As you may already know, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make a living selling car insurance unless you’re selling high volumes. Unfortunately, car insurance has become a commodity that’s easily quoted and sold on price. The profit margins on car insurance sales are slim too, causing agents to push more policies in order to make a substantial profit.
If you’re already on your way to increasing the number of auto insurance policies you sell, you’re halfway there to meeting your goals. Why half way, you ask? Because retaining these clients is just as important as making new sales. Retention is half the battle in the insurance game. Otherwise, you’re bleeding losses with each forward step you take.
We highly encourage all agents to begin working on their retention strategies and cross-selling strategies because it all adds up in the end. Below, we have more on this and other tips for retaining your existing clientele.
Use Customer Segmentation to Stay Organized
You can categorize your mixed bag of customers according to what’s most important to the client and according to the characteristics that define their buying behavior. For instance, you will probably have a large number of customers who are very price conscious. These are people you need to contact first, whenever there is a deal they can take advantage of. These customers are the first to jump ship if approached with a lower rate, so you’ve got to work to keep this customer happy and let them know you’re looking out for them--always.
This sort of diligence is required these days if you hope to keep your clients. Requoting this customer and reviewing other options if their rate increases are other viable options for retention. Some customers you’ll want to group according to customer service. There are those who require that personal touch, while others demand that their needs be taken care of over email. Unfortunately, it’s in your best interest to appease the client and do things whatever way they wish. The market dictates it, if you want to hold onto this person for the long haul.
You should also group together auto insurance leads that didn’t pan out due to price. Check in on these people at renewal. They may have bought another policy on price, but are they happy with what they paid for? Can you offer them something better? They’ll be pleasantly surprised that you remember them, and that’s a good impression to make. Give it a shot. Ex-date all your leads. Don’t waste a single cent you already spent on your investment. If you do, you’ll be surprised to see that you’ll sell some policies this way.
You may think that after you sell a policy that you’re good to go until renewal but in today’s market, that may not be enough to guarantee a renewal. People are constantly bombarded with quoting apps and comparison websites. What’s an agent to do? It seems all the elements in the insurance game are tempting your clients to cheat! And they are. But you can safeguard your business by simply staying in touch.
The relationship with your client must be honored if you expect this person to be loyal. We’re not saying to call your clients every single day and ask what they’re having for lunch. But you must develop a strategy to communicate, by text, email, phone, direct mail at intervals so you’re always top of mind while proving that your client is top of mind. It’s a two-way street, and in your communications you need to show that you are thinking about them. You’ll need to entertain, inform and be there to take questions.
As carriers add services to complement P&C products, you’ll need to be an expert communicator about how these services benefit your clients. If they have a business you’re protecting, you better know as much if not more about that business than they do. Sending surveys to see how your clients feel about your service is a good idea too.
Cross-Sell to Retain Insurance Customers
The more policies a client buys, the more they are woven into your business. They will likely think twice before unraveling their discounts and bundle packages. If you’ve also sold complementary services, your clients are even more invested in staying with you for the long-run. That’s why sometimes it’s important to cross-sell products that don’t bring in much in terms of commission.
Take for instance, renters insurance. If your car insurance client rents a home now, they may buy a home in the future and you’ll upgrade to a much more profitable home insurance policy. Even if they never move out of their apartment, the chances of your client staying with you because you’ve covered both their car and apartment is much higher than if you’re only covering auto.
In another example, selling a personal umbrella policy will trickle in a few dollars a month so why make the effort? If your client is a high-asset individual and gets into a car wreck, his/her liability limits may be too low and he/she may be sued just for the fact that they are wealthy. Your client will appreciate that you protected his/her assets with an umbrella policy if this day ever comes. Why would they leave?
It’s these little wins that form a lasting relationship with an insurance client.
Incentivize a Long-Term Relationship
As soon as you onboard a new client, spell out what it means to stay with you long term. Is there a vanishing deductible after a year? Will you requote the client to see if you can switch carriers for a better rate? Whatever it is that you’ve worked out as the best incentive, make sure sure to communicate it early, so that you’re top of mind when another agent comes and tries to steal your client away.
No matter how attentive you are, you’ll still lose some clients. That’s why you should be buying lots of auto insurance leads when trying to reach scale. Buying leads takes the least amount of effort with a comparable marketing budget you’d need to generate your own leads. You will be spending your valuable time researching how benefits may apply to your client’s situations and ways you can save clients money instead of plotting ways to find people to quote.
Use your time wisely instead, by contacting ex-dates regularly and checking in to make sure everyone you’ve covered is happy. Create a newsletter with the aim of up-selling and cross selling. Let us hunt leads for you.
The best advice about leads is that you simply can’t give up on them after a couple of calls. Persistence will pull you through with a good percentage of these customers. As frustrated as you may feel after not making a sale right away, you just can’t throw in the towel unless they give you a firm no, and even then, it’s not a goodbye. It’s a talk-to-you-later. An aged lead still holds value. Throwing it in the trash is like throwing away money.