Know the answers to these questions
that your clients or prospects will likely ask
You won’t always have the answers,
but prospects and your clients will expect
that you do. … [A]lways ensure you take
the time to provide accurate responses.
By Michael Wayne
Seeing the insurance world that we live in daily the way an outsider does isn’t easy.
For those who have been entrenched in the industry, the phrase “inside baseball” comes to mind. If you are unfamiliar with that term, it simply means being interested in the minutiae and detailed inner workers of a particular system. While we may care and find things related to every aspect of coverage fascinating, the average consumer doesn’t.
Frankly, although we may want to believe otherwise, I’m willing to bet that most consumers would be hard-pressed to explain the differences between property, casualty, and business coverage.
My previous sentiment’s intent is not to insult. There are an infinite number of subjects and topics that I don’t know the first thing about, many of which I am ignorant of even their very existence. For whatever reason, they simply have not appeared on my radar or I have ignored them as necessary to dive into with gusto.
For instance, if anyone expects me to carry on an in-depth conversation about gardening, they will be sorely disappointed.
Having “inside baseball” knowledge is important as an agent. Even if your prospect or client isn’t well-versed in insurance, the internet is certainly going to make them think that they are. Knowledge is a positive in the right mind.
Along that vein, here are the top five questions you should be prepared to answer about business insurance that a prospect or client will likely ask.
What types of policies should I have?
For containing a mere seven words, this is an extremely involved and complex question. Take a moment to quantify and categorize everything answering this requires. What sort of organization is it? Where is it located? Are there multiple sites? What exposures do they have?
There is a lot of work that you need to do to answer this question appropriately and in the best interest of your prospect or client. Make certain that they understand the effort you are expending when you answer what they may feel is a simple question.
What do my policies cover?
Seems like a sensible question. Just like the previous question, however, this one has many layers to unravel when attempting to distill everything down for a prospect or client. You’re going to have to explain how general liability differs from property insurance, what business interruption insurance is, what their cyber coverage mitigates, etc.
The answer to this question is quite literally one that could end your relationship with the client even before it begins. Following some incident, if the client believes that they are covered, and they aren’t, and they find out the hard way, your book of business is likely going to shrink.
What’s the most I’ll get to cover my losses?
In the simplest of terms, your prospect or client wants to know if their policy is going to make them whole, or get them really close to it, with their policy purchase. Having a clear understanding of liability limits and ensuring that you are able to effectively relate them to your clients is crucial.
Saying that you hold someone’s potential livelihood in your hands is not hyperbole. If a prospect or client makes a decision based upon wrong information that you provided, the consequences could be dire for everyone involved.
Why are you placing me with that insurance company?
Everybody wants to know that they are getting the best deal possible. To that end, it’s important that prospects and clients understand just how wide a net you are casting when it comes to choosing specific carriers for coverage and the reasons behind your decision. Be able to explain the special relationship that you have with carriers. Assure prospects and clients that your choice was based upon their specific needs and the expertise that the carrier has in that specific area.
Telling a prospect or client you chose a particular carrier because you’re going to get a better commission is not reassuring to them. The benefit has to be beneficial to the prospect or client, not to you.
What’s going to save me the most money?
Maybe this needs to be moved up to question number one. Of course, this is the top concern for 99.9% of the population. I have yet to locate that other .1%; let me know if you do.
While the overwhelming majority of people focus on the bottom line, that should not be a detriment to you. Instead of focusing on premiums, this is an opening that you can use to promote your services, your resources, and how the relationship you build with your prospect or client will continue to yield savings for them.
No matter how long you have been a part of the industry, you already know a few things:
- You don’t know everything
- Things change
- Questions will never end
You won’t always have the answers, but prospects and your clients will expect that you do. No matter how pressured you feel to provide instantaneous information, always ensure you take the time to provide accurate responses. Instant gratification can be dangerous.
Michael Wayne is a freelance insurance writer.