Is Your Book of Business Healthy?
Tips to Creating and Maintaining Business Relationships that Drive Success
As an insurance broker, you rely on your current book of business for more than commissions. Your contacts are often your means for referrals and future growth, as well. So what habits contribute to a healthy book of business? We reached out to a few insurance sales leaders for their input on how to build strong relationships that can help you grow your business.
Here’s what our Starmount Life and AlwaysCare Benefits sales leaders told us about what makes them successful.
How do you develop relationships with new clients?
“Before I walk in the door, I learn as much as I can about their business and business model. You want to be able to provide them with ideas and hopefully products that will help them grow their business. I also do my best to get to know them on a personal basis (about their family, their hobbies, etc.) as that becomes the foundation for your relationship going forward – the relationships built only on price and product are short lived.”
– William Kramer, Senior Vice President and Head of Sales
A common theme in building relationships with new clients is developing a connection on both a personal and professional level. This connection can help establish trust, which plays a major role in making important financial decisions. Showing genuine interest in people and having a strong understanding of their needs can give you a competitive edge.
How do you maintain strong relationships with your clients?
“It’s important to focus on key relationships rather than spreading yourself too thin. With that in mind, I become a resource to my agents. I find that following up with them promptly and establishing consistent support develops strong and lasting relationships.”
– Betty Tucker, Regional Sales Manager
Consistency is key. If you’re only attentive when you need something from them, and not when they need you, you could lose out on a long-term working relationship.
How do you connect with a client over the phone?
“I like to talk about their family. Are they taking any time off for vacation? Also, what are their interests? I have had clients send me pictures of their grandchildren or kids if they have told me that they just had a new addition to the family, etc. It helps you develop a better relationship.”
– Scott Kugelman, Account Executive
Having an engaging conversation over the phone is no different than in person. It’s important to establish a genuine connection.
What was your breakthrough moment in sales?
“When I first got into the insurance industry I was in an account management role, and I was encouraged to sell groups when I found time. I was slow to sell because I was bogged down doing many other things. The key for me was creating a structured approach by identifying goals, prioritizing my to-do list and continuously looking to coworkers and industry experts for tips.”
– Trisha Monroe, Regional Sales Representative
Everyone has a different experience when it comes to finding success in sales. However, good organizational skills and a structured approach can help you get there faster.
What skill played the biggest role in your success?
“I attribute a lot of my success to being consultative. I help others understand the real difference between perception and reality through hard data and visual illustrations. This tactic goes a long way to gaining clients trust and separating yourself from the competition; to do this well, you have to be well organized.”
– Pete Stam, Vice President of Sales – Eastern Region
The most effective way to earn someone’s trust is to become an expert in your field who isn’t afraid of speaking candidly.
Having strong relationships with your clients makes an impact on your bottom line, so it’s important to hone your skills and nurture your relationships. What do you do to build up your book of business?