Life insurance is a competitive business. With so many brokers selling this essential product, you have to think outside the box. One tool you have in your arsenal is cross-selling.
Cross-selling insurance allows you to tap into your existing customer base to sell them the products that match their life circumstances. Securing new leads is a challenge, but you have a 70% chance of converting when selling to an existing customer.
Learning how to cross-sell insurance and how to improve cross-selling within your business will give you an edge over the competition.
What Is Cross-Selling?
Cross-selling insurance is the idea that you stay in touch with your clients and offer them new products whenever they experience a significant change in their lives. It could include getting married, receiving a promotion, or having children.
Cross-selling opportunities are available in abundance, yet so many life insurance sellers believe the customer journey ends upon making a sale. It doesn’t. Staying connected to your loyal customers allows you to be there for them when they need it.
Is cross-selling the same thing as upselling?
No, upselling is about encouraging customers to purchase a more expensive policy. On the other hand, cross-selling is about convincing your customers to buy a complementary product.
For example, if your client has had a child, you may choose to offer a life insurance policy that covers their new arrival.
Both cross-selling and upselling have their uses. You need to know when to employ them because pushing too hard can turn off your customers and drive them to the competition.
Benefits of Cross-Selling Insurance
Not having a cross-sell strategy means you’re leaving money on the table. Cross-selling is a massive part of a business’s revenues inside and outside of the insurance business.
One of the great cross-selling examples is Amazon. Alongside their product recommendation platform, it’s estimated that cross-selling accounts for 35% of their revenues.
Here are the benefits of bringing in cross-selling to your life insurance venture:
- Less Effort – It takes considerably less time and effort to market a product to someone you already have a relationship with.
- Improve Retention – Customers want value from their life insurance products. Delivering more value via cross-selling increases the likelihood they will stick with you.
- Increase Revenues – Successfully cross-selling your products increases your revenues and boosts your bottom line.
- Grow Your Brand – Expand your portfolio and grow your brand’s footprint online.
- Enhance Relationships – Modern business is all about relationships. Cross-selling solidifies those relationships and primes you for more referrals going forward.
Unlike other types of business, people taking out life insurance are willing to pay for more value. Despite this fact, one survey revealed that only 4% to 9% of policyholders have ever been contacted about taking out additional life insurance coverage.
How to Cross-Sell to Your Existing Customers
Cross-selling is about using another tool to grow your life insurance business. Before discussing the top cross-sell tips, how do you launch one of these campaigns and create viable cross-sell opportunities?
Follow these steps to begin cross-selling insurance.
Step One – Develop a Cross-Sell Strategy
Within life insurance, cross-selling is a challenge because you need to know where to draw the line between focusing on customer retention and growing your business through lead generation. You face a lot of pressure to meet expectations.
Think about your strategy and how it plays into the rest of your business. When done incorrectly, cross-selling can even stand in the way of growth.
Your strategy should never just be about pushing more products to your customers. It should always be about creating opportunities and driving more value. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to cross-sell when you do these two things.
Step Two – Cross-Sell to the Right People
Your cross-selling efforts may be in vain if you fail to target the right customers. Selecting ideal candidates means analyzing your customer’s profiles and identifying who is a good candidate.
The iLife CRM is the ideal platform to keep track of your customers and how they behave. A data-driven cross-selling campaign will always yield more significant results than subjective assumptions.
By utilizing this approach, you can save time, money, and achieve greater success in building better client relationships.
Step Three – Make Customer Improvement the Heart of Your Business
Customer service is important for meeting the needs of your customers. Focus less on customer service and more on customer improvement. Educate your target demographic on how they should be looking at their futures to change their behavior.
Proper education means you’ll spend less time explaining why they should buy a product because they’ll make the first move.
Customer service is there to create more value from working with your life insurance brand. Customer improvement transforms and influences customer behavior to help them see the possibilities available in other products.
Informed customers are the best because you don’t need to deliver cheesy sales pitches. They already know about life insurance and the benefits of other products.
Step Four – Integrate Technology into Your Campaign
Every life insurance agent understands the importance of creating a platform that’s compatible with modern technology. Failing to meet expectations, such as in mobile commerce, means your customers will go elsewhere.
Embracing technology via mobile-optimized platforms, chatbots, and insurance search engines opens up your business for further cross-selling.
iLife is an innovative platform that moves your business forward digitally. You have all the tools to manage your business from anywhere and harness the power of data to deliver a more personalized service.
So, why is technology so integral to your campaign?
- Communicate with customers on a more personal level
- Aggregate your life insurance products to allow for easy comparison/request a quote
- Self-service life insurance platforms empower customers and introduce additional selling possibilities
The more equipped you are to give customers the value they seek, the better your chances of pushing a range of complementary life insurance products to your existing customers.
9 Cross-Selling Tips to Maximize Your Business
Maximize your business by cross-selling insurance the right way. You need to know when it’s appropriate to sell and how not to seem overly pushy.
It’s a balancing act. Simple changes heavily influence successful life insurance cross-selling. Let’s examine some of the cross-selling tips that can supercharge business growth
1. Start the Conversation at the Right Time
You want to sell to your customers. You also want to respect your customers. Generally, you should aim to contact your customers within the first 30 days. Waiting any longer may mean you won’t make those sales.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Look for the cues that a customer wants you to get in touch with them.
For example, if a customer is filing a claim, it likely isn’t the best time. Instead, your goal should be to support those customers to provide value and plant the seeds for future cross-selling.
2. Boost Awareness of Your Life Insurance Products
If your existing customers don’t know about what you sell, it’s challenging to sell to them. Make your clients aware of what you offer from day one. The moment they purchase, let them know about some of your other products.
An easy way to do this is to create a full inventory of different products and upload it to your website. The iLife Web Builder is an excellent option for streamlining and optimizing the insurance web design process.
3. Talk to Your Customers
An effective way to find out what your customers need is to talk to them. Ask probing questions about their lives and record the answers through the iLife CRM system, so you can easily rank your customers and know what to sell to them.
As you speak to your customers, you’ll naturally uncover opportunities that one of your products can fill. Get a feel for how interested they are and gradually position yourself to make a sales pitch further down the line.
4. Avoid Aggressive Sales Pitches
While asking questions and pitching your products, avoid incorporating pushy sales techniques. Aggressive pitches are rarely effective and usually result in customers going elsewhere.
Speak to someone like a human being and develop a tone that shows a genuine interest in supporting them in securing the right life insurance product for them.
5. Emphasize Cost Savings
One of the biggest advantages of cross-selling is giving customers the chance to make savings. Customers who purchase multiple life insurance products can benefit from bundling discounts.
Some combinations are more advantageous than others. It’s not uncommon for bundled policies to save up to 25% on the total cost. This is the massive selling point you should be bringing up while cross-selling.
You can even get a jump on the competition by revealing multi-policy discounts when a customer initially joins you. Rather than selling it, simply make them aware of it.
6. Talk About Common Misconceptions
If your client already holds a life insurance policy with you, don’t automatically assume they will understand the ins and outs of every other product within your inventory.
For example, most people severely underestimate how much life insurance they need. They may also not understand term vs. whole life insurance coverage.
As you cross-sell, make a point of talking about some of the biggest misconceptions. It could be the difference between making a sale and the customer respectfully declining your offer.
7. Use Social Media to Cross-Sell Your Products
In the digital age, you have to be on social media. While your website is the central hub from where you’ll sell, social media offers a chance to educate new and existing customers. It’s a chance for you to spread awareness of what you sell.
Your existing clients should already know your social media handles on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Create compelling content that discusses each of your products in-depth. You’ve also got the added bonus of improving your social media presence and boosting your SEO.
The key to any business is to make sure you’re in as many places as possible.
8. Leverage Email Cross-Selling
Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective forms of marketing. When someone signs up for your newsletter, you’re forming a personal connection in someone’s private inbox. What a lot of agents don’t know is that email lists also provide an opportunity for cross-selling.
Sending out newsletters about the products you sell, with exclusive content on the benefits of each product, primes your customers to buy complimentary life insurance products.
Segmentation can make your campaigns even more powerful. Use the demographical data from the iLife CRM and knowledge of which products your customers hold to position targeted products inside their inboxes.
These same strategies work for practically any form of marketing.
9. Actively Search for New Opportunities
Most cross-selling tactics focus on the ongoing effort of educating and marketing to customers. Rather than waiting for customers to come to you, take the proactive approach.
Staying in constant contact with your customers allows you to tell whether someone has adequate life insurance coverage.
Some of the flags to look for include:
- Policy Changes – Changes to an existing policy give you a reason to reach out to your customers and propose new products.
- Policy Review – It’s always recommended that policyholders review their policies annually. Not everyone has the time to review their policies, so make it easier for them by reviewing these policies yourself. Highlight potential opportunities for customers and offer alternatives.
- Big Life Events – Asking questions of your customers gives clues as to how their life might be changing. You can also simply follow your client’s ages. If someone has just reached retirement age, certain supplemental products may become relevant to them.
Maximize Your Selling Potential with iLife
Cross-selling can have tremendous value for your life insurance business. The key to selling life insurance is knowing as much about your customers as possible. An intelligent CRM system allows you to record and call upon vital information when you need it.