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Whether you focus on commercial or personal lines, your job as an agent means finding your customers solutions to risk management aimed at limiting their financial risk.

Bringing in new customers and maintaining long-lasting relationships with existing customers both require a certain level of trust.  Clients need to be able to trust that you are the right person to come to to protect them and their assets.

To be successful, your customers need to see you as capable, dependable, and as someone with integrity.

Here are 10 tips to foster a more valuable long-lasting relationship with your customer base

  1. Be their go-to expert

Most people don’t know exactly what they need for insurance or how to pick the best plan for themselves – that’s why they come to you.  It’s important that you truly understand the coverage options and benefits you offer. You need to be able to speak confidently and be able to articulate a good working knowledge of what you’re selling.  If customers can easily tell you know what you’re doing and that you’re an expert in your field they’ll feel more comfortable working with you.

You need to be able to do this anyways to answer client questions but you can also use your knowledge to advertise yourself by offering value to potential customers via Linkedin, Blogs linked back to your website and other means of advertising.

  1.  Don’t oversell

As an insurance sales professional, it’s natural to want to write as much new business as possible.  But, you will not build long-lasting customers if all you’re after is the quick sale. Down the road, if your customers find the insurance they have is not a good fit, that’s a good way to lose them quickly along with the referrals they would have brought if they were satisfied.

Be sure you’re clear on your customers’ needs so you can offer the products and services that suit their needs best.

  1.  Leave your competition out of it

Too often sales professionals will trash talk their competition in order to make themselves look better, and therefore make the sale.  To your customers who don’t know the ins and outs of the industry, this can come off as petty. As a result, they may feel unsure about trusting you.  

Instead, focus on your strengths.  Highlighting why the services you’re offering are a better fit for the customer.  

  1.  Be a problem solver

In handling a large book of business, it’s inevitable that mistakes or problems may come up.  When they do, the way you respond is crucial to your relationship with your customers moving forward.  When it comes to issues that arise, don’t waste time making excuses. Be gracious, and solve the problem as quickly as possible, then move on.

  1. Don’t make promises you can’t keep

Like many sales professionals, insurance agencies often wind up trying to offer to much either to make a sale or out of over generosity.  Do your best not to over promise.

Only offer your customers things you know you can actually deliver, in the long run, they’ll appreciate this more.

  1.  Remember that your customers’ time is valuable too

Your day is busy, but so is your customers’.  Being respectful of that can go along way in maintaining trust with your clients.  It doesn’t take much, It’s as simple as calling right back when you say you will or being at meetings on time.  

  1.  Communicate, communicate, communicate

Communication is a key element for any relationship, including the customer-agent relationship.  It is important in being both proactive in communicating directly with your customers as well as responsive when they communicate with you.  

First, contacting your customers periodically puts your name and face in front of them, reminding them you’re there.

Second, the more you communicate the more your customers will trust you.  This will keep them with you longer but may also help you to uncover their additional insurance needs for future sales.  

In a nutshell:

If you’ve established a meaningful relationship with a customer, they’ll more likely keep coming to you for future insurance needs.  They’re also more likely to bring their family, friends, and other acquaintances to you for their insurance needs as well. As a result, you’re customers are satisfied and your pipeline is full.  It’s a win-win.