Cross-selling, often referred to as ‘account rounding’, is one of the most powerful ways insurance agents & brokers can not only grow their business, but deepen relationships with existing customers. Despite its many benefits, some agents are nervous to approach customers about purchasing additional policies. If you’re afraid of bugging your customers by reaching out to them, don’t be. In fact, according to Deloitte, 60% of insurance consumers feel like their insurance agents don’t offer any value after purchasing a policy. If you’re like most agencies, you need to spend more time reminding customers of the value you can offer. A good cross-selling or account rounding campaign isn’t just a way to sell something else to your customers, it’s a way to remind them that your job is to make sure they’re protected, and aware of their options. Reminding customers of your value won’t bug them, it will deepen the relationship and build loyalty with your customers – and as Bain & Company’s research has shown, loyal customers stay longer, buy more policies, and give more referrals.
Building the campaign
Cross-selling requires strategy. You don’t want to just send an email to everyone in your system that doesn’t have a particular policy you sell and ask them to buy it. That will just get on people’s nerves. It’s important to narrow down a target audience and make sure you’re telling them about something that’s actually useful to them.
One of the most popular examples of a customer segment is people that have an auto insurance policy but no homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. But don’t forget the value of choosing a less popular segment that relates to a particular area of expertise you or your agency has. You should create a sequence of emails to nurture whichever group you choose, and the emails really should focus on education about ways to protect yourself above all else. Every email should encourage people to call you if they have any questions about the topic. Mentions of a specific policy should be held off until the final email in the sequence, and even then, you should emphasize the idea that you want to offer advice and help above the idea that you’re trying to sell something.
A real world example
Let’s take a look at a great commercial lines cross-selling sequence used by Agency Revolution client Peake & McInnis Insurance Brokers, where they promote their Cyber Liabilities policies to their small and mid-size commercial lines clients that don’t have one. It’s a simple 3 email sequence that puts 2 weeks in between each email send.
- The first email is all about ‘how to avoid data breaches’. It cites some information about how frequently it happens, what kind of problems a business faces when it does happen, and how frequently it affects small and mid-size businesses. The email then shares a ‘Cyber Liability Checklist’ and mentions that they should feel free to call their agent if they have any questions about protecting themselves from cyber crime. The call to action is included both at the end of the checklist as well as the email.
- The next email in their sequence highlights how to identify different types of common online scams, shares a link to a blog post they wrote about what kind of things a cyber liability policy would protect against, and explains why they’re important. Both the email and the blog casually encourage people to call if they have any questions about how to protect themselves against these worst case scenarios.
- The final email gets a little more direct. It emphasizes that the customer’s protection is the agent’s greatest concern, and that cyber liability is a field of expertise for this agency. It highlights that cyber crime is the fastest growing type of crime right now. It mentions the cyber liability checklist and the blog article once more before encouraging people to call if they have any questions about protecting themselves.
This is a great campaign because of how well it positions this company as an expert on this increasingly important issue. It reminds their customers that even if they don’t have a policy with them for that type of coverage, they’re still going to give real, valuable resources – because at the end of the day protecting their clients is what’s important to them. Even if someone doesn’t buy a policy because of this campaign, they’re going to remember how knowledgeable and friendly these brokers are. When they do decide they need to protect themselves with a policy, Peake & McInnis will be at the top of their mind.
Always demonstrate your value
Just like so many other aspects of growing your insurance agency or brokerage, making sure people know that you’re knowledgeable about how to protect them is one of the most powerful tools in the agent or brokers toolkit. A big part of the appeal of having an agent is that they know more about insurance than anyone else. A lot of times, people just need to be reminded that you’re there, you can help protect what’s important to them, and that you care. After all, if they don’t hear from you every now and again, how are they going to remember all you can do to help?
Segmenting your list and importing that information into your email system can be a cumbersome task, but it’s more than worth your time. Because we want independent agents to have the tools they need to succeed, we built our communication platform, Fuse™, to take a lot of the work out of this task by integrating directly with your management system. This allows you to segment lists based on policies, history with your company, and more – all in the same place you build and send your company’s communication.