Communication plays a pivotal role in selling insurance, a role that can set you apart from the competition. Any conversation you have when meeting with a prospect or client, no matter the medium, should be impactful. When you communicate effectively, clearly and understandably, your clients become more trusting of you and your advice.
Maintaining consistent communication with clients and prospects builds trust and empathy.
Strong communication allows you to ensure your prospects buy the right coverage and understand the policy’s conditions. Consistently communicating in a way that leverages your knowledge allows you to maintain the relationship with your clients, periodically educating them about the importance of insurance coverage. This inspires clients to not only retain your services but also to become active, loyal clients.
All interactions and client touchpoints should have a standard and well-defined communication strategy. Creating a strategy serves a greater purpose as well — creating client loyalty. Your strategy should be based on clients’ communication preferences. For example, if some clients prefer holding in-depth conversations, make an effort to reach out to delve deeper into policy descriptions. Having a strategy in place will allow you to communicate with clients on a more frequent basis.
Most clients do not communicate with advisors until there is a renewal or claim, although clients likely will want a pleasant experience during this time. Leverage specific modes of communication at the right time. For example, using video conference technology when an in-person meeting is not an option allows you to showcase your flexibility and keeps you from losing a touchpoint with a client. This will strengthen the relationship and ensure clients fully understand the products.
Types of communication include:
Verbal: Being able to explain your policies to clients in a clear and simple way. Explain what type of coverage they need and why.
Nonverbal: Ninety percent of communication comes from nonverbal cues. Be aware of your appearance, gestures and posture, as they affect your clients’ perception of you.
Written: Write effective letters, brochures and copy on your own website. Strong communication makes your marketing tasks much easier and much more effective.
Effective listening: You must be able to hear what your clients are asking for and offer them the right coverage. Listen carefully when clients speak about themselves, and then you will come to know what they actually want and need — whether it’s education, marriage, a retirement fund or any other priority. It is only when we listen intentionally that we come to know clients’ priorities, so encourage your clients to speak about themselves.
Make it a rule in your practice that if you speak for 10 minutes, your clients should speak for about 40. Listen with an open mind and look for opportunities to sell. Catch the point about what clients actually want, and then it will be easier for you to recommend coverage accordingly.
Visual: Visual communication is used for representing ideas or information through visual aids such as charts, graphs, diagrams, pictures or props.
Rapport building: Rapport is hard to define. It’s not being nice or sympathetic, and it’s not being liked. It’s more about building trust, confidence, and a sense of ease and connection with your clients. It’s the ability to bring your clients around to your way of thinking and help them see an issue through a perspective similar to your own.
The stronger rapport you build with your clients, the easier it will be to communicate — even when it comes to the most complicated policy concepts. Always listen actively and be able to break important policy concepts into concise, simple sentences. Ensure that your communication is client-centric and that you have the right technology to deliver communication more effectively for each client.
Former President Gerald Ford stated, “If I went back to college again, I’d concentrate on two areas: learning to write and to speak before an audience. Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively.” Most advisors’ influence comes from the ability to connect with people and build relationships. Becoming a better communicator takes initiative, courage and skill. No one gets better by accident. It takes desire and intentionality.
Insurance marketers must be confident, authentic and properly prepared. If you follow these suggestions, you’ll gain deeper connections, higher closing ratios, happier clients and satisfied producers.