Who wants to settle for average? For some people being average is good enough, but not you. You’re on your way to being number one in the insurance business. How do we know that? Because you’re here, reading an article about being set apart from your competition. We’re glad you’re looking for ways to set yourself apart from the competition, and we hope we don’t disappoint you when we say that the best way to set yourself apart from the competition is to have efficient and consistent processes. You read that right, processes. Not shiny sales and marketing materials or too-good-to-be-true deals, but processes.
Too often insurance agents focus more on impressing and winning clients than the actual service they are providing. It’s not that those activities aren’t important, they just don’t set you apart. Exceptional service delivery sets you apart, gets you referrals, and keeps your clients coming back for more. Exceptional service is achieved through consistently documenting and following processes in every area of your business.
Outshine Other Agents In Your Sales Process
Having a thorough sales process is the first step to setting yourself apart from the competition. Prospects are bombarded with advertisements, cold calls from agents, and an overwhelming amount of options when it comes to finding an insurance agent to help them get the coverage they need. Your sales process should eliminate their sense of being overwhelmed and give them peace-of-mind in their decision.
Too often, agents spend all their time and energy on getting in front of new prospects and don’t give enough thought to what happens when a lead does engage. It’s estimated that 75% of salespeople are failing, and while many factors influence this estimate, process plays a big role in the success of a sale.
To outshine your competition in your sales, you should have a process that includes:
- A system for tracking lead information, such as a Client Relationship Management tool (CRM) or an organized, easily accessible spreadsheet. This ensures you know who is in your sales pipeline at all times and their status in the sales journey. It’s also good practice to keep this system up-to-date with thorough notes on each prospect. This enables you to not only recall important information throughout the sales process, but it also enables you to show the prospect you care about them and the information they’ve shared with you.
- Timely and consistent follow-up procedures. Research shows that as much as 35% of sales go to the agent who follows up first. Timely follow-up shows a prospect that you are responsive and gives them the confidence that you’ll be available for them when they need you. Additionally, very few people are ready to buy immediately, therefore you’ll need to continue to follow-up with them consistently throughout the buying process. One way to reduce the friction in follow-ups is to have standard messages for each phase of your process (and their decision-making process) that you can customize in small ways for each prospect.
- Clear roles and expectations throughout the sales process. The last thing you want is for multiple people in your agency to be doing the same work, whether that’s as small as duplicate entries in your lead tracking system to a blunder such as multiple team members reaching out to the same prospect. Setting clear roles ensures you avoid these mistakes and gives your prospect confidence in your organization. If you’re a one-person shop, it can feel overwhelming to take on an entire sales process on your own. But having a clear process will help you stay organized and on top of managing the prospects in your pipeline.
Stand Out Through Your Customer Service Process
Your sales process sets the groundwork for success with your clients, but your responsiveness, organization, and thoroughness must continue throughout your customer service. Having a written process around customer service ensures you know exactly how you will deliver for clients time after time.
Your customer service process should do the following for your customers:
- Set clear expectations
- Establish who the main point of contact is
- Provide consistent communication
- Deliver exceptional service
A customer service process that checks each of those boxes will not only help you grow a happy customer base, but it will also help you increase the effectiveness of your operations. Documenting and following a standard customer service process empowers you and your team of agents to be equipped to serve well – consistently. This consistency lends itself to more productivity and improved performance.
Customers who receive exceptional service and work with an agent or agency who is confident and efficient are more likely to become repeat customers, turning to you for all of their insurance needs in the future.
Set Yourself Apart With Your Operational Process
While your customer service process will make or break your success with customers, just as important is your operational process, which encompasses the things going on behind the scenes. Your operational process includes everything from HR to accounting to carrier relationship management.
Insurance businesses large and small struggle with creating and maintaining effective operational processes. This is the case for a variety of reasons, including:
- One person performing multiple roles (such as being both HR & accounting)
- Compliance regulations that must be meticulously followed
- Procedures and tools vary by carrier
It’s a lot to juggle even for a whole team of people working behind the scenes. Some agencies take the “divide and conquer” approach while others have dedicated team members to each area of the operational process. Whatever your approach, it’s important that you’ve developed an operational process that’s shared and followed by all.
Though it’s going on behind the scenes, and customers may never actually experience it, your operational process is critically important to the success of your business. When it comes to operations, there’s a lot at play.
- Team management
- Billing, accounting, and finances
- Training and certifications
- Supply procurement
- Carrier communication
- And more!
These areas of your operations should work together in one seamless process. Data, paperwork, and procedures should remain organized and move easily throughout your process. If this is the case, then your business will be operating efficiently and effectively behind the scenes, which will end up impacting your customer service and even your sales processes.
You Don’t Have to Settle for Average
If you’ve gotten this far, then chances are you see the value in utilizing processes to set your business apart from the competition. Nevertheless, establishing and executing processes takes time and resources from your team. If you’re worried that you or your team of agents doesn’t have the bandwidth to implement a thorough sales, customer service, or operational process, let alone all three, the AgentLink team is here to help.
We want to help you set yourself apart from your competition and build a successful business. One of the ways we help agents do this is through our Concierge Services.
AgentLink’s Concierge Services offers agents like you support that is tailored to your business needs. Whether there’s one business process you’d like to improve or you need help in all areas of your business, we have the team and resources to help you. We can step into each of the three processes discussed above, including support such as sales management, renewals management, comprehensive account management, HR support, and more. Agents who use our Concierge Services often feel like our team members are their own team members, like back-office support.
With our Concierge Services team supporting your business, you can go the extra mile with your processes – offering peace-of-mind to prospects in your sales process, even offering new lines of business than you may have before. You can also feel empowered to deliver exceptional service through your customer service process, and reaching maximum efficiency and organization with your operational process.
If you’re ready to learn more about how our Concierge Services team can help you set your business apart, talk to a team member today. They’re here for you!