Salespeople use cross-selling and upselling strategies to generate more business from an existing customer base. In the insurance industry, cross-selling is when you sell additional insurance products to an established client.
Cross-selling insurance allows you to earn additional profit without the cost of searching for new leads. Additionally, you build your client relationship by staying up to date on events and changes in your clients’ lives — which might require new or greater coverage. This can lead to improved client retention.
However, cross-selling must be done the right way. If you aggressively push your clients to purchase products they don’t want or need, you risk losing their business.
Below, you’ll discover strategies successful insurance agents use to produce more revenue from their book of business.
How to Cross-Sell Insurance
To successfully cross-sell insurance, you need to ask your current clients to purchase the right type of coverage at the right time, in the right way. To help you close the sale, let’s take a closer look at each of these.
You must know a little about your insureds before asking them to buy an additional policy. Take a few minutes to learn more about them and ask questions that help you discover any gaps in their coverage. Otherwise, you might suggest something that won’t do them any good. And the last thing you want to do is randomly toss insurance products out to see what they’re interested in.
To help you find the perfect products to suggest, here are conversation starters you can try when customers call in for quotes or current clients call with questions. You can weave them into your conversation as related topics come up.
- Tell me about your family.
- What do you do for a living?
- Can you tell me a little about your future goals and plans?
- Do you currently have ways to financially protect your family in the event of your passing?
- When was the last time someone did an insurance review with you to make sure you have the coverage you need?
Once you better understand their coverage needs, you can better suggest insurance options that work for them. This way, you’re more likely to make the sale.
When Do You Cross-Sell Insurance?
Timing matters when it comes to cross-selling. You don’t want to randomly call up a client and give a sales pitch. Instead, you should make cross-selling a natural part of your organic client conversations.
If your client calls with a question, give them a solution. Then, help them think about any current policy gaps. For instance, if they’re asking about general liability insurance, ask them if they need workers’ compensation insurance as well. That way, you’re suggesting relevant plans at the right time, and it won't feel as much like a heavy sales pitch.
Additionally, keep in touch with your clients throughout the year. Besides doing a regular policy review, stay up to date with their major life events. Send them birthday cards, congratulate them on the birth of a child (or grandchild), and help them celebrate their retirement with a quick note.
In each of these, it’s appropriate to mention an additional insurance product that could be of use. Don’t go over the top with your sales pitch; just keep it short and brief, letting your client know they can contact you for these insurance needs on top of the ones you already handle.
How Do You Cross-Sell Insurance?
Now that you’ve identified the right policy to offer your client, and you know the timing is right, you’ve got to actually make the ask. Talk to your client about the additional product, and ask if you can help them get the coverage they need.
Don’t bombard your customer during this conversation. Instead, keep it natural and focus on the customer’s needs rather than on generic talking points. Otherwise, you risk annoying your client and potentially losing them.
Here are a few cross-selling strategies to help you close the sale:
- Don’t be pushy. If your client isn’t interested at this time, drop it.
- Collect information about your clients in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program. This software helps you gather key data points about your clients. Then, you can study the data to look for coverage gaps.
- Talk about potential savings opportunities.
- Discuss any common misunderstandings about the insurance product you’re trying to cross-sell.
- Follow up with clients who seem interested.
- Use technology well. (See tips in the next section).
How to Use Technology for Cross-Selling Insurance
Digital marketing and automation can make it easier to grow your insurance agency through cross-selling. For instance, you can use email marketing, webinars, and social media to generate sales.
Creating an email list allows you to keep in touch with your clients through email. Make it a point to regularly send out a newsletter with information about products you offer. Talk about the benefits of each plan and how this coverage can help save money.
Then, you can dive into more details with a webinar. Put one together and invite your email list. Be sure to mention what they’re going to learn so they know if it’s a good fit. Once you get it scheduled, spread the word on social media, or ask your existing clients for referrals of anyone who might be interested in the topic.
Once your workshop is over, you can take bits and pieces of it and repurpose your material in a newsletter or as social media snippets. This way, you spend less time on content creation and more time on interacting with clients.
Take time to plan out marketing campaigns before you begin, so the whole process goes smoothly.
How Does Cross-Selling Benefit You and Your Client?
Cross-selling insurance has positive outcomes for both you and your client. As the agent, you get to save money, increase revenue, and simplify the sales process.
How? Generating leads is expensive. If you can sell additional products to your customer base, you’ll spend less to achieve your sales goals while still boosting your revenue.
Plus, if you’re starting from scratch each time you sell, there’s a lot of ground to cover in every initial contact. When you sell more products to an existing customer, they already know the basics. You have a relationship with them that you get to build upon instead of starting over. The process is simpler.
And what’s the benefit for your clients? The most significant one is they get their insurance needs met. This way, if anything happens, they have the protection they need.
Additionally, if they only have one insurance agent to contact for each of their insurance policies, they'll save a lot of time. That’s because they won’t have to juggle the names and contact information of several different insurance agents or wait on multiple call lines to talk to a representative.
Finally, if you offer bundling discounts, your client may save money by having two or more policies in place.
How Do You Cross-Sell Health Insurance?
Some types of health insurance can be a bit different to cross-sell. For example, Medicare has strict rules about cross-selling, so make sure you are familiar with them before you talk to a client about their other insurance needs. Before your appointment, a Scope of Appointment (SOA) needs to be filled out to establish parameters for your meeting with the client.
You can only discuss insurance products in the SOA, and any marketing you do has to be about health-related products and services. You can’t use this time to sell your client annuities, life insurance, auto insurance, or other types of insurance.
You also have to make it very clear to your client that supplemental health insurance products and Medigap aren’t a part of Medicare, and take the time to explain the differences between them.
However, other types of health insurance don’t require an SOA, so you’re safe to talk about them and related products, such as long-term care and disability insurance.
Look for Cross-Selling Opportunities
Cross-selling is an excellent strategy to grow your insurance business. Even if it seems awkward now, it gets easier with practice. So, make it a point to harness your skills with each client. Whenever you meet with one, think about what other products you can offer. Pay attention to what’s going on in their lives, and talk about how you can help. You may think you’re being a bother, but customers value representatives who make genuine suggestions about services that better protect them.
Before you know it, you’ll be selling more products, boosting your revenue, and growing your business — all without spending so much time looking for new clients.