We’ve said it many times before and this probably won’t be the last time: If you want to grow your insurance agency, the first place to look is in your current book of business. Focusing on your current clients strengthens your relationships, resulting in higher loyalty and retention.
It’s particularly important to cross sell insurance products to commercial clients. Most commercial clients are high value but low frequency buyers. Unless you execute a plan to act otherwise, your client touchpoints are few and you are at risk of being supplanted if you don’t bring value. Your value is your expertise in protecting their business, their assets, their employees, and their personal assets. If you don’t address all their exposures, you leave space for a competitor. If the only time you connect is at renewal, your client relationship is at risk.
Here are some tips to improve your insurance agency’s commercial cross-selling, along with a few commercial insurance cross selling examples.
- Educate clients to think about business or life changes that should trigger coverage re-assessment, such as acquisitions, geographic expansions, significant increases or decreases in payroll, new equipment, and the like. Issue “critical event” checklists periodically as reminders and prior to annual reviews. Educating your clients about notification triggers will help you to identify any necessary changes, as well as any exposures that could benefit by supplemental coverage.
- Analyze and segment your book. Tag clients by industry, by geography, by exposures, by current product portfolio, and by complementary prospective coverages that might be right for each account. This will help you target email correspondence and be ready for cross-sell conversations during scheduled meetings or incoming client service requests.
- Communicate frequently and on multiple channels. Market your products regularly, both in the aggregate and focusing on specific products. Your clients don’t live in the insurance space – they may not be aware of products or services that you offer that could be beneficial to their business, to their employees, or to them – unless you tell them! Educate about exposures/solutions on social media. Make your content useful, relevant, and informative. Run campaigns around specific products. Key products off recent news and events – for example, news about cyber breaches and ransom attacks offer logical segues to discuss available protection.
- Cross sell on your website. Every product page should not just link to related products but should include call-out boxes or short blurbs about related products; Every blog post should include links to related matter on your website, such as “success stories” that focus on results. Amazon tells us that “customers who bought X also bought Y.” Tell your clients that “people in your industry who have X coverage also often buy Y coverage – learn why.”
- Meet / contact commercial clients often. Build in touchpoints. Follow them and interact on social media. Put them on your blog notification and email list. Make quarterly check-in calls. Conduct post-sale satisfaction surveys at mid-year. Conduct annual reviews. These are opportunities to deepen the relationship and discuss or suggest supplementary services or coverage.
- Up your email campaigns. Make sure all your current clients are on your email list and signed up for your blog. Use list segmentation to target periodic campaigns that are pertinent to their exposures and industry segment. Include calls-to-action such as “click for a quote” and “call for more information.” Look into automated email platforms that allow you to conduct drip campaigns with both prospects and clients. See: 5 types of B2B email drip campaigns that deliver results.
- Find trusted partners for products you don’t sell. Life insurance. Employee benefits. Financial products and retirement plans. You may be able to white label services or products so that you maintain your brand and agency as the front room. Be a one-stop shop for any related products your commercial clients may need.
- Sell bonds. By offering commercial bonds to your clients and prospects, you increase revenue, provide a service to clients, and pre-empt any competitors from having an open gateway to your client. See: 5 Benefits of Working with a Surety Bond Wholesaler and Cross-Selling Opportunities in Commercial Surety.
- Sell life insurance. Understand how business owners use life insurance in their succession and compensation plans. Discuss buy-sell agreements, key person insurance, and other life insurance protection with business owners. See: Cross selling life insurance to business owners.
- Target High Net-Worth Individuals (HNWI). This is a population with significant investible wealth and assets. In 2020, there were more than 4.7 million HNWI individuals in the US, a population that continues to grow. There are high net worth inidividuals among the executive tier of your commercial accounts. One way to break into that is to offer additional business protection services and to branch into life, personal liability, coverage for high-value homes, watercraft, collections, and other assets. See: Targeting high-net-worth individuals to achieve high performance growth in insurance.
- Offer personal lines coverage to commercial accounts and vice versa. Do your commercial accounts know the full range of business and personal protections that your agency offers? And are any of your personal lines customers business owners? On initial sales, it might be as simple as the “do you want fries with that?” method of asking people if they have any other coverage needs you can help them with. As the relationship evolves, find opportunities to promote/suggest coverage and services across lines.
- Work supplementary products into renewals. Umbrella, D&O, E&O, Cyber and other coverages that expand liability protection are great discussions to target for renewal meetings. See: A Perfect Pair: Cross-Selling D&O Liability Insurance and Cyber.
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