3 Ways to Upsell Insurance Policies
Updated: Feb 3
Finding a new prospect through cold calling is hard work. If that’s the only way you’re planning on growing your agency, you’re shortchanging yourself. Great customers are already waiting and easily available. You can glean a lot of extra revenue from your current customer list. But, out of the box, don’t limit yourself by looking at your book of business, trying to decide who you can upsell. You can upsell every one of them.
There are many ways to upsell your current insureds so that you can help them find a more financially secure position in life, while at the same time increase your revenue. We’ll discuss 3 techniques for upselling an insurance policy.
1) Ask Probing Questions
This one may be a no-brainer, but it’s incredible how often it's missed. You go out of your way to question a new prospect. You recommend higher limits, and you discuss additional coverages. But what about your current customers? How often are you asking them the same probing questions? It’s hard to upsell them on higher GL limits or an umbrella if you don’t know what new liabilities they’ve taken on.
Did your insured build a pool? That’s potentially a major liability they have taken on without your knowledge. Don’t count on the customer calling you to tell you they built a pool and ask what they need for insurance. The likelihood of that happening is slim to none. But if you ask direct questions yearly, like have they made any home improvements, you’ll not only discover gaps in your client’s coverages but uncover needs they didn’t know they had. This will give you an excellent opportunity to upsell.
The most efficient and thorough way to collect these important answers is to create a standardized checklist of questions. Require it to be used by all your producers and account managers. This should be a “living list” that changes with the input and suggestions from your account managers and producers. Go through and add every possible and impossible question.
It came in handy for one insurance agent whose agency used a checklist system. The producer was on the phone with her insured going through the checklist, when she came upon the question “Do you own a plane?” She almost skipped it, assuming it wasn’t applicable. But it was part of the procedure to ask everything on the list. To her surprise, the insured answered, "I'm just about to buy one. Sign the papers tomorrow."
This situation actually happened and occurs more than you think. Use that checklist not only to upsell but for your cross-selling opportunities as well. You’ll help the customer and increase your value to them.
2) Go in With a Quote When Possible
Remember the last time you bought a car? You walked into the dealership, the salesperson told you about the features, and then went onto explain the benefits. A good car salesperson takes you for a test drive and answers questions about the vehicle. But have you ever had one tell you to come back later for the price?
How would the likelihood of you purchasing that car diminish if you were told they would get back to you later with the price. Your excitement level would undoubtedly wane. And you wouldn’t end up buying.
Trying to upsell an insurance policy without the price is like not telling the car customer the price.
You’ve explained why they need an umbrella; you've told them the dangers of not having one. They’re shaking their head yes, but then you tell them you need to get a quote for them. Later, when you call them with the quote, they tell you they’re not interested. There goes your sale. They had too much time to think about it and changed their mind.
Do your homework ahead of time. It’s not hard since they’re already a customer. You know what GL limits they have. So, make sure to have quotes. Go into the different limits and the costs. You’ll have a yes and a sale before you leave or hang up the phone.
In other words, don’t give them the time to change their mind. If they ask for time, that’s another matter, but at least you gave them all the information and the option of buying immediately.
3) Give Good Reasons Besides Money to Bundle
When it comes to bundling, of course, the insured will save money. Most customers have seen the advertisements to save on bundling home and auto. But what other reasons can you give your insured to move their auto over to you? Or if you have their vehicles, you’ll want to convince the insured to move their home.
The three main reasons for bundling that you should use are:
Like it or Not Additional Savings is Always a Hot Button
This is a common one. “You’ll save if I handle it all.” That’s everyone’s mantra. But you still need to use it because it’s probably the biggest reason people bundle. Just know that they’ve heard it before and need a compelling reason on top of saving money why they should bundle with you.
Working with Only one Agent is Good Policy Management
People are busy. And let’s face it, they don’t really want to deal with insurance. Let them know that by bundling with you they only have to work with one agent.
Go beyond that. Try to sync their renewals. One agent with one renewal date? That’s pretty much one call or meeting a year. Most people would love that situation. They still get to save their money, but they’ll be saving it with you.
When bundling, don’t forget to mention life. We’re stepping on cross-selling with this. But the point is to let the customer understand fully that bundling all their insurance with you makes sense. Once more, you’re helping the insured and increasing your value to them. This is a win win for both of you.
The Security of Keeping Insurance
This is a big one for many people. "What if I get into an accident. Will I lose my insurance?" People make mistakes, and accidents happen. But if a policy is bundled, the "likelihood" of cancellation is lowered. Someone who owns a house with the property, GL, umbrella and car under a bundled policy is a lot more secure if they have an accident.
The individual who is hanging out there on their own, using different companies and agents, is at greater risk. There’s an inherent loyalty that they won’t have from the carrier. If they’ve just switched their auto to that lone policy without a home policy, they take on a greater risk of cancellation.
Don’t’ scare the insured to death, but it is worth pointing out. There's safety in numbers, and that goes for insurance.
Your Entire Book is Open to Upselling
If your insureds have a GL policy then they should have an umbrella. Did you explain that to them? For example, it doesn’t take anything to go down your client list and invest time recommending umbrellas. This is one of the easiest ways to upsell your current book.
Ask the questions ahead of time. Look at their current policies. When you know the answers be fully prepared for your meeting or call. Always have a quote available for them to look at immediately.
We can’t stress this enough, point out all the reasons to bundle, not just the price. Policy management and security will endear them to you in the long run.
Take advantage of your in-house opportunities. Your current clients are the best prospects you could have.
Learn More: Want to join a group of agents working together to build a bigger business? Check out Axis Associated Insurance Brokers.