It happens: people call in ask you to “shop their insurance”. For many of us, it’s a normal request and we add it to the pile of work, striving to get to it ASAP. However, the reality is that there are better ways to handle this common request. In this blog, we want to walk you through the best practices of handling this call and working to make remarketing the last option we use.
Handling the Inbound Remarketing Request
When someone calls in to request a reshop, we need to start the call off on a positive note. We don’t want to person answering the call to promise a reshop. We want them to field the call and transfer the client to the correct person. On too many occasions, we have seen someone at the front desk comment, “No problem I’ll have her do that for you.” The most important thing is to say, “No problem, I’ll find someone who can assist you.” We don’t want to set the stage that any remarketing is a guarantee.
The Warm Transfer
When the person fields the call and gets it to the right party, we need to prepare the agent. The client should not have to repeat their request. The agent should get the name of the caller and their request, so that they are prepared to review what options the caller may have. When the agent is prepared for the call, they can do their best to work with the client on options that aren’t necessarily a reshop.
Getting Your Head Right on Remarketing
It’s really important that we all understand that we don’t have to shop them, just because someone asks for a remarket. This may seem awkward, but trust me, the reason someone uses an independent agent is so that they can get good advice. When a client says “reshop”, I want you think “review”! You are going to review their account and make your best recommendations to them.
People who call in asking to be reshopped may be struggling with what value they are getting from their carrier. It’s our job to pull those great features to life and make sure they understand what value they are obtaining. Only after we review the account (and only after we conduct a review) can we truly give them the best advice.
Honestly, a remarket may be the most costly of all options. A negative inspection can harm a client far more than trying to maximize discounts!
Using Math In Your Favor
What sounds better? $16.67 per month or $200 per year. For most people, they pay for their insurance monthly, and we need to break the cost down for them monthly as well. Whenever you are saving someone money, you let them know the total-term savings. If people are spending more, breaking it down monthly is a key feature for success. You are saying the same thing, just in more favorable terms.
When someone calls in with a rate concern and you look it up, think about saying: “It looks like your rate increased about $12 per month. This is a bit lower than what we are seeing in the market.” Bingo: you may have avoided a reshop right then and there.
One trick I learned a long time ago was to not make my pocketbook someone else’s. There are some people who are way more upset about an $8 increase, whereas other people take a $500 increase and you never hear from them. Our number one goal is to provide people options, so that they can select what is best for their budget.
The review is critical for a few reasons. Firstly, I want the client to have some of their time invested in a very labor-intensive process. This helps train them to not call every year and, honestly, helps ward them off from shopping elsewhere. Secondly, we simply cannot take the old application and re-run it. That’s basically saying that in “X” number of years, there have been no changes to their lives. Well, that’s just plain sad. I think that, if we do some asking, we will find things that bring the true value of what they are insuring back to the forefront.
Next, it’s hard to reshop someone without building rapport. How can you select a policy without knowing what they value – Is it service? Paying for some extra endorsements? There are plenty of ways to drive the cost of a policy down without going to market. We need to find out what those ways are and how to honor what’s important to them.
For personal lines, here is a starting point for review questions that can determine if you need to remarket them:
- Deductible “If you had a loss, what is the highest deductible you would be comfortable with?”
- Occupation—this will help you understand what they need “Tell me: what do you do for a living? Do you have a home-based business? Are you driving for Uber or Lyft? Or have you recently changed jobs?”
- People in the Household—this will help you understand who needs to be on the policies “Can you tell me if the following people still live with you?”
- Valuables, Collectibles, Wedding Rings, Toys “Do you have recreational vehicles or toys?”
- Youthful Drivers “Do you have any children? When will they be of driving age?”
- Home Improvements “Have you made any improvements to your home in the last 5 years? Such as a security system, updated roof, finished basement, trampolines, pools, garages, or changed your heating system?”
- Investment Properties/Home Rental “Do you have investment properties or do you ever rent your home out?”
- Gifts: “Have you recently received or inherited any valuable items? Currently, we have the following on your policy – is there anything to add or delete?”
- Toys: “Have you purchased any new toys (boat, RV, ATV or motorcycle?)”
- Earthquake/Flood Insurance “Do you have any questions on earthquake or flood insurance?”
- Do you have any new pets in the home? “Did you know if your pet breaks free and bites someone you can be held liable?”
- Confirm Mortgagee and Auto Loan Company “Who is your current mortgagee company or auto loan company?”
- If No Reference of Life Insurance: “Who do you have your life insurance with? We like to keep it on file.”
Whenever someone is upset about anything in the world, they are generally upset because they don’t feel as though they have options. It’s our job to outline their options for them, so that they can make a decision. We recommend outlining 3 options with the current company:
- Deductible Change
- Review RCE
- Discuss Missing Discounts
Often times, this can keep them right there. If they still are not satisfied, you can then let them know you can do one final review, but there are a few warnings you have:
“Let me educate you on how a remarket works. If we do find another market, they will send an inspector to your home to review the property. Any recommendations they make, you will have to complete to ensure they stay on your account. This could be as small as a bit of paint or as big as a new roof.
Another item I want to confirm with you is that your new market will require a down payment to get started, your current market will continue with the new monthly payment. I always like to alert people before we begin.”
For several people you can stop them right there and work to keep them with the current company.
If You Must Reshop
It’s ok – there are some good reshops, such as:
- Moving a client from a non-standard to a standard carrier
- Moving a client to a preferred market
- Agency-approved book rolls
But when we do have to reshop, we need to use this as an opportunity to improve coverage. We can shop them at the highest coverage tier and add on umbrella coverage. If we are saving someone money, we can easily improve their coverage and cut some of the difference in lost premium to the agency.
If we are going to reshop someone, we must avoid emailing quotes and, instead, pick a time to call them to review their options. No one wants to hear that you have nothing better to offer them on a voicemail or in an email; or get a long complicated quote that they can forward to another agency. We must do our job and connect with the client to review our recommendations – remember – this is why we were hired!
The hardest part we see about reshops has to do with Time Management. What this means is that they often sit and we hope to have 30 minutes to get to them. They often get bumped around and delayed. This continues to frustrated the client and leads to lagging retention and, often, wasted time. If we reshop someone who is upset and we take too long, they may leave and then all that time is wasted! Think about using the remarket very last in your tool chest; you will be surprised on how it can reduce your remarkets.
Remarketing reduction is a key point in our AppX Retention Program! We can help your agency increase your retention and efficiency – Contact us!