How to Differentiate from an Automated Sales Model & Develop Customer Relationships
Today’s business owners are tech savvy, relying on the quickness and ease of doing business online. With product information and company reviews available with a click of a button, they are also well informed buyers.
Insurance providers with automated sales models offer prospects the ability to research a product and acquire insurance for their business in minutes. You can have the most refined sales pitch in the industry, but you will lose the attention and the interest of a prospect if you don’t bring anything to the table besides the bullet point highlights of your product. You have to be able to differentiate yourself from the competition and offer something that a computer can’t.
Humanize the Process & Build Customer Relationships
Some sales and customer service teams respond to inquiries by running through the application and letting the prospect know they will receive a quote shortly. When the prospect hangs up the phone, their first thought is how they could have done that online and had a quote instantly. The same goes for cold calls. Qualifying a lead is important, but if that’s all you do the prospect will forget about you as soon as they hang up the phone.
When a prospect calls McNeil & Co. asking about one of our insurance products, we let them take the lead. Our team is trained to personalize the conversation and ask questions that give us a better understanding of their business processes and needs, not just whether or not they fit in a certain box. This process helps better qualify inbound leads, opens up opportunities to differentiate our company from the competition and allows us to provide insights beyond what someone could find on our website or in our marketing materials.
Inform Prospects to Drive Submissions
Having a plan in place for how you respond to inquiries is key, but now you need to figure out how to attract more inbound leads. How? Instead of only making cold calls and knocking on doors, you can provide insights and resources that help drive the prospects to you.
We discussed a few months back how to establish your agency as an industry expert. Try applying those same principles by adding cold leads to a newsletter mailing list and sending articles and resources discussing the hot button issue effecting them. Making businesses aware of potential risks in their industry and addressing how to prevent or resolve those issues will leave them curious about your agency. The next time an issue arises, they will be turning to you for insight.
As mentioned above, when a prospect reaches out, let them take the lead. Find out why they came to you and use their answers to steer the conversation. Catalogue the responses and inquiries from your marketing campaigns and use them to qualify your leads and organize your sales funnel. Focus on the prospects who engage with your content first and move them to the top of your list.
Just like the business owners of today, we all expect instant gratification for our efforts. However, if you take the time to nurture your leads and develop a rapport with the decision makers, you will bolster your sales funnel and grow your agency in the long run.
Investing your time and energy into helping your prospects, and continuing to do so after you have their business, breeds loyalty and helps develop a long-lasting relationship. That’s something an automated system can’t do.
By: Tim Woitach