions. Your knowledge will help customers see that you’re a valuable resource and an expert that they can trust.
III. Don’t Bad Mouth the Competition.
- Don’t purposefully bring up a competitor to sling mud, but also don’t shy away from comparing your product offerings in a non-biased manner, even if this means giving credit to another product. Formstack, a company that captures and manages data for businesses with online forms, is a great example of a how to employ this practice successfully. They made a non-biased page on their website directly comparing their offerings to competitors, even though their prices were higher. By focusing their content on how they meet customer needs and solve problems through great service and additional features, they increased buyer conversions on this comparison page by 20% in the past year. Your customers will appreciate your honesty and see that you are trying to do what is best for them.
IV. Create a Connection With the Person Before You Sell.
- Be sure to find out something about your customer that you have in common, and ask questions to show that you are genuinely interested. When they answer these questions you must remember to actively listen.
V. Don’t Just Go for the Hard Sell.
- People do not trust a sales pitch that is thrown at them without any personalization. Customers can often recognize when you’re trying to make a sales pitch, which can then cause you to lose their interest altogether.
VI. Be the Ultimate Professional.
- Speak a language that fits the situation. You are not at a party or at an insurance conference. Therefore, avoid jargon that confuses consumers, but keep your speech professional without slang.
- If you are seeing the customer in person, be sure to dress professionally and appropriately, and use friendly body language.
- Avoid controversy by not giving opinions about issues or topics that don’t directly concern the business at hand.
VII. Getting Good Word-of-Mouth Referrals
- Negative word-of-mouth travels quickly. Avoid this by proactively working to generate positive conversation around your company in doing the following things:
- Promote your positive feedback – place a customer quote in an email campaign, your website, social media page, or even feature a customer review page on your website.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for feedback on Yelp, Facebook, Google Business or any other online resources.
- Show your appreciation for your customers’ business with a hand-written thank you card. Surprise your customers and give them something good to talk about.
- For more ideas on how to gain positive reviews, check out this article published by Hubspot: A Marketer’s Guide to Accumulating Awesome Online Reviews
While these tips are great for new and potential customers, what about customers with whom you already have a relationship? How do you maintain and increase trust with them? Here are five ways to build trust among existing customers:
I. Set Customer Expectations
- It is helpful in the beginning to accurately communicate your offerings and quality of service as early as possible. This helps you manage the customer’s expectations of what their experience will be.
- Remember, whatever level of service you set in the beginning, you must keep that level or improve moving forward.
II. Be the Expert and Stay Available
- Attempt to go beyond answering the questions customers ask you. Follow up after answering their questions to make sure they received all the information needed. You also need to be available anytime a client wants to contact you. Comcast used their Twitter account as a customer service platform with representatives monitoring the account 24-hours a day. They made themselves accessible for anyone that wanted to reach them and receive a fast response. Make it clear to your clients the best and easiest way to reach you.
- If you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s okay to let them know you are unsure. Then, find out the answer and call them back, or get them the answer as soon as possible. This will show your customer that you are committed and reliable.
III. Trust Through Relationships
- Build relationships online. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google +, and other social media platforms are excellent ways to nurture relationships. Connect by sharing, liking, or commenting with customers and provide valuable resources that are relevant to their needs and interests.
- Remember that social media has appropriate and inappropriate uses. Here is a quick list of do’s and don’ts on social media.
- Be consistent with posting on your social media accounts. Make sure you consistently update your social profiles, and have a plan for posting content with a purpose for each profile. Constant Contact published a great article about this called How to Create a Social Media Posting Schedule.
- Share various types of content such as videos, blogs, and articles that your target audience will want to see.
- Engage. Ask questions and join conversations. Be personal and authentic.
- Remember that your conversation is not always private and will reflect who you are as a business. Use this as an opportunity to answer questions that other people are asking.
- Allow your personal life to conflict with professionalism. Keep your emotions controlled and don’t “air out your dirty laundry” online.
- Retweet or share something without thoroughly reading it. Make sure it’s actually worth sharing with your social circles, and identify why it’s valuable for them to read.
You can learn more about the different purposes of popular social platforms and how to use them effectively by reading this article by BandwidthOnline.org
IV. Implement Anticipatory Service
- Be proactive by recognizing problems that your customer could possibly have and then work to provide answers and solutions to those problems before they know they have them.
V. Implement Customer Feedback Surveys
- Follow up with your customer after an interaction to find out what they liked and didn’t like. Even if they have been a customer for years, you may be surprised with the insight they give you. Tools such as SurveyMonkey are great for helping you receive customer insight and behaviors to enhance your business.
By implementing these tactics and behaviors, you can gain the trust of clients, resulting in increased customer loyalty. With some effort and experience, insurance agents can get a little higher on the list of trustworthy professions.