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4 Ways to Stand Out at Every Stage of the Sales Process

When you’re selling a product on a recurring basis, there are opportunities at every stage of the sales cycle to personalize your outreach—from pre-sale through renewal.
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“Personalization” is a major buzzword in insurance sales. But it’s also a very misunderstood term.

For many independent agents, personalization means putting the client or prospect’s name on the front slide of a presentation deck. But more and more research shows this isn’t enough.

An overwhelming 90% of U.S. consumers find personalization appealing, according to Statista. But 92% of consumers are unlikely to engage with marketing that simply addresses them by name, according to a Pure360 survey. So how can independent agents personalize the sales experience in a way that actually engages people?

When you’re selling a product on a recurring basis, there are opportunities at every stage of the sales cycle—from pre-sale through renewal:

1) Make a human connection with new prospects. Personalizing your pitch can go both ways. You can personalize it to what you know of your prospect, but you can also make it personal to you.

Make your introduction memorable by sharing a real story about yourself in one of these areas:

  • What is your background?

  • How did you get into selling insurance?

  • Why do you represent the plans and companies in your portfolio?

  • What are your values?

If you’ve got a few years under your belt, you could also take this personal approach a step further and share your expert insights. Show them you’re an industry expert before getting into the weeds of your pitch. This is especially effective in B2B sales but can work equally well when selling directly to consumers:

  • What do you believe will be different in your industry in 5-10 years?

  • What technological innovations do you see coming, and how will they affect your customer?

2) Time your follow-up perfectly. Thanks to modern technology, you now have tools at your disposal that can tell you the exact right moment to follow up with a prospect.

Whatever content management system you use to send your sales materials, make sure it has built-in tracking and notifications features. That way, you’ll know the exact moment your customer opens your message. If the tracking features are robust enough, you’ll also know exactly how much they read of what you sent them. Then, you can send your follow-up moments after they read your materials.

3) Be a hometown hero at renewal time. When a client’s contract is up for renewal, this is the perfect time to draw on the personal story you initially shared with them. This will help remind your client of the personal connection they feel with you.

Our sales team calls this the “hometown hero moment” in the sales process. It’s also a great moment to send a small, personal gesture of appreciation. If your hometown is known for a prized candy or baked good, a unique craft beverage or a gourmet seasoning, send it as a small gift to reinforce to your client that they’re more than just a sale to you.

Bonus: You’ll also have something more than policy details to kick off contract renewal discussions.

4) Use your manners. This should go without saying, but sadly, it can’t. Use good manners, and be kind and genuine when dealing with prospects and clients at every stage of the sales cycle.

Unfortunately, we’re often told that kindness makes us look weak or subordinate. But simple gestures like showing up on time, following up when you say you will, or sending a thank-you message—especially a handwritten card—can really make you stand out from the pack.

Millie Blackwell is founder & president of Showcase Workshop, a digital toolkit for insurance agents, brokers and advisers that contains presentation slides, videos, price lists and brochures, replacing old-fashioned ring binders and printed collateral.

14701
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Sales & Marketing