As you settle into a service role in an insurance agency you tend to focus so much on service you forget that sales are important.
“You change coverage when you have to and quote a line of business when the customer asks for it, but you don’t proactively ask customers about increasing coverage or adding an additional policy to their account.”
What you need to realize is Cross Selling Strategies in Insurance are very important, not only for growth but for retention as well. When you upsell and cross-sell you are not only increasing income to your agency but you are showing the value you need to show to your customers and making them realize that your Cross Selling Strategies in Insurance really are there to help clients and save them money when you can.
Cross-selling is a warm call so it makes it even easier to accomplish. So when a customer calls into the office you need to try harder to cross-sell and upsell. Today you have an even easier proactive way to cross-sell that doesn’t even seem salesy.
What if your agency implemented renewal review calls and cross-selling as part of those reviews? You get it done all at once. By utilizing the renewal review calls to cross-sell you are proactively reaching out to the client, it is a warm lead, and you are educating the customer while building the agency all at one time.
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Understanding Cross-Selling Strategies in Insurance
Cross Selling Strategies in Insurance are highly underestimated in the insurance industry. Do you require your associates to cross-sell? Have you thought about the impact cross-selling has on your agency?
Cross-selling is presenting a current customer with a line of insurance they don’t already currently have. Customers who have multiple lines of business with an agency often develop stronger ties and loyalty due to the convenience and potential cost savings of bundling policies.
The agency benefits from this increased retention because it reduces the likelihood of customers switching to another agency for their insurance needs. Moreover, customers may perceive additional value in maintaining multiple policies with the same agency, such as streamlined communication, consolidated billing, or enhanced coverage options.
For the insurance companies, there are similar advantages. The carrier increases the number of policies and premiums collected from one client.
This in turn builds loyalty from the client to the carrier. Statistics find that loyal clients are more likely to pay their bills on time and less likely to file claims.
Cross Selling Techniques for Cross Selling Strategies in Insurance:
- Needs-based analysis with clients
- Customer segmentation (targeting certain clients in certain areas of interest)
- Asking Open-ended questions
- Bundling Of Insurance Policies
- Regular Communication
- Personalized Recommendations
- Referral Programs
The Power of Renewal Reviews
Is the process of calling customers when their major policies are up for renewal. Agencies will decide whether they do them 45, 60, 90 days out, or even more.
They compile renewal lists and distribute them throughout the agency staff. Each agent will do 5-8 minutes of pre-call prep and then call the customer.
The renewal review sheet APP has created walks the agent through each step. It is designed to be a PDF guide, the items filled up on top will populate below to help for smooth conversations.
Most agents “wing it” when doing reviews, so their process is different every time and 2 different agents would also do it very differently.
This process with a unified sheet helps the agency all be on the same page, ask the same questions, and help when the customer calls back in case the original agent isn’t available. This makes for a unified process that everyone can follow and come back to if necessary if a customer calls back.
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How can you go wrong? You are:
- Verifying customer information
- Building Rapport
- Reviewing current policies for discounts
- Asking specific questions that guide you through a process
- Using a PDF that reminds you what to say next and can be attached to the client’s file
The big question is WHY?!
Why call current customers when they aren’t calling us and they aren’t worried about their insurance? The answer is easy, you call customers, it is a courtesy, it builds relationships and rapport and it deters them from shopping because their agent calls them once a year to review their policies.
You are customer service people, that’s what you do, so why not show our customers amazing customer service by calling them and discussing their policies when there are no REAL issues? This brings us to the cross-selling factor. What better way to get to know your client and find other policies they may need, than by cross-selling?
The pandemic changed the world we live in. Everyone owns a business or works from home, and the needs of our customers change. Kids are growing up and moving out, starting to drive, the best way to keep up is by reviewing their policies.
You do in fact insure their biggest assets and we need to make sure they are insured properly. This reduces remarketing as well.
Key Steps in Implementing Renewal Reviews for Cross-Selling
When is the right time to do renewal reviews? Some agencies may want to do their renewal reviews 90 days before the renewal, but you may not have the renewal premium yet.
Your agency needs to determine when the best time to do those reviews. It may depend on when the carrier renewal comes out.
There is a call prep portion to our renewal review call sheet. This part of the sheet helps your staff prepare for the call. This prep should only take 5-8 minutes to complete.
You don’t want to dig too deep into the policy, you want to gather the basic information to start your review. These are the customer details and policy details.
The sheet walks you through these items and prepares you to make the call. Next, you call the client. The sheet will walk you through a voicemail and actually get the customer on the phone.
As you go through the sheet with the client it is important to update anything that may be incorrect. At this point when you have the client on the phone you want to conduct a comprehensive policy review and analysis with the client.
This would include cross-selling other policies, upselling coverages the client may need and educating the client about these items. As you work through and build rapport with the client you will better understand their needs and be able to find the best fit for their needs.
This is very important as you will be able to tailor their insurance to their lifestyle. Every customer is different and they will all need different coverage.
Who better to find the coverages and policies that best fit their needs than their licensed insurance agent?
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Best Practices for Successful Renewal Reviews
The renewal review sheet is a great resource and tool. It will help your agency staff and even new staff members feel confident and comfortable with the client and the coverages they are offering.
It would be great if you had them practice doing reviews on staff members in the agency that have policies with the agency. So have them pair up and do each other’s reviews and learn from each other by using feedback and asking questions.
Make sure you role-play and be the customer and agent and THEN ask questions and discuss feedback. Don’t interrupt the process so you learn how it flows through the worksheet. Once this is completed and your staff successfully begins doing the calls make sure you have rewards and incentives, especially for cross-selling efforts that they weren’t doing before.
Your staff needs to know you value and appreciate their willingness to change and do something new, that wins the end and will make the agency run more smoothly and efficiently. Let’s not let clients easily call in and cancel check out our Stopping A Client Cancellation course that will help staff pivot cancellations to renewal reviews.
Overcoming Challenges and Objections
While doing your review and cross-selling on a call you may get some objections from clients. They are typically the same comments you will get when selling a new policy.
- I have my home with a “carrier name” agent and I just want to keep it there, your response can be, does he call you to review your insurance every year like I will?
- I have to talk to my spouse. Are they available now I can explain everything I just explained so you don’t have to be in the middle and try to explain that or when is the best time to meet with you both?
- I am not interested. If I can save you money by having both your policies together and you only have to call one place, doesn’t that sound way easier?
- I don’t need life insurance. Everyone needs life insurance just in case but did you know there are policies that you can use for other things besides burial? It can work like a retirement account, a college fund, or even mortgage protection for your loved ones. Did you know that?
- I don’t get paid until Friday. Do you have a credit card we could use to get it started?
Remember after each question to use SILENCE to your advantage and give the client a chance to respond.
There are so many strategies for overcoming these objections. Asking questions, educating the customer, and using script techniques that make the customer think through the conversation a bit more in-depth.
- Confirm: I understand completely
- Engage: You’re on the same team ( I know that additional insurance policies may not have been in your budget…)
- Neglect: What would happen if we neglected this opportunity? (However, I’d hate to see you be disappointed in the event of a claim.)
- Teach: The best teachers ask questions (The funny thing about insurance is that often, a very small investment can provide a lot of value. Why don’t I do a no-obligation quote for you, and you can evaluate the policy once you see the cost? Wouldn’t you agree?)
Renewal Review calls are a way to connect and build rapport with all of your customers. Staff needs to see this as a change for the better and as an opportunity.
There is no better way to connect, understand, and educate your client. By educating them you will make them see the importance of coverages they never understand before, opening their eyes to the necessity of the coverage.
It’s not a sale, it’s educating! The more you stay positive about these interactions the more enthusiastic and positive the customer will be.
We as humans build off each others’ energy. So stay positive, if you are having a bad day, it may not be a day to do calls!
Case Studies #1: Success Stories of Cross-Selling through Renewal Reviews
Located in Iowa and serving all of the Midwest and beyond, Midwest Insurance Corporation is a multi-line, independent insurance agency composed of a team of experts committed to thoroughly understanding each client’s unique situation and going the extra mile to offer them the service and products best tailored to their needs.
Originally called Agri/Business Insurance Consultants, Ltd., Midwest Insurance Corporation began operating in 1983 as a provider of insurance protection for farmers and agricultural-related businesses in central Iowa. Over the years they have expanded from offering primarily agricultural business insurance to writing other commercial lines as well as personal lines.
Midwest Insurance Corporation works with the top carriers in the country so that they can offer their clients peace of mind knowing they have the best protection for themselves, their families, and their businesses. Six team members participated in the AppX Retention program, three working in personal lines and three working in commercial lines.
The owner Melissa decided to buy the AppX Retention program for her team so they could become more proactive and work to clean up the existing book of business. Employing AppX Retention training for your team has been proven to increase client retention, account rounds, and remarketing numbers.
This six-month program will encourage everyone to be on the same page with being proactive in calling clients annually to review their accounts. It will also train agents to ensure thorough documentation and work to increase referrals and account coverage, all while boosting retention and decreasing workload.
These training workshops and bi-weekly calls will teach your team to be in better control of client communication and reduce the number of re-shops, inbound calls, complaints, and questions.
Additionally, annual client calls personalize the insurance relationship, fostering trust and loyalty. Let AppX Retention show you the difference a great retention rate makes to your overall business. Learn more about how
The team at Midwest Insurance Corporation greatly improved their numbers for both personal and commercial lines, so they have a lot to be proud of. They improved their remarketing numbers and increased coverage on a high proportion of calls.
Specifically for commercial lines, every single one of the 44 attempts to round an account was successful—that is an amazing achievement! Check out these impressive results the Midwest Insurance team achieved with AppX Retention:
- The team completed a total of 147 account reviews
- The team had 198 increases in coverage
- 87% of account round attempts were successful (100% for commercial)
- 67% of remarket attempts were successful
Four of the six agents who participated in the AppX Retention program gave us their feedback on what they thought about the program. When asked about how they felt before beginning AppX Retention, one was excited to try something new that could improve the client’s experience, but three were apprehensive about yet another change to their process.
Two were also worried about finding the time to employ the new process. It is normal to be nervous about change and time management, but once the team learned and were comfortable with the AppX Retention process, every person said there was no way they would want to go back to their old way of doing things.
Every agent surveyed thought that after a few weeks of practicing the AppX Retention process, they were finding more opportunities for account rounding and increased coverage. The two people who were worried about time management found that even though it was tough in the beginning to find time, the process got easier after a few weeks.
They also commented that updating clients’ contact information by getting in touch with them before renewal actually saved time in the long run.
The hardest part was that you will inevitably encounter some difficulty when changing procedures you’re comfortable with to start a whole new way of doing things. One agent thought the hardest part of the new process was getting used to their new workflow in having to complete renewal review activities.
Another agent also commented on workflow, stating that the hardest part was finding the time to do the reviews. Simply making the calls and trying to round accounts was difficult for some at first. Once they had some practice and were more familiar with the process, they quickly started seeing the benefits of the AppX Retention process.
The best part was that the agents had a lot of great things to say about the benefits of the program for themselves, Midwest Insurance and their clients.
They appreciated that following the process reduced E&O exposure and gained a better retention rate for the agency. Having better communication and working more efficiently as a team to meet goals was another benefit. Every agent surveyed thought they were providing better coverage to their clients.
- “Getting customers better coverage, and they genuinely appreciate being contacted”
- “Reduce E&O exposure”
- “Better teamwork/communication”
- “Meeting the goals set and working together as a team to help others if needhttps://www.agencyperformancepartners.com/wp-admin/themes.php be.”
How can Agency Performance Partners help your agency? Book A Meeting with us today, we will help you with your agency’s biggest challenges.
Case Study #2 Implementation of Renewal Reviews for Cross-Selling
Cross Insurance Agency is located in Washington State. They work with only the best regional and national carriers to provide their neighbors with insurance to meet all their needs.
Their desire as an agency is to continue to grow and be able to adjust to the changes the insurance industry throws at them. They value their customers above all else. Cross Insurance has six locations with 20 team members. They worked with Agency Performance Partners in April 2020.
- The team achieved 508 coverage increases!
- The team completed 2,269 account reviews in the six months of the program.
- 78% of attempts to review a client’s account with them were successful.
- 48% of the account rounds the team quoted resulted in a sale.
- Their remarket quote-to-remarket success rate was 85%.
Most of the agents were excited about starting a program that uses Cross Selling Strategies in Insurance, but a few were wary of time management issues. Seven of the nine agents who completed our survey stated that they were excited about trying something that could improve the client’s experience.
Time management was an understandable concern, with four of the agents saying they thought they wouldn’t have time to incorporate the new process into their day. The responses after a few weeks of employing the program were very positive.
Agents noted finding more opportunities for increasing coverage and account rounding, that they were remarketing less frequently, and they were receiving fewer inbound calls from upset clients.
Five agents noted that time management got easier once they had a few weeks to practice making the renewal calls. All but one agent thought they were providing their clients with better service by using a proactive rather than a reactive process. Most of the survey responses describing the hardest part of the AppX Retention process revolved around common fears regarding change and stepping out of your comfort zone.
Starting a new process is always scary, and for agents who have for years used a reactive method for servicing clients, switching to a proactive method can cause some discomfort. The agents at Cross Insurance responded admirably to their discomfort though.
They outlasted the suck and are now providing better service than ever to their clients.
- “Stepping out of my comfort zone.”
- “Change, changing my ways. After doing it for a few weeks it got easier and easier.”
- “Fear of the unknown.”
- “Getting over the fear of picking up the phone and calling our clients.”
The best part was the team at Cross Insurance quickly began to see the positive results of the AppX Retention process for the agency, their clients, and for themselves as a team. They were better at educating their clients about problems with their insurance, they were improving retention, and they began working more efficiently together as a team.
- “Having a process that everyone understands and will follow. At that point, everyone knows what is expected of each other, and we can begin to work together as a team.”
- “Higher retention, because the clients have more communication and trust in us.”
- “Finding legitimate coverage problems, valuation problems, and opportunities to educate clients.”
- “This is an excellent program/plan. Follow through with it, communicate with your co-workers, raising your hand does not mean you have failed!”
Thoughts About Working with the Agency Performance Partners Team:
The team at Cross Insurance loved working with Agency Performance Partners and appreciated their help, in getting them through the difficult first few weeks of the AppX Retention program.
- “I am beyond grateful to Kelly and the team for all the resources, laughter, suggestions, talks, encouragement, and everything else you did to help us get past the suck. So grateful for you!”
- “Very good program. Teaches you how to communicate with your clients on renewals and better protect them.”
- “Kelly is awesome. She has put together a great program that any agency will benefit from and she is there to work with you through the ‘suck’ and get to the other end of the tunnel so you can enjoy the rainbow.”
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Cross Selling Strategies in Insurance is not something that agents are used to doing all day, every day because they find it “salesy”.
But what better way to grow your agency, build rapport with your customers, and show value? Educating our clients on insurance coverages they may need is educating and selling at the same time.
Implementing renewal reviews as part of a comprehensive Cross Selling Strategies in Insurance is an opportunity to streamline processes that encompass so many things that agencies currently struggle with (unless you have embarked on this journey already.)
What are you and your agency waiting for? The time to change is now, this market is hard right now and we will be dealing with this for 3-5 years. We need to use Cross Selling Strategies in Insurance that work.
“We have proven time and time again that insurance renewal reviews are the way to transform your agency into one that is reactive and out of control into an agency that controls its conversations and responds to customers before the customers come to them.”