How To Add Value For Clients Who Research Online

BY Jessica Helinski
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We are living in an “information revolution,” a time when an incredible amount of information is available to buyers. And, they are using that information when making purchasing decisions. As Mary Parsons writes in an article for Insurance Agent Magazine, this access to knowledge can empower consumers. But it also has a negative side. “…too much information, when not understood through the proper filters, may result in poor decisions that lead to disappointing outcomes,” she explains. 

In the insurance industry, online research among consumers is common: 53% of consumers have shopped online for homeowners insurance in the past 12 months, and 61% are likely to do so in the future. But they don't necessarily want to go on the buying journey alone, as 80% of clients are looking for an agent to make a recommendation on coverage. Parsons points out that this reveals a great opportunity for agents to set themselves apart from the rest, and she shares three things agents should do during each customer engagement. 

You can make yourself instantly valuable by providing context about any information the customer has gathered. Most insurance shoppers are triggered by an event, such as a new purchase or life situation. After doing some research, they will make contact with an agent. “Clients reach out to agents and brokers rather than making independent decisions for two major reasons: advice and access,” Parsons writes. Listen to their findings, then put it into real-​life perspective. Then, give your professional advice tailored the client’s individual circumstances. If you already have a relationship with the client, you are perfectly positioned to discuss their findings in relation to their life situation (with which you’re already familiar). 

Parsons other tips are just as helpful and will help transition the buyer from simply being informed to a smart buyer. Show value by giving them something they can’t get online, which is personal interaction and customized advice.