How To Add Value For Clients Who Research Online

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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.

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jes­si­ca is a senior research ana­lyst for Sales­Fu­el focus­ing on sell­ing to SMB deci­sion mak­ers. She also reports on sales and pre­sen­ta­tion tips for Sales­Fu­el and Media Sales Today. Jes­si­ca is a grad­u­ate of Ohio Uni­ver­si­ty.