The employee benefits market today is a highly commoditized one. Most brokers quote the same carriers and plans, and many don’t have a way to differentiate themselves or show value above the competition. Meanwhile, employers today need more and more support from their broker, to help manage soaring costs, understand health care reform, and assist with other critical functions like HR and employee communications.
There are plenty of sales strategies that brokers can employ, from the tried and true cold call, to networking, to inbound digital marketing. This blog will examine 3 unexpected and out-of-the-box strategies to increase insurance sales, while standing out from the pack to make a great first impression on your prospect.
Know your competition
This may seem basic, but knowing your competition up and down can go a long way toward unseating an incumbent. Learn as much as you can about the brokers and agencies you most often go up against. Check out their website, follow their social media, and talk to current or former clients, if possible. Everything you learn can become effective ammunition when going after a BOR. Consider areas like:
- How they conduct renewals (do they have technology solutions, do they primarily use spreadsheets, etc.)
- What non-insurance services they provide (HR, compliance, employee communications, etc.)
- If there is anything unique or creative about their renewal process, their products and services, etc.
- Any complaints past clients have had, that you can use to your advantage during your pitch.
- What past or current clients like about them, so you can avoid that topic or focus on something else.
Give value before you sell
Insurance brokers are salespeople at heart, so building relationships before selling isn’t always the approach. However, doing so can sell yourself to a prospect without the need for a sales pitch. Consider providing significant value to prospects as an opportunity to demonstrate the service and support you offer. It may feel counterintuitive to share so much with employers who aren’t yet paying you, but giving free value can eventually convince a prospect to switch to you. Ideas include the following:
- Send your regular client newsletter to top prospects (or create a newsletter exclusively for prospects)
- When you alert your clients of an important regulatory update, or share a beneficial article, send the same information to your prospects
- When you see something that applies to one of your prospects, such as information or trends about their industry, send a personal email or note to show you are thinking of them and their needs
Get in the door with ancillary
Most employee benefits brokers today sell ancillary products along with major medical, but ancillary is often discussed as more of an afterthought during renewals and prospecting meetings. Instead, get in the door and increase insurance sales by focusing on ancillary benefits first. Ask what voluntary benefits the prospect currently offers. Share powerful statistics on employee demand for various ancillary options. Turn your sales pitch into a strategic conversation about their entire benefits package, including their goals, budget, employee needs, etc.
Want more creative strategies to increase insurance sales and grab more BORs? Be sure to check out this extended list of 38 Strategies to Overthrow the Incumbent.