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Webinar Highlights: The power of asking the right questions (and using tech to get answers!)

By July 9, 2021April 13th, 2022No Comments

Yet another exciting webinar was recently concluded on 9 July 2021.

While we do this on a monthly basis, it does not take away the excitement we feel at these sessions!

The session was made even more fruitful with the sharing done by the team from Windward Insurance Brokers where they shared their knowledge about Cyber Security Insurance.

For those who were not able to attend, fret not as this article will summarise the key points of the webinar!

Key highlights

With the theme of the webinar being ’The power of asking the right questions (and using tech to get answers!)’, we broke the webinar down into the following key segments:

  • Why is it important to ask the right questions?
    • The new age intermediary
    • The advisor vs the order taker
  • What will the right questions do for you part 1 – uncovering needs
    • Uncovering the needs of you clients
    • Understand the client’s decision making process
  • What will the right questions do for you part 2 – handle objections
    • Handle timing objections
    • Handle objections especially at the prospecting stage
  • Questions to ask yourself to validate how close you are to a deal
  • Questions and answers to Cyber Security – a sharing by Windward Insurance Brokers

Why is it important to ask the right questions?

We started off with this segment to give context to and convince attendees on the importance of asking questions.

However, it was also shared that attendees should understand that ‘asking the right questions’ is just a way of phrasing the line of thought about wanting to be more curious about the client’s business. 

This motivation to be more curious is framed by the want to serve them better on an advisory level. The importance of asking the right questions is essentially the same as the importance of being curious.

The importance of asking the right questions is essentially the same as the importance of being curious.

To give context, it was shared at the Webinar that Surer started off its product building efforts by asking intermediaries questions about their pain points as well. It is only when you understand the problem, that you can start building solutions.

We then shared more about what the ‘new age’ intermediary will look like and why being curious is important:

  • The new age intermediary will ask more questions to understand a business/ client; he/she will then supercharge themselves with technology to free up time to continue doing the above!
  • The new age intermediary will think of him/herself as an advisor to their clients and not a salesperson. Complications in processes is the least of their worries – advising their clients will always be a top priority

This part of things was then concluded that one of the key stats in a research done showed that >90% of clients feel a sales meeting is more valuable if you help them better understand their needs.

We then shared why it is important to think like an advisor.

There are 4 types or stages of relationship a client

  • Stage 1: the order taker
  • Stage 2: the vendor
  • Stage 3: the value-add salesperson
  • Stage 4: the trusted advisor

At stage 4: 

  • The client views the you as an extension to his or her business
  • The client trusts your advice is all they need
  • They will have so much confidence in your advice that they are likely to go with your recommendations without further consulting anyone else.

It was shared that essentially, the intermediary is the critical link between insurers and the end policyholder. You offer advice and key information in connection with the negotiation or sale of insurance. Intermediaries are players in the ecosystem with broad knowledge of BOTH the product and the marketplace

What will the right questions do for you part 1 – uncovering needs

We then jumped into the meat of the webinar where we shared about the tangible benefits of asking the right questions. Starting with the fact that it helps uncover needs!

We used a couple of questions to show how this works:

Magic question 1: How willing are you to change?

  • Most powerful question – asking the client their propensity to change
  • Example:For a client who already has an existing policy…If the answer you get is a ‘oh actually, it’s best but at a lower price lah’; now you understand it is more a budget issue than a new set of requirements. If the answer you get is a ‘Yes. I don’t think my existing policy can cover the 2 other new restaurants I intend to open…’; here you understand that the client’s needs are driven by business expansion.

Magic question 2: What prompted you to start exploring?

  • This question goes deeper than ‘what are your needs?’.
  • ‘What are your needs?’ requires the client to  list what he thinks is good / suited
  • However, this might not actually be the best answer to get. 
  • What if the client has a lack of understanding of what the possibilities are?
  • By asking the client what prompted them to start exploring, you are essentially asking the client to explain the ‘why’ not the ‘how’ or ‘what’ – that is your job!

Magic questions 3 – 6: Targeted follow-up questions

  • Once you have ‘opened the door’, you can now jump into the nitty gritty or the details of what the client needs…
    • When you say ‘cover’ what do you imagine this to be?
    • Can you share the specifics of your business?
    • Do you have an example of what you have in mind?
    • What are some policies that you have come across that definitely did not suit you?
  • The whole point is to uncover needs: you need to get them to be as specific as possible about their needs by asking targeted follow-up questions

What will the right questions do for you part 2 – handle objections

Besides uncovering needs, it was shared that questions can help handle objections as well. This was much to the surprise of many attendees. Really? I can answer an objection with a question?

This was much to the surprise of many attendees. Really? I can answer an objection with a question?

We shared that there are two common types of objections – timing related and those that happen at the prospecting stage.

It was shared that ‘timing objections’ are basically, objections related to ‘now is not a good time to buy’. It is that middle-of-nowhere territory where you are unsure if the client is stringing you along or if they genuinely need more time. Research shows how effectiveness of asking the right questions or ‘questioning techniques’ can reverse this situation for you!

We then shared some questions that can be used to handle timing objections:

  • Magic question 1: ‘If money were no object, would you be willing to give it a try?’
    • If your clients were to say ‘no’ to this question, do remember to ask why.
    • This then gives you the opportunity to relook your suite of products/services and get back to your client with something that might be of a better fit.
    • If your prospect says “yes,” it is an opportunity to dig deeper to discover what hurdles are standing in their way to determine whether or not you can accommodate.
  • Magic question 2: ‘What are your other priorities right now?’
    • One of the most common reasons for timing objections is pretty straightforward – your client might have other bigger priorities in his/her life or business.
    • If you are able to get a full picture, you might have the opportunity to then offer other ways of helping.
    • This also opens the door for you to offer other products that match this priority.
    • The client might not always know what I want or need and so, will not spell it out to you in our discussions.
  • Magic question 3: “If I call you back in X weeks, will anything change?”
    • A response to this question could go two ways…
    • One, could be a literal, ‘No. I am sorry.’ Of which gives you the clarity to move on.
    • OR, it could be the client elaborating to you what kind of situation will be ideal for you to approach him/her again – this is valuable because it not only shows you what is taking up your client’s mindspace but also the opportunity for you to show concern the next time you try to re-engage.

We then went on to share about common objections faced at the prospecting stage and what kinds of counter questions can be asked:

  • Objection 1: ‘Okay, email me the info. I will read it later and get back to you.’
    • Asking the right questions helps you understand if the clients really know the service you are providing, or are they not ready for a buying conversation? Why not? For example:
      • If you were not even able to share your value proposition
        • ‘Can I take a quick 30 seconds to explain how I can help, and you can then decide if it is worth a follow-up?’
      • Before you were able to ask a couple of questions to understand the client’s needs
        • ‘Can I ask a couple of quick questions now to better understand how I might be able to help?’
      • After asking a couple of questions
        • ‘Are you open to share with me your actual requirements so I can start sourcing for quotes on your behalf?’
  • Objection 2: ‘Call me back in X weeks.’
    • Ask questions to let the client know that the current conversation is not about buying. For example…

      “If it is really bad timing right now, let’s reschedule. However, can I set up a quick call to share or understand how I might be able to help? That way, if we both realise that my expertise does not match your needs, we don’t have to worry about me chasing you in X weeks, but if it does, I can already start sourcing for quotes on your behalf and we’ll have more to talk about then, When is a good day/time for us to chat?”
  • Objection 3: ‘Sorry. I am busy right now. I will call back.’
    • Generally, people try to avoid saying ‘No’ outrightly.
    • If the client is really not interested, now is the time to find out if that really is the case.
    • You want to call out their lack of interest and get them to admit that the answer is ‘No’. 
    • “Typically, when a client tells me this, it really means that they have no interest. I would really like to share more with you but please do let me know if this is not worth your time.”
    • Do follow up by suggesting that you can actually start sourcing for quotes on their behalf and the client can decide whether it is worth their time or not then.

Questions to ask yourself to validate how close you are to a deal

The last segment of the webinar on asking the right questions shifted into asking YOURSELF the right questions.

It was shared that in doing so, it will help intermediaries validate if they are any closer to a deal after multiple conversations – this is important because many times, unless a client outrightly rejects us, we might feel like a deal can be struck. 

…help intermediaries validate if they are any closer to a deal after multiple conversations – this is important because many times, unless a client outrightly rejects us, we might feel like a deal can be struck. 

Of course, there is no shame in being optimistic. In fact, this is how we stay motivated and keep our chin up! However, it is also important to be able to identify the hot deals and cold ones, so you know where to channel your energy.

We then went on to share the following three questions that will help on this front:

  • Question 1: ‘Why is the client looking to buy from you or your product/service?’
    • When you ask yourself this question, and the answer is along the lines of “Um… well … they just know they need it.”, then the deal is actually more shaky than you think it is.
    • You should also be able to answer this question BECAUSE they already have a comprehensive understanding of the client’s needs.
    • So when you ask yourself this question, the answer should be clear…
    • It could be along the lines of ‘because the quote pricing I have offered is the most competitive’ or ‘because the coverage provided in the quote is what my client will feel at peace with’ etc.
  • Question 2: ‘When is the client looking to start?’
    • If you have not set firm timelines and expectations with your clients, then it is easy for the client to see that your time is not very valuable. Your time is valuable.
    • If your answer to this question is something along the lines of… 
    • ‘The client needs to begin operations on [X date}, so he will need a policy no later than [Y date]. I have presented his quote options to him on [Z date] and he has mentioned he will confirm in two days’ time.’
    • …then you can be a lot more confident that this is a hot deal.
  • Question 3: ‘Is the decision maker onboard?’
    • It is important to understand who is the ultimate decision maker(s).
    • More so when it comes to non-life or commercial insurance, where a coverage is purchased for a business.
    • You might be speaking to one of the bosses or influencers of the business, but it is very valuable to be able to identify the person who will be signing off and have them be involved early on.
    • So… when you hear a ‘I think we are good to go’ from the person who will be signing off, it is a lot more solid.

Windward Insurance Brokers sharing about Cyber Security

The good folks at Windward Insurance Brokers shared their knowledge and expertise about Cyber Security. 

They broke their sharing down to the following key points:

  • What is Cyber crime?
  • Why do Cyber Crime Occur?
  • What industries are most susceptible to such Cyber crimes?
  • Some statistics relating Cyber security and Cyber crimes
  • Understanding Cyber insurance and what it actually covers
  • Getting cyber insurance for your clients and the ease with which you can do it

Interested to find out more about Cyber Security Insurance so you can better advise your clients? 

You can work with Windward Insurance Brokers via Surer! Simply log into your Surer account, activate the ‘Quick Start Guide’ located at the bottom right of your screen and select ‘Cyber Security Cover with Windward’ – you will then be taken on a step-by-step guide on how you can do so.

You may also reach out to contact Windward Insurance Brokers via the following form:

You may also check out this article to find out how to get your Cyber Security insurance quote from Windward Brokers via Surer!

Thank you for attending!

As always, huge shoutout and thank you to all attendees and also to our partners Singapore Insurance Institute and Windward Insurance brokers.

Subscribe to our Telegram channel or stay tuned to our Facebook or LinkedIn pages to get updates on more of such initiatives!

For those who have attended and have questions with regards to CPD Hours, here’s a quick list of FAQ:

Question 1:
What is the process like for me to get my certificate of attendance?

Answer:

You will first have to RSVP via the form above with the details indicated. Upon the start of the webinar, you will be required to identify yourself by changing your Zoom username to show the first 4 digit of your NRIC along with your full name. Your attendance will be marked if you stay for the full duration of the webinar. We will then share the attendance list with Singapore Insurance Institute (SII) for verification. We will then share your certification of attendance with you via email. This whole process will take between 5 – 10 business days (after the webinar is concluded).

Question 2:
What if I am only able to join for a portion of the duration of the webinar? Would I be eligible for the certificate of attendance?

Answer:

No. To obtain a certificate of attendance, all attendees need to be present for the full duration of the webinar.

Question 3:
Is the CPD hours only applicable to General Insurance agents?

Answer:

Yes. CPD hours is only applicable to general insurance agents only and regardless of your principals. After the training/webinar, a certification of attendance will be emailed to the eligible attendee with the CPD hours endorsed and awarded by the Singapore Insurance Institute. You can then submit this certification of attendance to your principal to clock the CPD hours.

Question 4:
If I am a life agent and have a General Insurance license as well, would I be eligible to clock CPD hours from this webinar for my General Insurance license?

Answer:

Yes.

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