Benchmark Business Group

Cross Selling Creates A Win For Your Client

October 6, 2020

In the world of financial services cross-selling is a skill that most will easily agree is important, yet isn’t always mastered.

The benefits from an agency’s point of view are clear. Clients who have multiple product lines are less likely to leave which increases retention. Lead conversion is easier, and the cost of lead acquisition is lower. Often you can offer discounts or credits for clients with multiple lines making your agency more competitive. It is a win, but is it a win-win?

From a client’s point of view, how does cross-selling create a win? They don’t care about your retention rates, closing ratios, or even the cost of lead acquisition. In fact, they might even have a negative attitude toward cross-selling. They may see it as just another way to spend money. And besides, can’t they just get the same thing, down the road? Why you?

And this is where many agencies miss cross-selling opportunities. You have to look at it from the client’s point of view. If approached without care, it’s easy for clients to think that cross-selling is just about you selling something or meeting quotas. It’s easy for them to think this is about you. Or worse, to think it’s just going to cost them more money.

The right approach is to make sure that the focus is on them. Now, most financial services professionals are not going to suggest a product unless it’s in the best interest of their client. We know that. You know that. However, does your client know that?

This is a great time to stop and ask, does your approach and language match your intentions? Your clients may not yet know your true intentions. They may be guarded. They also don’t know your language. Here are some common mistakes we see:

  • Not mentioning price. The truth is, adding something to a client policy is going to change the price. Avoiding saying it can make you appear as untrustworthy. Instead, embrace it. You can use language such as, “Adding this coverage is an investment. Many of our clients are pleasantly surprised that a small investment will provide them with a lot more coverage. While I can’t give you a price right now, I can let you know that there are options. I’d like to discover if this is even a fit for you and then help you find the best solution.”
  • Forgetting to set yourself up for success. The story of what you do, and why, is one that should be told from the first time you meet a prospect and repeated often. When you meet a prospect you should paint a picture of how you can help them protect all of their assets, not just the quote you are working on for them. In addition, the beginning of every meeting should introduce your agency as a partner in helping them with all their needs. This makes it easier to cross-sell, because from day one you’ve set the client up to expect these conversations. It’s not a surprise and, if done right, they are grateful for your agency looking out for their needs.
  • Using unemotional/industry language. You live and breathe your products. You know them better than a client ever will. This often leads to language that doesn’t create an emotional reaction with clients. And sometimes, the language you use isn’t even technical, but rather just common in the industry. For instance, we often hear about “gaps” such as, “We help clients cover gaps in their insurance.” The problem is that you know all about the gap. You know stories about clients that didn’t cover the gap. You know what a client could lose. You know the pain it can bring. However, your clients don’t have that knowledge. They don’t understand the true cost and pain that can occur from having a “gap”. This is where you need to become a storyteller. You need to paint the picture for them and connect them to the emotion of what you do.

Cross-Selling is a skill that every single member of your team should be great at!

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