We have mentioned like a broken record the importance of insurance intermediaries to be seen as an advisor.
We sincerely believe in this because as consumers ourselves, specifically for insurance, we do not see our insurance agent as a salesperson, they are indeed people we lean on for expert advice; someone who has our best interest at heart.
Legit. For this writer, my entire family goes to this one insurance agent (who is also using Surer and loving it!) for all our insurance needs!
This is also one of the reasons why Surer was created.
We believe that the insurance intermediary should spend as little time possible managing processes, paperwork, tracking of business etc. etc. etc.
The insurance intermediary should be free of such worries… so they can focus on advising their clients!
So… in this article, we want to share what we feel are the 4 types or stages of relationship a client can have with their insurance intermediary AND more importantly, the difference in each stage so you can have a view of how you can progress through them!
and how Surer can help you get up that ladder!
STAGE 1: THE ORDER TAKER
This is actually the stage where many are finding themselves in… but is also the stage where the intermediary likely has no differentiating value to the client and should aspire to get out of.
The client is agnostic as to who he purchases the policy from if the intermediary’s relationship with the client is at this level.
Basically, the intermediary will run the risk of the client jumping to someone else for any given reason as loyalty is close to zero.
Price will be the major factor for most clients at this stage and the intermediary will likely always face a bombardment of price objections.
STAGE 2: THE VENDOR
The relationship between the intermediary and the client at this stage is slightly more sophisticated.
To the client, the intermediary offers a good range of expertise and has provided good service previously.
However, the client still operates with this intermediary more on a transactional level more than anything else.
What this means is that the intermediary might still be required to ‘pitch’ or ‘sales talk’ the client as they understand that they are up against a couple of other intermediaries vying for the same deal.
STAGE 3: THE VALUE ADDED SALESPERSON
This stage is where the intermediary is ‘in the game’!
That is, you have a higher level of standing in the eyes of the client; the client will likely have you as top of mind, when they have any questions relating to insurance.
You got to this stage because you have proven to have added value to your client, beyond what they had previously expected.
This is where intermediaries can leverage Surer, and specifically, our quote sourcing system, to not only showcase to your clients multiple quote options, but also options that you have the ability to get quickly.
A very good way to show added value, if you ask us!
This could be the difference between an intermediary at stage 2 and this stage.
At this point, the client might still have or might still consider speaking to other intermediaries, but you are definitely viewed to be top of the list.
STAGE 4: TRUSTED ADVISOR
This would be kind of like nirvana.
Ideally, this would be the stage or type of relationship an intermediary has with their clients.
This is where the client views the intermediary, arguably as an extension to his or her business (or circle of friends).
The client trusts that your advice is all they need in a particular field (and in this context, insurance). They will have so much confidence in your advice that they are likely to go with your recommendations without further consulting anyone else.
That is, unless, of course, if you tell them to do so or if you are open that you are not confident in handling the deal.
We understand that General Insurance is so broad that it is near impossible for one intermediary to be experts in all forms of General Insurance.
This is where Surer and its Referral system comes in handy for intermediaries where if you do need to refer a client’s business to someone else, the intermediary can do so within a trusted and trackable environment and yet retain control of how, what and when something is presented to the client!
While a lot of the above (and most of all our articles) are theoretical and that what is happening in reality might be a lot tougher… we do hope that this can help insurance intermediaries have a quick look at their current standing with clients. Hopefully, in recognising so, might spur you to improve as well!