The very thing I love about insurance is also the thing that drives me nuts. Not everyone wants to buy or be serviced like I do. Since everyone who drives or has a home needs insurance this means that we all need to brush up our skills on how to win friends and influence people in insurance. To truly serve them we must respond to them in a way that comforts them, not us.
Easier said than done. However, I’m all for anything that works and makes our lives simple. We will review the four key personality types in this blog to help empower staff at all levels to respond to our clients.
Have you been on a call recently where the client or prospect was dictating the call? You most likely had an assertive personality type. They tend to be all about solving their problem at hand and this can lead them to be very direct and decisive. They want an agent that does what they say they are going to do and works efficiently and effectively.
You know you have an assertive personality when they make declarations rather than questions. For example: I want the lowest rate. They are declaring their primary need and they want it to be clear to you. This can seem overwhelming and they can often overpower a service person or an agent trying to work to solve their insurance needs.
How to Overcome an Assertive Personality
- Always be professional. They really look down on casual talk; it is time wasted and comes from someone who doesn’t seem confident. You need to be clear, direct and concise.
- When trying to up-sell them or cross sell them, state the problem they have by not considering your proposition. You need to be direct and to the point but explain that they have a problem . It means X for them and here is how you would like to solve it.
- Assertives by nature aren’t great listeners. Keep your statements short and to the point.
- Stay clear of personal opinions and stick to how you are solving challenges you see for them.
This personality type values personal relationships and needs to experience trust with their insurance agent. If you can’t strike common ground with them they will be rather unengaged. They often dive into creative or unexpected solutions, they don’t see many barriers-but guess what? Insurance is full of boundaries! Typically they don’t do a ton of research as they are leaning on you to be the expert which means you need to convert from insurance agents to insurance guides to help them through the process.
Don’t expect an amiable to make decisions on the spot. They want to seek out a relationship first and a decision second. Amiables love testimonials and being referred. With an amiable you should expect a longer sales process. They are great listeners, ask questions and are friendly, patient and calm. You can generally have a more laid back and informal conversation with them.
How to Work with an Amiable Personality
- Share a vision of how your recommendations can improve their life and protect their family and business. You need them to visualize how your insurance recommendations would work.
- Take your time to build rapport first. If they feel safe, they will open up and you will be able to really connect with them.
- Use stories, since stories demonstrate the product they can often buy into hearing how your recommendations came in handy.
- Act as an advisor not a sales person. You should give an amiable options but help guide them through the decision making , they can become overwhelmed by options and decisions and want to lean on someone to help them.
Expressive Personality Type
Like an amiable, expressives are often very in tune with personal relationships. However, they are more concerned about the other’s well being. Expressives want to know how their decision will impact their family and associates. At heart expressives rely on their instincts and intuition. You do have to be careful to be too casual with an expressive. Offhand comments can often sour them and then it’s very difficult to get them back.
This personality tends to be larger than life, very colorful, animated and enthusiastic. Like an assertive, they will use more statements than questions so it’s best to be ready and prepared to connect with them.
Navigating the Expressive Personality
- Expressives like facts. By sharing case studies and evidence of your service and results you can impress an expressive. However, don’t over do the facts. You need to balance facts with outcomes. They care about the complete outcome of your recommendations.
- You want to stress long term relationships. They want to create a partnership and create long standing relationships
- Get their agreement, using statements like “Wouldn’t you agree we should increase your auto limits? gets their buy in!
Analytical Personality Type
If you like data, facts, figures and you can bypass the relationship you may be an analytical. In your mind people may color the truth so you rely on concrete evidence to make your insurance buying decision. An analytical will pepper you with several questions and will often research you, the agency and the company you want them to do business with.
While analyticals will move fast and stick to deadlines they won’t make a final decision quickly. They want to fully vet their insurance agent and generally won’t make a decision until they are impressed. This personality tends to be logical and cautious. When you are speaking to an analytical don’t be surprised if they bypass the warm and fuzzies. They want to focus on facts, not emotions.
Working with an Analytical
- Respect their decision making time-frame and process. Do not rush them or they will leave you. Also be prepared to be on several calls to get a decision.
- Generally they are prepared but don’t assume they understand insurance. Often they will be Google-smart on insurance which can be misleading. You want to compliment them on their knowledge and redirect them toward facts.
- Dial back the sales pitch and back your recommendations up with data points. If they know that 35% of floods happen out of a flood zone they will consider it.
And For the Finale… Most People Are a Mix!
Yes, just to complicate things most people you will meet are a mix of these 4. Try it on yourself. Do you see one of these being your strongest feature but see a few personality types you also lean on?