We’re used to hearing sleazy stories about people and companies that put profits above all else and are willing to do all kinds of unscrupulous things to cheat the system – like opening accounts for customers without their permission, or fudging automobile emissions tests.
Even if we ourselves tend to be trusting by nature, there’s no reason to assume others feel the same way.
Sales prospects are often hesitant to share what’s really on their minds. They’re cautious because they have no reason to trust that you’ll act in their best interest, or that you have the skill, know-how, and resources to deliver the professional services and satisfaction they want.
As thoughtful salespeople, we need to make especially sure that the people we’re dealing with trust our motives, words, and actions, and feel confident we can deliver exactly what we promise and what they need.
In almost every case, the insurance buyers we want to meet with already have an agent. Your prospects might hardly know that agent, but still feel some sense of comfort and familiarity. Asking to review their coverage can trigger concerns simply because you’re inviting them to move beyond their comfort zone into uncharted territory.
Prospects may not say anything, but they’re wondering about a myriad of things: How long will this review take? Will the coverage be what I need? Will the insurance company pay out claims fairly? Will this agent give me the attention I want? Will I get through to a real person when I call the office with a question? Will the rates stay the same or climb a lot higher next year? And so on and so forth.
The first order of business as the challenging agent is to establishing trust and confidence. Then you’ve got to proactively address each prospect’s unstated concerns in a reassuring way.
The good news is that most prospects think similarly. Buying concerns are pretty universal; you just have to tune in with your social radar and test the waters with some casual queries. “Some of my clients have been concerned about [X, Y, or Z]. How do you feel about that?” Then you can offer details with fitting reassurance.
Here are some key ways to create trust in business relationships.
Familiarity – Largely what branding is all about. Help prospects become familiar with you and your agency via emails, webinars, mailings, and other kinds of drip marketing.
Social Proof – The power of testimonials and endorsements from peer businesses and marquee clients can be a considerable influence on people’s trust in your brand and ability.
Walk the walk – Demonstrate your willingness to go the extra mile by the effort you put into getting the details right, and being thorough as you shop the markets and present options to the prospect.
Make it easy for people to say yes to an insurance review by being clear at the outset that they’ll have time to consider your proposal, and are under no obligation to switch agents. Then show them the value of becoming your customer.
“There’s no upfront commitment on your part. Let us show you what we can offer and then you can talk it over with your people and see what you’d like to do. No pressure.”