While it’s true that more people than ever are shopping for and buying insurance online, for a large portion of the market there is still no substitute for a face-to-face meeting. People often want to know and trust their insurance agent, and many want to build a long-term relationship.
The key to success in a sales meeting is to prove to your potential new client that you can help them, that you can provide ways to reduce their risk and make them more secure. This requires thoughtful meeting preparation and an ability to listen closely to what your customer is saying.
Before the Meeting
Social media has given everyone the ability to find out all kinds of information about just about everyone. Before your meeting, find out all you can about your prospect, including their interests, their successes and challenges, and their current situation.
Check LinkedIn and other social media platforms, or do a Google search. The more you find out ahead of time, the less time you will have to spend in your first meeting going over the basics of their situation. You can quickly get to talking about how you can help them.
During the Meeting
Your number one goal during a first meeting is to build a relationship with the potential client. Using the information you gathered beforehand, put together a few talking points that you can refer to over and over in the meeting that show you understand their situation and, more importantly, that you know how to help them mitigate their risks with your services.
Listen closely to everything the client says, and you may discover other unexpected opportunities. You can focus your discussion on your ability to solve their problems and even use stories of other clients who have similar issues and how you helped alleviate their concerns. If possible, have pre-approved references available so the potential client does not have only to take your word, but can consult with other clients.
If you view the goal of the meeting as getting to know this client, as opposed to making a sale, the client will sense this and be more open to letting you help them.
After the Meeting
Before the meeting ends, be sure to schedule a follow-up. This can be to answer outstanding questions or talk in more detail about specifics products and services.
Immediately after the meeting, be sure to send a thank you note or email and make your plan for further contact. Whether you use a customer relationship management (CRM) system or an old-school organizer, regular touches with valuable information will keep you top-of-mind.
Focusing on relationship building with prospects right from the start can build a pipeline of prospects and clients that will readily and steadily turn to you for years to come.